Balcony Floor

How do you redo a balcony floor?

You can’t beat anything quite like a well-planned balcony. It’s your little slice of heaven. Many homeowners like them because balconies provide a touch rarely seen on a typical house. Balconies provide a little getaway above the rest of the world, with the best view around the immediate area. Best of all, a balcony is a place where your quiet time is seldom disturbed. When it comes to replacing the floor of your balcony, use treated plywood to ensure it will be a place you can enjoy throughout the years.

A drab balcony floor detracts from the soothing nature of your outdoor oasis, leaving you less inclined to use this space for relaxing and taking in the view. Many traditional indoor floors covering materials can be used outdoors to breathe new life into your balcony. These materials are specially designed to withstand the elements and improve the aesthetic appeal of balconies and other outside spaces.

Choosing the right flooring for the balconies of your condos or patio decking for the backyard can be a stressful decision to make. When it comes to flooring, there are many options available but choosing the best one for your outdoor balconies is a critical decision to make. The right flooring makes your balconies waterproof, durable and easy to clean. Balcony flooring should be able to withstand all weather conditions, including rain, snow, hail, and UV rays. With 3G Concrete Solutions, they are experts in helping you make the right decision for your outdoor flooring and waterproofing process using Westcoat. These are the top highly recommended flooring options to have a waterproof balcony.

Check out Hitch Property Constructions for a wide range of balcony repairs.

Ways to Cover Up Ugly Apartment Balcony Floors

Many apartment gardeners hate their outdoor floors. Fortunately, there are several options for the balcony container gardening when it comes to spicing up the floors of their flower gardens and vegetable gardens.

Balcony Floor

Decking. 

Decking squares that latch together are probably the best option for apartment balcony gardeners. These decking squares can be placed by yourself or your contractor on any sized apartment balcony. Purchase a set and latch them together according to instructions to cover as much floor space as you’d like. The decking is raised off the balcony floor slightly, which will preserve the integrity of the material below it (that will make your landlord happy!). The decking squares will also make the balcony feel more like a cozy, homey deck than a sterile apartment balcony. 

Fake grass. 

You may think that fake grass would look odd on a balcony, but fake (or real) grass can be popular, especially with dog owners. Make sure that the grass is up off the ground. Never let your dog urinate on a patch of grass, not above a dog “potty patch,” “porch potty” or something created specifically for pet dogs to eliminate on. You don’t want water, urine or other waste leaking through to your balcony floor.

Fake grass dog potty patches are easy to clean, and some even clean themselves by rinsing themselves with water that then drains off the side of the balcony. These potty patch systems provide an attractive solution for apartment residents. The potty patch will allow you to let your dog out without having to take him or her for a walk every time. It will also help you train your dog to use only grassy areas for elimination. For those of you without dogs, if you choose to put down grass, make sure the material is not directly on the balcony floor. If the balcony gets wet, it will compromise the floor material, whether it is concrete or something else. When any material stays wet on the apartment balcony floor for long periods of time, it will invite pest insects, moulds and smells. Install grass correctly, so you don’t have a headache later on.

Paint. 

If your apartment management allows you to paint the balcony floor surface, you may want a bright, bold colour, or you can get paints that imitate the look of stone or other natural materials.

If you do decide to paint, make sure the paint is appropriate for outdoor floor areas and for the material you’re painting on. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and be careful not to inhale toxic paint fumes.

Outdoor rugs. 

Outdoor rugs can be expensive, and, unfortunately, they can compromise the floor of your apartment balcony. If the balcony floor stays wet for any period of time, it can damage the floor (this is also why you should keep plant containers off the floor). If your floor is concrete, it may crack if it stays wet during periods of temperature fluctuation (freezing and warmer temperatures). Never glue a carpet to the floor. You may get in trouble with your apartment management for damaging the floor (you do want your deposit back, don’t you?). Outdoor rugs can be appropriate on apartment balconies with awnings. These rugs shouldn’t get wet with rain or snow. Just make sure you don’t spill too much water on them while watering any container plants you may have in your balcony garden (and don’t put plant containers on top of your expensive rug!).

How to Replace a Balcony Floor With Plywood

  • Clear the balcony of all furnishings and any other objects, such as flower pots and decorations.
  • Measure the balcony’s width, from the entry door to the joist tips. Find the length, from one side to the other. Multiply both dimensions to determine the balcony’s square footage. Divide that number by 32 to determine how many sheets of plywood you need as most plywood is sold in four-by-eight sheets (a total of 32 square feet). Add 10 to 20 per cent to cover any errors.
  • Pull up or tear away the current flooring system, using a pry bar and a circular saw or jigsaw to cut through materials, as needed. Toss the old flooring material to the ground.
  • Throw a couple of sheets of plywood across the now-bare joists to provide a safe platform on which to walk. Cut each piece of plywood outside on the balcony to eliminate messes indoors. Centre the cut line over the space between two joists and cut to size. Alternatively, cut the pieces on the ground before carrying them to the balcony.
  • Squirt construction adhesive across each joist before laying the plywood into position. Start at the far side of the balcony, next to the house. Align the plywood’s outer edge flush with the joist’s outer edge. Leave a 1/4-inch space between the plywood and the house siding, using a spacer to maintain the space on this and each subsequent sheet that is laid beside the structure. Run the plywood lengthwise across the joists. Cut each piece to fit the remaining space and to ensure that the plywood’s ends land in the middle of a joist to provide proper support under the edge of each sheet of plywood.
  • Attach the plywood to every joist across which it runs, using two, 4-inch screws spaced every 12 to 16 inches. Along the outer edges, drive similarly spaced screws through the plywood into any solid wooden framing boards present.

What Kind of Flooring Do You Put on Outside Balconies?

Interlocking Deck Tiles

Interlocking deck tiles represent one of the easiest tools for covering your balcony. These tiles consist of wood, plastic, stone or composite surfaces attached to a composite base. They snap together without the use of fasteners or adhesive thanks to special clips or teeth along each edge of the tile. This means not only is installation fast and mess-free but also that you can take these tiles with you when you move, making them ideal for apartments. Many of these products can be installed over any base, making them ideal for both wood and concrete balconies. Since interlocking tiles don’t connect to the floor, they should only be used on balconies with appropriate safety rails, and should not be used on stairs or most walkways. While these tiles come in a variety of finishes, prices can vary significantly, from expensive teak or ipe to more affordable composites or plastic.

Cozy Carpet

Installing indoor carpet on an outdoor balcony will likely lead to mould, odours and a squishy feeling underfoot. Use synthetic outdoor carpet to achieve the look of carpet on your balcony without the mess. This product comes in many different shades and patterns, including the classic faux grass look. Installation may require adhesives, though some products can be unrolled and left in place without the need for glue. Before laying outdoor carpet, the Carpet and Rug Institute recommends making sure concrete balconies are properly sealed to prevent the concrete from deteriorating over time.

Versatile Tile

Tile rated for outdoor use serves as an ideal balcony floor covering. Choose from stone products such as slate or traditional porcelain in a variety of colours and finishes. You can install these tiles right over a concrete balcony, but wood balconies require a cement board underlayment before tile can be installed. Make sure the balcony is sloped properly to maintain adequate drainage to prevent damage to the underlying surface.

Concrete With Class

If your existing balcony is made of concrete, or you’re planning to add a new poured or pre-cast concrete balcony, leaving it bare may give you a better finish than covering it up. While the thought of a concrete balcony floor may bring to mind a boring, utilitarian finish, modern concrete floors offer much more than basic shades of grey. Many can be painted or stained to add colour, or stencilled to incorporate intricate designs. Stamping concrete gives it an embossed finish, while etching and engraving add texture, eliminating the need for separate floor coverings. While it may be possible to cover existing wood balconies with finished concrete, be sure to consult a structural engineer first to determine if your balcony can handle the extra load.

Considerations

As with all flooring selections, safety remains a top priority when considering what type of material to use on your balcony. As you compare different options, weigh factors such as slip resistance and stability, as well as aesthetics and cost. Keep in mind that materials such as tile, which is securely bonded to the base of the balcony, is less likely to move or shift than interlocking tiles or unsecured carpets. Choose tiles carefully to reduce your risk of slips and falls, and stick to textured options for greater traction. Finally, consult a structural engineer or architect before covering your balcony with a heavy floor covering, such as concrete or tile. Adding too much weight to your balcony can compromise its structural integrity, leaving you vulnerable to property damage or serious injury.

Looking for balcony repairs Melbourne? Look no further. Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.

Flooring Options to have a Waterproof Balcony.

Balcony floors are often the most overlooked area of the home; it is essential to select this flooring carefully so that there is a seamless transition between the indoors and the outdoors. Also, the floor should not only be able to withstand the external weather elements but also add to the aesthetic appeal of the balcony, have good stability and slip-resistance properties that ensure safety.

Porcelain tiles

Porcelain tiles are widely available and have emerged as one of the most popular flooring materials for the balcony.

Pros:

  • These tiles are very dense and highly durable, which makes them suitable for outdoor use.
  • The non-porous nature of the tiles prevents water absorption; hence they are resistant to mould and mildew, especially valuable during the monsoon.
  • Porcelain tiles are available in a variety of colours and designs. Some are designed to replicate the look of stone and natural wood, as seen in the image above. However, make it a point to only go for matte-finish tiles with anti-skid properties.
  • These tiles are easy to maintain: routine cleaning with a wet mop is all you need.

Cons:

  • Being a dense material, porcelain tiles are heavy.

Natural stone

Popular natural stone materials used for the flooring of the balcony include sandstone, cuddapah (kadappah) and slate.

Pros:

  • Natural stone floors are extremely durable, sturdy and long-lasting.
  • Natural stone materials add colour, texture and an element of warmth to an outdoor space.
  • Natural stone is naturally cool during the summer months.

Cons:

  • This flooring material is porous and needs to be sealed periodically.
  • Natural stone is very heavy. Hence, before installation of a stone floor, it is essential to check the structural load-bearing capacity of the building, as well as of the balcony projection, by consulting a structural engineer.

Note: Avoid materials such as granite for the balcony, because they tend to become very slippery during the monsoon. Also, avoid marble because it is highly porous; it might lose its shine over time and will require re-polishing.

Cement tiles

How about infusing character into your balcony with cement tiles, like in this example?

Pros:

  • Cement tiles are very durable, sturdy and slip-resistant.
  • These tiles come in rich colours and bold traditional patterns that add an element of art into the balcony.
  • Cement tiles are easy to clean; routine cleaning involves mopping with a mild soap, followed by a dry wipe.

Cons:

  • Cement tiles are very heavy; check the structural load-bearing capacity of the building and make sure that the slab can take the additional load of the cement tiles.
  • Cement tiles are handmade – there might be some colour variation among tiles. Make sure to order all your tiles in one batch so that there is minimal difference in the colour of the tiles.
  • These tiles are porous and need to be periodically sealed so as to maintain their look. If not sealed, there can be water absorption by the tiles, which might result in mould or mildew.
  • Cement tiles are expensive.

Terracotta

Bring a rustic and earthy look into your balcony with handmade terracotta tiles.

Pros:

  • Terracotta is naturally resistant to mould and mildew, which makes these tiles suitable for the outdoors.
  • Terracotta tiles do not fade from continuous exposure to sunlight or UV light.
  • These tiles are made of naturally available materials, which makes them eco-friendly.

Cons:

  • One drawback of using terracotta tiles is that because they are very porous, they attract a lot of dirt. Consider a glazed finish on these tiles (as seen in the example above), as they are comparatively easier to maintain than unglazed tiles. However, opt for a non-slip type of glaze.
  • Additionally, because of their porous nature, terracotta tiles have the tendency to retain water, especially during monsoons, which may result in the growth of algae.
  • Terracotta tiles need to be sealed periodically. For routine cleaning, use a gentle floor cleaner and clean up stains with warm soapy water and a soft cloth.

Hardwood

Wood is one material that never goes out of style and effortlessly imparts a high-end look to the balcony.

Pros:

  • Hardwood floors are highly resistant to water.
  • Wood feels wonderful barefoot.
  • It can be easily installed on existing flooring.
  • Wooden flooring looks good in the balconies of both modern and traditional homes.

Cons:

  • Wood tends to get attacked by termites.
  • Good-quality wood is a very expensive flooring option for the balcony.
  • These floors require regular maintenance. It is important to seal the wood regularly to keep it in good condition.
  • Wood has the tendency to expand and contract when exposed to external weather conditions, so make sure you only go for weathered wood.

Composite deck flooring

This is a composite material in vinyl or WPC (wood plastic composite) that simulates the look of real wood. It is available in the form of ready-to-install interlocking tiles.

Pros:

  • Composite deck floors are strong and durable.
  • It is a waterproof material.
  • Unlike wood, it does not expand or contract.
  • These floors are maintenance-free.
  • Composite deck floors do not fade from exposure to sunlight or UV rays.

Cons:

  • Composite floor materials contain plastic, which tends to become warm during the summer.

Hitch Property Constructions has a wide range of the Melbourne balcony repairs right here. 

Synthetic grass

Are you looking for a small patch of green within your home? Then consider synthetic grass for your balcony, since it isn’t feasible to grow a lawn within an apartment.

Pros:

  • The lush green synthetic grass simulates the look of real grass. It can be difficult to differentiate between real grass and good-quality synthetic grass tile until one touches it.
  • Synthetic grass is installed like a carpet. It has UV stabilizers that prevent the grass from fading when exposed to sunlight.
  • Good-quality synthetic grass is durable and can last for 15–20 years.

Cons:

  • Synthetic grass is expensive.
  • Synthetic grass is made of plastic, which may feel warm to walk on during summers.

From all of the above choices and with the number of years we have been in the industry specializing in flooring, our recommendation has been concrete flooring and enhancing the look of it with a durable coating for your balconies. The decision finally drills down to what fits perfectly with your needs, comfort and style.

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