Sunroom flooring - use as is or replace with something more rot proof

Karen Fearing
by Karen Fearing
The house we recently purchased was built in 1977. The 8 x 12 sunroom addition at the side of house was built sometime just in the last 5 yrs. and left unfinished. Other than the obvious need to complete it and make small updates such as windows, insulation and electrical - the shell appears to be solid. It was built on a typical cinder block foundation but we are unsure of what is under the porch itself (stone, plastic, etc.)
The flooring from the sunroom as well as the small extended side covered porch is the same flooring made of 2 x 6's. I would assume they're treated lumber as they still look in good condition. Even though the boards are bone dry and look solid, is it advisable to replace flooring just in the sunroom with something more weather or rot proof, or could we simply treat it as a subfloor and leave it alone and work from there? Is that even possible to do so after the fact as the floor boards extend the exterior wall?
8 x 12 sunroom.
  4 answers
  • Deniselockrengathman Deniselockrengathman on Apr 24, 2015
    I would check for rot, mold and pest damage first. If none of those exist I would use a self leveling concrete skim coat with in floor radiant heat and the use hand scraped porclain tile with wood grain, or true wood flooring, maybe even using the flooring currently there if taken up. The other option would be a concrete floor with radiant heat. There are so many incredible dyes and acid washes on the market most people will not know it's concrete. Concrete is durable, pretty much maintenance free and cheap if you do it yourself. We've made concrete counter tops twice, by doing them ourselves the cost was roughly $300.00 versus the $8,000 to $12,000 to have them installed by a "professional. Depending on your skill level this should be a two weekend project-mainly the concrete has to cure. The in floor radiant heat will extend the months in the fall and spring you can use the space
    • Karen Fearing Karen Fearing on Apr 24, 2015
      Love the idea of the self leveling concrete. Not sure about the radiant heat (cost wise) but I also like that idea. I see no signs of rot but do know there critter damage to the outside corner when it tried getting in. Kudos to you for going the concrete route for your counter tops. I've seen this extensively on Pinterest and various other home improvement sites. I can see so many advantages- cost being the biggest and durability coming in second. But can I ask what you did as a backsplash, though? Thanks for the advice!
  • Greg Edwards Greg Edwards on Apr 24, 2015
    If you are not comfortable putting in floor heat, try using Stall Mats from your local Farm Supply store. 3/4" solid rubber provides excellent insulation from ground temperature and moisture. They are laid with only small amounts of glue in the corners to prevent slipping, and they are excellent to walk on. 4' X 6' are the size we used on a recording studio and they cut down noise, and they are merely caulked at the seams if you like, otherwise, do nothing, and they can be cut to fit with a Box knife.They cost less than $1.25 a square foot and any idiot can install them (I know, I am the worst there is). They will be black, but can be painted, just like any wood floor. And if one goes bad, just pull it up and go get another one. I caulked between mine with paintable caulk, jammed them together, then scraped off the excess with a putty knife. The seams disappeared. I laid a 12X24 floor in about 35 minutes. And spent less than $300.00
    • Karen Fearing Karen Fearing on Apr 24, 2015
      Another great idea! I would never have thought to look at TSC for such a beast and don't recall seeing flooring like this in barns (two neighbors had horses and ponies where I grew up in NW Ohio). Being paintable is also a huge plus. Love this site and the creative solutions people come up with. Thanks!
  • Deniselockrengathman Deniselockrengathman on Apr 24, 2015
    My thought about the in floor radiant heat is that it's probably cost effective when compared to installing other heat sources. I'd quick put some steel wool in the animal damage hole. It should prevent further damage while you figure out the rest of the porch.
  • Cyndi Moore Tippett Cyndi Moore Tippett on Apr 24, 2015
    There is a flooring that looks like wood but is actually a plank vinyl that can be laid over your existing subfloor and is water proof and almost indistructable. You can find it at Home Depot and I think Lowes has started carrying a brand. It looks like wood planks and is pretty easy to install. It has glue strip on three sides and when complete it is really nice looking.