Microcement is becoming an increasingly popular floor and wall covering; it’s got a minimalistic feel that’s on trend right now. It involves adding several layers to get the final finished look. At MatrickCement, we supply microcement materials and equip installers with the knowledge of how to apply our systems for an effective installation.
If you’re planning on installing microcement for yourself or a client, it’s important that you know how. Follow our step-by-step guide below:
- Flexible steel trowel
- Medium pile rollers
- Mechanical mixer
- A self-levelling coat (possibly)
- Surface sealer
- Polymer modified mortar, M-flex
- Sanding discs
- Base cement
- Medium cement
- Pre sealer and PU Sealer
1) Prepare the floor.
Firstly, ensure that your floor is free from dust and debris. This can cause problems later by making the floor uneven and cause bubbles of air in the cement, so make sure the area you’re laying microcement on is clean.
2) Ensure your sub base is good
You need a good quality sub-base for a successful micro-cement installation, which evens and flattens the surface. Since the Matrickcement is only 2-3mm thick, the sub base needs to be flat and very smooth, as rough surfaces will cause small differences in depths. These small differences can cause dark burnishing marks on the low points of the polished surface, giving you less control over the final finish.
If the sub base is not in a great condition you should consider installing a self-levellercoat first, before installing the micorcement system.
3) Install the mesh.
Once you’re satisfied that the sub-base is sound, keep it free from oil, dust and other contaminants for the next layer. Treat the surface with SM1 surface sealer to adhere the Matrick mesh. The mesh will help to prevent cracking of the cement,. Once combined with the M-Flex This also helps waterproof the cement and protect it from damp, known as a damp proof membrane ( DPM).
4) Apply a polymer-modified mortar. (M-Flex)
Using mortar that is polymer modified adds toughness to the mixture but improves the workability compared to traditional mortar. Infill the mesh with the mixture by pouring small amounts directly onto the mesh. You can spread this using a flexible trowel. Typically, you’ll apply two coats, but the mesh must feel smooth. Don’t worry if you can see the mesh, as long as the surface is smooth to the touch.
5) Leave it to harden.
Once the two layers have been applied, it’s time for the curing process. Let it dry until it’s strong enough to walk on. This can take a day or two, but the process can be sped up by the use of heaters.
6) Polish and vacuum.
You can now polish the cement with 150-200 grit sandpaper, then vacuum afterwards. This will produce a shiny, smooth surface.
7) Apply base-coat and then two medium cement coats
Pour small amounts of the mix onto the surface and trowel. Again, this will need polishing once cured. Here at Matrick Cement, we recommend you apply two coats of medium cement and as before, polish once cured.
8) Apply a Polyurethane sealer (PU)
Finally, apply a pre-sealer followed by either a matt or satin PU to get your desired finished look. Make sure when applying you back roll for the best appearance.
If installing in a wet environment like a bathroom, we strongly advise you use a non-solvented PU rather than water based PU.
The finish is dependant on a number of factors, including the quality of the sub-base and the trowel; so don’t expect one installation to look identical to another.
Other Important Tips
- Beware old industrial surfaces containing bitumen, as you may get delamination in certain circumstances.
- Avoid wide sweeping the trowel across the surface or you will get a “wind screen wiper” effect.
- Don’t over trowel – this will weaken the surface, making it more vulnerable to damage.
- Beware wooden boarded floors as flexural movement in the sub base may cause cracking on the surface.
Looking to purchase microcement? We supply only the very best microcement systems.
If installed correctly, you wont have to deal with issues such as cracking, chatter marks, staining and colour differences. Our system has been developed after numerous trials and experimentation, with products handpicked from all over Europe. You can view our microtopping concrete systems here.