This is a beautiful and hard-wearing choice. It is expensive but will last a life time and comes in a variety of natural forms and hues. Choose from larger flagstones, paving stones or smaller cobbles to achieve the desired effect. Be aware that each variety has different properties. Sandstone has the advantage of being non-slip while sparkly stone like Yorkstone or granite tend to be slippery when wet. An alternative is to opt for reconstituted stone which costs less. This cheaper version may not age as well and can lack the subtle tones of natural stone, but is more economical.
A lovely way to creating the feeling of an “outside inside” space is by continuing the same style of tiles from inside your glass room, out onto the patio. This may seem an expensive option but the effect is stunning and is very low maintenance. Thick, fully vitrified porcelain tiles are very strong, long lasting and frost-proof. They are perfect for any outside area. Ceramic indoor tiles are not suitable for external use as they are not fired to the same extreme as porcelain ones. For continuity, laying the same porcelain tiles throughout might be the best option.
Concrete, clay & brick
If you are working to a limited budget, concrete is a simple, durable and cost effective option. It might sound like a dull choice but the finished effect doesn’t have to be boring. Add texture with a layer of gravel or by etching and stamping individual patterns into the surface. Alternatively, you can buy clay or concrete pavers in a variety of sizes and shapes to achieve the pattern of your choice. For a warm, hard wearing finish, real brick can be laid in many different designs – running bond, herringbone, or basket weave. For a more affordable option, some pavers are manufactured to mimic a brick finish at a fraction of the cost.
This is not as long lasting as concrete or stone but is a popular traditional choice because of its smell, texture while being relatively cost effective. The wood would need regular maintenance to protect it and keep it looking good. There are pressure treated woods available which are more resistant to rot and the elements, but these contain chemical preservatives and can still warp easily.
New kids on the block
If the prospect of staining and treating real wood seems too much, there are many composite products, such as millboard, or Trex® which are easier to maintain. As high-quality alternatives, they do not warp, fade or rot over time. Manufactured to be weather-proof and algae resistant, they offer a more durable beauty, especially if you want to carry the flooring on into the garden. Since millboard is manufactured in the UK and uses reclaimed minerals, it is also an environmentally sound option. With anti-slip versions available and no maintenance, why would you slave away treating natural wood when you can put your feet up and relax?
Help is at hand
Whichever flooring you choose, consider the details for a harmonious design. You can select a combination of materials for impact and to designate different areas. At The Glass Room Company, we are always happy to provide inspiration and suggestions.
For more information about our glass rooms and our design expertise, please contact us or call for free on 0800 009 6245.