Tiles on the balcony: laying, sealing and cleaning

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Tiles can give any balcony floor a beautiful look if it has been laid correctly. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. It is therefore wrong to think that tiles as a floor covering on the balcony pose a security risk. Debt is almost always not the tile as a material. Rather, the most important basic rules were disregarded when laying. Questionable constructions such. B. Fermacell panels with glued tiles must not be used.
The most important basic rule is that the tiles may only be laid on a solid foundation. This consists of a reinforced concrete slab, a moisture barrier made of bituminous membranes, possibly an impact sound or thermal insulation and a screed. But here, too, only work with the appropriate materials for outdoor installation during subsequent tile laying. Not only the weather with rain and thawing snow are decisive, but also the sunshine. A balcony floor with tiles can heat up to 70 degrees Celsius in midsummer. Tiles and concrete, however, have different expansion coefficients and already here can form at a too rigid tile adhesive first hairline cracks. They are initially invisible, but fill with dirt and moisture in the cold season and in frost, this mixture drifts apart the tiles or joints.
Which tiles and laying materials are suitable for a balcony floor?
The well-stocked building materials trade has a large selection of floor tiles ready. They differ in their abrasion class and their skid resistance. Especially the latter must provide adequate protection against falls, because tiles on a balcony are often wet from the rain and thus increased risk of slipping. In addition, only tiles which are expressly marked as frost-proof may be used on a balcony floor.
Another requirement concerns the tile adhesive. Laying the tiles in a thick bed with mortar requires a lot of routine and expertise, which almost only the professional tiler has. Therefore tiles are preferably laid with tile adhesive. When shopping, the do-it-yourselfer must make sure that his selected flexible adhesive is designed for outdoor installation. These properties also affect the later Flexfugen.
The most common tile materials are

  • frost-resistant and non-slip ceramic tiles
  • dto. stoneware tiles
  • Tile clinker and
  • Natural stone tiles.
How is the installation done?
Tile coverings on the balcony floor can be done in the classic way of laying with cross joints. However, a diagonal installation with a surrounding, differently colored border or with multicolored patterns create accents that give the balcony a special flair. This is why planning begins with the choice of different design options before the tile is purchased.
The most important prerequisite for permanent success is a thorough floor preparation. The screed must not show any cracks and must be rehabilitated beforehand if necessary. New screed requires at least a week drying phase. Then the laying begins with another thorough cleaning of the concrete and a sealing coat. At all masonry connections, pipe penetrations, etc. while sealing strips are incorporated. Then the laying takes place with constant control by means of guideline and spirit level. In order to achieve a shapely and even tiled picture, we start in the middle of the area. For the cutting of partial tiles, a hand tile cutter or a tile cutting machine, as borrowed from many hardware stores, is suitable. When all the tiles have been laid, grouting is done using flex joint compound and sponge.
The tile seal as a finish
Floor tiles and here especially natural stone tiles are very sensitive to stains. Quickly on the balcony a coffee cup or the red wine glass tilted over. The result is irreparable stains, because tile joints and the natural stone tiles themselves are open-pored. Therefore, these surfaces must be sealed. At the same time, the seal also serves as protection against penetrating moisture due to rainwater or thawing snow.
It is important to have a thorough cleaning before the seal is carried out. Then the preparation is applied by means of a roller in two operations. The specialized trade offers a variety of products. Latest innovation are nano-sealants. It is important never to carry out these operations in strong sunlight to avoid too fast drying of the seal.
How are balcony tiles cleaned?
Especially after the long winter, the balcony tiles pollution is clearly visible. Once the floor is reasonably dry, cleaning begins with sweeping and wiping with water. A splash of detergent or spirit can be added to this cleaning water. Often, stubborn dirt remains.Mechanical aids such as screwdrivers for scraping out or aggressive cleaning agents such as bath cleaners with added acid may under no circumstances be used. They attack the joints and cause leaks. Rather, the old home remedies are still the best and a mix of baking soda and water gives these joints a nice look again.
So every balcony floor remains permanently beautiful.
Wood Tiles - an alternative
A terrace is the eye-catcher of every garden and every yard. There are many hours spent there with coffee and cake, there are guests entertained and there are barbecues held there.
The design of a terrace, especially of the floor, is of course up to you. Everyone can let their creativity run wild here. But you should think about wooden tiles at least once.
First of all, you can save a lot of work with this type of floor, because these tiles are laid quickly and easily. Also different patterns through different types of installation are possible, the individuality is therefore also satisfied here.
As a material for wood tiles, for example, pressure-impregnated pine wood can be obtained. Weatherproof, however, are larch or Massaranduba, which are laid untreated, as they have a natural decay protection. Other planks for outdoor use are made of larch or thermally treated beech wood. Of course, there are other materials to have, what you choose, ultimately depends on the taste, the look and the wallet.
Wood offers individual creative possibilities even with little design effort. Even a small amount of wind and sun provide a dry, warm seat on the terrace in the cold season, which you should not miss.
Wooden tiles are usually made as square wood sections, which you can lay, as you wish. Different patterns could perhaps differentiate the different areas used. But you should leave some space to each outer side, because wood works and therefore needs some space to possibly expand a bit.
Wooden tiles are available in different sizes and in different price ranges. One square meter of wood can sometimes cost 25 euros. With other providers, however, you get the piece for 2 euros. A comparison in the garden centers and DIY stores worthwhile in any case.
If you do not trust yourself to make the right choice and laying, you can also hire a specialist, but the terrace costs a bit more.
by Annett Biermann

Video Board: DIY Leaky Balcony Repair - Clear Waterproofing Membrane.

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