That drab concrete balcony is often the last place to be dealt with in any apartment makeover. Perhaps it’s just too small to justify a procession of tradespersons traipsing through the apartment day after day to lay ceramic or terracotta tiles, grout them and polish them. Perhaps you reside in a rental house and do not need to invest in something that you can not take with you. But in case you really want to brighten up that precious outdoor area without spending a fortune or using tradespersons, what are the best choices?
One of the primary factors is that whatever materials are chosen, they have to be sufficiently heavy or securely fixed in place so that they won’t blow away in strong winds. Moreover, you should check with the building owner or letting agent to make sure there are no special restrictions on what can be put on balconies. In addition, you need to make certain that any drainage holes or channels on the balcony aren’t obstructed.
If your balcony is simply narrow and not normally used for relaxing or entertaining, 1 idea is to just put large ceramic or stone tiles on the surface and simply butt them together with no adhesives or grout. You might also leave out the odd tile and fill the room with some big polished stones for a more interesting arrangement. However, you have to use tiles of 12″square and make sure they couldn’t slip or dismiss the edge of the balcony.
If it is a concrete balcony you could of course either stain the concrete with commercially available products or paint the concrete with products specifically designed for concrete.
But perhaps one the very best and simplest solutions is to pay the balcony with interlocking wood decking tiles. These tiles can be placed directly onto the present balcony. As each tile is assembled with inbuilt connecting tabs, as soon as they’re clicked together, they are held firmly and securely in place, unaffected by ordinary wind gusts or by slipping off the edge of the balcony. If the balcony includes down-pipes, posts or other obstructions, you might want to cut some tiles to fit around such obstructions or to match the tiles flush against the balcony wall, but the tiles can be cut quite easily using a conventional handsaw or jigsaw. And since the tiles are assembled with a spacious mesh foundation, water can drain out of under the tiles efficiently. In case you have an outward opening door on the balcony however, you will need to make certain that the height of the tiles won’t prevent opening of the doorway as the elevation of the timber tiles is typically approximately 1 1/4″.
Some producers have more than 1 style of tile so that you can mix and match to create your own distinctive pattern. If you get tired of a single pattern, just lift the tiles up and move them around to create another.
To maintain the attractive wood color, you’ll have to employ a decking oil at regular intervals, a couple of times a year depending upon the weather conditions and level of exposure.
In areas prone to especially significant winds or hurricane prone areas it would be a good idea to fix the tiles down more securely. If the building owners allow tiles could be fastened to the concrete base by screws drilled through the tiles in each fourth tile or so. Alternatively, a fantastic quality, UV resistant adhesive may be used.
Porcelain interlocking tiles are also now available which expands the options for covering the balcony. These tiles are designed to interlock just into the wood tiles, so it is possible to make for example, a central patio area paved in ceramic tiles where chairs and tables are located, surrounded by timber tiles.
To further improve the balcony you can leave out a couple of tiles and fill the gaps with a few funky polished stones or perhaps some chunky bark nuggets. And of course some bushy plants in attractive pots team exceptionally well with any timber deck.