Opinions on micro concrete: pros and cons of this coating.
Micro concrete is a coating that has become increasingly popular over the last few years in interior and exterior decoration. A coating that has become a real trend in the renovation of homes and businesses because of the advantages it offers.
A building material which application is only reserved for an experienced professional. Otherwise, mistakes can be made during installation that can lead to problems with Micro concrete. This is why there are all kinds of opinions about this covering.
In this article we are going to analyse the main pros and cons of this continuous coating, which offers a wide variety of decorative solutions, in order to clarify and resolve any doubts that may arise about it.
Pros of micro concrete
The pros of micro concrete have captivated construction companies and design and decoration professionals such as architects, interior designers and decorators. These advantages have led to more and more people opting for this coating in the renovation of all types of homes and businesses.
Micro concrete is a very versatile covering with a wide range of decorative options. We can find micro concrete floors in hotels, restaurants or offices; kitchen or bathroom walls coated with micro concrete; all kinds of furniture and micro concrete swimming pools; terraces...
These are the eight main pros that have made micro concrete one of the preferred materials by experts for interior and exterior decoration.
1. No building work or debris with micro concrete
One of the most important pros of Micro concrete. As it is a continuous coating without expansion joints, there is no need to use machinery. Micro concrete is applied on top of the surface material to be renovated, whether it is a floor, wall, ceiling, swimming pool or furniture. No building work is required and, therefore, no rubble is generated. Not to mention the feeling of spaciousness it brings to any room.
2. Excellent adhesion of micro concrete
In relation to the previous advantage, it is worth highlighting the excellent adhesion of micro concrete as it is a super flexible material. A factor that speaks very well of this coating as it can be applied on a wide variety of materials: tiles, ceramics, tiles, cement, plasterboard, plaster, marble, concrete...
3. Micro concrete is suitable for interiors and exteriors
Micro concrete is an ideal coating for interiors and exteriors. But you have to know which type to use (bicomponent, monocomponent or ready-to-use) for each occasion.
At Topciment we have designed five different micro concrete systems with various granulometries, each one depending on the surface to be coated, the finish to be achieved and the resistance that each one offers.
4. The thickness of the micro concrete does not affect the structural load
One of the most notable particularities of micro concrete is its minimal thickness, between 2 and 3 millimetres. This advantage means that whatever the material on which the smoothed micro concrete coating is to be applied, it will not affect the structural load of the building in question.
5. Micro concrete is very durable and resistant
Unlike other coatings, micro concrete stands out as a very durable material that does not crack. Its properties are not lost with the passage of time, but it continues to be a coating that is highly resistant to traffic, knocks, scratches and sunlight, among many others.
6. Multiple finishes and colours with micro concrete
The textures that can be achieved with micro concrete are unique. Multiple finishes depending on the application, the pigment chosen and, above all, the sealer used.
At Topciment we have a wide variety of varnishes, depending on the finish you want to give the surface coated with smoothed micro concrete: gloss finish, matte, super matte, satin and even non-slip and waterproof.
The customisation of this coating is unlimited thanks to the wide palette of Topciment micro concrete colours. Pigments that give surfaces their own personality.
7. Waterproof and anti-slip micro concrete
One of the spaces where the use of micro concrete is most widespread is in bathrooms. This has happened because this coating can offer a waterproof finish if a sealant is used that gives it this capacity. At Topciment we have Topsealer Pro +, a polyurethane varnish that automatically makes smoothed micro concrete waterproof. This is why it is very common to find shower trays lined with micro concrete, basins, sinks and bathtubs as well as walls and floors.
But there is more. Surfaces coated with micro concrete can also be given an anti-slip finish with our Topsealer WT Anti Slip water-based coating- no more slipping!
8. Underfloor heating in micro concrete
The last but not least advantage of micro concrete is its good thermal conductivity. An advantage thanks to which smoothed micro concrete is perfectly compatible with underfloor heating. In fact, it is one of the best building materials for underfloor heating. In the following article you will find out why and what is the protocol for installing the flooring.
Advantages and disadvantages of micro concrete
It should be noted that if a quality material is used and the application is carried out by a professional, micro concrete will not have any drawbacks. The appearance of fissures, cracks, marks and stains, the problems that most concern the smoothed micro concrete, are mainly due to failures in fundamental steps in the application of micro concrete or to the poor state of the substrate that serves as the base for the new coating.
Making mistakes in micro concrete application
The application of micro concrete has very specific steps. Altering the order or making mistakes in the process, especially in priming and sealing, will automatically lead to an undesirable result. Therefore, we insist that the installation of smoothed micro concrete must be carried out by a professional applicator. We describe below the most frequent mistakes when applying Micro concrete.
1. Applying micro concrete at too low or too high a temperature.
The ideal ambient temperature for applying micro concrete is between 15ºC and 25ºC. If the coating is installed at a temperature below 15ºC or above 25ºC, problems may arise.
If the temperature is too low, a factor that occurs in the winter season, the surface covered with micro concrete may take a long time to harden properly. On the other hand, if the temperature is too high, the micro cement will harden too quickly.
2. Mixing the micro concrete pigment incorrectly
Pigmenting micro concrete properly is key. If the instructions are not followed carefully, there may be an excess of clusters causing dark streaks on the micro concrete coating surface.
To obtain the wide variety of micro concrete colours in the Topciment catalogue, the dosage indicated on each label must be respected for both the quantity and type of micro concrete used.
The pigment should also be shaken vigorously until a homogeneous liquid without irregularities is obtained. Then pour a little of the mixing liquid into a container, add all the pigment and mix thoroughly. Then add little by little the micro concrete and the rest of the mixing liquid in the same container until the viscosity required for each application and a homogeneous micro concrete colour is achieved.
3. Not respecting the steps when installing micro concrete
The application of micro concrete requires certain steps that must be followed to the letter. Not following them can be fatal for the final finish.
The installation of micro concrete on floors or walls, for example, is not the same. The type of smoothed micro concrete to be applied varies. Similarly, failure to condition and level the existing substrate to be coated can cause major problems in the future.
Neither can you make mistakes in the priming of the substrate or in the sealing of the substrate. On this page , you will find everything you need to know to avoid making mistakes when applying Micro concrete.
Incorrect repair of micro concrete surfaces
When it is necessary to repair the micro concrete due to any of the previously described errors or, by using a poor quality material, chipping has been caused by knocks, it must be repaired correctly.
As it is a continuous pavement, without joints, in order to repair smoothed micro concrete correctly, it must be repaired in large areas so that the contrast is not too noticeable and the final finish ends up being a disaster.
Cracks and fissures in micro concrete
If micro concrete is such a resistant and hard coating, why are there cases in which surfaces coated with smoothed micro concrete crack and appear? Mainly for three reasons, which are explained below.
1. Poor quality micro concrete cracks
Although it is obvious, it is important to point out that not all micro concretes guarantee no cracking, only high-performance ones do. The lower the quality of the coating, the more likely it is to crack over time. That is why it is very important not to skimp on the quality of the smoothed Micro concrete.
At Topciment we guarantee the professional that our micro concretes will not crack thanks to their excellent performance and resistance.
2. Micro concrete cracks due to filling expansion joints
As mentioned above, smoothed micro concrete does not need expansion joints as it is a continuous coating. However, it is necessary to be very careful about the substrate on which it is applied, as although it is compatible with many materials, it is necessary to take into consideration those that have expansion joints, such as a concrete floor.
If micro concrete is laid on a surface with expansion joints, it is very important that they are respected and not filled. If this is done, the "micro-concretes" could crack.
3. Micro-cement cracks due to poor substrate conditions
In relation to the previous condition, if the substrate on which the micro concrete is to be installed is not in good condition, it will have to be repaired. If the substrate is not in good condition, it will end up cracking due to the poor condition of the existing substrate, which acts as a base for the smoothed Micro concrete.
4. Cracks and fissures micro concrete on parquet flooring
Parquet and micro concrete do not get along well, because parquet is a material that is subject to variations depending on environmental conditions such as humidity. Humidity causes the parquet to expand and contract, so if micro concrete is applied on top of it, it will end up cracking.
In addition, as parquet is an unstable surface with a large number of mobile joints, the fibreglass mesh that is applied before the micro concrete base can break and, as a result, cracks may appear.
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