While balconies are beautiful and can provide breathtaking views, they are also susceptible to weather elements such as wind, rain, snow, and sunlight. This means that the flooring that is used here must be durable and resistant to the elements, while also being aesthetically pleasing, safe and simple to clean. Another factor to consider is the long term cost of maintenance. Here are some options you can consider when it comes to flooring options for balconies:
Composite Wood Decking
Despite its name, composite wood is actually designed from many different materials. Some of these include plastics, wood fibers and various stabilizers. The wood used in this type of flooring will typically be recycled and it is less susceptible to splintering. To prevent damage from sunlight, composite wood decking will also utilize UV stabilizers which ensure the color will remain vibrant for many years. The biggest advantage to this type of balcony flooring is that it is simple to clean, whether you want to mop or vacuum. The downside is that this type for flooring is susceptible to scratching, so exercise caution when moving furniture on it.
Cement screed is an excellent option for those that are looking for an industrial touch. A layer can be added to the top which consists of epoxy paint or even lacquer, or the cement screed can be left raw. The surface should always be slightly grainy, meaning that when you walk on it your feet should feel the sensation of fine sand. Mopping will not remove this sensation, so keep this in mind should you choose to install it. The biggest downside to cement screed is that it is vulnerable to fine lines or cracking over time.
Ceramic tiles have a number of advantages. They are tough, simple to clean, can save you a considerable amount of money, and you can dress them with outdoor furniture or rugs. The biggest downside to ceramic tile is that some people consider them to be aesthetically plain. Ceramic tiles are also vulnerable to staining due to hard water, as well as mold. Maintaining this type of flooring will require you to get down on all fours and scrub the floor thoroughly from time to time. Of course, you can always hire an expert to come by and scrub the ceramic tile with acid wash, but this service could set you back hundreds of dollars.
Although outdoor rugs are not a flooring option per se, they are a good complement to your chosen flooring material. At first glance, rugs sound like a disastrous idea for a balcony due to their susceptibility to moisture. However, this is only true for normal rugs which are used indoors. Outdoor rugs are designed with synthetic fibers which are meant to resist the elements, and because they come in a wide range of colors they provide more options than other flooring types.
Another benefit of outdoor rugs is that they can be used to conceal flooring problems such as splintered decks or tiles which are broken. The downside to outdoor rugs is that they can be harder to find in comparison to their indoor counterparts, and once you do find them the price tag can be steep. However, these rugs can last for at least five years so the price is often worth it.