How to Apply Microcement 

Are you considering using microcement for your next project? If that’s the case, it’s important to understand the correct techniques to achieve the results you’re aiming for. Microcement application is a nuanced process that requires precision and attention to detail.

This versatile material can transform any space into a sleek, modern environment. Have a look at our comprehensive guide for a detailed step by step on how to apply microcement successfully.

6 Steps of Microcement Application

Our application of microcement step by step guide covers everything from preparation to the final touches. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a DIY enthusiast, these steps will ensure a flawless finish.

1. Surface Preparation

First, make sure the surface is free from dust and grease, completely dry (without capillary or plaster/cement moisture), and as level or smooth as can be. Microcement can be applied on two types of surfaces: those needing a regularization procedure (like walls and floors with tiles or cement plaster) and completely smooth surfaces (such as smooth caulked walls or entirely smooth walls).

For microcement floors, regularisation is needed no matter the finish. If both floors and walls need regularisation, additional preparation steps are necessary. However, for smooth walls, the process is speedier and less expensive. Once the surface is checked, protective tape is used to safeguard areas not meant for microcement application.

2. Surface Regularisation – Base Coat Application

After making sure the surface is prepped and ready, the next step is applying the primer. This first layer is vital to ensure the microcement sticks properly to the surface. Start by applying a primer—this will significantly improve the bond between the microcement and the substrate.

After the primer, make sure to mix the base coat material accurately, following the manufacturer’s guidelines. Using a trowel or spatula, spread this mixture evenly across the surface, ensuring consistent coverage. It’s important to let this base coat dry thoroughly before moving on to the next steps in the application process. This not only ensures adhesion but also creates a solid base for the upcoming layers.

3. Second Coat Application

Once the base coat has dried thoroughly, it’s time to move on to the second coat of microcement, a pivotal step in achieving the final look and feel of the surface. This layer is where the desired colour and texture really start to show.

The process involves carefully mixing microcement material, pigment, and water in specific proportions as advised by the manufacturer. With a steady hand, this mixture is applied over the prepared surface using either a trowel or a spatula, paying close attention to detail to ensure an even spread of the intended thickness.

After spreading, a steel trowel or a finishing microcement trowel is used to refine the surface, smoothing it out for a seamless finish. It’s crucial to allow this second coat enough time to dry, following the manufacturer’s recommended timing, before moving on to the next stages of the application.

4. Sanding

Once the critical layer of the second coat has completely dried, the next vital step in the microcement application process is sanding. This phase is crucial for achieving a flawlessly smooth and even surface, essential for the final appearance and texture.

It is recommended to use either a sanding block or a sanding machine, along with fine-grit sandpaper, to gently sand the surface in circular motions. This careful attention helps to even out any irregularities and smooth the entire area.

Once the sanding of the surface is done clean the dust with a vacuum cleaner or damp cloths and the protective tape must be removed. A final inspection of the surface is necessary to verify its smoothness and readiness for the concluding application step, guaranteeing the perfect foundation for the finishing touches.

5. Sealing

The last crucial step in the microcement application process involves sealing the surface, a vital process for ensuring the long-term durability and aesthetic quality of the microcement. This step serves multiple purposes; it not only provides strong protection against stains and water damage but also significantly enhances the overall durability of the microcement. Applying a sealer helps in getting rid of absorption, giving the microcement those desirable waterproof qualities.

Furthermore, sealing has the added benefit of enhancing the final colour of the microcement, enriching its appearance. For easier application, it is recommended to use a short-haired roller or a brush. The sealing process progresses as follows: Begin by evenly applying a coat of sealer across the surface, adhering strictly to the guidelines provided by the manufacturer.

Allow this initial coat to dry thoroughly. Depending on the desired level of protection, additional coats may be necessary; make sure each coat is allowed to dry completely before applying the next.After the final coat, it is essential to allow the sealed surface a sufficient curing period, as recommended, before it is subjected to heavy use or cleaning. This ensures the optimum protection and longevity of the microcement surface.

6. Finishing Varnish

The application of the final varnish is the last step in the microcement process, acting as the ultimate shield. Its crucial role cannot be overstated, guaranteeing the microcement is fully waterproof and resistant to standard cleaning agents like bleach, ammonia, and anti-limescale products. Consumers can choose from three varnish finishes – glossy, matt, and satin – for a personalised look depending on the surface.

Glossy varnishes are commonly recommended for floors due to their toughness and visual appeal, while matt or satin finishes are preferred for walls, offering a more subtle shine. For optimal protection, it is advisable to apply two to three coats of the chosen varnish using a short-haired roller, ensuring each coat is applied evenly and allowed to dry completely before proceeding.

How to Apply Microcement in Different Areas?

Microcement’s flexibility makes it a perfect option for a wide range of uses, from flooring to walls in homes and businesses alike.

Application of Microcement on Walls

If you’re revamping your walls, here’s how to apply microcement step by step:

  • Getting Ready: Before you cover your walls with microcement, make sure the surface is clean, dry, and free of any dirt, grease, or loose bits. Get rid of any old paint or coatings that might mess up the adhesion. Fix any cracks or flaws in the walls using a suitable filler or patching compound. If the walls and floors need regularisation, you’ll need to extend the fiberglass mesh over the surface for the microcement.
  • Priming: Then, it’s time to apply the priming made for microcement on those prepped walls. The primer boosts adhesion and gives a solid base for the microcement. Use a roller or brush to slap on the primer evenly, following what the manufacturer says. Let that primer dry out properly.
  • Base Coating: Mix the microcement with water and any pigments you fancy, following the manufacturer’s instructions until you get a nice, smooth consistency. Use a stainless steel trowel or spatula to spread that base coat of microcement on the primed walls. Work in small patches, spreading the microcement evenly and keeping the thickness consistent.
  • Even Finish and Texture: While the microcement is still wet, use a steel or finishing trowel to get the texture and finish you want. Play around with different techniques to create cool patterns or textures. Pay special attention to corners, edges, and tricky spots for a seamless look. Keep an eye on the thickness and texture to keep things uniform.
  • Drying Time: Let that base coat of microcement dry for the recommended time. Drying time can vary based on stuff like humidity and temperature. Make sure the microcement is bone dry before moving on.
  • Sanding and Smoothing: Once the base coat is dry, gently sand the microcement surface with fine-grit sandpaper. This helps smooth out imperfections and get a consistent finish. Clean off any dust or debris from sanding.
  • Second Coating: Apply a second layer of microcement on the sanded and cleaned surface. Use the same techniques from the base coat, making sure to spread it evenly and get the texture you want. Smooth the surface with a trowel for a uniform look.
  • Drying and Setting: Let that second microcement coat dry and set for the recommended time. This is key for the microcement to fully set and toughen up. Follow what the manufacturer says about drying and setting times for the best results.
  • Sealing: Once the microcement is completely dry and set, apply a good sealer to protect the surface and boost its durability. Use a roller or brush to spread the sealer evenly, making sure to cover everything. Let the sealer dry based on what the manufacturer advises.

Microcement Application on Walls: Interior and Exterior Walls

Microcement’s versatility extends to both indoor and outdoor walls, making it an excellent choice for achieving a unique and durable finish. For best results, begin by prepping the surface, ensuring it is thoroughly cleaned and any wall imperfections are fixed. Then, apply a primer evenly to the cleaned and dry surface, allowing it to dry completely.

Microcement should be applied in two layers. Use a trowel to apply the first coat of microcement evenly across the wall surface. Leave the first coat of microcement to dry for at least 24 hours before proceeding. Apply the second coat in the opposite direction for full coverage. Once the second coat is dry, use fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out any irregularities and achieve a flawless finish.

Finish by sealing the microcement to protect and enhance its durability, ensuring the walls exhibit a beautiful and enduring aesthetic. With careful application and regular maintenance, microcement can deliver an elegant and long-lasting finish ideal for any wall.

Microcement application on Floors

Microcement can be used for floors. Learn how to apply microcement as a pro:

Getting the Surface Ready:

  • Cleaning the Floor: Begin by thoroughly cleaning the floor to get rid of any dirt, dust, or grease. Sweep the surface to clear loose debris and use a suitable cleaner to remove any stains or contaminants. Ensure the floor is completely dry before moving on to the next step.
  • Fixing Cracks and Imperfections: Check the floor for any cracks, holes, or imperfections. Fill these areas with a suitable repair compound and let them dry for 24 hours. Smooth out the mended areas using sandpaper or a sander, ensuring a level surface.
  • Applying a Primer: To enhance adhesion, it’s important to apply a primer to the prepared floor. Select a primer specifically designed for microcement and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application. Let the primer dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

Applying the Microcement:

  • Mixing the Microcement: Begin by carefully measuring and mixing the microcement as per the manufacturer’s instructions. It’s vital to achieve the correct consistency for proper adhesion and workability. Utilise a paddle mixer or a drill with a mixing attachment to create a smooth and lump-free mixture.
  • Applying the Base Coat: Put on the first coat, known as the base microcement coat, using a steel trowel or a microcement trowel. Spread the microcement evenly across the floor, working in small sections. Use long, sweeping motions to achieve a thin and uniform layer. Allow the base coat of microcement to dry following the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Applying the Decorative Coat: After the base coat has dried, apply the decorative microcement coating. This layer introduces texture and color to the floor. Apply the decorative microcement coating using a trowel or a spatula, depending on the desired texture. Work in small sections and apply the microcement evenly, paying attention to create the desired pattern or design. Allow the decorative microcement layer to dry completely.

Finishing and Sealing the Microcement:

  • Sanding the Surface: Carefully sand the microcement surface using fine-grit sandpaper or a sanding block. This step helps to smooth out any imperfections and achieve a uniform finish. Clean the surface thoroughly to remove any dust or debris generated during the sanding process.
  • Applying the Sealer: Apply a high-quality sealer specifically designed for microcement. Use a roller or a brush to evenly apply the sealer, working in small sections. Allow the sealer to dry completely between coats and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended number of coats. The sealer protects the microcement and enhances its durability.

Curing and Maintenance:

  • Allowing the Microcement to Cure: It usually takes several days for the microcement to cure completely. Steer clear of heavy traffic or placing weighty objects on the floor during this time. Adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations for curing time and avoid exposing the floor to excessive moisture.
  • Regular Cleaning and Maintenance: To maintain the appearance of the microcement floor in top condition, regular cleaning and maintenance are a must. Regularly sweep or vacuum the floor to get rid of loose debris. Use a neutral pH cleaner and a microfiber mop to clean the surface. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or tools that could harm the microcement.

Indoor and Outdoor Floor Microcement Application

As we’ve said, microcement is a versatile material that can be used on both indoor and outdoor floors. While the application process is similar, there are some additional steps to consider for outdoor floors. Before applying microcement, it’s important to properly prepare the surface by cleaning and repairing any imperfections. Next, apply a primer to the surface and allow it to dry.

Once the primer has dried, use a trowel to apply the first coat of microcement evenly over the entire surface. Allow the first layer of microcement to dry for at least 24 hours before applying the second coat in the opposite direction. Once both coats have dried, use a fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out any imperfections before applying a sealer to protect and enhance the durability of the surface.

Technical Notes for Microcement Application

In the upcoming part, we’ll delve into some technical tips for applying microcement for achieving top-notch finishes.

 Substrate preparation

Properly prepping the surface is crucial for a successful microcement application. The surface needs to be clean, dry, and free from any contaminants like oil, grease, or dust. If the surface isn’t prepped correctly, the microcement might not stick well, leading to an uneven or patchy look.

It’s vital to thoroughly assess the surface, make any needed repairs, and use a primer made for microcement. This could involve sanding to remove old coatings, filling cracks, and applying the right primer. Getting the surface ready properly sets a strong base for the microcement, boosting both its durability and appearance.

Mixing of the microcement

Another important technical consideration involves mixing the microcement. It’s crucial to carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions and ensure thorough mixing of the microcement to maintain consistent colour and texture.

Proper mixing results in a smooth application process and a lovely finish by creating a lump-free, homogeneous mixture. Use a mechanical mixer at the recommended speed to combine the microcement and liquid components.

The mixture should have a thick cream-like consistency for easy spreadability without being runny. Make sure all components are at room temperature to avoid any curing or application issues.

Application technique

When it comes to application of the microcement, techniques matter a lot too. Microcement is applied in layers. That said, these layers needs to be thin and even so it’s best to use a trowel or a spray gun. Let each layer dry completely before adding the next one, and gently sand the surface between layers for good adhesion.

This careful method doesn’t just make the microcement surface strong and long-lasting, it also boosts its looks, giving you a smooth and polished finish. Doing it right during application can really make a difference in the end result, giving you a top-notch appearance that lasts and lasts.

Why Choose DC Flooring’s Team of Professionals to Help Achieve the Perfect Finish

Choosing DC Flooring means you’re placing your microcement project in the hands of a team of highly skilled experts with a wealth of experience and dedication to every task. Our accreditation as installers for all the products we use ensures a project supported by comprehensive guarantees, not only for the materials but also for the craftsmanship.

This dedication is further strengthened by the quality of our in-house, fully trained, and qualified installers, whose workmanship is unmatched in the industry. Going beyond mere floor installation, we meticulously plan each project, considering every detail from start to finish, ensuring the success of the installation. With 12 years of experience in the field, our knowledge, expertise, and the trust our clients have in us speak volumes.

DC Flooring’s Professional Microcement Application Services

Choosing DC Flooring means opting for versatility and excellence in microcement applications. Our trained and experienced installers aren’t just workers; they’re craftsmen highly skilled in all areas of microcementing, dedicated to delivering a final finish that will undoubtedly surpass your expectations.

Over the years, we’ve served numerous residential and business clients, each looking to achieve a fresh, seamless, and contemporary finish. Once completed with a bespoke sealer, our finishes can easily mimic the look and feel of a high-quality polished concrete floor.

Our team is committed to working closely with you, assisting in selecting the perfect colour, finish, and texture that reflects your unique style and vision. Following an easy and hassle-free installation experience, our professionals apply a durable surface sealer to the finished floor, not only enhancing its beauty but also providing long-term protection against daily wear and tear.

FAQ’S

Will a microcement crack?

The microcement itself won’t crack, but if the base layer’s strength to resist cracks is too high, surpassing the microcement’s flexibility, it’ll end up pulling. So, laying strong foundations is key to achieve the desired outcome.

This stresses the importance of thorough groundwork preparation and fortifying the base before applying the microcement. Ensuring the underlying surface is sturdy, with reduced stress points and sufficient flexibility, is crucial. This not only prevents unsightly cracks but also boosts the overall longevity and durability of the microcement finish.

What is the best base for microcement?

The perfect foundation for microcement needs to be solid, stable, and free from any movement or flex. Surfaces like concrete, cement screeds, or mortar are usually the best choices as they offer a robust base that can bear the weight of the microcement without shifting.

Moreover, these materials have an absorbency level that complements the optimal adhesion of the microcement. Before applying, it’s crucial to ensure the base is not just structurally sound but also correctly levelled, clean, and dry. Thoroughly preparing the base can significantly impact the durability and visual appeal of the microcement finish, preventing potential issues like cracking or peeling.

Is Microcement cheaper than tiling?

When you look at microcement compared to traditional tiling, the cost can vary based on factors like the area size, project complexity, and the type and quality of materials used. Generally, microcement can be a more budget-friendly choice long-term due to its durability, minimal maintenance needs, and no grouting required, which can cut labour costs.

Moreover, microcement gives a seamless and flexible finish, letting you apply it over existing surfaces without removal, potentially saving on preparation time and costs. However, the initial costs might be higher because of the need for specialist installation skills.

How long does microcement last?

When microcement is properly installed and well-maintained, it can stand the test of time, offering a durable and classic aesthetic appeal. The longevity of microcement greatly depends on the quality of the installation, from preparing the base layer to applying the technique. Regular upkeep and the use of appropriate sealants are also vital in maintaining the surface’s integrity over the years.

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