Is WPC suitable for balconies?

Resilient, homely and, very important: load bearing! These are the most important features for balcony planks. WPC is not only suitable for terraces, it is also popular for balconies to conserve timber resources and reduce PVC waste. A WPC balcony is a long-term investment as the material is very durable and retains its attractive appearance for the whole of its life. With balcony extensions, a WPC balcony floor can be laid directly on the substructure with no intermediate floor. A special installation system even makes the use of screws unnecessary. The following article explains why WPC is the ideal balcony flooring and what you have to consider during installation.

The right material for balcony floors

Constant sunshine and the effects of rain place quite a lot of demands on balcony floors. Nevertheless, the flooring material has to be lightweight, especially for balcony extensions. They are often held in place only with steel beams and should therefore weigh as little as possible.

Wood is a popular choice to create a homely atmosphere. Tropical wood or hard domestic woods, such as oak, larch or Douglas fir are often used. The wood has to be treated regularly so that it remains weather-resistant. However, hardwood is heavy and grows slowly. The easy care and light weight make PVC planks the ideal material for balcony floors. They are weatherproof with no additional treatment and are easy to install. However, PVC is not always perfect when it comes to anti-slip properties and break resistance. WPC, Wood Plastic Composite, combines the benefits of wood and PVC. WPC is a durable flooring material for balconies. It is load-bearing, weatherproof, UV-resistant, unbreakable, anti-slip and does not splinter. The wood grain look creates a cosy atmosphere and the mixture of fast-growing softwood and recycled PVC makes the flooring material, in comparison, environmentally friendly for balconies. Consequently, WPC is one of the best flooring materials for balconies.

The right material for balcony floors

Laying WPC on a balcony

It is relatively easy to lay WPC on a balcony. However, good preparation is important and will also ensure that you enjoy your balcony for many years to come. Contact a professional if you are unsure. But even if you have someone else carry out the work, it is still an advantage if you know how to prepare for WPC installation on a balcony. You can prepare the work yourself or judge the work of your tradesperson with more background knowledge.

Preparations before laying WPC on a balcony

If you want to lay WPC on your balcony, the preparations differ depending on the type of balcony. Based on this, choose the necessary installation system. Various systems can be used on an existing balcony with concrete floor –- with and without screws. With balcony extensions, the substructure is screwed to the bearing structure of the balcony and the planks are placed in the aluminium substructure. No matter what system you choose, the following preparations are necessary: measure your balcony carefully and plan the position and length of the substructure and planks, with gaps for drainage and structural conditions. In this way, you will avoid expense for unnecessary cutting and excess material. When planning and drawing your balcony floor, use the Terrace Calculator.

Ensure that the water can drain from WPC planks

Draining water from the balcony is an important topic, as accumulated water can damage the building and/or the load-bearing structure. The planks can also be damaged by water that is not drained away. Existing balconies and balcony extensions usually have a 2% incline. When installing the WPC planks you must retain this incline and not block drains.

Substructure for balconies

To withstand all types of weather and get the best load-bearing capacity, a steel or aluminium profile substructure is the best, but wood is also suitable. Aluminium is often preferred for balconies because it is lighter and does not put any unnecessary weight stress on the balcony. Generally, the substructure is installed with a gap of 40 - 50 centimetres between the profiles and at a right angle to the wall of the house. The planks are then installed on the substructure parallel to the wall.

Laying WPC on a balcony: 3 practical tips

Tip 1: Insulation

It is important to have good insulation between the balcony and the substructure. Insulation pads cushion vibration and stop the substructure moving. This is especially important if you want to lay the substructure and the balcony WPC planks as a floating structure.

Tip 2: Expansion joints

Leave a 5 millimetre gap between the planks. Leave a 2cm gap to the wall of the house. This allows the material to expand when it is warm. Use spacers.

Tip 3: Fixing

When fixing the planks to the substructure, pre-drill all the holes so as not to damage the material. With a floating substructure, use clips to fasten the WPC planks.

Safety: technical approval

Safety: technical approval The flooring material must be load-bearing, especially on balcony extensions without a concrete floor. Therefore, make sure that the balcony planks have technical approval. Twinson planks fulfil this requirement. Your balcony is safe with this flooring material.

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