Balconies and terraces are arguably the most unusual place to lay artificial grass. So unusual, in fact, that you may not have even considered installing astroturf on your balcony until now.
Step inside and allow us to invite you into a whole new world. If you live in an apartment block or condominium, laying artificial grass on your balcony creates your own little garden at altitude.
You can even lay fake grass indoors or on terrace rooftops. As a matter of fact, artificial grass has been used to make a wide variety of weird and wonderful products including knuckle dusters, a bathroom interior, handbags and flip-flops. We kid you not - see for yourself!
Fake grass for balconies can offer an ideal solution for homeowners that want a natural-looking garden. A significant benefit of laying artificial grass on your balcony is that astroturf doesn’t need cutting, trimming, weeding or watering.
What’s more, the material used to manufacture fake grass for balconies is permeable and makes an adequate drainage system. This is critical if your balcony is exposed to rain, snow, sleet and ice.
Do you need foam underlay to lay artificial grass on a balcony?
Foam underlay is generally used when installing fake grass on concrete. It helps to disguise humps and bumps in the surface and create an even surface.
However, lumps are not a problem when laying artificial grass on a balcony. In most cases, there is no need for you to install a foam underlay to install fake grass in your home.
The only time we would recommend a foam underlay is if the surface is uneven. If the surface is not flat, it can disrupt the smoothness and longevity of the fake grass.
You can, of course, install a foam underlay if you want some cushioning. A 6mm foam underlay is ideal for softening the feel of your fake grass when you’re barefoot.
Step One: Prepare the Surface Area
Laying artificial grass on a balcony is much easier than installing artificial grass outside. Because balconies and terraces are smaller surface areas, artificial grass can usually be cut from a single roll of astroturf.
Balconies are also flat surfaces which makes it easier to smooth the fake grass over and to roll out the fabric. No matter where you are installing an artificial lawn, the surface must be flat, stable and permeable to water.
Having said that, there are certain steps you need to take to ensure the installation is performed correctly. If you get the installation process wrong, you jeopardise the longevity and enjoyment of your high-rise garden.
Before you begin laying artificial grass on your balcony, remove everything from the space the astroturf will be installed. You don’t want any unnecessary obstacles whilst working in a tight space.
You will also need to give the surface area a good clean. We recommend using a degreaser and hot soapy water to ensure there is no dust, dirt or other debris that will disturb the adhesive from bonding with the concrete.
Step Two: Install a Drainage System
Before laying artificial grass on a balcony, it’s critically important that you install an effective draining system. If you do not get this stage of the installation process right, your artificial grass will collect rainwater.
The best scenario you can hope for in this situation is your fake lawn will develop puddles and retain it in the grass. However, there is the possibility that water will seep into your apartment. That’s going to be annoying!
Moreover, without an effective drainage system in place, artificial grass will retain water. Over time, this will create an unpleasant smell and the longevity of the astroturf will not last nearly as long as you can expect.
We recommend installing a drain core designed to replace perforated pipes and stone drainage systems.
Start laying the drain around the edges and work your way into the centre. This makes it easier to place cuts. Apply the drain core with a strong adhesive that is heat resistant.
It’s a good idea to check the adhesive you intend to use is compatible with the surface before you lay the drain core. Apply the glue with a trowel or floor squeegee and be careful not to smother the surface as this will make it difficult to roll out the drain core.
Lay the drain core one piece at a time and in manageable sections. This job is easier if there are two or more people; one to apply the adhesive, one to place the drain core and a third to flatten the fabric to free trapped air.
Don’t rush this part either. Quality is key. The drain core needs to be flat to the surface or it will cause kinks and ridges in your artificial grass.
Step Three: Install Fibreglass Reinforcement
When you’re laying artificial grass on a balcony, you will need to install fibreglass reinforcement around the perimeter edge. This gives you a smooth surface to glue the astroturf to and allows rainwater to pass under the drain core and run off the balcony.
Use an adhesive to glue the fibreglass roll to the drain core. Be careful not to apply too much adhesive as this may restrict the flow of rainwater running off the balcony and render your drainage system inefficient.
Leave the glue to settle for 20-30 minutes. This is a good time to have a coffee break. And a biscuit. You deserved it.
Step Four: Laying Artificial Grass on a Balcony
Artificial turf is delivered in huge rolls so we recommend cutting the material to a manageable size prior to installing the fake grass on your balcony. You don’t want to be rolling out full rolls of astroturf and cutting them to size in the confines of a small balcony. It’s not practical.
Ideally, the piece of astroturf you have delivered is still slightly bigger than you need. This gives you some bandwidth to work with. The last thing you want is to order a precise measurement only to find your order is too small.
To lay fake grass on a balcony, you ideally need the right tools. Feel free to speak to one of our professional artificial grass installers for advice about which type of glue and jointing tape to use.
Once the astroturf is in position, cut the astroturf to size using a sharp Stanley knife. The easiest way to cut the material is to cut along the seam on the backing.
Step Five: Fasten the Edges
The last thing to do when laying fake grass on a balcony is to fasten the edges. Apply adhesive to the underside of the material. An even bead of adhesive around the perimeter edge is sufficient.
It’s important the edges are glued well using a strong adhesive that is suitable for bonding polypropylene to fibreglass. It should also be heat resistant. If the adhesive is not appropriate, the edges of your artificial grass will start to curl due to thermal contraction.
Step Six: Apply the Finishing Touches
To complete your installation, we recommend adding an infill. This helps to give fake grass a natural-looking vibrancy and ensure the artificial grass is soft.
An adequate infill when laying artificial grass on a balcony is plastic pellets as they provide more cushioning. However, if your balcony receives a lot of direct sunlight, silica sand is a better option because plastic pellets can get hot.
If you have young pups, cats or other pets that might do their business on your fake grass, we strongly recommend using zeolite as your infill. This soft grain will not damage pet paws and absorbs ammonia which helps to reduce the smell of urine.
Once your infill is down, brush the artificial grass with a broom to clear away dust and debris, and leave the grass to settle for at least an hour before using it.
Call Experienced Professionals to Lay Artificial Grass on Decking
Laying fake grass on a balcony is achievable if you are handy around the home and have plenty of DIY experience which involves using adhesive. If you’re not confident of laying artificial grass on a balcony, play it safe and let our skilled artificial grass installers do the job for you.
It’s vitally important that you get the artificial lawn installation process right. If astroturf is not installed correctly, the material will be compromised earlier than you should expect. Good quality astroturf for a balcony should last at least 10 years - and realistically closer to 20 years.
Contact us today and speak with a member of our friendly team to arrange an installation date. We’re happy to help customers in London, Surrey and Hertfordshire, and can supply, design and install artificial grass for your balcony.