- Preparation: Cut the reed mat
- cable ties
- fastening wire
- Wall: attach reed mat
- frequently asked Questions
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If you want to attach a reed mat to a balcony, fence or wall, you have several options for this project. For detailed information and instructions, see this article.
In a nutshell
- before fastening, the mats must be adjusted to the desired size
- Balcony and patio railings can be attached using mats or cables
- Depending on the shape, you can equip fences with reed mats using wire or mat binders
- Walls require screw holes to attach the wire for the mats
Regardless of whether you want to equip walls or a fence with a reed mat, you need the right utensils for all methods. This does not only mean the materials and tools that are used specifically for the fastening methods, but also serve to prepare, measure and attach. These are essential and will help you implement the options below:
- Tape measure or folding rule
- combination pliers
- Cut-off grinder, hand-held circular saw or handsaw (fine teeth)
- protective clothing
- safety goggles
With these, the mats can be easily cut to size, measured and attached. Cut-off grinders or hand-held circular saws are essential if you want to make your work easier. Alternatively, you can use a hand saw, but this is much more strenuous because you have to saw through every single stalk.
Tip: Before attaching the mats, you should ask another person for help. Depending on the size of the mats, it can get tricky getting them straight when you're alone.
Preparation: Cut the reed mat
Before you can use any of the methods below to attach your mat, you will need to cut it to the required size. Ideally, you can order the reed mat in the desired size. Otherwise, follow these instructions to shorten the mat in height:
- Unroll the mat completely
- Measure the required height with a ruler or tape measure
- Subtract 2 cm from the height (floor distance)
- Mark the height with a pen
- Shorten the mat along the marking
- use the appropriate tool for this
However, don't forget to add the ground clearance to the measurement. The mat must not sit directly on the ground, otherwise the straws will soften due to the moisture and, in the worst case, start to grow mold. If you have a height of 150 centimeters in mind, the reed mat must end up being 148 centimeters high. When shortening, it is important to saw straight. In this way, you can even reduce the height of very long mats much more quickly. Fold the layers over each other, pin the line and trim all at once. Now comes the length:
- measure the desired length
- Add 3 cm (additional for ends)
- mark length
- Loosen the binding threads or wire at the marking from top to bottom
- just cut with pliers
- don't cut too much
- After cutting, knot the wire or threads again
Luckily you don't need any devices to adjust the length, since you close the connections again at the end. In order for this to succeed, you should cut close to the stalks that are not part of the length. This way you still have enough wire and thread to close the mat. Once the reed mat has been adjusted to the appropriate size, you can use the options below to attach it.
Tip: Always keep in mind the maximum height of a privacy screen set by the landlord or municipality, as the mat must not exceed this. In most federal states, the limit is 180 centimeters, but this can vary greatly.
The classic way to attach a reed mat to balcony railings and fences is the cable tie. With this you hardly need any tools if you have previously cut the mat to the right size. They also ensure a good grip, even if the railing or fence is made of smooth metal. The length of the cable ties is important for the application, but so is the number. Select mat trusses that fit loosely around the largest diameter members plus the culms. You will need six to 15 cable ties per square meter, depending on the weight of the mat. If there is a high wind load, you should use at least ten cable ties per square meter. An example:
- Mat dimensions: 1m x 3m
- Square meters: 3
- cable ties needed: 18 to 45
- required cable ties (increased wind load): 30 to 45
Fortunately, cable ties come in large quantities and different colors. The mat is then attached as follows:
- Lay the mat on the railing or fence
- Note ground clearance
- start on one side
- don't start at the last straw
- Attach cable ties at regular intervals
- Distance variable and dependent on railing struts
- Tighten cable ties
- cut off
Nothing else is needed for this method. Make sure that the cable ties are cut well so that the cuts are not too sharp. You don't want to hurt yourself.
Weather-resistant binding wire is also one of the options for attaching the reed mat to fences and balconies. In contrast to the cable ties, you do not have to calculate the number of pieces here, but the required wire length. On average, ten centimeters of wire are sufficient for each connection, which corresponds to a total length of 60 to 150 centimeters for one square meter. Based on the above example, you would need 180 to 450 centimeters of wire. It is applied in the following way:
- Cut the wire into 10 cm pieces
- put on the mat
- Note ground clearance
- start again on one side
- Place pieces of wire around the struts
- do not let the ends of the wire protrude from the mat
- Knot the ends with the combination pliers
Ready. Attaching a reed mat over wire is quick and easy once you get into the rhythm. Just be careful not to hurt yourself. The ends can be painful due to their sharpness. Flower binding wire or something similar can be used.
Tip: For fences made of hard-wearing wood, you can use a different method to attach the cane mats. Using stainless steel staples of the appropriate size for the stalks, staple the mats thoroughly to the wood.
Wall: attach reed mat
If you do not want to attach the reed mat to a balcony but to a wall, you must first drill a series of holes. Stainless screws are then placed in these, to which you can fix the mat with wire as already described. In addition to the attachments, you will also need:
- Screws: 6 - 10 per m²
- Dowels: 6 - 10 per m²
- Washers: 6 - 10 per m²
- Drill (depending on wall material)
- suitable drill (depending on wall material)
Be sure to select stainless washers. Likewise, you should not use screws with too large a diameter, as this is not necessary. Distribute the drill holes at regular intervals over a square meter and screw the screws into the wall after inserting the dowels. However, these should protrude about 0.5 centimeters from the wall to support air circulation. Now use the screws as an attachment point for the wire. Also knot and bend.
Notice: A big advantage of this method is the good ventilation of the mats, since they do not lie directly on the wall. Thanks to the ventilation, the mats do not get moldy because they dry without any problems.
frequently asked QuestionsWhich walls are taboo for reed mats?
Walls are among the most complex substrates for a reed mat and always require drill holes or similar devices. For this reason, it is important to pay attention to what is permitted, especially in an apartment building. Basically, small boreholes are not a problem, but landlords can forbid them in the rental agreement. If you are not sure whether you are allowed to drill into the walls on the rented property, contact your landlord as a precaution.Can hot glue be used for attachment?
Sometimes it is advised to fix the mats to fences or walls with hot glue. The reasons for this are the simple application and the look, since the adhesive is not visible from the front. Nevertheless, you should refrain from this variant if the reed is to be installed outdoors. The mats are mercilessly exposed to the weather and hot glue is not weather resistant. Moisture, heat, cold and permanent UV radiation make short work of the adhesive.What are suitable alternatives to reed mats?
If you do not want to use reed mats because of the look or the acquisition costs, there are suitable alternatives. Bamboo mats are also ideal for those looking for something exotic, as they are weatherproof and just as easy to install. If you want to use variants from home, rely on willow mats. In terms of appearance, they are reminiscent of classic willow fences. It gets a little more rustic with bark mats in different colors and designs.Can reed mats be set up without fences or railings?
Yes, you don't need a railing or a section of fence to use reed mats as privacy screens or windbreaks. In this case, you use metal or wooden posts that you set in the ground where you want them and act as supports for the mats. Depending on the weather, you can attach a frame to the posts, which provides more stability. You can now fix the mats to the posts.