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Laying artificial grass is an inexpensive way to improve the look and feel of your balcony. It’s tough, durable, and highly practical, requiring very little attention. My complete guide will show you:
- What you need to consider before purchasing fake turf
- The different types of turf available
- My top 6 recommended brands
- A simple installation guide to ensure a professional finish
You’ll also want to check out the pros and cons of laying fake grass on balconies, and how it compares to alternative materials.
7 Things to Consider When Buying Artificial Grass for a Balcony
Artificial grass is more convincing than ever and is now a popular option for use on a wide range of activities and surfaces. From putting greens to sunbathing, fake grass is an efficient, quick, and cost-effective solution. Consider the points below when choosing the best artificial grass for your balcony:
- Durability – How much foot traffic does your balcony get? Pets, kids, and parties can take their toll on synthetic materials, so think about how well they will be treated. Dense turf will bounce back better from the weight of adult footsteps, but it is harder to keep clean.
- Installation – You may need to do a lot of preparation work before laying your artificial turf. Pets and children will play on the turf, so you will need to lay a soft base layer to absorb impacts and to make it easier to wash away pet urine.
- Reflections – Your balcony doors or the windows of other buildings can concentrate sunlight onto a balcony and even ignite some materials. Check during the peak of the day for signs of strong magnification effects.
- Height – Do the doors of your balcony open outwards? Check the clearance as you may discover that the grass obstructs the door, and you would need to trim the pile with scissors.
- Surface Material – Is the surface of your balcony cracked or damaged? Synthetic grass is not waterproof, so you will need to patch any holes and seal the floor. You also want the base under the turf to have good drainage to prevent mold from growing.
- Color – Choose a color that will not heat up too much and will look the most realistic. You will also want to pick a color that matches the theme of your home and the furniture you have on the balcony. Two-tone turfs tend to look the most realistic.
- Cost – The more realistic the fake turf, the more it is going to cost. But if you pay more, you often get a product that lasts longer and gives you more satisfaction when it comes to the finished product.
Pros and Cons
There are also a variety of other materials you can use instead of synthetic turf, including wood decking and tiles. But artificial grass is more practical than laying real grass on a balcony and most of the alternatives. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of laying fake grass on a balcony.
- Maintenance – Artificial turf is easy to maintain. You neither need to water nor fertilize the area. The grass always stays at the perfect height, so you never need to cut it.
- Puddles – Because artificial turf sits on top of a porous membrane, it has excellent drainage and little chance of causing puddles.
- Discoloration – Fake grass will never go brown because you forgot to water it or because it caught a disease. And fake turf is resistant to most chemical spills and should be fine if you hose it right after.
- Ruts – Artificial turf and its base membrane will help to even out lumps on your balcony and hide areas that would otherwise take a lot of maintenance.
- Shade – Fake turf is fine in either the shade or direct sunlight. Real turf would grow different colors and heights depending on the amount of sunlight they get.
- Games and Recreation – Fake turf is safer for pets and children. You can choose a base membrane with thicker padding to absorb falls.
- Cost – Fake turf can be much cheaper to install than real turf on a balcony. Real turf also costs a lot in ongoing maintenance.
- Maintenance – Though you do not need to worry about mowing, an artificial lawn can expand and stretch out over time. You may have to make annual adjustments to your fake grass and re-glue the edges back into place.
- Puddles – If the turf is not installed well, puddles may develop and become a breeding ground for mold and insects.
- Discoloration – Direct sunlight and reflections from windows can discolor synthetic turf.
- Spots & Ruts – Holes and ruts can develop after installing fake turf, which can lead to hard and raised areas. These dips and peaks can cause nasty accidents and become areas for mold and weeds to grow.
- Weeds – Even on a balcony, weeds can grow under and through artificial turf but are still much easier to clean than with real turf.
- Recreation – Pet urine and feces can get trapped in artificial turf, which is difficult to clean. But, if the proper membrane is installed, pet soiling should not be a problem.
- Cost – Real grass is inexpensive if you are prepared to wait for seedlings to grow, but adult turf is costly. Realistic fake turf is more expensive than seedlings, but it is ready the instant it is installed and costs nothing to fertilize.
6 Best Artificial Turfs for Balconies
The brands and types of artificial grass you should choose depends as much upon your taste as does its function. So here are our recommendations for a balcony since there are many types of use and budget.
Best Artificial Grass Types for Balconies
- Dense – Since a balcony will have a lot of traffic over a small area, you want turf that will bounce back quickly and look thick. Also, a higher density of turf will dissipate heat better, making it more comfortable to walk on in the height of the summer.
- Plush – Choose a fake turf that consists of both sturdy blades and plush leaves of grass. This will give you a pleasant texture to walk on, and it will look more realistic when being blown around by the wind.
- Heavy Mat – Install a fake grass that is woven into a thick mat. Turf woven into thicker mats help reduce the chances of buckling in high temperatures and has a stronger bond to the blades of grass.
- Nylon – Nylon is resistant to mild chemical spills, heat, and UV. The downside of nylon is that it has a less convincing appearance, and it tends to cost more than alternative fake grass materials.
Best Artificial Grass Brands for Balconies
- Best Overall: Petgrow Pro Putting Green – The price makes this type of turf more attractive than competing turfs with taller grass piles. The short blade length is easy to clean, and it looks realistic. The Polyethylene material is UV resistant, and the rubber backing offers a level of protection for pets and children playing on it.
- Budget: Conscience Trading Artificial Grass – A cheap and cheerful fake turf solution that is a simple replacement for bare concrete and broken tiles. Do not expect too much realism or longevity. You get what you pay for.
- Easy Installation: Golden Moon Artificial Grass Mat Squares– The rubber backing has sufficient weight to prevent these types of turf tiles from being lifted in the wind. These polyethylene turf mats come in various colors, look realistic, and, most importantly, are easy to install.
- Top End and Pets: Petgrow Synthetic Grass Roll – They feel as real as they look, and they look good. The thin pile height is easy to clean and maintain and is resilient to medium levels of foot traffic.
- Small Balcony: Progoal Grass Interlocking Tiles – The interlocking tiles are easy to transport and fit smaller balconies. This type of fake turf solution is more for show than for areas that have high levels of foot traffic.
- High Traffic: Golden Moon Artificial Grass – Balconies are often places of gatherings and hence high foot traffic, where you want taller and thicker single-roll turf. This means you can secure the edges, and there is more material to take the punishment of heavy foot traffic.
Since your balcony will not have the same issues as when laying artificial turf on soil, the process of installation is that much easier. You will still need to clear your installation area of furniture, plant pots, and any other obstructions, and clean the balcony floor. For a trouble-free installation, follow the below steps:
- Estimate – Measure the area of your balcony that you need to cover and add an extra half foot to each dimension to ensure that you have enough material.
- Selection – Choose the fake turf that best suits your needs and budget.
- Enlist – Though installing fake turf is straightforward, it will go much faster if you have some help.
- Frame – A frame around the perimeter will help with the securing of the turf. A frame will stop the turf from shifting but still offer it the flexibility to expand and contract.
- Base – Install your base. Since a balcony should be solid and waterproof, the material will drain well enough to not be a problem. But it is still worth installing pads for added comfort and to improve drainage.
- Measure – before cutting, measure again. You do not want to feel the regret of cutting your large single roll of expensive fake turf too short.
- Glue – The glue will attach the base material to the turf. Use the correct glue for artificial turf since it needs to be able to expand with the material when it grows and shrinks.
- Tidy – clean away excess glue and bag the trimmings from your turf.
- Enjoy – Move everything back and enjoy your new space.