A balcony invites you to relax, provides more space even in small apartments and can even be used as a garden. Balcony tiles protect the balcony from wind and weather and can also be used decoratively. Regardless of whether you want to renovate the balcony with new tiles or give it a completely new design, the process is always the same.
Do you want to tile your balcony to refresh the old look? The renovation of the previous balcony tiles can easily be done by yourself and does not even take that much time. Of course, the time required depends on the size of the balcony, but in general it is not a problem to give the balcony a new charm on your own and with the necessary materials. You can even tile numerous decorative patterns, from classic elements to a Mediterranean mosaic that looks appealing. In any case, new tiling should be done if there is efflorescence, moss or mildew stains that could endanger the building structure.
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tools and materials
When it comes time to clean up, you’ll need a variety of materials and tools to do the job effectively. Important are:
- high pressure cleaner
- watering can
- grinding machine
- Paint roller
- Crack sealing resin
- sealing coat
- insulation strips
- End profile in the outline of the balcony
- Decoupling mats, also drainage mats or building protection mats
- sealing tape
- tile glue
- tile crosses
- balcony tiles
When selecting individual materials such as the sealing tape, make sure that this is sufficient for the process. This is particularly important for very large balconies in order to enable the necessary weather resistance. Of course, the balcony tiles are particularly important in terms of materials. Here you have the choice between several variants, which are especially suitable for outdoor use:
1. Classic tiles: this type of tile is the well-known variant that is laid in the traditional way and is specially designed for outdoor use. They do not differ in terms of tiling compared to the bathroom or kitchen tiles and can be cut in the same way. They are mainly made of weather-resistant types of wood such as Douglas fir or Bangkirai, concrete, ceramic or natural stone and are also used for terraces. The cost of the tiles varies greatly and depends on the manufacturer, size, quality and design. Typical costs are 5 euros to 130 euros per m².
2. Click tiles: Compared to conventional tiles, click tiles are a type of tile that is particularly easy to lay and do not require any tile crosses or joints. They are made of either wood or WPC (Wood-Plastic-Composite) and feature a snap-in system that keeps the tiles in place. They are primarily made for people who want a simple system and do without special designs because the look of the click tiles is always similar. Only the color and width of each “bar” changes from model to model. Click tiles cost between EUR 30 and EUR 70 per m².
3. Anti-slip tiles: anti-slip tiles are conventional tiles, usually made of robust wood with grooves on the surface. These grooves allow water to drain faster and also provide a profile that reduces the risk of slipping. They provide an extremely natural look and are ideal for outdoor use. The costs are between 40 euros and 50 euros per m².
You see, the cost of tiling the balcony depends on the tiles you choose. If you opt for cheap ceramic tiles, which are offered at 20 euros per m², and your balcony is 10 m², you will need 200 euros for the tiles. Depending on the size of your balcony, it may be worth ordering from a specialist retailer instead of buying the tiles from a hardware store. There are often discounts on large orders. About 15 euros per m² are incurred for decoupling mats.
Tip: if you need a grinding machine, you don’t have to buy it, you can rent it. You pay about 40 euros per day in DIY stores and at numerous companies, which is perfect for this project.
Preparation is necessary for tiling the balcony. She ensures that the previous floor covering is removed and the concrete is available for tiling. First you should dismantle the railing, otherwise this will prevent the application of the waterproofing. With the following points you prepare yourself for the balcony tiles:
Step 1: Begin by removing old tiles as well as any debris underneath the tiles. If you haven’t laid any tiles yet, all you have to do is remove the previous floor covering. To do this, use a hammer and chisel and use them to remove the lower covering, which consists of tile adhesive, sealing paint and tile adhesive. This may take a little while, but is necessary in order to be able to apply the new tiles. It is best to dispose of the waste in a container and take it to the landfill or a comparable service.
Step 2: Now take the high-pressure cleaner and use it to clean the concrete that serves as the basis for the tiles. You have to be thorough here to remove any bumps so that in the end only the concrete is visible.
3rd step: Then carry out the absorbency test:
- fill a watering can with water
- pick up a watch and pour some water on the concrete
- If the water does not soak into the concrete after three minutes, it must be sanded down
Step 4: Thoroughly grind the concrete with the grinder. Then seal all notches, holes and cracks with mortar. Use the smoothing trowel to achieve a particularly even result.
Step 5: Now comes an important point. Measure whether your balcony still has a slope of 1 percent to 2 percent. This is important so that water can run off and does not accumulate in the building material. If the balcony does not have a slope, mix screed and place an insulating strip on the wall. Now distribute the screed so that there is a gradient of no more than 2 percent and it is flatter on the side where the water should flow down. If there is drainage, the slope should go in that direction. Then let the screed dry. If cracks appear in the screed, use the crack sealing resin.
6th step: After the screed has dried, the sealing coat is applied. Now apply the sealing coat in several layers to the entire surface. Use either the paint roller or a brush to do this. The individual layers must first dry before the next one can be applied. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for drying times.
The preparation takes a lot of time, but after the sealing coat it is finally time to tile the balcony. Make absolutely sure that all layers are really dry and check this frequently.
Tile balcony: instructions
If you are tiling the balcony, you should first find a day when it is not raining and the temperature is at least 10°C. The winter falls flat, because otherwise the tile adhesive freezes too quickly. If there is a risk of rain, it is a good idea to hang a tarpaulin over the balcony so that all damp elements can dry. The balcony tiles are processed in the following way:
1st step: At the beginning the balcony is decoupled. For this you need the decoupling mats. First lay the mat without glue so you can cut to size. The tile adhesive is then applied thinly to the screed and the decoupling is glued in place. Attach finishing profiles to the edges. This provides the necessary protection against waterlogging. Possible joints and edges are also provided with sealing tape.
2nd step: Now tile adhesive is applied to the decoupling again and the balcony tiles are laid according to the selected pattern. Apply glue to the back of the tile to be laid, starting with the tile closest to the balcony door. Turn the balcony tiles slightly when placing them in the adhesive so that the substrate grips properly.
Step 3: Proceed in this way until the selected pattern has been laid. Make sure you use tile crosses. These are placed at the corner joints so that the distance between the tiles does not change during drying. This is the only way to make straight joints that are not under tension.
4th step: Then tap the tiles with the rubber mallet so that they no longer move.
5th step: If you have decided on the click tiles, you will save yourself a lot of work. These even work without glue and only have to be placed on the subsurface as a plug-in system. The rubber nubs are cut off the tiles that are in direct contact with the wall. This creates a seal to the wall. Lay balcony tiles and make sure that they are tight.
Step 6: The tile adhesive takes about two days to dry, much longer in humid weather. After it dries, start filling the perimeter and corner joints with silicone. The other joints, on the other hand, are filled with joint mortar. Let these dry out.
7th step: Now you have finished tiling the balcony and should finally mount the railing again. Afterwards you can relax on your newly tiled balcony.
Tip: when applying the adhesive, make sure that you only cover one square meter at a time so that it does not dry too quickly. So you can take your time and are not under time pressure, and the result is more accurate.