What Is Microcement (and Why Is It The Trending Flooring Materials)?

You will have come throughout the time period microcement when you’re sourcing for a flooring materials to your house. Or you could have seen houses with cement-screed like flooring however appears to be like considerably totally different for some motive you’ll be able to’t fairly put your finger on.

Design: Third Avenue Studio
Microcement flooring put in by MONJU

This floor materials has in latest months surged in reputation in its use in residential houses in Singapore, principally for flooring, primarily due to a better consciousness. Due to its excessive worth (extra on that later), it was extra typically employed in business areas. However for householders trying to have the cement screed look with out all of the fuss, microcement was the reply.

Picture courtesy of Aftertouch Works. Stairs utilized with microcement.

To reply your questions on this fashionable materials are microcement suppliers and applicators Ivan Gutierrez, co-owner of MONJU (@monjusurfaces), Justin James Lim Wei-Chern, director at CimentArt Microcement (@cimentart.sg) and Ahmad Basyir Bin Othman, founding father of Aftertouch Works (@aftertouchworks).

What’s microcement precisely?

Design: Spacedge Designs. Flooring utilized with microcement.

Microcement is a generic time period that refers to skinny floor finishes made with cementitious compounds, fillers and polymers. There are totally different formulations of microcement accessible that modify in keeping with their software, however most contain a primer or base, a end layer, and a safety layer.

Each microcement model has their very own mix of supplies that’s distinctive to them. Most applicators give you the selection of a floor that has bigger cement particles for a “coarser” look, or one which has finer particles for a extra glossy end. The tip result’s a resilient and seamless ground end that appears like cement screed, however with a number of variations.

What are the primary variations between microcement and cement screed?

Microcement was developed as a substitute for cement screed, which requires main set up works and is infamous for cracking, flaking and unpredictable aesthetics.

As a skinny topping (round 2 to 3mm thick), microcement can be utilized over an present ground that’s in want of refinishing, however is in any other case in good situation. By adjusting the formulation, the look may additionally method that of cement screed, with out main renovation works.

The place can microcement be utilized? Can or not it’s put in in moist areas like the lavatory?

Picture courtesy of CimentArt. Lavatory partitions utilized with microcement.

Most microcement programs may be put in over virtually any substrate. The one locations not really useful are over hardwood and parquet flooring as a result of these supplies can increase and contract, which causes the microcement floor to be unstable.

One of many most important benefits of microcement over typical cement screed is that it may be utilized in moist zones since it’s seamless. For further assurance, you’ll be able to go for CimentArt’s Aqua vary, which was formulated to be one hundred pc waterproof and developed for set up in moist areas particularly.

If you’re considering of utilizing microcement in moist areas, be sure to interact an skilled applicator as there are potential dangers.

Picture courtesy of Aftertouch Works. Lavatory partitions utilized with microcement.

Resulting from poor software, water could discover its approach by way of an adjoining end or by way of a joint (on the skirting/tiles/glass partition, and so on) and seep behind the microcement. The polyurethane prime coat traps this moisture, leading to a water stain in your floor.

One other difficulty that may come up due to poor software is discolouration. This may occur when standing water, presumably resulting from poor slope to a drain, is absorbed by an improperly utilized polyurethane prime coat.

Are there totally different colors and finishes to pick out from?

Design: Spire ID. Partitions and flooring utilized with microcement.

At CimentArt, you get to select from a variety of colors from their catalogue, together with shades of inexperienced, crimson and gray. They’re additionally in a position to match the color of your selection. Among the finishes embrace pure concrete, marble and an oxidised look.

For MONJU, they can customised their microcement surfaces to match any color code from Dulux, Nippon, Pantone, or perhaps a textile swatch for a cloth look.

At Aftertouch Works, you’ll  be capable to request for surfaces with a clean, mirror-like end to ones with tough, sand-like textures. You might be additionally in a position to customise any color, together with gradient, ombre tones.

How a lot does microcement price per sq. metre?

Design: Third Avenue Studio
Microcement flooring put in by MONJU

CimentArt Microcement fees round $180 per sq. metre for his or her conventional microcement, which incorporates provide and set up. Their waterproof microcement goes for $230 per sq. metre.

MONJU installs microcement in residences at $175 per sq. metre with a minimal cost of $10,000 earlier than GST. This consists of customized color and an 18-month guarantee in opposition to cracking and color fading. Additionally they provide a 5-year guarantee at $195 with a $12,000 minimal.

Based mostly on the above costs, you’ll be able to anticipate to pay round $15,750 – $16,200 for those who resolve to do microcement for all of your flooring in a 4-room BTO.

What does a typical set up appear like and the way lengthy does it normally take?

To minimise using polymers, which may make the end resilient but in addition are inclined to trigger streaks, MONJU applies two cementitious base coats over a fibreglass mesh. This layer works as a buffer to isolate microcracks within the substrate. That is adopted by two cementitious end coats and two coats of polyurethane. In all, eight layers are utilized on the charge of 1 layer per day.

Some poured microcement programs may be utilized as little as 4 days, whereas others can go as much as 10 days, relying on the scope.

How do you keep a microcement floor?

Picture courtesy of CimentArt. Partitions and flooring utilized with microcement.

As a result of microcement prime coats are both acrylic or polyurethane, a microcement floor is extremely immune to a variety of stains. Common upkeep consists of damp mopping with a gentle detergent with out the necessity for robust cleansing brokers i.e. no abrasives, no solvents and acids, and no oxidising brokers.

In residential settings, there isn’t a must re-seal it commonly because the polyurethane coating serves as a protecting layer for the microcement. Most microcement surfaces can final greater than 10 years and not using a must refresh the floor. If there’s a must re-coat due to excessive footfall, the highest coat (protecting polyurethane coat) is the one which will get a refresh. You possibly can go for a refresh when you see uninteresting spots from an angle, as that normally means the highest coat is worn out. The re-coat is a quick one-day job, however it is suggested to let it remedy for 2 days earlier than stepping on it.

 

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