Microcement and How to Use It
Microcement has become increasingly popular to use at home, precisely because you can transform an entire room at a very low cost – and it’s trendy and stylish!
With microcement, you can easily create a modern and stylish surface that is reminiscent of real concrete. For example, you can apply microcement in bathrooms or on walls, floors and countertops to achieve a modern and timeless design.
Before - The bathroom before renovating with microcement.
After - The renovation took 10 days to complete.
Floor - Create an industrial feel with microcement on the floor.
Benefits of microcement
- You can apply microcement directly on existing tiles.
- Microcement creates a durable surface.
- Microcement can be laid both indoors and outdoors.
- You can redo an entire room relatively cheaply.
- You can apply microcement on floors and walls.
What is microcement?
Our ready-mixed microcement is a mixture of cement powder, water and colour pigments. Microcement is exactly what it sounds like, a thin layer of cement that is suitable for almost any surface. Microcement is especially popular to use on floors, since it creates a stylish concrete look and industrial feel.
We often associate microcement with the grey colour of concrete, which is a trendy choice among interior designers and most DIY enthusiasts.
Tools you need for microcement:
- Stirrer stick or paint mixer to mix with.
- Trowel or scraper. Keep in mind that the trowel and scraper must be able to be inserted into the bucket containing microcement.
- Finishing trowel without notches.
- Masking tape
- Sanding paper K40-60 for coarse sanding and K80 for fine sanding, or a sanding machine.
- Scissors or knife if you will be applying fibreglass mesh.
- Roller (mohair)
How to apply microcement
Before starting, you need to do some preparatory work to ensure that application goes as smoothly as possible.
You need to make sure that the surface on which you are going to apply the microcement is clean and dry, and preferably not uneven or damaged. If the floor has underfloor heating, you should turn this off at least 12 hours before applying microcement.
Start by applying a primer to the surface to be covered with microcement. The primer helps the microcement adhere to the surface.
Apply the primer using a finishing trowel or a wide scraper. If you will be using fibreglass mesh, this must be applied immediately to the primer when the primer is still wet.
On a surface with no cracks and joints, applying two coats of surface primer is sufficient. If the surface is uneven, for example, on tiles, underfloor heating or concrete floors, you need to first apply contact primer and fibreglass fabric. If you intend to apply microcement directly to a waterproofing layer, you should check with the waterproofing supplier before applying if this can be done.
- Make sure the surface is free from holes and irregularities, clean and apply masking tape.
- Apply contact primer to the joints using a wide trowel, then allow to dry. Sand smooth using coarse sandpaper.
- Cut the fibreglass fabric and place it in position.
- Apply a coat of contact primer to make the fabric stick. Leave to dry for 12 hours. Sand smooth using coarse sandpaper.
- Apply a second coat of contact primer so that the fabric is covered completely, then leave to dry for 4 to 6 hours. Sand smooth using coarse sandpaper.
Be as careful as possible when applying contact primer as it will become extremely hard after hardening to fulfil its function of levelling irregularities, preventing cracking, and ensuring the best adhesion for the cement.
It is now time to apply the microcement. Here at Biltema you will find a ready-mixed microcement for floors, walls, benches and furnishings. Do not worry if the surface is not 100% smooth during application, you can correct this later when performing sanding.
- Make sure the surface is clean.
- Apply microcement using a finishing trowel or wide trowel (preferably with rounded corners). Apply in semi-circular movements from corner to corner.
- Allow the microcement to dry and sand smooth using sandpaper.
- Apply a second layer of microcement as described in points 2 and 3.
- Check that the microcement provides full cover and, if necessary, add extra microcement to corners and cracks or apply a third layer of microcement.
The microcement should dry for 24 hours before you start the finishing process. The first step in the finishing process is to sand the surface to remove any irregularities. The easiest way to do this is with ordinary sandpaper.
If the surface where you have applied microcement will be exposed to moisture, you need to apply a sealer, which limits the absorbency of the microcement. The sealer also helps to strengthen the surface layer and protects against stains and scratches.
- Make sure the surface is hard, dry and clean.
- Shake the bottle well.
- Apply with a roller. If necessary, the sealer can be diluted with 10% water.
- Leave to dry for 24 hours before using the surface with care. The surface will be completely dry after seven days.
NOTE! In wet rooms, the microcement must be left to set for 7 days before exposing it to water.
The topcoat is applied last and it forms a smooth, colourless and durable surface on your microcement.
How to apply topcoat from Biltema:
- Make sure the surface is hard, dry and clean.
- Shake the bottle well and mix 5 parts of component A with 1 part of component B in a container and add a volume of water equal to 10% of the total amount. Example: 5 parts A + 1 part B + 0.6 parts water.
- Stir thoroughly and let the mixture rest for 10 minutes, then mix again.
- Apply with roller (mohair). Wait 4 hours and then apply a second coat. To prevent running on the surface, do not apply too much topcoat.
NOTE! Do not apply in bright sunlight or in wet conditions.