Microcement is a cement based, decorative coating based which is combined with a water based resin to give a strong yet flexible surface finish.
The microcement can be applied to both interior and exterior surfaces including floors, walls, stairs and recesses. Because it’s applied by hand, there’s no need for joints or grout lines. Which makes it super easy to clean.
Topciment offer a 5 year guarantee to microcement installers who have completed a Topciment approved training course. They offer this because they are 100% confident that when Topciment microcement is applied correctly, the product will perform effectively.
It is important that the process is followed diligently to achieve a strong, durable, waterproof microcement surface. An overview of the process is outlined below. Visit our Microcement Training page for detailed to become an approved installer.
- To prepare the surface, apply two layers of microbase, with the mesh, which will serve as a support for the finished microcement. The second layer of microbase is pigmented with colour.
- Then apply two layers of microcement top coat. This is the product combining the desired texture and colour, giving the surface its final appearance.
- Finally, to protect the finish, two coats of pre-sealer are initially applied, followed by two layers of polyurethane sealer.
How Strong is Microcement?
Microcement is applied at just 3-4mm, yet it has incredibly high strength and hardness; Microdeck and Microstone can even be used in high traffic areas.
Several factors influence the strength and hardness of microcement, such as the substrate on which it is applied, the brand of microcement chosen, as well as the sealer used on the finished microcement.
Mechanical Resistance to Impact Blows
Due to its limited thickness, Microcement, will deform in the event of a strong blow if the support beneath deforms. An example would be the microcement applied to plaster. If the base deforms because it has poor resistance, the microcement will deform as well. Whilst microcement on a concrete subfloor, the have greater resistance to impact.
Which Surfaces can Microcement be Applied to?
Microcement can be applied to almost any substrate: cement mortar, sand & cement or anhydrite screed, self-levelling screed, terrazzo, marble, tile, plasterboard and plaster, on both vertical and horizontal surfaces in interior and exterior spaces.
One of the benefits of microcement is its high adhesion. It is even possible to apply microcement directly over existing tiles, speeding up renovations and avoiding the debris of the original lining. Only apply microcement on firm tiles. Loose, drummy tiles will need to be removed and levelled.
Microcement should never be applied on natural wood or supports made of various sections which will expand and contract differently.
Mechanical Resistance to Abrasion and Wear
This resistance depends on both the type of microcement and the sealer. Topciment has two seamless floor coverings: Microdeck and Microstone. Both are coatings with larger aggregates than of Microfino, which makes them more resistant to compression and abrasion. Microfino, due to its lower strength, is used exclusively for wall covering.
Although the resistance of all Topciment sealers is the same, the higher the gloss, the more visible the marks of wear. Matt finishes do not reflect the light, or do so only minimally so surface scratches will be less visible
Like all cements, microcement takes 28 days to reach full hardness. Clients must be advised to take extra care to avoid dropping or dragging objects across the surface in the 1st month following an installation.
Chemical Resistance to Stains and Liquids
The chemical resistance will depend on the sealer used to protect the product. The sealer is the final layer, which is what gives the product protection and impermeability against stains. Topciment Topsealer has a high chemical resistance, confirmed by the various tests conducted:
oil, cola, red wine and similar, do not leave stains after cleaning.
Both vinegar or lemon juice leave slight marks on microcement. These acids affect the surface as they would on marble, but if cleaning is done quickly, there will be no stains.
Spots of hydrochloric acid, pure bleach, acetone and ammonia will mark after half an hour of exposure, but if it’s cleaned up quickly, no stains will remain.
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Sally Hotchin is an expert in concrete products and microcement. Sally works directly with customers, architects and designers to deliver amazing concrete solutions.