About a week ago, I stepped outside en route to work and felt the undeniable feeling of spring approaching. I love winter, but I have to admit that that first real feeling of warmth and smell of spring in the air puts me in a great mood. Unsurprisingly, my mind turns to my balcony and all the things I plan to grow out there. Although I’m eternally grateful that I have an outside space, it has seen better days—especially the balcony flooring.
If you’ve also been feeling like your balcony floor could use a makeover, read on for some great ideas on how to spruce it up.
Balconies Tend to Be Neglected
Outside spaces aren’t typically given much thought by the buildings planners. As a result, it’s up to us as the occupants to create nice spaces for ourselves. My balcony is made of concrete, and was painted a light shade of grey before I moved in. It looks okay, but it could definitely look a lot better.
I bought a brightly coloured blue and white outdoor rug to add a bit of color. It’s 4×6 feet, and helps to define the seating area that I’ve set up, which is great. The rest of the balcony, however, could definitely use some work.
It’s Balcony Flooring Makeover Time!
My balcony is netted (which helps to keep the pigeons out), but a very industrious squirrel managed to chew through the mesh. This resulted in two pigeons kindly letting themselves in and made a real mess. In the short time they were in residence, they pooped all over the place and now the paint is chipping and looks pretty bad.
As such, better ground cover is needed now, more than ever.
As a gardener, it’s very important for me to have outside space to enjoy. I’ve always had lofty plans for making the best use of my outside space possible, but somehow those plans were never quite realized. I’ve finally decided that the time is now.
I’m going to stop dreaming about it and start making it happen. And well, you can’t build a great house without a great foundation, right? As such, it serves to reason that a great balcony space should start at ground level. And there are several ways to make that ground level look awesome.
1. Colorful Rugs
As mentioned, there isn’t a lot of consideration given to outdoor spaces when they’re being constructed. As a result, they tend to come off as rather drab and dreary. They’re usually painted grey, or are left as plain concrete. One of the easiest ways to brighten up a less-than-stellar space is with textiles. Try doing what I’ve done and purchase some brightly coloured outdoor rugs for your balcony flooring.
These have become really popular lately, so lots of different stores will carry them as summer approaches. Furthermore, depending on where you get them, they’re not overly expensive. For example, IKEA has some fabulous, colorful outdoor rugs from $29 and up.
For a barefoot-friendly, fun, bohemian vibe, try layering multiple rugs of various sizes and colours together. These rugs tend not to stain either, and you can clean off any dirt and debris by hosing them off.
2. Click-Together Tiles
One of the most popular balcony flooring trends out there right now is click-together tiles. These originally only came in wood replica tile form, but now there’s a wider variety available. Their popularity has inspired manufacturers to create many wood colors, materials, and textures. The most popular still seems to be the wood replica, but it’s nice to see some variation available now.
I’ve also seen some people mix different sizes and materials to make some really nice patterns. Depending on which type you purchase and how large you balcony is, however, they can be a bit on the pricey side. That said, these are ridiculously easy to install (and just as easy to remove when you move). This makes them a hard choice to beat, as far as decor ideas are concerned.
3. Wooden Planks
These are probably the most expensive option on the list, but also the most elegant. Snap-together wooden plants offer what might be considered the most classic outdoor look around. These wooden planks look jue like what you’d see on house patios or cottage decks. The difference is that they can be installed on a balcony or patio just about anywhere.
The downside is that they’re more labor-intensive to install, and as such aren’t as temporary as other options.
Something to take into consideration before going this route is that you need to make sure that your balcony’s surface is uniform and completely flat. Since the planks will cover large stretches of balcony flooring, they require a near-perfect surface in order to lie properly.
4. Bamboo/Grass Mats
Do you like the idea of outdoor rugs, but would prefer a more minimalist approach? Consider covering your balcony flooring in grass or bamboo mats. These mats are a great, inexpensive option for someone who’d like to create a peaceful space to retreat to after the stress of a long day.
Just be sure that if you get natural bamboo or grass, you don’t let them sit in water after a rain storm. You also need to bring them indoors during the winter. Too much exposure to moisture could cause bacteria and mold to grow. Additionally, since these are made of natural materials, they’ll decompose when exposed to the elements.
Grass and bamboo mats are ideal if you’d like to create a Chinese Feng Shui or Japanese Zen balcony garden. Add a water fountain, some potted bamboo, trailing flowers, and string lanterns. You’ll have a peaceful, inspiring retreat with minimal effort, but to gorgeous effect.
5. Painted Floor Designs
A really fun and wallet-friendly option is to paint the floor of your balcony. We all know what painting a room can do to change the feeling of your home. Well, sometimes a change in colour outside can make just as big of a difference.
You can paint the floor in one solid colour, or pick up some stencils and create a unique patterned look. Or, if you feel like getting super creative, let your inner artist out to play. Paint your balcony to look like stone, marble, or anything that catches your fancy.
6. Astro Turf
I used to really turn my nose up at the idea of using Astro Turf on a balcony. After all, this 1970s decorative travesty was responsible for countless childhood knee burns. Furthermore, most of our memories about it brought images of lime green, disturbingly crunchy textures to mind.
Fortunately, modern Astro Turf is no longer the stuff of fake neon green nightmares.
In fact, lately I’ve been seeing some nice ideas that incorporate it. Makes me wonder why I hadn’t thought to use it years ago. It helps that there are different texture qualities available now as well. The key to creating a classy space using astro turf is mixing it with other contrasting materials. For example, try bordering the “grass” with tile, or creating a pattern with the squares.
7. Child-Friendly Foam Mats
Do you have a budding gardener on your hands, but maybe they aren’t quite ready to help out just yet? Create an area for them to enjoy while you go about caring for your plants. Just put down some colourful interlocking foam mats for a more knee-friendly balcony flooring environment.
Border this with one the lusher varieties of Astro Turf to prevent painful trips and stumbles. This way, they can enjoy playing in their space while you enjoy playing in yours. With any luck your, interest will wear off on them.
Balcony Flooring Tips and Tricks
Having trouble deciding what you’d like to do? Try combining several of these looks to create a space that’s truly your own. Don’t worry too much about what other people think. I mean, it’s your balcony: go crazy! If you want to put down tiles or wood planks but the edges of your balcony aren’t quite true, try using white or colored pebbles to finish off the edges.
Just make sure that you don’t block any drainage holes or you might end up with a splash pad on your balcony!
I hope this article inspires you to create a haven for yourself. Our lives are far too busy these days and everyone deserves a space that they really look forward to spending time in. While I think we can all agree that any type of garden can give a space a special feeling, going that extra step to create a welcoming space for yourself can help to enjoy your garden that much more.
I hope that these suggestions will be helpful to you. It’s easy to turn something pretty plain, small, or uninspiring into a truly wonderful space for you and yours.