Greenhouses are relatively easy to build, so creating one as a DIY project for yourself or a loved one with a passion for gardening is not out of the question. Before you begin such a project, though, you should know which greenhouse components are essential for functioning and which elements are up to the builder's discretion. For example, you might be wondering if you need to install a floor for your greenhouse or if you can use the ground as your floor. We have researched this question for you to help you make an informed decision.
A greenhouse does not have to have a floor, but there are many benefits that make installing one a good idea.
Before deciding whether you should add a floor to your greenhouse, let us explain the reasons why installing a floor is a beneficial choice.
Benefits Of A Greenhouse Floor
Many people build greenhouses and opt-out of installing a floor. However, there are many benefits to putting in the extra work of adding a floor to your greenhouse.
Without a floor, any water that collects in your greenhouse will seep into the ground below. In most cases, this is okay, but you do run the risk of flooding if the ground cannot absorb the water fast enough. A concrete floor eliminates the risk of flooding if installed with an appropriate slope that allows the water to drain. Gravel floors are also beneficial because they encourage the water to seep into the ground while remaining dry enough to prevent slips and falls.
Installing a floor allows you to regulate the temperature of your greenhouse better. While you cannot control whether the ground below your greenhouse freezes or absorbs too much heat from the sun, you can consider your area's climate when choosing the best material for your floor.
A cooler climate may utilize the floor material to reflect the sun and absorb heat, such as concrete. At the same time, a humid environment may call for a flooring material that promotes drainage.
Weeds And Pests
Leaving your greenhouse without a floor will expose your plants to any bugs or weeds that are naturally found in your area. While you can take care of this problem with pesticides or weed killers, installing a floor that seals out the weeds and pests is much healthier. That way, your plants are not also exposed to harmful chemicals.
You can be as creative as you want to be when designing the interior of your greenhouse. You can install shelves and tables to keep your plants and plant beds raised, or you can keep your plants in pots and planters on the ground. Installing a floor gives you a nice even surface for your furniture or pots to sit on so they will not tip over and destroy your plants.
What Is The Best Floor For A Greenhouse?
Concrete tops the list of best floors for a greenhouse. Not only does concrete help your plants grow by reflecting the sunlight, but it is also easy to maintain. Working with plants can be a messy job, and concrete is easy to clean instead of softer or more porous surfaces.
How To Build A Greenhouse Floor?
With a little bit of skill and patience, you can build a greenhouse floor without calling in a professional. Since the experts at HGTV agree that concrete is one of the most recommended materials for greenhouse floors and describe the process as a simple one, we will provide more detailed instructions for building a concrete floor. However, if you choose another material for your floor, the procedure may be a little different. Here are some steps to follow to install a concrete floor in your greenhouse:
Before doing any kind of work, you need to know the size of the space you are working with. Measure the length and width of the area that needs to be covered by flooring. Calculate the floor space area so you know how much material you need before you go shopping. After you measure the space, make a temporary perimeter to help you visualize the space that needs to be covered.
2. Purchase Supplies
Once you know how much space you need to cover, you can go to the store and purchase the supplies you need for your project. Since A supply list for this project will look like this:
- Concrete-This will be the primary material of your floor, so you will need to ensure that you purchase enough to cover your floor's entire area.
- Wooden posts- You will need four-2x2 wooden posts 2x4, which will be used to reinforce the corners of your floor.
- Wooden planks- You will also need 4-2x4 wooden planks in the length necessary for your floor. The planks will be laid between the posts, essentially creating a wooden frame for your floor. When you build your greenhouse around the floors, this frame will be the place you can build from.
In addition to these materials specific to your project, ensure that you have all the everyday tools you need to complete the project, including a drill, deck screws, and concrete spreader.
3. Dig The Floor
Dig into the soil covering the entirety of your floor so that the area included in your temporary perimeter is now a 6-inch recessed floor. You can remove the temporary perimeter at this time. In each corner, dig an 8-inch hole for the posts.
4. Create The Frame
Place a wooden post in each of the holes that you've dug. Then, fill each hole with concrete the secure the posts, and let it dry overnight. It is essential that you ensure that the posts are straight because you will not adjust them after the concrete has dried.
After the concrete has secured the posts into place, you can lay a 2x4 plank between each set of posts. Use deck screws and a drill to secure the planks. The frame you create from the planks and posts outlines the floor and will create the frame for your greenhouse.
5. Pour Concrete
Pour concrete into the area you've created until the planks are halfway submerged. Let the concrete dry completely before continuing to build your greenhouse.
What Is The Best Base For A Greenhouse?
For the base of the greenhouse, flagstones are the most recommended choice. They are preferred because they allow for natural drainage, and they are sturdier than not using any base.
How Do You Build A Wooden Base For A Greenhouse?
When you install the wooden posts in each corner and secure the wooden planks between them, as described above, you are essentially creating the base of your greenhouse. After you complete this base, you can fill it with concrete or any material you prefer for your floor. Your greenhouse frame will then be built from using this base as the foundation.
If you are considering plywood for your greenhouse base, check out our article Is Plywood Waterproof? [Complete Plywood Waterproofing Guide] to learn about waterproofing the plywood for extra protection.
How Do You Keep A Greenhouse Warm In Winter Without Electricity?
You can keep your greenhouse warm using a variety of methods if you don't have electricity. The easiest and most cost-effective way to warm your greenhouse is by taking advantage of the sun's natural warmth. Using paint or reflective material on the roof of your greenhouse can help absorb the sun's heat. You can also insulate your greenhouse or double up on your greenhouse's walls and windows to prevent heat from escaping.
Ultimately, the choice of adding a floor to your greenhouse or not is yours. Of course, greenhouse floors require more materials to be purchased and more effort to install the floor than you would have to expend if you were building a greenhouse without the floor.
However, the benefits of adding a floor to your greenhouse greatly outweigh your upfront cost in the long run. Your greenhouse will be more efficient and run more smoothly if you install a floor instead of creating your greenhouse directly on the ground. You'll also likely experience less waste from destroyed plants with the added protection of a floor.
For more information about building and maintaining your greenhouse, check out these articles: