5 Ingenious Ways to Use IKEA’s Deck Tiles, According to Real Estate Pros

published Jun 2, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Lauren Kolyn

IKEA deck tiles are beloved as a budget-friendly way to rescue a dull balcony. They’re relatively inexpensive (after all, they’re from IKEA), renter-friendly, and provide an instant vibe change for your outdoor space. But these click-and-go squares, which come in a variety of materials, also offer an array of easy solutions for enhancing other parts of your home. 

Sold under product names RUNNEN, UTLÄNGAN, ALTAPPEN, and MALLSTEN, IKEA deck tiles can transform a drab, dated space into an inviting home, says Susanna Haynie, a real estate broker in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

“When something is clean, crisp, but still cozy, buyers can envision themselves so much easier in that space,” says Haynie. “You want to make buyers come in, fall in love, make an offer.” 

According to IKEA, RUNNEN, UTLÄNGAN, and ALTAPPEN tiles are meant for outdoor use. MALLSTEN can be used indoors and outdoors, but can’t be cut. Whether you prefer wood, composite material, or faux grass, the following are five inventive ways to use IKEA deck tiles.

Make over a mudroom.

Newer homes have posh laundry rooms and mudrooms. However, some older homes have laundry spaces in the basement or garage. Haynie says a client refreshed his dated mudroom with IKEA deck tiles. 
“He had a 1950s home, and we were looking for ways to spruce up the home without breaking the bank,” says Haynie. “It looked awesome, and he got this done within a few hours.”

Create a walkway.

Even if a home’s interior is pristine and staged, an unsightly side entrance or backyard could deter potential buyers. Haynie recommends using IKEA deck tiles to create a walking path. It’s one way to design a simple garden walkway.
“People don’t think landscaping can be dated,” says Haynie. “But it can.”

She suggests evaluating the grass or soil where you plan to create the walking path. “You need to know how squishy or how soft the soil is before you lay the tile because they can shift,” says Haynie. 
Use the deck tiles as an alternative to expensive slate or flagstone. “You can even lay tiles over stone material that just doesn’t look that great,” says Haynie.

Rework a wall.

Haynie nailed dark wood RUNNEN deck tiles on a living room wall in one of her homes. She got the idea when searching online for ways to upgrade plain walls. She fell in love with the idea of Scandinavian wood slats. 

“These wood slats have become really popular. I like the Scandi look, but I didn’t have the skills, nor did I want to spend the money on those because they can actually be really expensive,” Haynie says. “I used the dark wood tiles, and it created a really cozy atmosphere.”

Refresh a rental.

Whether you own a rental property or you wish to lease an apartment, IKEA deck tiles are an affordable way to redecorate.

Haynie likes using four to six wood tiles to make a spa-like bath mat. On an apartment balcony, she enjoys mixing faux grass RUNNEN deck tiles with wood or composite tiles to create the feel of a quaint courtyard. 

She recommends using Command strips to create an accent wall in a rental. 

Enhance a hot tub.

In Colorado, hot tubs are a hot commodity. But without nice surroundings, this asset might be an eyesore. Haynie recommends installing IKEA deck tiles around the hot tub to create a custom-built look.

“That way, you don’t slip either. And it gives it a finished look versus it just sitting on concrete.”

Haynie says the best reason for using IKEA deck tiles is to create a custom look that potential buyers find irresistible. “I mean, that’s what we’re aiming for,” says Haynie. “Those tiles help with that fall-in-love piece of this strategy.”