Because a garden office is built like a house, you can choose the same floor finishes that you would use in your home, from laminate to carpet to rubber.
Final floor coverings are usually included in the price of a garden office.
We have highlighted the word usually in the statement above because in the majority of instances the final floor covering is included in the price of the building. There are, however, exceptions, so you should check the specification to avoid disappointment.
Some suppliers create a floor deck of chipboard, OSB or plywood and leave this finish for the customer to choose, install and pay for a finish of their own choice.
As we say, the vast majority of suppliers do include the floor covering in the project cost, and typical garden office flooring includes:
- Laminate flooring
- Carpet tiles
- Engineered hardwood flooring's
- Hardwood flooring
- Softwood floorboards
- Bamboo flooring
- Vinyl flooring
- Rubber flooring
- Cork flooring
- Stone & tiles
Wooden floors are the most common finish in garden office design. Laminate woods are often offered as standard, with engineered wood offered on higher-spec designs.
Laminate flooring is the most common covering specified for garden offices. It creates the look of a wooden floor, is easy to keep clean and cost-effective.
With laminate flooring, the structure of the plank is made up of a layer of board with a veneer surface that gives the wood plank effect, and the durable finish. These engineered boards just click together to look like a wooden floor.
Laminates come in varying qualities, and we are seeing more and more suppliers list that they use 'commercial grade' laminate which indicates they have chosen a more durable brand.
The beauty of laminate flooring is the range of finish options you have, from pale birch colours to dark walnuts. Some companies offer 'v' groove laminate systems which have grooves between the planks. This creates a more realistic looking wood floor.
Carpet tiles are an option on some range of modular garden office. They are a practical option for an office space. Because they are fitted in tiles if one becomes damaged it is an easy and cheap job to lift the tile, and replace it.
Carpet tiles have come a long way from those that were used in schools in the 1980's, and there is more choice over texture and colour than there used to be.
Like any room in your house, you have the option of specifying carpet in your garden office. Carpet softens a room in ways that other finishes can't. All types of carpet are possible in a garden office, but we commonly see natural options such as sisal and jute being used.
For a good finish carpets really need to be fitted by a professional who has the tools to stretch the carpet, so you get a good tight finish.
Engineered hardwood flooring
Engineered hardwood flooring is a common option on mid to high spec garden offices, and is a good compromise between laminate and hardwood floors.
Engineered flooring is again made of layers laminated together to create a robust, durable and dimensionally stable board. Unlike laminate which has a wood effect finish, with engineered flooring the top layer of the board is real hardwood, so you have all the beauty of a hardwood floor but the durability of an engineered product.
The layer of hardwood can range in thickness from less than 1mm to 6mm thick. The thicker this top layer, the longer lasting the product. With the thicker layers, you can sand and refinish the floor over the years to refresh its appearance.
You have a lot of choice over the wood species so you can find a finish that will suit your decor. From pale birch finishes to mid-tone oaks and dark walnut finishes.
In reality, you will only see hardwood flooring offered on high spec bespoke designs. As the name suggests, this type of flooring is made from solid sections of hardwood, creating a high class, durable floor with all the beauty of using real wood.
Because the boards are made from solid sections of wood. The boards are prone to movement due to the environment it is in. It is, therefore, important that solid wood floors are allowed to acclimatise in the garden office before its laid. Experts suggest it should be sited in the room where it's being fitted for 10 to 14 days before its laid.
Solid wood floors are typically sanded and then stained, and finally finished with polyurethane varnish for a hard wearing finish. This process can be repeated in the future to refresh the floor finish.
Laminates and engineered floors have become the most popular finish over the last few years, but an old favourite which is still available on some designs is softwood floorboards.
Like the floorboards used in a house, these boards come in long lengths and are fixed directly into the joists of the floor.
The boards are normally pine so have a very pale appearance, and the grain and knots are clearly visible in the boards. Many garden office suppliers choose to darken this colour by applying a stain and then finish with a durable polyurethane varnish.
Softwood floorboards finished like this have an aged feel, rather like an old schoolroom.
If the floor needs refreshing, the varnish and stain finish can be sanded back; a reapplied for a revitalised finish.
A few companies, particularly the ones specialising in eco-design, offer bamboo flooring. Bamboo flooring has many of the benefits of hardwood floors, in that it is very hard and therefore durable, but the critical difference is that where hardwoods take decades to mature, bamboo is a very quick growing plant.
Although bamboo flooring should be allowed to acclimatise to its new environment, it is considered more dimensionally stable than hardwood. This is because it is used to changes in moisture and humidity levels having been grown in tropical conditions.
Bamboo floors have a distinct grain pattern, and like wood comes in different shades, so you can choose the colour that works for you.
Rubber flooring has really developed over the last few years and could provide a fun, yet very durable finish for your garden office.
A few years ago rubber floors came in tiles, but today they come in large sheets, so there are no joins. The colour palette used to be quite bold, but today the range is much broader, and there are more subtle colour options.
Rubber floors come in different textures from smooth sheets to raised texture options such as repeated circular discs.
Vinyl floors come in sheet, tile and plank forms, and there are three key ways of fixing the floor - glueing to the sub-floor, self-adhesive strips and click systems where each section clicks to the next.
Vinyl flooring is very durable, and the range of finishes gets bigger each year - from blocks of solid colour to designs that look like stone, tile or wood flooring.
Vinyl flooring is a good option for a garden office as it is straightforward to keep clean - soapy water is all it needs, so any dirt or moisture that your feet pick up on the commute down the garden path can easily be cleaned up!
There is a trend for more industrial, pared down garden office interiors and to create this some suppliers use birch plywood sheets to form all the interior surfaces of the room - including the floor.
The plywood is usually oiled to protect it and bring out the grain of the plywood veneer.
Stone & tiles
As we mentioned in our floor construction guide, some designs of garden office have a concrete floor. This opens up different possibilities for floor coverings.
A concrete floor is a perfect base for stone or tiled floor finishes. These finishes not only look beautiful but are highly durable.
Some people feel that stone and tile floors can create a cold room, but these finishes are often combined with underfloor heating, so this needn't be a problem.