We think about a lot of things when setting up our greenhouses – size, décor, positioning, lighting, shading, and so on. However, because of its position on the ground, we often forget to think about the floor.
Several materials are commonly used as greenhouse floors. They differ in several ways including drainage, cost, benefits, and so on.
In this post, I will share with you the 6 most common greenhouse flooring options. I will also share with you the factors you need to have in mind when planning a greenhouse floor.
The 6 Most Common Greenhouse Flooring Options
1. Stone Greenhouse Flooring
This is a permanent greenhouse flooring option. This is because stone flooring is often mortared to hold together. When not mortared in place, the stones are often placed close together and gravel or decomposed granite are used in between them as a stabilizer.
When you install a stone greenhouse flooring and then you mortar it in place, you will need to add a surface drain to make the removal of water easier.
If you want to use stone as greenhouse flooring, you should go for stone slabs. Because the flatness of the slabs will make it difficult for you to trip and fall as you work in your greenhouse.
Typically, sellers of stone slabs sometimes refer to them as patio stones and flagstones. So do not be confused. The only stone you should avoid if you want stone flooring is the “field stone” type. This type of stone has an irregular surface that will make it difficult for a couple of days to pass without you tripping.
2. Concrete Greenhouse Flooring
This type of flooring is often the most expensive flooring option for most people. Because concrete and cement are expensive and because it often requires engaging a professional company for the installation.
Despite being expensive, concrete flooring is one of the best types of flooring. Because it creates a flat, solid, and permanent floor for your greenhouse and greenhouse activities. Properly installed concrete floors have a drain. The purpose of the drain is to enable the automatic evacuation of water.
The best thing about concrete flooring is that it lasts forever. And despite its expensiveness, it usually pays back many times over.
3. Brick Greenhouse Flooring
Brick greenhouse flooring is often just quite as expensive as concrete flooring. This is because bricks are usually more beautiful and elegant than other concrete flooring options and, therefore, they are more expensive.
The best thing about this flooring option is that you do not to mortar it in place. You also do not need to build a drain for it.
In many cases, installing brick flooring is cheaper when you just buy and install the bricks yourself. However, if you want professional results you should leave the work to the pros.
4. Pea Gravel Greenhouse Flooring
This gravel flooring option is one of the cheapest flooring options. Many greenhouse owners across the United States and the United Kingdom have pea gravel as the floor in the greenhouses. This flooring option is convenient because it makes drainage automatic.
The only downside with using pea gravel as your greenhouse floor is that weeds will still grow through it and can make your greenhouse interior to look ugly. To solve this problem, greenhouse owners usually install a weed barrier before installing pea gravel as their flooring.
There have been reports that pea gravel flooring can become slick and dangerous if moisture is left to accumulate. However, this is often not an issue in greenhouses that are sufficiently aerated.
5. Mulch Greenhouse Flooring
This greenhouse flooring option is great for three reasons – it is stable, provides good drainage, and improves the soil. Therefore, if you have a greenhouse in which you grow things in the ground, it is one of the best flooring options to consider.
The thing about mulch is that it is cheap and readily available. There are many garden stores/centers that sell quality mulch. The very best type of mulch for use as flooring is shredded mulch because it interlocks quickly to form a stable walking platform compared to the wood chips mulch.
The only drawback of using mulch as flooring is that it usually breaks down quickly. This is the reason why it needs to be replenished at least yearly.
If you choose to use mulch as your greenhouse flooring, you should buy it per cubic yard because buying it this way makes it cheaper.
6. Weed Barrier Greenhouse Flooring
A weed cloth or a weed barrier is a woven fabric that is typically used in commercial greenhouses to suppress weeds from growing through the floor.
So if your garden has weeds, it is the best material to use as flooring. In addition to suppressing weeds, this flooring option is level. This makes it easy to walk on. Moreover, this flooring option creates positive drainage because it allows water to easily pass through it.
While water can easily pass through a weed barrier, the barrier will prevent your floor from becoming muddy.
If you choose to use a weed barrier as flooring, you should go for a commercial-grade weed barrier. This is because it will do a better job of suppressing weeds and lasting long. Do not go through the trouble of installing a cheap weed cloth that will not last for a year.
What To Have In Mind When Buying A Greenhouse Flooring
As you can see above, there are six major types of greenhouse flooring. They are all different. In this section of the post, you will discover all the important things you need to have in mind when buying a greenhouse flooring. These things will ensure you get a greenhouse flooring option that is appropriate for you, your location, and what you want to do.
Cost is usually the most important thing people consider when wanting to buy something. Because when buying things many usually ask themselves, “Can I afford this?”
With regards to cost, some greenhouse flooring options such as concrete and stone flooring are more expensive when compared to others. Therefore, if you have a big greenhouse and you are on a tight budget, concrete flooring is probably not what you should be considering. You should be considering cheaper flooring options such as mulch and weed cloth.
Greenhouses are normally wet environments because plants need to be watered to survive and thrive. Therefore, if you want to install solid/ continuous flooring such as concrete, wood, or mortared stone flooring, you should not forget to install a drainage system. If you do not install a drainage system, your greenhouse will quickly become slippery and dangerous. Moreover, flooring that is ever wet will also result in the growth of mold, which is something you do not desire.
So before you buy flooring, you should think about drainage. And in case it is a type that needs the integration of a drainage system do not forget to install it or to have it installed.
The durability of the flooring you want to install is something very important to consider. This is because while some flooring options are known to last only for several months, while other options are known to last for many years. The options that only last for several months include mulch and sawdust. They only last for several months because of decomposition. In contrast, options such as concrete and stone flooring can last for many years.
Therefore, if you are seeking a flooring option that will last for a long time, do not just choose between the options randomly. Go for concrete or stone flooring.
You should consider pests when buying a flooring option. This is because some flooring options are more attractive to pests than others. For example, flooring options such as sawdust and mulch decompose with time because they are organic. And as they continue decomposing, they often become a breeding area for pests and algae. Therefore, if you are growing a crop, a flower, or a plant that is often vulnerable to pests, you should avoid thinking about mulch and sawdust. You should instead think about cleaner and easier to maintain flooring options such as concrete and stone.
5. Heat retention
This is a factor you need to consider especially if you live in a cold region. The best flooring options for cold climate areas include flagstone, concrete, and brick. This is because they stabilize temperatures inside greenhouses by trapping heat during the day and releasing it slowly at night. In other words, they can help you to minimize heating costs, especially during winter.
This is also an important factor to consider especially if you are not young anymore. Why? Well, greenhouses tend to be generally wet and slippery. However, some flooring options are more slippery than others. Therefore, if you are no longer young, you should go for the less slippery flooring options such as concrete and ensure the option is installed with drains to make it safer. If you don’t, the flooring option you install will most likely get too wet at some point and make you slip and hurt yourself.
If you want to plant crops or flowers in the ground in your greenhouse, you should consider installing a weed barrier before installing the flooring option you want. A weed barrier is a special cloth that suppresses weeds and prevents them from emerging on the topsoil and competing with your crops or flowers. If you do not install a weed barrier, you will end up having to kill weeds every now and then.
There are six major types of greenhouse flooring. They are all different from one another. Some have specific advantages over others and are, therefore, more appropriate in certain situations. For example, the concrete flooring option is perfect for those looking for a flat solid ground plus durability. Things to have in mind when buying a greenhouse flooring include drainage, cost, durability, pests, weeds, and so on.