Any owner of an apartment above the first floor sooner or later thinks about what to make the ceilings on the balcony from, how best to arrange them and is the result of the efforts and money invested worth it? It is impossible to answer these questions unequivocally - much will depend on the type of house, materials, climate and the ultimate goal of the renovation.
One conclusion can be voiced right away - finishing balcony ceilings has long become a common way to ennoble your home, costing minimal costs. The result, with full adherence to technology, will delight you with durability and beauty.
Let us consider in detail all the methods and stages of such a repair.
Where to begin?
Before proceeding with the decorative part of the work, any balcony is waiting for a painstaking and very important stage - waterproofing and insulation. It can be simplified only in one case: when the neighbors on top have high-quality cladding and glazing, which is not always the case, and the factor of rain and other moisture will have to be taken into account and reduced to a minimum.
Concrete has a porous structure, which is especially vulnerable to moisture, and is especially badly damaged in winter, when the accumulated droplets expand in volume, contributing to the formation of cracks. Therefore, before starting work, it would be nice to invite a specialist who will assess the general condition of the balcony and give the go-ahead for waterproofing.
Today there are several popular and relatively inexpensive methods:
- Penetrating compounds (only for concrete);
- Lubricants (for bricks and wood);
- Roll materials on polymer joints;
- Sealants (for crevices and cracks).
- There are only two heaters suitable for most Russian balconies, these are:
- Mineral wool;
- Polyurethane foam plate.
The use of each of the named materials is permissible only if it is known for certain that it is suitable for specific conditions. Otherwise, the consequences can lead to costly overhauls.
Contrary to the well-known opinion that such systems are used only in rooms with a large area, otherwise - "does not look" - a long-standing delusion. Even for 1-1.5 m2, it is quite possible to make the very tiers that are so vividly painted in designer brochures. Convenience for installation is that all aluminum bases will be small, and not 5 meters each, as in a spacious living room or bedroom with an improved layout.
The advantages that some types of stretch ceilings have:
- Gloss increases the space and smooths out all the irregularities;
- Polyester is moisture resistant, nonflammable and does not fade in the sun;
- The coating tolerates severe frosts and temperature changes well;
- The material does not grow moldy and repels pathogens.
How is this type different from the previous one? In short - to everyone, because as the main working material they use not polyester fabric, but PVC panels or any other material, at the request of the customer. At the same time, the installation process is accelerated several times.
The key advantage of such a system is saving height, which is especially important for typical high-rise buildings of the 80-90s, where the ceilings are not too high anyway. The hollow structure of the panels and their specific design makes the entire system lightweight, flexible and durable.
Is it possible to do, and generally consider such an option? Yes, you can, but with a number of reservations, the first of which says that the balcony, like the apartment itself, should not be in a region with high humidity, since it is the main enemy of fragile material.
You should not believe the manufacturer, who will tell you that it is his plasterboard ceilings that have exceptional moisture resistance and increased strength characteristics. All this concerns only moments with an accidental hit of a small amount of water, but "in the long term" you still have to think about keeping a dry balcony.
Of the unconditional advantages - a reliable frame made of aluminum strips, under which the wiring is calmly mounted, and lighting is made out, even with decorative LED bulbs, at least a full-fledged chandelier, depending on the desire and funds.
There are a little more cons, and they are not limited to moisture sensitivity:
- The need for regular painting;
- Vulnerability to low temperatures;
- Decrease in height due to the frame;
- The need for putty, reinforcement and installation of skirting boards.
Excluding the aforementioned disadvantages, it is drywall that is considered the most affordable and at the same time reliable material, the correct installation of which will provide many years of service.
It is jokingly called bath style, or retro style decoration. Both names have the right to be, if only because the principle of installation of wooden slats, or lining, is similar to the design of the interior of a sauna or bath.
A very important point is forgotten - the slats are not only made of wood, but also from any suitable or desired material, including the same aluminum or PVC. The only difference is in the further installation process - open or closed type.
The first option is familiar to most - the slats are installed at a distance from each other, and the hollow areas create a characteristic "striped" pattern, inside which LED backlighting, including multi-colored, is often carried out. Some craftsmen prefer to cover the cavities with decorative strips, and holes are then cut for lighting.
The closed installation method implies a "smooth" ceiling, but it is not suitable for non-standard shapes due to the laboriousness and unjustified use of a large amount of materials.
What are the alternatives?
It also happens that the owner of the apartment does not like any of the options, or, for some other reason, installation is not possible. What to do in such a situation?
The cheapest way is painting. Yes, it will require a long preparatory stage with priming, putty and waterproofing, but at the same time, the use of facade paint will allow you to forget for several years what the balcony ceiling looked like before the repair. True, then everything will have to be done anew.
A more expensive option is MDF panels, which in recent years have been actively entering the market as a universal material with unprecedented characteristics of strength, moisture and frost resistance. But not everyone can afford this kind of finish.
There is also a golden mean - these are polystyrene tiles, the same ones that are often pasted over the ceilings of bedrooms and living rooms. They are fastened in a similar way, but the leveling and puttying stage sometimes takes three times longer than the gluing itself.
As you can see, there are many possibilities for decorating ceilings, and the choice of a specific method will make the balcony cozy, beautiful, warm and unique in its own way.