What if the apartment is not very large in size? Many of us try to rationally use the space of the loggia and balcony, organizing there the continuation of rooms, an office, a play area, a flower garden or just a recreation area. Whatever the purpose of this space, it in any case needs finishing. It is not very correct to decorate the balcony and loggia according to the residual principle – it will be very difficult to get a harmonious and comfortable space. You need to approach repair work on the balcony as carefully as to repair a bedroom or living room. The first thing that is important to decide on is the material for finishing the floor.
What the floor will be on the balcony or loggia depends not only on the preferences of households and the family budget, but also on the characteristics of the room. The dominant role is played by whether the balcony is glazed or not: on an open balcony, the floor should be more resistant and strong. If the room is glazed, then the choice of materials expands: only the presence of a system of warm floors imposes restrictions. Let’s figure out which materials are suitable for different conditions.
# 1. Ceramic tile
It is a versatile material suitable for open and closed balconies and loggias. Often this option is chosen by the owners of non-glazed balconies and those who prefer to use warm floors. Among the main advantages, it is worth highlighting:
- high strength;
- water resistance;
- heat resistance;
- hygiene and ease of maintenance, which is important for open balconies;
a huge assortment that allows you to choose material of any color, size, with any pattern, and you can lay tiles in many different ways;
- excellent thermal conductivity is a key indicator for underfloor heating.
It should be noted that the latter property is a minus for owners of balconies and loggias without warm floors, because the surface of the tile will always remain cold. Another disadvantage of the material is a slippery surface, which becomes even more slippery when water gets in. It is better to choose a tile with anti-slip properties: it has a rough or embossed surface, maybe with notches.
When choosing tiles for the balcony, you should make sure that there is a foot icon in the marking – evidence that the material is intended for finishing the floor. It is important for owners of open balconies to take into account the water absorption rate – the lower it is, the more frost-resistant tiles.
# 2. Terrace board
Terrace board will be an excellent solution for an open balcony, since it is distinguished from a solid board and block parquet by the peculiarities of production. In fact, this is a type of sawn timber, but in the manufacture of the array it undergoes high-temperature processing or sawdust is mixed with polymer, and then each board is additionally treated with protective materials, which allows the material to be used in outdoor conditions.
The advantages are as follows:
- high strength;
- resistance to mechanical stress;
- resistance to temperature extremes, precipitation, sunlight and aggressive environments;
- ease of installation and maintenance;
- decorativeness and environmental friendliness;
- ability to retain heat;
- the boards differ in color, so you can always find the right option.
Since the material is processed with all protective equipment even during manufacture, then you should not be afraid of rotting and fungus. Decking is produced from larch, tropical hardwood or wood-polymer composite. The latter is made from sawdust, wood flour and a mixture of polypropylene. The material surpasses the solid board in all respects, except, of course, naturalness. The main disadvantage of decking is the high price, which is more than covered by its appearance and resistance to negative environmental factors.
No. 3. Wooden floor
We are talking about a solid board and block parquet. Both materials can only be used for closed loggias and balconies, since wood will quickly deteriorate under constant exposure to moisture and sun. The advantages include:
- naturalness, environmental friendliness and chic appearance;
- warm surface;
- with proper care, a wooden floor will last long enough.
Everyone can easily list the disadvantages on their own: the tree is sensitive to temperature extremes, humidity, sunlight, pests. In order for it to serve for a long time, it is necessary to carefully look after it, use protective impregnations. On the other hand, wood that has lost its original appearance can be easily restored by removing a thin top layer and applying varnish or paint on top.
The wooden coating is incompatible with the underfloor heating system due to its low thermal conductivity, but the surface of the tree itself can hardly be called cold. In order for the coating to serve as long as possible, it is better to choose oak or yew wood, in extreme cases, birch. Linden, pine or cherry planks are much softer and will last much less.
No. 4. Parquet board
Solid wood board is quite an expensive pleasure. If you want to create a cozy atmosphere on the balcony or loggia and at the same time save a little, then the floor from the parquet board becomes a compromise solution. This is a three-layer material, and only the top layer is solid wood of expensive species. The two lower ones are made of coniferous wood, which makes the material cheaper, but does not greatly impair its environmental friendliness.
Parquet board is an ideal solution for loggias and balconies combined with the living room. The main advantages of the material are:
- environmental friendliness;
- warm surface;
- sound absorption ability;
- excellent appearance and a huge range;
- ease of installation;
- the possibility of using together with warm floors.
In terms of durability, a parquet board is inferior to block parquet: the latter can be looped an infinite number of times, but a three-layer parquet board can be restored only a few times, and this indicator depends on the thickness of the top layer. The disadvantages are also the fear of moisture and the possibility of scratching the surface.
No. 5. Laminate
Laminate is great for glazed balconies and loggias. In terms of the ratio of performance and price, laminate flooring can be considered one of the most optimal materials.
ease of installation and maintenance;
- strength. Although class 21, 22 laminate is intended for residential premises, it is better to take material with a margin of safety. Class 32 is perfect, and besides, finding a lower class laminate is already problematic today;
- a huge selection of colors. Laminate can imitate the structure of any type of wood, it can resemble stone, tiles or any other material;
- safety. Today there is still a myth accusing laminate flooring of formaldehyde and acrylic resins. It is not confirmed, but for your own peace of mind, it is better to purchase laminate flooring from reliable manufacturers who supply their products with safety certificates;
- low price.
Laminate consists of several layers: fiberboard, moisture-resistant paper, film, paper with a pattern, a layer of melamine resin. The wide variety of colors is explained by the fact that you can print any pattern. Thanks to modern production methods, it is possible to create the necessary relief, so that the laminate is generally indistinguishable from wood. But this similarity is only external – the disadvantages of the laminate are completely different.
The main disadvantage is the high noise level: the fall of a light object will be clearly audible. Laminate is afraid of water, but manufacturers have learned to deal with this problem by offering customers water and moisture resistant material. A slippery surface is often considered a disadvantage, but embossed laminate or several rugs on top of it completely solve this problem.
Laminate can be used with underfloor heating systems. For this, they even developed special brands of laminate: it differs from the usual one by lower thermal conductivity and higher thermal resistance.
No. 6. Linoleum
Linoleum adorns many modern kitchens, hallways and living rooms, and is also used on balconies and loggias. Why is linoleum so fond of? Its main advantages:
- low price;
- a huge selection of colors and patterns;
- ease of installation and maintenance;
- high wear resistance, linoleum tolerates moisture well;
- excellent heat and sound insulation properties;
- there is no noise when objects fall, and dents are unlikely to remain.
There are not so many disadvantages compared to the number of disadvantages. These include:
- sensitivity to ultraviolet light, so linoleum is best used on glazed balconies and loggias;
- dents remain from heavy pieces of furniture, but this is unlikely to threaten the floor of the balcony;
- the modern market is full of linoleum from unscrupulous manufacturers, which may even have a characteristic unpleasant odor. Better to spend a little more, but get stuff from a company with a good name.
Although linoleum has a fairly warm surface, many people prefer to use a warm floor system with it. In this case, not any material is suitable – you need to stop the choice on multilayer heterogeneous linoleum. All its layers have the same expansion, so when heated, the material will not deform.
No. 7. Self-leveling floors
Today, Levl Coat floors are in increasing demand, which are widely used not only on year-round sports grounds, but also on open balconies and loggias. Among the main advantages it is worth highlighting:
- record wear resistance;
- moisture resistance;
- ease of use;
- resistance to sunlight;
- stylish appearance.
Self-leveling floors can be safely called indestructible. They are carried out on the principle of a concrete screed, and the main disadvantage is the high price. In addition, the surface is quite slippery, so it is better to additionally use polymer mats.
No. 8. Painted floors
Wood and concrete floors need staining. For the former, this is additional protection, for the latter, a simple way of decorating.
What paints are best to use?
- acrylic paints are universal, suitable for concrete and wood. They are resistant to sunlight, water-resistant and frost-resistant;
- aqualak is an excellent option for a wooden floor, it has the highest moisture resistant properties;
- alkyd varnish is another option for wood. It is resistant to ultraviolet light, moisture and temperature extremes;
- polyurethane paint is suitable for concrete and wood. It is durable, easy to apply and water resistant.
If painted wood floors are a good option for a covered loggia, then painted concrete floor is the easiest and most affordable way to create coziness on an open balcony. Of course, the floor surface must be flat and completely cured before painting. Experts recommend ironing, which ensures the perfect smoothness of the finished surface. When the concrete floor has not yet completely dried, it is evenly sprinkled with dry cement, and the surface is leveled with a brush. The process resembles staining. When the floor dries well, it can be painted in the desired color.
The advantages of painting floors are obvious: budget and simplicity.
No. 9. Carpet
A rather rare way to organize the space of a loggia or balcony is the use of carpet. If the loggia is an extension of the living room or a place for rest and relaxation, then a soft carpet is quite a suitable option.
- soft and pleasant to the touch surface;
- good heat and sound insulation qualities;
- a huge selection of colors and patterns. Pile length may also vary.
Carpets are made from natural, synthetic or blended yarns. Carpets made of synthetic fabrics are easier to use. Expect this material to attract dust, and carpet stains are not easy to remove.
A huge range of possible options allows you to find the ideal finishing material in terms of performance, design and price.