July 16, 2019

Ask the Expert

What is micro-cement? And how is it best used in home décor?

For contemporary looks, superior performance and minimal maintenance the use of micro-cement is becoming increasingly popular in the home. Micro-cement is a high performance cement mixed with polymers, ultra-fine aggregates, additives and colour pigments that can adhere to any number of surfaces. It is a highly versatile and practical finish. Because micro-cement provides a continuous surface it does not require a substrate (in other words it can be applied over existing finishes other than parquet or timber flooring), is non-slip and easily maintained. The final finish can be matt, polished or textured. By adding colour pigment different effects can be achieved such as mottled, uniform, metallic or even Venetian stucco.

Tribeca Porcelain Tiles by Porcelanosa

Micro-cement concrete flooring

Because micro-cement can be non-slip and easy to maintain it is an ideal material for kitchen flooring. The continuous surface can adapt to suit any layout lending a uniform aesthetic to the overall room. It is resistant to humidity, water penetration and heat, the main considerations when it comes to choosing kitchen décor. The matt or polished finish is recommended for flooring, while walls can be textured or patterned according to individual tastes.

Using micro-cement in the bathroom

The great advantage of micro-cement in the bathroom is its resistance to humidity. Generally the bathroom is one of the smaller spaces in the home, here a single finish can be used for both the floors and the walls. But micro-cement also lends itself to the forming of wash hand basins, shower trays and even baths. A special water-proofing layer will be required in these humid areas to avoid mould growing however.

Metropolitan tiles by Venis

Shelving and worktops

Other uses for the material include shelving and the forming micro-cement kitchen worktops. As outlined above an existing ceramic worktop or shelf can be coated in micro-cement to achieve an instant transformative result. The corners and junctions should be reinforced with a metal profile for greater durability.

Credit: @yourarchitectlondon

Practical advice for installation of micro-cement flooring

When applying micro-cement as flooring several coats are required, two of approximately 2mm thickness each with a fibreglass mesh in between for improved performance. This should then be sanded and prepared for the finish coat which should be polished ready for the sealing with either a varnish or other transparent coating.

If micro-cement is not applied property cracks can appear in the future. The secret is to make sure that the base layer has sufficient elasticity to cope with normal expansion, wear and tear.  A resin or a latex base coat will help achieve optimum adherence to a substrate.

Looking after micro-cement surfaces

In terms of its maintenance cleaning with a mop or a cloth once a week will suffice and localised repairs can be carried out in the case of cracks or other damage. Over time if the surface becomes degraded an additional finish layer can be laid without effecting door swings, given that the thickness is practically negligible.

Credit: @maximdeknock

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