8 Materials That are Used for Balcony Floors
Last modified: 2019/01/07 | Approximate reading time 5 mins
Choices, we make them daily, some more significant than others. Since we are living in a world of abundant options, it shouldn’t be any different for home reno and decor. If you’re one of the lucky ones or living in a fancy high rise condo, you’ve likely got a balcony. Sometimes, the base material is unsightly or maybe it’s not up to your personal taste. Whatever the case, there are plenty of balcony flooring options on the market, some with almost no commitment required.
Many indoor floor covering materials can be used outdoors, and have been specially designed to withstand the elements while improving aesthetic appeal. While your final choice will heavily depend on needs, budget and personal preference. Also, before moving forward with any balcony renovation project, remember to check that condo rulebook. After all that's said and done, you can refer to our list of the popular balcony material options available!
Here are 8 materials that can be used on your balcony floor!
1) Interlocking Deck Tiles
Interlocking deck tiles can be made of wood, plastic, stone or composite, and are usually attached to a composite base. These are easy to install, as they snap together with special teeth along each edge of the tile. As a result, they are portable and an ideal option for apartments! Further, they can be installed over any type of base, including pre-existing wood and concrete balconies.
The tiles themselves will be raised off the floor slightly, which will help to preserve the original material of your balcony. However, bear in mind that they do not connect to the floor and should only be used on balconies with proper safety rails, as slipping could occur. As these tiles are made of a variety of materials, prices will vary between style and brand, but there is surely something out there for everyone!
2) Synthetic Outdoor Carpeting aka Fake Grass
Synthetic outdoor carpeting can help you to achieve the look of carpet on your balcony without mould and mildew growth. This material comes in the classic faux grass alongside a variety of shades and patterns. The installation process is straightforward, though some will require adhesives. Other options can be easily rolled out, and adhesives will not be necessary. However, make sure that if you choose the faux carpet option, your balcony has been correctly weather sealed. Especially concrete, as this will prevent the material from deteriorating.
This is an excellent option for dog owners, as it is a comforting and attractive solution for a dog or animal stuck in a high-rise building. It is important to make sure that you don’t allow any liquids to leak on this faux grass material, as it will compromise the below surface and lead to deterioration. Also, if the fake grass stays wet, it will invite breeding insects and pests, alongside moulding and unsightly smells. So, remind your pooch that this faux grass patch is just for fun, and nothing else!
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Concrete is one of the strongest materials used for balcony flooring. When properly sealed, it withstands weather like no other! Modern concrete has come a long way, and nowadays, there are more on the market than just your boring and basic gray. Modern concrete can be painted or stained to add a colour. Further, it can be stencilled, etched or engraved to incorporate a personal design or pattern. However, since this material is very heavy, make sure to consult an engineer to determine whether your balcony can handle the weight before moving forward with this renovation project.
4) Pressure Treated Lumber
source: Pixabay, Merio
Pressure treated lumber reigns as one of the most popular choices on the market. This material is not only affordable, but it is widely available and incredibly easy to cut and fasten using nails or screws. The material is generally chemically treated to resist rot, fungus and wood-boring bugs. Some downfalls of pressure treated lumber are that it is not very dimensionally stable. Therefore, it has the tendency to crack, split and warp. Routine maintenance is necessary to prolong the longevity of the material, including an annual power wash and a stain or wood preserver.
Paint is a low cost, low maintenance way to update the surfaces of your balcony without much time or effort involved. Now, there are plenty of paints on the market that imitate the look of stone or even wood. If these don't suit you, choose a bright and bold colour to update the drab or faded shade. Remember, not all materials can be painted, so if your balcony is concrete, you may have to consider another method.
Also consider that your balcony should be given a good pressure wash, alongside a new weather-resistant stain before it can take on that coat of paint. Further, keep in mind that the paint you choose is appropriate for withstanding weather and outdoor elements, so look for a brand that is designed specifically for the outdoors.
Composite and low-grade plastic woods are some of the most popular decking materials on the market. Most products are made from polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride, coming in a wide range of colours. Composite is great in that it is very weather and stain-resistant. Also, it will not splinter, warp, split or rot in even the harshest of conditions. Composite is typically less expensive than plastic lumber, however, prices will vary depending on style and brand.
This material's advantage over wood includes its low maintenance and upkeep, as well as the fact that it will not require sanding, refinishing or staining. However, mould and mildew can still grow in these materials, and some composites can eventually show signs of decay. So be aware, wood lasts much longer!
For the environmentally conscious homeowner, composite tiles can be made from eco-friendly, recycled and sustainable materials. These include recycled wood and recycled plastic film.
source: Pixabay, Pexels
This is not the most popular of balcony material choices, however, it exists on the market and is worth considering if you want an alternative material for your balcony floor. Aluminum won’t rot, rust, warp, splinter or crack. It is an extremely weather-resistant material. It is finished with a powder coating that has an incredible longevity, and therefore, will not blister or peel. Not only does it have these built-in benefits, this material is naturally lighter than any of the other solids listed.
Most aluminum planks have interlocking edges, creating a gap-free and water-tight balcony that is easy to install for any homeowner. Also surprisingly, aluminum surfaces stay cooler in summer months than most other materials, as aluminum contains heat-dissipation properties. The downside of this material is it’s cost, weighing in as one of the most expensive materials of the bunch!
8) Outdoor Rugs
This is another low-maintenance option that requires very little preparation. However, if you’re living in an apartment with a drab balcony, this temporary fix is an excellent option. Outdoor balcony rugs are usually woven of a poly-type fabric for mould resistance and durability. There are also natural sisal options available on the market, which can be treated for weather resistance. Another unique balcony mat option is the pebble mat, which is cut in squares and almost tile-like. These mats can be lined up for an almost seamless fit. They can be easily washed, but of course, would not be a permanent solution.
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