Microcement Bathrooms | Advice, Info & Everything You Need To Know
Did you visit your friend in the city and drool over their industrial loft decor? How did they get that concrete look in that tiny bathroom? It was probably an example of microcement.
Microcement bathrooms are trending across the globe as a designer option for achieving a rugged look without pouring thick slabs of concrete. Will microcement work for your bathroom renovation?
In this post, I’ll explain what microcement is, how it works, as well as its advantages and disadvantages. So after reading you’ll know if it’s the right choice for your new bathroom.
What Is Microcement?
Microcement is a combination of cement, polymers, and fine aggregate that creates a very thin and durable coating that looks much like polished concrete.
Not only can it be used as a flooring finish, but it can also be applied to walls, counters, shower enclosures, and bath surrounds. Its flexible construction enables it to adhere to a wide range of surfaces, improving its durability.
Microcement Colour And Texture
The finished product can be tinted to complement your design with colours ranging throughout the grey spectrum. Some brands can even colour match any RAL colour, should you so desire. Making it very popular with interior designers and architects.
You can also get a yellow, rust, or green tint. It is hand-trowelled, which means that the surface will have a unique texture. You can choose whether it will be smooth like glass, matte or rough to the touch.
A rough finish is great for shower enclosures or shower trays as an anti-slip surface.
Skip Demolition Day
More and more homeowners are opting to use microcement to give their bathroom a refresh without removing existing flooring, walls, or sanitaryware.
It can be applied over tiles, wood, and concrete. It is perfect for open shelving, window surrounds, and tub enclosures.
Schedule Enough Time for Installation
It takes up to a week to install your microcement surface regardless of the size of the project.
It is a multi-step process that begins with cleaning the substrate. If you are installing a floor, it must first be levelled. Next, two bonding layers are put down followed by two layers of the microcement. A third cement layer is added that includes tint and texture.
Finally, the surface must be sealed to maintain gloss, prevent staining, and improve its durability.
Once the microcement is laid, it needs up to a month to fully cure. While you can walk on it after just a few days, any impacts may create cracks. It should be the last item to be installed in your bathroom renovation to prevent other people from accidentally causing damage.
Add Microcement Where You Want It
Unlike polished concrete, microcement is very light. It can be used in upper floor bathrooms where you might hesitate to pour a heavy concrete slab. This also enables it to be applied to corners, in small spaces, and to almost any surface in the room.
There are no seams, joints or grout lines at the completion of the job. It is a popular choice for bathrooms with underfloor heating as the thin microcement warms up quickly.
Budgeting For Microcement
It can be hard to project pricing for this product as it requires fully trained craftsmen to create a flawless finish and extensive time to allow each layer to dry. It is best to request a quote from a certified microcement installer before planning your total budget.
Advantages Of Microcement Bathrooms
- Beautiful industrial aesthetics
- Lightweight for safe upper floor installation
- Can use it on walls, floors, and counters – great versatility!
- Every project will be unique and have its own characteristic charm
- Excellent non-slip surface for showers
- Works well with underfloor heating systems
- No demolition required
- Low Maintenance
Disadvantages Of Microcement Bathrooms
- Requires fully trained professional installation
- Needs up to a full week for proper installation
- Takes a full month to cure
- Pricing per square metre fluctuates depending on each job
- Demands regular sealing to maintain the finish and to prevent cracks
- As a trending finish, true durability is untested
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Microcement Bathrooms FAQs
Do you have questions regarding microcement? I’ve answered the most common questions in this quick FAQ.
How Much Does Microcement Cost?
Your cost for microcement will be hard to predict. The cost for the actual product can range from £20 to £120 per unit. When buying directly from your installer, the larger the job, the less you will pay for each bucket of cement.
Labour will vary from £80 to £150 per square metre. There is real craftsmanship involved in the application of this product, so you are paying for artistry along with manual labour.
When comparing the total cost to other types of flooring or tile, microcement may end up being less expensive if you take into consideration the lack of demolition costs.
Is Microcement Waterproof?
Yes, when properly installed and sealed, microcement will not absorb water. It can be used as an interior or exterior application. It is a great choice for showers, basins, and floors in wet rooms.
Does Microcement Crack?
The polymer in microcement gives it a certain amount of flexibility so it can resist chips and cracks. However, just like any surface including stone, it can crack.
The best way to avoid cracks is the professional installation of a level and compacted surface and allowing it to fully cure before putting the space into use.
Can You Lay Microcement Over Tiles?
Yes, one of the most desirable traits of microcement is that you don’t have to demolish your bathroom to install it.
The tiles must be clean and dry before a levelling compound is applied. Once that is done the microcement can be put down over the tile.
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Can You Use Microcement In A Shower?
Yes! Microcement is a perfect option to use in a shower. In fact, you can use it for your basin, bathtub or any bathroom furniture.
It will need to be properly sealed to protect it from any water damage. However, its unique texture can create a range of great anti-slip finishes. Perfect for wet rooms, shower enclosures or shower trays.
Is Microcement Slippery When Wet?
No. Microcement is not slippery. Depending on the composition you use and how you finish it, microcement can have a textured matte or a rougher finish. Giving it great anti-slip properties.
There you have it! Advice, info and everything you need to know about microcement bathrooms.
While it’s a relatively new product, its visual appeal and long list of applications are making it an increasingly popular trend for design professionals and homeowners alike.
What do you think? Will you go for a microcement finish in your new bathroom?
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Michael is a KBB designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom installations for over eight years now, and before that, he was an electrician and part of a KBB fitting team. He created The Bathroom Blueprint in early 2020.