Balconies expand living space outdoors and provide fresh air. But stand on hard balcony surfaces too long and joints quickly protest. Installing cushioned matting adds comfort underfoot. Can rubber matting create a balcony floor covering that’s soft yet durable?
Using rubber mats or tiles on balconies is indeed an option gaining popularity. Rubber suits balcony use thanks to its waterproof, slip-resistant, and shock-absorbing qualities. This guide covers the benefits of rubber matting for balconies, materials, costs, installation tips, and how it compares to other flooring choices.
Why Consider Using Rubber Matting on Outdoor Balconies?
Rubber matting offers several advantages that suit balconies exposed to the elements:
Cushioned Comfort – Rubber’s natural bounce softens hard floor impacts on feet, knees, and backs. Supportive relief for longer enjoyment of the space.
Slip Resistance – Molded rubber surfaces have grip even when wet. Safety for kids and older adults in rainy or spill conditions.
Noise Reduction – Rubber absorbs sound rather than amplifying noise like hard surfaces. Kind to downstairs neighbors.
Temperature Insulation – Prevents heat loss/gain through the balcony floor. Rubber doesn’t feel hot or cold underfoot.
Durability – Industrial rubber stands up to outdoor exposure, foot traffic, furniture legs, dropped items, and pets. Long-lasting investment.
Low Maintenance – Easy cleaning with soap and water. No refinishing needed. Keeps balcony floor looking pristine.
Rubber matting adds comfort, safety, sound dampening, and insulation – nice upgrades to squeeze more enjoyment from your balcony. Next let’s explore specific matting options.
Types of Rubber Material for Balcony Flooring
These rubber materials work for balconies, with varying pros and cons:
Recycled Rubber – Made from shredded tire rubber bonded with polyurethane. Most affordable option. Absorbs noise and shock best.
EPDM Rubber – Synthetic Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer rubber. Resists UV, heat damage, and weathering. Low maintenance.
Thermoplastic Elastomers – Plastic/rubber polymer blends like TPO, TPU, and TPV offer durability. Resist oils and chemicals.
Natural Rubber – Derived from rubber tree latex, provides excellent shock absorption. Prone to UV damage unless stabilized. Expensive.
Santoprene – Advanced plastic-rubber alloy. Optimal combination of durability, temperature resistance, and ease of fabrication.
Polyurethane Foam – Cushioned recycled rubber base bonded with a UV-resistant polyurethane foam top layer for softness.
Assess how much cushioning, sound insulation, and durability you need when selecting from these rubber alternatives.
Rubber Matting vs. Rubber Tiles: What’s the Difference?
Matting offers solid, continuous sheet covering for a cohesive look and feel. Fewer seams mean better sound insulation. Easy cleaning. Permanently installed over the balcony surface.
Tiles interlock like a puzzle to cover the floor. Install/remove individual sections as needed. Allow replacing single damaged tiles. Provide more texture options.
Both deliver the benefits of rubber flooring. Tiles provide more modularity while mats are simpler to install initially.
How Does Rubber Compare to Other Balcony Floorings?
Wood looks great but demands sealing, splinters, and rots from moisture. Hard underfoot. Can get dangerously slick when wet.
Concrete is cold, hard, and echoes noise loudly. Periodic resealing needed to avoid cracks and stains.
Tile offers high style but grows slick when wet. Cold under bare feet. Grout needs periodic sealing. Noisy.
PVC/Vinyl provides cushioning but lacks durability for outdoor exposure over time. Can become brittle.
Overall, rubber provides better insulation, sound absorption, comfort, slip protection, and durability than common alternatives. Rubber matting upgrades a balcony at reasonable cost.
What Are the Best Rubber Matting Brands for Balconies?
Quality matters when choosing rubber flooring to withstand outdoor installation. Reputable manufacturers of matting suitable for balconies include:
- Bergo Flooring – Highly engineered rubber-polymer blend mats. Extreme durability and UV resistance. Noise dampening.
- M+A Matting – Recycled rubber matting in various decorative textures and colors. Slip-retardant surface.
- Rubber-Cal – American-made rubber tile and roll flooring, including cushioned AcoustiCORK options.
- Ecore Commercial – Dense rubber tiles containing up to 80% recycled content. Architectural designs.
- Horizon Tread Rubber – Manufacturer of American-made commercial rubber flooring including outdoor mats.
Seeking reputable brand names ensures obtaining rubber matting built to endure on outdoor balconies long-term.
How Much Does Installing Rubber Flooring Cost on a Balcony?
Cost depends on the type of rubber, required thickness, and overall coverage area. Ballpark estimates:
- Rubber tiles range $4-$20 per sq.ft. installed. Interlocking tiles are simplest for DIY install.
- Rubber matting installed typically runs $6-$15 per sq.ft. Smoother surface but requires professional adhesive installation.
- Thicker premium architectural rubber costs $10-$30 per sq.ft. Provides maximum cushioning and durability.
Most balconies measure 200-500 sq.ft. Total project costs often range $1000-$4000 depending on materials chosen. This investment can more than pay for itself in added comfort and functionality.
Tips for Proper Rubber Flooring Installation Outdoors
Follow manufacturer guidelines for proper installation ensuring years of performance:
- Clean floor thoroughly and repair any cracks beforehand. Eliminate bumps or irregularities.
- On tile, use exterior-grade adhesive to affix firmly and prevent shifting. Avoid thinset mortar which lacks flexibility.
- For matting, professional full-spread installation is recommended for reliable bonding to the substrate.
- Allow rubber tiles to acclimate and relax on-site prior to installing to prevent contraction gaps later.
- Use butted seam edges rather than grouting between tiles or mats. This allows flexibility.
- Incorporate an expansion joint border around the perimeter to accommodate thermal expansion of the rubber.
Maintenance Required for Rubber Balcony Flooring
Minimal upkeep is needed to keep balcony rubber flooring looking great:
- Occasional soap and water cleaning to remove dirt. Avoid harsh chemical cleaners.
- Inspect interlocking tile seams and reseat any edges lifting up.
- Reapply exterior-grade adhesive if matting corners/edges lift over time.
- Limit rubber contact with sharp furniture legs that could puncture.
- Bring tile and mats indoors during cold winter months if possible.
With a properly installed quality rubber product, little maintenance is required beyond occasional cleaning to retain the floor’s appearance and performance.
The Takeaway on Using Rubber Flooring Outdoors
Seeking softness underfoot along with noise dampening and insulation on balconies? Rubber matting or tile flooring provides a durable solution. The right rubber material resists outdoor exposure for years while making the space more comfortable and functional. Just choose reputable brands and ensure proper installation. Soon you’ll be enjoying your balcony retreat even more thanks to the added benefits of cushioned rubber surfacing.
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