Everything You Didn't Know You Needed to Know about Microcement

It’s no secret that alternative wall finishes are all the rage these days. From the ancient technique of Limewash to Portola roman clay, a lot of homeowners and designers are looking beyond the traditional wallpaper and tile finishes of yore, and modern technology (in this case nanotechnology) is serving up new materials to meet our demand.

Enter microcement. Microcement is a composite cement-like material that is applied in a 2-3 mm layer and will adhere to pretty much any surface, leaving you with a concrete finish at a fraction of the original cost, yet doesn’t have you compromising on quality - it is guaranteed to never crack, degrade, or discolor.

Homeowners Luke and Shirley Dupont are in the midst of remodeling the primary bathroom in their Long Island home, Springy Banks. In creating their design, the couple chose to use microcement from floor to ceiling to capture that spa sensation in their space.

Homeowners Luke and Shirley Dupont designed their primary bathroom spa retreat with microcement as the foundation. This innovative wall and floor covering has long been popular in international markets but is only recently making inroads in the US. Image Credit: Beam

The result is an enviable modern bathroom retreat, including a deep Japanese soaking tub and multiple shower areas defined by minimalist glass panels.

But a high-end look isn’t the only benefit of waterproof microconcrete or traditional microcement. The material has hypoallergenic and hygienic properties, meaning a stain-free and clean surface environment. Note in the Springy Banks design that there are no grout lines or seams, so mold is less likely to grow. And last but least, the finish has some texture to it, so there is no need to worry about slips or falls, even when the floor is wet.

Microcement is only just gaining traction in the US market, though its potential has long been recognized internationally, in both Europe and Latin America. Companies like CimentArt USA are making the product available stateside, and we consider it one of the most versatile, exciting, and easy-to-use products we’ve seen in the design and construction industry in years – for many reasons.

Microcement and microconcrete are cement-based coatings that can be applied with relative ease to pretty much any stable surface: tile and stone, painted walls, wood, plasterboard, etc. Blended with pigments, you can also choose between an assortment of different shades and sheens, from Mango (a personal fav) to Ivory, from course texture to gloss finish.

a grid pallette of microcement color options
A small selection of the available microcement colors from CimentArt USA. Color selections are slightly more limited for waterproof microconcrete used in wet spaces such as a bathroom, but with plenty still to choose from. Image Credit: CimentArt USA

Floors, walls, ceilings, wet areas, outdoor patio, you name it – properly clean and prepare your surface, adhere a thin mesh to the area you will cover, and then apply your microcement mix and sealant in a series of coats. The end result is a highly durable concrete finish, at a fraction of the cost of pouring true concrete.

The cost of material to cover 40 sq. ft is roughly $500-600 – comparable to the cost of a mid-range tile. But you also will save a good deal on labor, given that you skip the cost of removing the existing floor or wall coverings in application - as well as the intricate work of tile installation.

So now that you know everything you didn't know you needed to know about microcement, where would you want to install this in your home? From your fireplace surround to your kitchen countertops, to your primary bathroom – not even the ceiling is the limit!

Getting your remodel started? Beam gives you one home to design, organize, and run your project. We’re in private beta, join the waitlist today!