Having a balcony doesn’t mean you can’t have a lush outdoor space. Opting for something like balcony grass is a great way to create a more inviting area.
In this guide, you’ll learn all you need to know about fake or artificial grass for your balcony. We’ll cover the different types, the benefits, and installation and maintenance. We’ve also made sure that our recommendations are renter-friendly!
Why Choose fake Grass for a Balcony?
When upgrading your balcony space, you might feel your options for greenery are limited. Aside from a few potted plants, is there much else you can do?
Well, yes, there is. A suitable option is to install fake (also known as artificial) grass on your balcony. It provides a much-needed hit of greenery and creates a more lively and inviting space.
Benefits of Fake Grass vs. Real Grass on Balconies
The advantage of fake grass for a balcony should be obvious. Real grass is great, but it isn’t the most viable option on a balcony.
The benefits of fake grass include:
- It’s harder wearing and more durable than real grass.
- It’s low maintenance – no need for watering, mowing, or weeding.
- You don’t need soil. Real grass needs somewhere to grow.
- It’s ideal for small or awkwardly-shaped areas.
- It doesn’t fade and lasts for years.
- Fake grass is easy to clean.
One disadvantage of fake grass vs. real grass is its heat absorption properties. In direct sunlight, artificial grass can reach almost double the temperature of real grass.
Bear this in mind if you have children or pets, as it can become unusable on hot days.
Uses for Fake Balcony Grass
Fake grass on a balcony has several uses, including:
1. Doggie area
Some dogs much prefer to do their business on grass rather than concrete. Plus, if you’re potty training your dog, it can be helpful to do it using artificial grass.
If you’re getting artificial grass for dogs, be prepared to clean it more regularly. Unlike real grass, where the pee can soak away, it’ll just sit on artificial grass. This can cause it to smell bad very quickly.
2. Create a mini oasis
You might already have lots of plants on your balcony. Adding balcony grass can make the space feel more natural and relaxing, particularly if you add in a sunshade and some nice seating.
3. Kid’s play area
Setting up some fake grass for a balcony play area can make it a much nicer experience for your kids. If you’ve got enough space, you could also add a sandpit for even more fun.
In short, if you can think of an application for real grass, you can do the same with fake grass.
4. General decor
Adding fake grass to a balcony can completely change the overall look of the space for the better.
How to Choose fake Grass for your Balcony
There are various factors involved in choosing the right fake grass for your balcony. We’ll start with the main types available and then consider the other important buying factors.
Types of artificial Grass
Artificial grass is made from plastic fibers, but the type of fiber affects density, durability, and appearance.
The main types are:
Nylon is the most hardwearing option but is also the most abrasive. So, it might not be the best choice for a kid’s play area or as a balcony dog potty.
It’s also the most artificial looking because the grass blades are quite thick. You’ll know it’s a fake lawn if you go for nylon.
Generally, nylon is the best choice for heavy traffic areas. As this is unlikely to be the case on a balcony, you can probably avoid it as an option.
Polypropylene is the most realistic looking fake grass, but it’s also the least durable. Its fibers are soft, meaning it’s a good choice for a kid’s play area.
It’s a mid-range price option and would be suitable if you just want to add decoration to your balcony.
Polyethylene is a good middle option that combines the durability of nylon with the realism of polypropylene.
It’s the most common option used as artificial grass because it’s easy to produce and inexpensive.
The best option for realism and durability would be a mix of polypropylene and polyethylene.
Buying Factors for artificial balcony Grass
There are numerous important factors involved in choosing the best fake grass for a balcony. Of course, some might matter more than others depending on how realistic you want it to look.
Consider the following when choosing artificial turf for your balcony.
Density and Weight
Like carpets, artificial grass is made by weaving yarns into a base material. The more yarns per square inch, the denser the artificial grass rug will be.
There’s no magic number for density, it depends on the type of grass you want. Denser grass will usually be more expensive, though.
Alternatively, we can measure quality by weight. Weight refers to how much yarn there is per square inch. It’s also affected by pile height, and heavier artificial grass implies it’s better quality.
Pile height is the length of the artificial grass blades. It’s not an indicator of quality, per se.
Rather, it affects looks. Longer grass blades have a tendency to flop over, making them look bad. Shorter blades are more likely to remain upright, which looks nicer.
Again, there’s no golden rule, but a pile height around 1.5” gives the impression of a well-maintained lawn.
Also, longer grass blades are slightly more resistant to wear and tear, but it’s a less important factor than material. So, choose the right material before considering pile height as a marker of durability.
The best artificial grass for a balcony is green, right? Not necessarily, as real grass isn’t completely green.
The most realistic looking artificial grass will use up to 4 tones of green and some brown.
Its bottom layer is known as the thatch, and including brown tones in this makes it look like a real lawn.
Of course, if realism isn’t your goal, single-tone artificial grass is more affordable than these realistic options.
Even within standard green options you have variation. You can choose from dark forest greens or bright, almost lime greens.
The tone of green you choose for your artificial grass rug really depends on preference.
We mentioned this above, but durability impacts the type of artificial grass you choose. If you plan on keeping it in place permanently, opt for a more durable material.
The backing material is what holds everything together and consists of 2 layers. There’s the primary layer, which holds the fibers, and the secondary layer, which is usually latex.
Poor quality backing results in fiber loss, leading to patchy grass. Models with high-quality backing are more expensive but are worth it. Good artificial grass can last indefinitely if built properly.
How to Install Fake Grass on a Balcony
Installing fake grass for a balcony is really easy, and there are a couple of different ways to do it depending on how permanent you want your artificial grass solution to be. Most apartment dwellers with balconies will opt to strictly use double-sided sticky seam tape to secure the artificial grass in place. This solution is renter-friendly, as the artificial grass can easily be removed and/or replaced. For a more permanent solution, consider using artificial grass glue in addition to the seam tape (we’ll show you where to do this below). Follow these steps and it should take almost no time at all.
- Measure the area to see how much artificial grass you need. Ideally, do this before buying.
- Clean the area with a broom, wash it down, and allow it to dry.
- Cut a layer of artificial grass underlayment the same size as you want the lawn.
- Apply strips of double-sided sticky seam tape to the perimeter of your proposed fake grass area, essentially creating a border. Then, place additional strips of the tape every 1 to 2 feet inside the area.
- If you’re looking to make this a more permanent solution, you can also apply artificial grass glue on top of the exposed side of the tape.
- Fit it in place and stick down using artificial grass glue, roughly 3mm thick.
- Cut your artificial grass to size. If it needs joining, use artificial grass joining tape. This might not be a problem in a small area like a balcony.
- Glue the grass down and give it a few hours to cure.
maintaining artificial balcony grass
But, long-lasting fake grass for a balcony relies on proper maintenance. Check it every few months and follow these tips:
- Use an odor-eliminating spray if it’s a balcony dog potty. Consider hosing it down, too.
- Clean it using a stiff broom and then wash it down with a hose and some washing up liquid.
- Avoid using a BBQ or other heat source on the artificial grass, as it can melt.
- It shouldn’t need weeding if installed on a balcony. But, if weeds appear, remove them as soon as possible.
- Be sure to stick down edges that come loose. They can be a safety hazard and reduce the grass’s lifespan.
- Baking soda and vinegar is a natural odor eliminator. It’s much safer to use around pets and kids for getting rid of unwanted smells.
- Another option, particularly if you only have an artificial grass rug, is to not stick it down. Then, you can lift it up and wash it whenever necessary.
Final Thoughts on Fake Balcony Grass
Using artificial grass for a balcony is a great way to make it appear more natural without worrying about maintenance. It’s a more practical and affordable option than real grass, too.
Hopefully, this guide has given you some useful information on choosing fake grass for your balcony. The most important advice is to research the market first so you can narrow down your choices before making the perfect selection.