Sorry for my tardiness!
Though I live in a house, I was inspired to write on the subject because of the state of an office colleague’s balcony. She lives in a great little condo, in a lovely part of the city, and she has a balcony. I saw this balcony the other day, and upon laying eyes on its sorry state, felt a pain in my gut. There it sat, ample and square (not like those narrow, useless parapets many developers pass off as balconies these days), swathed in what could only be identified as a layer of awful. The barely recognizable industrial carpet that covered its floor seemed to have decomposed long ago, now an AstroTurf ecosystem home to god knows what.
No good, I said, and immediately realized that I would now be held to the task of helping her fix it. Well, everything is an opportunity to learn, and as a result of researching options, I’ve learned quite a few things on what to do with a balcony floor. Best thing about these options? They’re not permanent — perfect for no-fuss condo/apartment installation where you can’t start making permanent changes. Incidentally, there’s no reason why the these can’t work for a deck or patio as well…
Ipe hardwood tiles, Vanilla Wood Floors
These are perhaps my fave option (should have saved them for last.) You can find them in a variety of woods — the Ipe pictured above is a Brazilian walnut — which will dictate the price. But the best thing about these is they simply click together via a polypropelyne backing, making them as easy to install as Lego. No adhesives, not drilling and no cutting of any kind! Many custom flooring companies offer these, but you can also find similar products at IKEA — the “Platta” tiles — and at Canadian Tire — EON Balcony and Deck Tiles.
Photo left, via Tacttiles.com; DryFloor Tiles, Canadian Tire
This here is the same idea as the wood tiles, but significantly less expensive, and arguably less attractive. The product in the photo on the left is from England, but a similar click-together option is available at Canadian Tire (closeup on right.) Though not as nice as wood, I do like the way they look in the photo on the left, paired with clean lines and a little Scandinavian feel. I could see these working really well with modern, square furnishings, and hey, they’re meant to keep your floors dry, making them the perfect subfloor for an out door rug…
Have you invested yet? They’re everywhere, and the best thing since Sunbrella outdoor cushions as far as I’m concerned. Often woven of various poly-type fabrics for mold resistance and durability, you can’t argue that this is the quickest, easiest and cheapest solution to an unsightly outdoor deck or balcony. There are natural sisal options as well, which are usually treated to be weather resistant.
No-Grout Stone Tiles
This came as a complete surprise to me. Really. I imagined these should exist, but had never seen them in reality. And voila, someone had obviously thought of it. I mean why not if this is possible with wood? The system is virtually the same as click-together wood tiles, except they’re stone. I’m sure there’s a price tag to reflect the ease and desirability, but if you have a small area, what a great way to splurge!
Available at Chiasso.com
This is where my daftiness (daft crafty = dafty) rears it’s head. I love a pebble floor, but most versions involve grout, cement and the like — nothing you can do on a balcony. I’ve had my eye on these pebble mats for a while now, for my bathroom, and thanks to this balcony floor search, I’ve had myself an idea: why not line the balcony floor with them? These in particular are forged quite square, making them easy to line up neatly. The natural stones are adhered to a rubber mat so you can even cut around certain stones to make a seamless fit — just like pebble stone tiles! I don’t imagine there’d be much movement — they are mats and are meant to lie flat on the floor. If they get dirty, all you have to do is rinse them out with a hose or even in the tub Personally, if I had a balcony I would try this…anyone out there willing to?
Any other balcony flooring solutions to offer? Inspired by any of these?