When it comes to balconies, it can be difficult knowing where to begin as far as renovation is concerned. You only have a small space to work with which limits your ability to go totally crazy with transformation.
However, one thing you can definitely achieve is switching up the floor. This is very much different to indoor floor renovation as there are far more considerations to be made, for instance whether or not the floor you choose will withstand exposure to the elements.
The existing floor can be uncomfortable, unsuited to furniture or ruin your chance to create a plant-filled oasis by preventing proper storage. With just a few hours of effort and not very much money at all you can totally transform this space from drab to fab.
Today we will be taking a look at all of the options available to you when it comes to balcony floors. Whether your dream is achieving the most natural garden space three stories off of the ground or a modern outdoor paradise you’ll never want to leave, it all begins with a simple, subtle, easily implemented change.
What is the best flooring for an outdoor balcony?
So, you’ve decided to change up your balcony floor. Congratulations! This is the first step to achieving the perfect relaxation space. Now you know you’re ready to take the plunge, it’s time to decide exactly what kind of floor you want.
Especially if you are opting for an interlocking design, tiles can be one of the simplest, most straightforward ways to cover your balcony floor in something new and exciting.
Made from a variety of materials including stone, plastic, wood or composite, said tiles are always attached to a composite base which allows them to snap together, completely removing the need for adhesive or other ways to secure the floor.
As far as money is concerned you will find these tiles in a wide range of different finishes, which means that the cost of picking up enough is very different depending on which you go for. Naturally the most affordable tend to be those made from plastic or composite.
If you are looking for a mess free and easy installation, tiles like these are the way to go. It is typical for interlocking tiles to be appropriate for any type of base flooring, meaning whatever material your existing balcony floor is made from, you will still be able to complete the project.
Not only that, but should you move, there’s no need to leave your renovation behind as this flooring can be easily removed and packed away with little effort, ideal for an apartment setting or those who rent their home.
That being said, the majority of interlocking tiles do not connect to the floor in any way and are not at all adhered to the ground. As a result they are only appropriate for use on balconies that have the necessary safety rails to keep things in place, and therefore should be avoided otherwise.
All you need to do is double check your chosen tile has been certified appropriate for outdoor use and you’re good to go. Unless, that is, you have a wooden balcony, as you’ll need to install a cement underlayment before you can safely add tiles. If this is the case, be sure to ensure the balcony has been adequately sloped to allow for enough drainage.
IKEA Runnen Floor Tiles
Making it instantaneous and easy to refresh your balcony, these tiles are available in packs of nine and come in four different colors, suitable for installation over wood, stone and concrete. Easily cut to fit around obstacles and specifically recommended for outdoor use, this is an affordable way to transform your space.
Interbuild Real Wood Acacia Hardwood Interlocking Deck Tiles
Built using weather resistant, FSC certified Acacia wood, these interlocking tiles are easily installed indoors and outdoors, specifically designed to allow appropriate water drainage and with seven different colors to choose from (or combine several for an eye-catching patchwork look!)
As you can imagine, trying to install an indoor carpet in an outdoor setting will result in mould and mildew faster than you can say DIY. As a result if you are looking to achieve a cosy feel on your balcony, you must first make sure you pick up synthetic carpet designed to be used outdoors.
Available in perhaps the biggest range of shades, sizes, patterns and shapes, adding a splash of color to your balcony is probably easiest this way, just for the sheer number of options out there.
Sometimes you will need to utilize an adhesive in order to install an outdoor carpet, but otherwise, it can simply be unfurled and weighed down with plants, furniture or other items on your balcony, to prevent it blowing away.
If you have a concrete balcony it is imperative that you ensure it has been properly sealed before adding an outdoor carpet. Otherwise, you could cause the concrete to deteriorate over a number of months which could possibly be dangerous.
House, Home and More Indoor/Outdoor Carpet
Whether you want it for your balcony, a patio, boat, or more, these UV-protected carpets are weather and fade resistant, as well as being made from polyester fibers that are stain-proof and easy to clean. A low pile height and ribbed texture offers plenty of traction and a variety of sizes will be suited to a great deal of different balconies.
Costing far less than your average real-wood floor, these so-called wood alternatives have the potential to last far longer, be installed easier and make for an excellent balcony floor when you’re on a budget but still want a sleek and stylish finish.
With composite, you can forget tinder: where this was the go-to for balconies once upon a time, ages far quicker than you’d like for a floor installed outside, and even then requires far more maintenance to ensure it stays safe and structurally sound.
As well as looking cleaner and nicer, it’s also an excellent alternative when it comes to preventing rot, particularly when paired with an additional subframe, and will usually be far more slip-resistant and waterproof than its regular wood counterparts.
Using composite will also ensure you don’t experience a buildup of water, as it allows for proper drainage regardless of where you install it, preventing pooling and complying with all fire ratings and building regulations when it comes to the strict rules of apartment building renovation.
Flybold Outdoor Composite Wood Decking
Using durable solid teak wood, coated with an oil finish and added UV protection, Flybold’s outdoor flooring is lightyears away from competitors whether you’re using it on a balcony or anywhere.
Most notable is their use of an interlocking PPC base, which unlike the products of competitors using PE, will not break after just a few weeks. A snap locking mechanism also means you’ll spend only a matter of minutes putting it together!
Incredibly budget friendly, hard-wearing and weather resistant, with an attractive and natural look, artificial grass is an increasingly popular choice for balcony flooring, particularly for those who have cats, dogs or other pets who need daily access to fresh air.
Helping you achieve a garden-like space without actually having one, especially when you add a bunch of plants, flowers and greenery into the mix, this is one of the quickest, easiest ways to refloor your balcony.
Provided that it is mostly flat, has a solid surface beneath it and will allow for decent drainage, you’ve got yourself an ideal place to lay some artificial grass. If you’re planning on using it regularly, opting for a grass with a shorter than average pile is recommended although it doesn’t look as realistic.
Those intending to utilize their balconies minimally but achieve a realistic look might prefer to get something that looks more like actual grass.
Pet Grow Artificial Grass Turf
Looking thick and realistic without using actual grass, in a four tone color that’s soft and lush, you’ll be hard pressed to believe that this isn’t the real stuff taken straight from the ground. Designed to survive any weather conditions, installation is incredibly simple, with the turf being cut to your desired shape or size easily, then simply rolled out and voila!
Though concrete doesn’t exactly scream exciting floor design, it can be one of the most long-lasting and easy to maintain balcony options out there. For a start, the modern iterations of concrete are far more bright and beautiful than the traditional gray finish which may be springing to mind.
A lot of concrete these days is easily stained or even painted to transform its overall finish, as well as completely renovated with the use of a stencil to create impressive and attractive designs.
Other customization options when it comes to concrete include the ability to etch or engrave to add texture, as well as stamping, which leads to an embossed finish that will be the envy of all balcony-mates in the surrounding area.
/Going from a wooden balcony to one covered with concrete might sound like a fun and easy way to change things up, but you must first seek out the advice of a professional structural engineer, who will determine whether or not the balcony is stable enough for the added weight.
If you have a concrete balcony already, or you have decided to pull out more concrete where it already exists, you may well be better off leaving it as is to achieve the best possible finish.
It’s difficult to offer a product suggestion here as every single balcony will need to be assessed by a professional before more concrete is added, as it may affect the structural integrity of your outdoor space. Do your own research and seek the advice of an expert if you’re pouring your own concrete out on a balcony!
Want to change up your outdoor space and beautify a balcony without breaking the bank, making much effort or having to get remotely hot and bothered? Your answer is the humble outdoor rug! These are different to carpets because all that is required is putting it down on the ground – usually they’re heavy enough to stay in place.
Though not many folks are familiar with them, it’s actually possible to buy rugs specifically for use outside – as the name suggests – which won’t succumb to rot or decay when exposed to the elements.
Available in a huge variety of sizes, shapes, colors and patterns, outdoor rugs are one of the most versatile ways to decorate a balcony or cover up an existing floor that’s more of an eyesore.
Perhaps the most popular material for an outdoor rug is polypropylene, a stain-resistant derivative of plastic that’s incredibly easy to clean, does not fade when left in the sun and deals well with exposure to moisture, as well as regular foot traffic, being durable without breaking the bank.
IKEA Outdoor Rugs (various)
IKEA’s range of funky rugs in various prices does not just extend to your house, oh no. They also make a versatile range of outdoor rugs, perfectly suited for jazzing up your balcony and transforming your space with very little time, effort or money.
Factors to consider when choosing a new balcony floor
First and foremost, you’re not transforming your balcony for it to look weird and unmatched. What’s the point of embarking on an epic project if the image you’ve mentally created of your new outdoor space doesn’t match the final result?
First, decide what kind of concept you’re going for: inner city oasis, minimalist relaxation, tropical jungle? Whatever it is, determine exactly which style of balcony floor you’re after, as this will help speed up the rest of the decision making process exponentially.
Once you’ve decided on how you want your balcony floor to look, it’s time to do some pricing up. There’s always going to be a way to do things on a budget, but you don’t want to cheap out, especially as the floor of your balcony breaking or getting damaged could have far worse consequences than being inconvenient.
Give yourself a budget and then stick to it, being sure you include the costs of installation, materials and any cleanup, as well as accessories or decor you might also want to get.
Determining the weight of your new floor, in addition to anything else you’re putting out on your balcony, is seriously important to the process. Given they are dangling above the ground, it is important to preserve the structural integrity of a balcony at all times, as the consequences can be severe.
You’re not just looking at property damage you might have to pay for – it’s also possible you could experience serious injury or death as a result of failing to adequately research, prepare or install the new floor.
Though you might think this is very obvious, basic information, the floor you choose to fit on your balcony needs to be suited to the weather and climates you experience most regularly.
From being water resistant and able to appropriately drain off any liquid to ensuring it is UV-protected and won’t get damaged by the heat of the sun, there are a few more things to think about when you’re renovating a balcony than you may have first thought.
Somewhat linked to the weight of everything added to your balcony, it’s important to consider the potential dangers of doing so. Not only could something too heavy be damaging to the structural integrity of the balcony itself, but you may also experience a myriad of other problems.
For instance, a floor that remains extra slippery when wet, no traction at all, is opening you up to the possibility of injury. Without adequate protection, you could slip and fall, which when you’re several storeys high will result in more than just a grazed knee!
Top tips for renovating your balcony
- Get appropriate plants: because being higher up and thus closer to the sun (and water when it rains) makes it more difficult for greenery to thrive, you need to make sure the flowers, plants and other flora and fauna you have out there is going to be able to survive
- Use solar lights: they cost very little to run, spend the whole day charging up and then provide some gorgeous ambient light for your relaxing outdoor space, without need for maintenance or the potential to get damaged by adverse weather conditions
- Find lightweight furniture: as long as it is heavy enough to stand its ground against wind, you’ll find that thin, wireframe furniture is the best for your balcony, being low-maintenance, easily relocated and taking up very little space (which is important on a balcony!)
- Take advantage of the railings: although they are there for your safety, you can always find a way to pretty them up, whether that’s with hanging plants, fairy lights or other decor