Conservatory flooring ideas: 8 options that are both beautiful and practical

Flooring can play a huge role in linking your indoor and outdoor spaces – and there are many designs to suit your home.

Whether you are building a new conservatory or know that the tired surfaces in your existing space are in need of an update, there are plenty of conservatory flooring ideas to consider. But which one should you go with?

To inspire you, we talked to conservatory and flooring specialists. They’ve explained which styles and materials are heralded for their good looks and longevity in this potentially tricky space.

Mervyn Montgomery, founder and joint director, Hampton Conservatories notes that flooring isn’t a decision to be taken lightly. “Conservatory flooring needs careful consideration as it’s expensive to replace if you get it wrong.”

Large conserrvatory with sofa and bi-fold doorsCredit: Hampton Conservatories

The link between indoors and outdoors is key

“The conservatory bridges the gap between the indoors and outdoors,” adds Karen Bell, creative director at David Salisbury. “While there is a wide range of materials to choose from, some are less ideal in a setting that sees lots of ‘foot traffic’. Ensure you choose with longevity and practicality in mind.”

That means thinking about any muddy feet (or paws) that might come in from the garden.

Understanding how you want to create flow from the rest of your home into your conservatory, then onwards to the garden, is a key factor. For example, do you want tiles that match your patio for an ‘invisible’ transition? Or would you prefer a distinct surface that echoes the outdoors, such as engineered wood?

Our eight experts take you through their favourite conservatory flooring ideas and options.

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1. Lean into limestone’s rugged look

A durable flooring choice that ages well

For a conservatory floor that has a timeless appeal, limestone such as this Aged Muscat flooring from Martin Moore is a beautiful choice. It’s durable – and a sound option for period homes such as this sympathetically styled conservatory kitchen. Choose a tumbled finish in a light colour to open up the space and enhance the natural light.

Richard Moore, design director of Martin Moore, tells Saga Exceptional: “Limestone flooring is a marvellous choice for use in conservatories for several reasons.

“Firstly, limestone is a natural material and develops in a range of attractive shades, including light brown, cream, pinkish beige and grey.

“There is also a unique beauty in the natural variations of colour within the stone itself. This can really shine in the ample natural light of a conservatory.

“As well as being an aesthetic choice, limestone is a practical conservatory flooring idea. It remains very cool in the summer, even under direct sunlight, but also warms perfectly with underfloor heating. This allows a conservatory to be enjoyed year-round. In terms of care, a simple periodic dusting and washing with warm water and a mild cleaning product is generally enough to maintain the hardy stone.”

Featured product

Aged Muscat limestone flooring, Martin Moore Stone

RRP: From £75 per sq m

2. Mix and match patterned tiles for a modern feel

Even a simple design can transform a conservatory space

Conservatories make wonderful spaces for tiles. And with the variety of colours and patterns now available, you can get a little creative with placement. Contrast block colours with patterns for modern appeal and interest.

From a practical perspective, tiles make a sound choice for a floor that will last. “Tiles can be an impactful and versatile choice,” shares Amanda Telford, marketing manager at CTD Tiles. “They offer more variation and are available in a range of colours and styles.

“Porcelain or ceramic tiles are great options to consider for this room. They are both durable and strong, perfect for a space that is used frequently. They are also easy to maintain, and prices can vary to suit any budget Also, taking into consideration the longevity of these materials – tiles are a worthwhile investment,” she continues.

The detail of the Contrasti Tappeto Grigio matt porcelain floor tile would complement many styles of conservatory. Its neutral tone is a great backdrop for conservatory plants and brighter accessories that can be switched in and out seasonally, or as your tastes change.

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Contrasti Tappeto Grigio glazed porcelain tiles, CTD Tiles

RRP: £59.99 per sq m

3. Choose tiles designed to match your patio

For a seamless and stylish connection to the outdoors

Mirroring your tile design outside will create a more natural flow from a conservatory onto a patio. It’s easily done with porcelain tiles, since many suppliers now create two versions of the same tile design: one for inside and one for outdoors. The latter, is primed with a special anti-slip coating so the tiles are less of a slip hazard as Abbas Youssefi, co-founder of Porcelain Superstore, tells us.

“Because there is a lot of rain in the UK, it creates a slip hazard with a lot of tiles,” he notes. “So many tile manufacturers produce an indoor tile and an outdoor tile to match. The outdoor tile usually has an anti-slip finish, so there’s a bit more grip underfoot.”

This anti-slip finish has a special rating to look out for

“In the industry, we call it an ‘R’ slip rating,” Youssefi explains. “If a tile has an anti-slip rating of R11 or higher (it goes up to R13) then it can be used outdoors. Essentially, this means that you can use the same tile inside and out.”

Although they may differ slightly, you will enjoy the same style, pattern and size but with all the practicality of a non-slip finish for your patio and a surface that is nicer on bare feet in the conservatory.

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Montgomery similarly recommends a porcelain tile to create this connection between the indoors and out. “We often recommend a porcelain tile as this gives a quality feel and reflects the significant investment that the homeowner has made in the glazed extension itself,” he says.

“The clay used for porcelain tiles is quite dense which means it is more durable and less prone to absorbing water than ceramic tiles. This is particularly beneficial if you want to use the same flooring inside and out to create a seamless look and feel with a terraced area around the perimeter of a conservatory.”

4. Create a chequerboard with square tiles

Pattern never looked so good

Part of the latest Bert & May Greenhouse Edit collection – a collaboration with Alitex – these Bay Green and Marigold plain tiles will bring both warmth and freshness to a modern conservatory, but also suit a traditional room when laid in this chequerboard pattern.

Being encaustic, they are a sound choice for a conservatory floor. That’s because encaustic cement effectively conducts and maintains heat in the winter, keeping your conservatory warm and working well with underfloor heating.

Lee Thornley, founder of Bert & May tells us: “Encaustic and terracotta tiles are a great choice for conservatory flooring because they’re durable and hardwearing, and were specially selected for Bert & May’s Greenhouse Edit collection because they’re equipped to withstand the high traffic, temperature changes and condensation that’s often experienced in a conservatory.”

“Stylish as well as practical, tiles are a great way to incorporate colour or pattern to a conservatory and elevate the space from purely functional to a room with the same personality and design as the rest of the property,” shares Thornley.

5. Stick with classic ceramic conservatory flooring

It’s beautiful and resilient

There is no denying the beauty of classic ceramic tiles. The ease of maintenance and durability of ceramic tiles makes them a sound choice for conservatory flooring. “Ceramic tiles offer the necessary resilience and easy maintenance required to withstand the challenges of conservatory living,” says Bell.

Furthermore, you’ll find ceramic tiles available in all sorts of interesting patterns and formats to create the look you want in your conservatory.

6. Opt for engineered wooden flooring

For stylish good looks and peace of mind

“Engineered wood is an ideal choice for the conservatory,” says Natalie Mudd, creative director at The Wood Flooring Co. “From a practical perspective, it’s much more stable than solid wood and, therefore, more effective at coping with any changes in temperature.

“A great way to add warmth and character to interior spaces, a textured wood floor will pair perfectly with a large dining table or second sofa, alongside being easy to clean and maintain.”

7. Or go for faux wood with porcelain planks

Still realistic and a little easier to maintain

For those who want a wood look, with all the benefits of porcelain tiles, Youssefi comments that: “wood-effect tiles are popular at the moment”. He also says that plank sizes are getting larger each year, making them a viable option for large conservatories. “If you have a big conservatory, definitely consider laying large-format wood-effect tile planks. They won’t warp, unlike solid wood, and you don’t need to worry about muddy shoes coming inside.”

There are many variations: whatever size your conservatory space, you could lay them in a herringbone pattern as Justine Brennan @our1904home has done to add design interest.

Featured product

Brooklyn glass funnel wall light 7in with brass wall holder, Industville

RRP: £89

Honey-toned flooring would bring more warmth to a conservatory. Porcelain Superstore’s Essence Honey wood-effect porcelain tile has modern appeal with its oak finish, and its anti-microbial shield keeps bacteria at bay making it an ideal conservatory floor choices for areas where kids and pets will be at play.

Featured product

Essence Honey wood-effect porcelain tiles, Porcelain Superstore

RRP: £46.50 per sq m

8. Consider cork for its thermal properties and warmth underfoot

You may not need underfloor heating…

If you are looking for a floor covering that has a little more texture and intrigue, natural cork could be a wonderful choice, especially if you want to avoid installing underfloor heating.

“In the winter, conservatories can be quite cold, plus it is known that a huge amount of heat can be lost through the floor,” James Scully, founder, Recork, tells us. “So it’s worth choosing a material that offers thermal insulation properties to help to retain heat. Cork has exceptional insulation properties thanks to its honeycomb structure, which contains millions of air-filled cells. Thermal insulation means the floor feels warm, without the need for underfloor heating.”

What are the best colours for floor tiles in a conservatory?

Neutrals always work

Beiges and stone colours are particularly popular in conservatories, keeping the room light and airy in appearance. “In the past five to 10 years, grey has been the dominant colour,” Youssefi says. “Light greys have been particularly popular, but now there’s a definite shift and people are looking for warmer greys, greiges, and beiges.”

Warm, natural stone colours will always be a winning look to create a space that is timeless and welcoming in every season. They work particularly well in helping conservatories feel like a natural extension of your home.

“Tiles with a stone-effect design are coming back in,” says Youssefi.

Bell says most conservatories have tiled flooring: “Choose from natural stone or porcelain or, in some cases, we are seeing a return of terracotta. Other materials can be specified, but we find that most conservatories have a tiled floor. It’s ideal for handling the indoor/outdoor foot traffic.”

Porcelain comes out on top, although Youssefi says it’s only in the past seven years that its really taken off. “I’m biased, clearly, but I think if you’re looking for conservatory flooring, you need something practical, you need something stylish, and something that’s easy to look after. Tiles – and porcelain tiles, in particular – tick all those boxes.”

Youssefi thinks porcelain now even surpasses ceramic tiles or natural stone. “These days, porcelain tends to look as good as the natural stone equivalent, but is much easier to live with, cheaper to buy, and fuss-free,” he says.

“Pretty much any style you can think of these days is available in porcelain. So, you can have tiles that look like wood; tiles that look like highly polished marbles; small hexagon tiles that look like traditional terracotta tiles.”

More benefits of porcelain

Jo Oliver-Singh, director, Stone & Ceramic Warehouse shares more on the benefits of porcelain tiles as conservatory flooring. “Quality porcelain tiles are an ideal choice for conservatories and sunrooms as they are fade-, moisture- and UV-resistant.

They are also extremely hard-wearing, making them perfect for a room that leads to an outside space. Porcelain tiles need very little maintenance to keep them looking good, with no need for sealing, polishing or specialist cleaning.”

As we have seen, porcelain tiles can now work just as well outside as in. They blurr the lines between a conservatory or garden room and your patio, perfect for creating more space when entertaining.

“Laying a continuous floor that flows from the home into the garden will make the whole area feel much larger. Even when the doors are closed, the room will appear to continue outside,” he adds.

Conservatory flooring to avoid

What materials should you rule out in a conservatory?

Since a conservatory will open up into your outside space, carpet is not advised. “Fitted carpet is not the best option for conservatories. Despite providing a cosy feel, carpets trap dirt and moisture, making them challenging to maintain in a space that constantly interacts with the outdoor elements,” says Bell.

“In addition, laminate flooring, while generally durable, can suffer in conservatories and will most likely see fading and discolouration over time, diminishing the overall appearance of the flooring.”

For more comfort in a conservatory, look to warmer coloured tiles or woods for the floor. A rug or two would add a layer of texture.

Fitting conservatory flooring

Installation tips – from tiles to grout

Montgomery shares: “Many homeowners approach us hoping for a completely flush floor area between the inside and outside. This is achievable with special attention to the drainage. But it’s important to note that building control regulations generally require a 150mm (6in) step from damp-proof level to ground level. By using identical tiles, the homeowner can still achieve this look while allowing water to drain more easily away from the property.

“A fully glazed conservatory comprises a glazed roof and walls, so we often recommend solar control glass to ensure air and floor temperatures remain comfortable throughout the summer. Porcelain tiles are naturally cooling so a good choice for conservatories that are south facing.”

Why grout matters

Youssefi reminds us to protect the grouting between tiles as they can be susceptible to staining if not sealed correctly.

“The tiles themselves generally won’t need to be sealed unless they are natural stone, but the grout should be sealed,” he says. Although it might not detract from the look of your tiles, it’s worth doing to ensure that the flooring still looks good in a few years’ time.

“You can buy a bottle of sealant from our company, or from Amazon, and simply apply it with a sponge,” he adds.

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Camille Dubuis-Welch

Written by Camille Dubuis-Welch she/her

Updated:

Camille is a freelance writer based in north London with her cat and two friends. Cam has been in love with everything interior design and garden-related since before she can remember and is the former deputy editor of realhomes.com, where she got to collaborate with some very inspiring DIYers and focus on small-space improvements.