Much Ado About Flooring

Warning: This post is long, however, there are no dusty pictures of torn up floor. Bonus? Perhaps.


For the most part, decisions about the “bones” of this room have been pretty straight forward.  We want to raise and pitch the ceiling, we want either casement or double hung windows (we went with double hung), and we want a bar area with lots of storage.  We’re all good in the hood sun room, right?  Well what about the floors?

From the day we bought it, the sun room has easily been the biggest eye sore in the house.  We’ve always planned to renovate it as soon as our pocketbooks would let us. That’s given us 2.5 years to come to a consensus on what to do out there.  And yet, here we are, in the middle of our reno, and we still don’t know what to do with the floors.

We’ve talked tile, bamboo, cork, cement, vinyl, hardwoods, laminate, the list goes on. Each option has it’s pros and cons and we’ve discussed them at length.  Now that the outdoor kitchen is officially a thing of the past, it’s decision time.

And our decision is….

…to put the decision off.  Kind of.

Anyone who knows me will not be surprised and my hesitation to make a commitment. Mark really wants hardwood, specifically something reclaimed.  I’m not fully on board with this because I don’t want it to look like the wood in the rest of the house for fear that it will look like we were trying (unsuccessfully) to match the wood it.  I also don’t think wood is very low maintenance in a sun room and as the chief house cleaner, I am not looking to drum up more work.  I am also worried about the wear and tear with the sun room being the route in and out of the house for these two yahoos.


I really wanted tile (specifically slate tile) as I thought it would go with the period of the house, be easy to take care of, and be resistance to doggie wear and tear.  Mark said that going with tile would mean having to do alot more reinforcements to the floor joists and sub floor.  It’s also quite expensive.

So with no clear choice and no large budget, we’re taking a page from our neighbors in Congress and kicking the can down the road a bit.  We’re going to install plywood sub floor and then paint it.  Yes, you can do this.  For some, it’s a temporary solution and for others they love the look so much, they have no plans to change it.  We’re not sure which category we fall into yet, but we figure we’ll try it for at least a couple of years and see how we like it/it holds up.

Here’s a couple of pictures of others who have done this in their homes.


Photo from


Photo from


Photo from

I am thinking about doing stripes like in the first photo.  I want to do white and light grey.  I plan to run the stripes the opposite direction of the ceiling boards (i.e. from the house wall to the window wall) in an effort to make the room feel wider.  Like this.Image

Home Depot sells plywood tongue and groove sub floor, which we were excited to discover as the tongue and groove feature that will allow the floor to have the same flex and give as hardwood.  However, it will only cost us about $410.00 to cover the 330 sq. ft. of floor which works out to $1.23/sq. ft. That’s about as cheap as you can go when it comes to flooring.

Now I have read on the Interwebs that the fine state of Virginia has issues with uncovered sub floor.  Apparently any room with uncovered sub floor cannot be counted as finished square footage and you may not be able to get the house financed because of it.  I am glad that I found out about this before I took the plunge, but since we’re not planning on selling in the near future, I’m not deterred.  But if you’re looking into doing this in your home, you might want to check your local codes beforehand.

So that’s where we’re at.  We’re hoping to get the floor joists in and the sub floor laid this weekend.  If that happens, we will be really close to being ready to install our new windows. YAY!

Have a great weekend everyone, I hope you all have a project you’re looking forward to doing!

5 thoughts on “Much Ado About Flooring

  1. Kate, This is a good idea. The tongue and groove part of it really makes it work for me. I liked the checkerboard pattern but really agree with you on the stripes if it’s a narrow room. You guys are amazing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s