Microcement application. Technical notes.
Microcement is a coating based on cement and liquid polymer that coats floors, walls, countertops, etc. Total microcement floor thickness is only about 2 mm, despite that it has very high abrasion resistance. It might be applied on cement grout, ceramic tiles, OSB boards, etc. It is an innovative product suitable for all kind of environments. It quickly covers joints and fissures and offers a stylish and practical solution to transforming large surfaces such as walls, floors, ceilings, kitchens, bathrooms, counters, showers, wet rooms and swimming pools. Keep on reading to learn more about microcement application.
How to prepare microcement mix?
Microcement is one of the simpler concrete systems to be made. It does not require any heavy equipment to be applied. All you need are oscillating grinders, eccentric grinders and polishing machines (so-called scrubbers) for floors. Vacuum cleaners and basic tools such as gauging, flat or Italian trowel etc. will also be needed. Microcement application is really easy.
Substrate preparation and priming
Never forget about proper substrate preparation and priming. It is crucial for maximum adhesion and performance of microcement. Most of the problems that may arise during later works and use of the floor originate in inappropriate substrate preparation.
The substrate should be even, firm, clean and free of moisture. Without cracks, plaster remnants, paints or other remnants from previous works. Please note that drain line slopes and level differences must be prepared prior to the application of the microcement. We remind you that the thickness of the microcement layer is only 2 mm and practically there is no way to use microcement to correct slopes of previous layers.
All cracks and joints can be fixed with epoxy resin and glass mat. In such case, apply fibre glass mat to the crack or joint on the floor and spread mixed epoxy resin onto it using a roller. Thanks to such treatment microcement floor can be laid without joints and with the guarantee that no cracks will appear on the surface.
The substrate should be primed with FESTGrunt. This product is used to improve adhesion of subsequent layers to the substrate. By proper priming we guarantee that liquid polymer from the microcement will not be sucked into the substrate and the entire system will have the correct adhesion.
While working with substrate made of ceramic or porcelain tiles or other smooth materials we recommend using FESTContact. This product additionally contains sand, which gives the surface roughness.
Priming should be done with a simple roller once or twice – depending on the absorbency of the substrate. Time between successive layers is about 2-3 hours – until the specimen sinks into the substrate.
Microcement – application
The polymer – cement decoration layer of the microcement consists of two components: white powder and liquid polymer. Combined they form an easy to apply flooring mixture. We recommend a ratio of 1: 2.5 (one part by weight of liquid polymer, 2.5 parts by weight of powder).
For precise measuring, all components should be weighted on electronic scale. When mixing ingredients do not forget about right amount of pigment to get the color you desire. To ensure good pigment mixing, we suggest to pour it directly into the liquid polymer and finally add to the powder.
When starting work, do not forget about right lighting so that all areas and recesses in the room are clearly visible and allow you to accurately distribute the ready to use
It’s worth emphasizing that temperatre of microcement application should be between 10oC and 28oC. Below this range the microcement will not properly bind and above this range workability of the mass will be very short, which may obstruct proper application.
Once everything is ready we can proceed to overlay. Prepare right amount of microcement to cover entire surface.
Spread the mass by trowel to a thickness not greater than 1 mm. Application should be made with fast movements in different directions depending on the expected effect. Start spreading the mixture from the farthest place at room and move systematically towards to exit.
Apply batches of material in one layer using “wet on wet” method.
After about 4 hours, when the material is completely tied and dry, sanding should be done with a sanding pad (60-80 grit) depending on the desired effect. Hard-to-reach areas (corners, walls, etc.) should be sanded with eccentric hand grinders. The surface should be vacuumed. Then you can proceed to the next layer application like the first one. Once the last coat has dried, sand it with a single disc floor grinder (sanding machine) with 80-grit sandpaper or more (depending on the desired effect). After the last coat, leave the floor for 12 hours to dry completely. After this time you can proceed to sealing.
Protection of microcement concrete floor – sealing
All concrete floors requires protection. Sealing with high quality product will increase durability of microcement floor and will facilitate daily care. PU Siegel by Dr Schutz and PU Fest 2K – the sealers used in FESTFLOOR Life system are extremely hard wearing, two part polyurethane-based super products. It consists of Component A (sealer) and Component B (hardener). Before mixing, both ingredients should be shaken. Then mix thoroughly for about 2 minutes at slow speed. Leave for 10 minutes and mix again.
The substrate prior to application should be dry and clean without dust or other contaminants. Use a high quality nylon roller to spread the varnish. After a minimum 2 hours when first layer has dried, apply the second one in the same way as the first one.
And that’s it. Floor can be used after 12 hours. Water resistance will be obtained after 7 days.
If you have any questions about microcement application and products used, please feel free to contact us, we will be more than happy to assist you.