If there’s a gap at the bottom of your balcony railings, blocking it up can be important if you’ve got kids or pets. While it’s unlikely they’ll be able to fit under the gap, kids can throw things out or little legs can get stuck.
So, let’s look at some options for how to block a balcony gap under the railings. It’s worth remembering that this gap can be practical as much as aesthetic (for airflow and water drainage, for example), but we’ll still have a few options for making it safer.
If you’re after a quick solution, pool noodles might be your answer. Provided the diameter is correct, you can shove them in the gap under your railings and hold them in place with some tape.
- Easy to fit into place
- Provide extra safety in the form of padding
- May affect water drainage
You don’t have to use faux ivy specifically, but any expandable privacy screen (such as this) should block your balcony gap. Simply fix it to the railing with zip ties and it’ll be secure enough to stop kids or pets sticking things under the railing. Plus, you get the benefit of some extra privacy too!
- Adaptable to most balcony railings
- Adds extra privacy to your balcony
- Easy to set up
- Will still leave some gaps, although they’ll be very small
Blocking the gap with PVC pipe works on the same logic as pool noodles, but it’s far more durable. You’ll probably need pipe with an internal diameter of 3-4 inches – make sure you measure the gap first. Either cut the pipe yourself with PVC cutters or visit a local workshop with your measurements. Then, just wedge the pipe between the vertical support posts.
- PVC won’t rot or break down
- One of the most secure options
- Plenty of sizes to suit all balcony gaps
- Isn’t the most attractive option
This is a bit more of a long-winded option, but re-tiling your balcony floor means you can bring the flooring material up to cover the gap. You could use any tiles you want, but interlocking tiles are probably the best option. EVA foam exercise tiles will lock together at a 90-degree angle, or you could use wood deck tiles for a nicer look.
- Covers the gap while making your balcony floor nicer
- Plenty of tile options available
- Makes your gap blocking efforts less obvious
- Could get quite expensive
If you prefer a more DIY option, throw together some T-posts made from lumber. Essentially, they consist of a vertical support, which you fix to the railing, and a horizontal section that blocks the gap. Secure the support in place with zip ties, clamps, or anything else you want. The main benefit is that it could be free depending on where you source your lumber.
- Gives you plenty of customization through paints and wood treatment
- Easy to make to the exact size of your railing gap
- Inexpensive or free
- Requires tools and materials you might not have in an apartment
We’re big fans of metal privacy screens (check out our top picks here). The screens sit on feet, and these – along with the bottom of the screen – should be enough to block your railing gap. Even if it doesn’t completely remove the gap, it should make it small enough that it’s no longer a problem.
- Provides privacy along with security
- Flexible option you can move when not needed
- Loads of style options available
- Screens can be quite expensive
Foam pipe insulation (such as this) isn’t drastically different from a pool noodle. However, the main advantage is you’ll be able to find different sizes, and it should be more durable. The same installation process applies: wedge it in place and secure it with tape.
- Safe way to block the gap
- Different diameters available
- Fairly inexpensive
- Can block airflow and water drainage
If you want a less obvious solution, you could use an outdoor rug pushed up over the gap. You’d need to hold it in place to stop it from moving – furniture or rug grippers (such as these) should work fine. While this is a more attractive option, it does risk exposing the gap again if the rug shifts.
- Nicer looking than pipe or pool noodles
- Plenty of size and style options available
- Makes your balcony floor more comfortable
- Could expose the gap if the rug moves
Wire mesh (such as this) is a popular option for securing balcony railings against kids and pets. You’ll want to make sure the mesh holes are small enough that nothing will fit through but also not so small that small kids will get their fingers stuck. Secure the mesh in place with zip ties fixed to the railings.
- Very durable material
- Easy to get
- Blocks both the gap and the railings themselves
- Kids might be able to get their fingers stuck in small holes
If you don’t want to spend much (or any) money, you could try positioning furniture to block the gap under your balcony railings. While the furniture doesn’t need to actually cover the gap, it should at least make it unreachable. Sofas, chairs and low tables will probably be the best options.
- Saves you from having to spend any money
- Doesn’t make it obvious that you’re trying to block the gap
- Gives you an excuse to rearrange your balcony
- Tall furniture could give pets and kids the ability to reach the top of the railing
As you can see, there are loads of options for blocking your balcony railing gap. Make sure you measure the gap and think about how durable (and aesthetic) you want your solution to be. Even with these factors, there should be an easy solution to your problem.