How to apply micro concrete on old tiles step by step.

Micro concrete is the best decorative coating for renovating old tiles because it is a highly adherent material and, above all, because it allows tiles to be renovated and covered quickly and without building work.

This added value is not offered by all the coverings on the market and has boosted the use of smoothed micro concrete on bathroom and kitchen tiles. One of the most sought-after decorative solutions in recent years by both private individuals and professionals from decoration and construction companies.

In this article, we will discuss the main advantages of using micro concrete as a continuous coating to renovate tiles as well as the most important tips for successfully applying smoothed micro concrete on tiles.

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Spacious and bright bathroom with old tiles on the floor and shower tray.

Advantages of applying micro concrete on tiles

1. Micro concrete can be applied on existing tiles without building work

The main benefit of micro concrete is its excellent adhesion and compatibility with all types of materials, including tiles, which is the subject we are dealing with today. In this way, micro concrete is applied directly onto the tiles without the need to remove them.

This means that it is not necessary to carry out work to remove the tiles and, as there is no need to remove debris, no waste is generated, thus saving time and inconvenience, both for the owner of the home or premises and for the neighbours.

2. Micro concrete on tiles modernises rooms

Applying micro concrete on old tiles also modernises and quickly transforms spaces, completely changing the design of the rooms. Multiple finishes are possible thanks to the wide variety of micro concrete textures, varnishes and colours available.

3. Possibility of anti-slip and waterproof finishes of micro concrete on tiles

Some types of latest-generation micro concretes themselves provide anti-slip finishes that are very useful, especially when smoothed micro concrete is used to renovate bathroom floor tiles or kitchen floor tiles.

This is the case of some of the micro concretes that we manufacture at Topciment (products page), which guarantee continuous non-slip flooring where falls and slips have no place. Although we also have varnishes and sealantsthat have these properties.

Another advantage of applying micro concrete on old tiles is that waterproof finishes can be achieved. The bathroom, for example, is a room that constantly suffers from environmental humidity and, therefore, not just any decorative coating will do.

At Topciment we have designed specific varnishes with which to seal bathroom wall tiles or shower wall tiles coated with Micro concrete. Varnishes of the highest quality with which the smoothed micro concrete will perfectly resist environmental humidity and running water (not standing)

Micro concrete is perfect for coating bathroom and kitchen tiles

As you have seen, the advantages of applying micro concrete on tiles make this continuous coating ideal for covering bathroom and kitchen tiles. In addition to these qualities, smoothed micro concrete is easy to maintain and clean.

Below, we show you the before and after of some works in which micro concrete has been applied on old tiles.

Renovating old tiles with micro concrete: application and tips

To apply micro concrete on tiles it is essential to have a professional and qualified applicator who does a good job, such as the micro concrete installers who work with our micro concretes.

This is the only way you will not have to regret some of the most frequent problems that are the result of mistakes in the application of Micro concrete.

Before and after bathroom tiles with micro concrete Sahara coating.
The before and after of a bathroom in which the old tiles on the floor and shower tray have been renovated with Sahara coloured Micro concrete.
Kitchen front tiles coated with micro concrete in Kiwi colour
The before and after of a kitchen in which the front tiles have been coated with our Kiwi colour Micro concrete.

8 steps to apply micro concrete on tiles

1. Assessing the state of the tiles

The first thing to do before applying micro concrete directly on old tiles is to check the condition of the tiles. If the floor or wall tiles have any imperfections, they cannot be coated with micro concrete as if nothing had happened. The substrate will have to be repaired before laying our smoothed Micro concrete. This is why it is important that the renovation is carried out by a professional, because they will know how to locate these imperfections.

2. Cleaning the tiles before applying micro concrete

After repairing the tiles, where necessary, the tiles should be thoroughly cleaned before applying smoothed micro concrete so that they are free of grease and dust.

3. Filling tile joints with micro concrete

Once the wall or floor on which the tiles are located is clean, it is time to get down to work. The first step in the application of micro concrete on tiles is to fill the joints. Since smoothed micro concrete is a continuous coating, if the tile joints are not filled, the substrate will not be stable and there will be unevenness that will mark the joints.

4. Prime the tiles to be coated with micro concrete

When the surface is level and the tile joints perfectly filled, it is time to apply the corresponding primer or adhesion promoter. This is an essential product as it acts as a bridge between the tiles and the micro concrete, so that the latter adheres better.

At Topciment we have manufactured a wide range of promoter depending on the surface on which the micro concrete is applied. In this case, which involves tiles, our experts recommend using one of these two: Primapox®100 Barrier or Primacem Plus. We are going to develop both so that you know which one to use on each occasion.

Primapox®100 Barrier is our epoxy damp-proofing primer that blocks rising damp and acts as a vapour barrier. A 100% solids, two-component adhesion promoter that is perfect for shower wall tiles or bathroom floor tiles. An innovative product that also avoids the sticking of joints in Micro concrete.

On the other hand, you can also use Primacem Plus , our specific primer for non-absorbent surfaces such as tiles, which is applied in a single coat.

Bathroom wall tiles covered with micro concrete in Calabaza colour
The before and after of a bathroom in which our Calabaza coloured micro concrete has been used to cover the bathroom wall tiles.

5. Laying fibre mesh on the first layer of micro concrete on tiles

After allowing the relevant drying time (see technical data sheets), place the fibre mesh on the tiles before applying the micro concrete to protect the future coating and avoid fissures, cracks, etc. This is a step that not everyone takes into account and which later becomes a big headache.

Next, apply the first layer of micro concrete base (Microbase) without pigment on the tiles. Once the tiles are well covered by the micro concrete, without irregularities, sand the substrate.

6. Apply the second coat of micro concrete base on the tiles

Apply the second layer of micro concrete base (Microbase). This time it must be pigmented with the micro concrete colour chosen for coating the old tiles. In the same way as in the previous step, the surface should be sanded.

7. Apply two coats of Microdeck or Microfino micro concrete on tiles

After the base micro concrete, apply two coats of Microdeck micro concrete or two coats of Microfino on tiles. The former is usually used for floors and the latter for walls. Although combinations can be made depending on the tastes, preferences and finishes sought. Both coats will already be pigmented. Afterwards, sand.

8. Protecting and sealing the micro concrete on tiles

The last step is one of the most important. It is to protect the micro concrete coating on tiles. For this, we have all kinds of varnishes and sealants. However, on this occasion, we recommend using two coats of Presealer and another two coats of Topsealer WT One Coat.

Kitchen with wall and floor tiles coated with micro concrete in Piedra Paris colour.
Impressive renovation of a kitchen after using the micro concrete colour Piedra Paris Topciment on the floor and wall tiles.

Tips and recommendations for coating tiles with micro concrete

1. Respect drying times

When using a primer for non-absorbent surfaces such as Primacem PLUS, it is very important to respect the drying time when coating tiles with Micro concrete. If the instructions and drying times specified in the technical data sheets are not strictly followed, moisture will be trapped between coats and will therefore mark the tile joints.

With this advice you will avoid the most common failure when applying micro concrete on tiles. A possible error that is avoided by using Primapox®100 Barrier primer, for which it is not necessary to be so meticulous with the drying times due to its capacity to block capillary humidity.

2. Allow 24 hours to dry before applying the second layer of micro concrete

Another recommendation from the Topciment experts, also in the case of using Primacem PLUS, is to leave a 24-hour drying period between the first and second coat of micro concrete base.

A process that not everyone does as it is not mandatory, but with which the professional ensures that there is much less chance of marking the joints by a mistake in the application of micro concrete on tiles. With Primapox®100 Barrier it will be done with the normal system. That is, applying the second coat of Microbase immediately after the first.

3. Prime the tiles before applying the second coat of micro concrete

We also recommend that 24 hours after applying the first coat of micro concrete, which is more than enough time for it to have dried properly, the micro concrete covering the tiles should be re-primed with Primacem PLUS.

This advice is only for the most expert applicators and will help to even out the level of absorption of the next coats of micro concrete application on tiles. An equality that drastically reduces the visual marks of joints with different absorption points.

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