Terrace SanFrancisco Creamstone 4

Balconies & Terraces: What’s the Difference?

A balcony is a terrace is a patio is a deck, right? Actually, not quite. Although the terms “balcony” and “terrace” are often used interchangeably, they aren’t technically the same thing. There are key differences such as size, location, and construction that set them apart and may make one option more suitable for your property than another. Keep reading to learn more about these differences and learn which is right for you and your porcelain paver installation.

What is a terrace?

The word “terrace” comes from the Latin word for earth, “terra”. It’s defined as an external, raised, open, flat area as part of either a landscape or a building. The key thing to note is that a terrace is at ground level, but it tends to be slightly raised from the ground, usually built on the edge of a hill or cliff. A terrace is similar to a patio, but a patio is built upon flat, level ground versus the slight elevation of a terrace.

What is a balcony?

The word “balcony” derives from the Italian word for “large window,” as these structures were most often accessed via large windows before sliding doors became the more popular form of entry. A balcony is a platform projecting from the wall of a building, usually surrounded by a wall or railing. Balconies typically offer outdoor space for rooms above the ground floor. Balconies can be found in single-family homes, but they are most often associated with apartments, hotels, and condos.

What are the key differences?

The three main differences between a balcony and a terrace are location, size, and construction. The most notable difference, which you likely picked up on over the previous two paragraphs, is the location of the two structures in terms of elevation. Terraces are built at the ground level, whereas balconies are almost exclusively built at the second story and above. The only exception to this is a roof terrace, which is built on top of the building’s roof.

Another significant difference is size. Terraces are typically much larger than balconies, and therefore more ideal for socializing. It’s best for large venues and areas intended for get-togethers. Balconies, on the other hand, tend to be smaller and accommodate two to three people at the most. 

Finally, a significant difference lies in the construction of the two. A terrace can be built as a standalone structure, either attached to the side of a building or built floating in the middle of a greenspace. A balcony, however, needs to be affixed to the side of a building in order to maintain its structure, since it’s elevated above ground level.

Whether you want to renovate your balcony, terrace, plaza, deck, or patio, Tile Tech has you covered. We have hundreds of market-leading outdoor paving tiles that will suit any functionality, budget, and design style. Paired with our innovative deck support system, you can have the hardscaping of your dreams in just a matter of hours. To learn more about Tile Tech’s full range of products and services, give us a call at (888) 380-5575 or fill out our online contact form. We’re always happy to provide you with a free product sample, catalog, or quote for your next project.