Microcement wall – DIY
In a certain period of life, usually somewhere around 30s, we make the decision to buy our own flat. When the most difficult formalities are completed, the mortgage is granted, the own contribution required paid in, and the keys handed in, we face an even more difficult task to finish and refurbish the flat.
My foreign friends are surprised that in Poland still the majority of people buy shell and core (or base built) apartments that comprise the structure, its cladding, its base plant, completed common areas and external works while a range of other construction and fit out works are left to be completed by the tenant before the building is occupied. Polish people finish the apartment on their own, while in other countries people get an apartment ready to move in. Well, the truth is that there are not many people who can afford to move into a turnkey apartment, and on the other hand, we start to pay more attention to interior design, decorations, quality of materials, etc. Not always what a real estate developer or other companies offer meet our expectations. So how to finish and decorate a flat in a stylish way without being (yet) millionaires?
First of all, everything should be well planned. Excel budget is the key! List all the costs of materials and equipment, look for cheaper options in online price comparison engines, send queries to a few professionals, collect photos with inspiration for finishing individual rooms. After an initial analysis of the budget, decide which works you can do yourself and which you will entrust to professionals. The decision will depend on the resources of time and money at your disposal. Do you really have to pay an electrician 10 EUR for hanging one lamp? Or maybe become a hero in your own home and do it yourself? 😊
And what if you dream about designer microcement wall, and professionals demand a four-digit amount for it? Read our tips on how to do it yourself!
1. Get equipment and materials to apply microcement
Equipment and materials for making a microcement wall can be easily assembled in a DIY store and construction equipment rental company.
We’ll need the following items:
- smooth trowel (about 7 GBP / 7,8 EUR, e.g. this one)
- Bucket trowel for applying material to the trowel (about 4 GBP / 4,5 EUR, e.g. this one)
- single disc floor grinder (sanding machine) for wall grinding and an eccentric hand grinder for grinding hard-to-reach areas like corners (rental at a rental of construction equipment, approx. 15 GBP / 16,8 EUR per day)
- 80 – 120 abrasive grinding discs (usually always available when borrowing a grinder)
- drills with a mixing paddle (rental at the rental of construction equipment about 10 GBP / 11,2 EUR per day)
- masking tape to protect the ceiling and other walls (about 6 GBP / 6,7 EUR, e.g. here)
- painting masking foil to secure the floor, etc. (about 2 GBP / 2,25 EUR, eg. this one – do not buy the thinnest ones, because they will immediately take off)
- duster to remove dust after grinding
- gloves, eg. disposable gloves (about 3 GBP / 3,37 EUR for 100 pairs)
- nylon painting roller with a handle (approx. 4 GBP / 4,45 EUR, e.g. this one)
- dust mask (about 5 GBP / 5,6 EUR e.g. this one)
- safety googles (about 1,5 GBP / 1,12 EUR, e.g. this ones)
- FestWall 15 m2 kit – 140 EUR / 157,7 GBP (available in our store: here)
How much, then, will it cost us to make a microcement wall (15 m2)?
251,7 GBP / 244 EUR and 10 hours of work for two people.
2. Find a helper
A friend, spouse, father, uncle, brother-in-law, neighbour… there will be people who will be happy to help you. Working in a team is much faster and funnier. In addition, we advise against working alone, because the microcement should be applied quickly and efficiently – wet to wet. To obtain a uniform and aesthetic effect, we can not wait too long with the application of subsequent parts of the material, otherwise you will see the cut in places where the previously applied material has dried too much.
3. Remember about health and safety rules and protective clothing
The microcement is a safe material, but it is worth remembering the basic principles of health and safety. First of all, work outfit – it can be the cheapest working overalls from the DIY store or an old tracksuit and shoes. Remember that dried microcement stains could not be removed. You will also need gloves – we recommend disposable gloves because they are really easy to use – and for grinding a dust masks and safety goggles. It is important to open the window when grinding, if possible, and do not inhale the dust. The same during sealing – the characteristic smell of the polymer can cause to more sensitive people headaches (as paints and solvents do), so it is worth taking care of the inflow of fresh air.
4. Take care of good lighting
It’s best to start the work early in the morning to make the most of the natural light. If work is prolonged after dark, artificial lighting will be required. For example, workshop lamps, ring (photographic) lamps are very good, but you can use any lamps that you have at home.
5. Get acquainted with the application technique
First of all, read the technical sheet of the product. From it you will learn how to prepare the surface of the wall, how to mix the ingredients and how to apply them, how to grind and varnish.