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Solarium vs. Sunroom: What is the Difference?

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In this post, you'll learn ...

  • The differences between a solarium and a sunroom.
  • Advantages and disadvantages of solarium and four season rooms.
  • Custom options available for each sunroom style.

When considering a sunroom addition for your home, it’s easy to be confused by the endless styles and designs available. A common question our Patio Enclosures® experts often receive is, “What is a solarium and how is it different from other sunroom additions?” In this blog post, we will explain the differences between these sunroom types and describe some of the custom options available for each.

What is a Solarium?

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A solarium is a type of sunroom addition that is made completely out of glass, including the walls and roof. Solariums can be heated and cooled with an individual room heating and cooling unit, giving you year-round use of your new space.

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  • Advantage: Since solariums are built with glass, they provide unobstructed views of the outdoors and a new living space full of natural light.
  • Advantage: If you enjoy star-gazing, but don’t want to be bothered by the bugs, a solarium is a perfect solution that allows you to enjoy the beautiful stars from the comfort of your home.
  • Disadvantage: Due to its thermally-engineered design and materials used, a solarium tends to be more expensive than a four season room.
  • Advantage: Patio Enclosures solariums are manufactured with our 1-inch-thick double-pane insulated glass to improve energy efficiency.
  • Advantage: Our thermally-engineered aluminum frames and glazing bars provide structural integrity that meets and exceeds local and national building codes and offer a beam-like look for your room.
  • Disadvantage: Since the ceiling is made entirely from glass (even though it is insulated), a solarium can get warm. Vent fans can be installed to allow warm air to escape.
  • Advantage: Because solariums allow optimal natural light to enter the room, they are often used as greenhouses for flowers or plants that need a lot of sun.

What is a Four Season Room?

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A Patio Enclosures four season room is a type of sunroom addition that is engineered to be heated and cooled year-round. Four season rooms extend the living space in your home and provide additional entertaining space, without having to worry about inclement weather.

  • Advantage: Four season rooms tend to cost less than solarium additions, while still offering you a beautiful view of the outdoors.
  • Disadvantage: A four season room does not allow quite as much natural light into your space as a solarium as the roof is not made from glass. 
  • Advantage: While four season room roofs are not made entirely of glass, you can add glass roof panels or fixed sky lights, which allow natural light to enter your room through the ceiling.

Solarium vs. Sunroom: Custom Design Options

Frame Options: White, sandstone or bronze finish. Our powder-coated frames provide the highest resistance to scratching, chipping, peeling and fading.

Roof Options: Patio Enclosures offers single slope and gable roofs to fit the design and style of your home. Our four season rooms can also be constructed under an existing roof.

Hero PlaceholderGlass Options: Both sunroom styles come standard with double-pane insulated glass, which blocks UV Rays more effectively than ordinary glass and improves your room’s heating and cooling performance. We also offer Comfort-Gard® Plus High-Performance Glass, with 1-inch-thick soft-coat Low-E and Argon gas, which can reduce cooling costs as much as 25% in the summer months.

Window and Door Options: Depending on the type of room you choose for your home, there are multiple window, door panel and screen panel configurations available. View our sunroom comparison chart for more information on the differences between both sunroom types.

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Whether you decide that a Patio Enclosures solarium or four season room is best for your home, we will custom design, manufacture, and install your perfect sunroom addition that matches the design and style of your home.

Would you like to learn more about our custom sunroom additions? Give us a call at 800-230-8301 for more information or schedule your free, in-home estimate online today.