When you are installing a greenhouse, in addition to choosing its size, type and style, you also must select a floor for it. There are many options to choose from, each with its advantages and disadvantages when it comes to issues such as drainage, mud, mould and cleanliness. Choose the floor that best suits your needs and your budget.
Although concrete can be a expensive option, a concrete slab makes a very durable, smooth greenhouse floor that is level and easy to walk on. Concrete also heats up from the sun during the day, and radiates heat well into the night, heating your greenhouse on chilly evenings. You can easily hose off a concrete slab, but you must install drains into the flooring so that any excess water can run off; if concrete is allowed to stay wet, it will grow mould.
Stone has many of the same benefits as concrete. For example, it is durable, holds heat and can be easily cleaned. One advantage stone has over concrete is that because stone floors are made up of individual stones rather than a solid slab, water can drain off into the cracks between the stones. Some disadvantages are that stone is often expensive, may not be level, and dips in the stones' surface can hold water.
Wood planks can be laid across the ground for an attractive greenhouse floor. Wood that has been treated to resist moisture or wood that is naturally moisture-resistant, such as redwood, are appropriate choices. While the cracks in between the planks provide ample drainage, one disadvantage to wood is that it is relatively expensive.
Gravel is a durable flooring option that drains well and often isn't overly expensive, depending on the type you buy and where you buy it. Gravel's drawbacks are that it can be awkward to walk on and can be tracked into your grass and onto your sidewalks and patio, making a mess. You must put down a very thick layer, about 6 inches, for proper drainage and to prevent the accumulation of mud.
Bark Chips, Wood Chips or Sawdust
Bark chips, wood chips, sawdust and other plant materials, such as pine needles or straw, are very inexpensive, and you can sometimes even obtain them for free. However, because they are plant materials, they will eventually decompose and must be replaced, so they may not be as economical as they seem.