Microcement for bathrooms, showers, floors, and feature walls in Ottawa

In this section, we will discuss the following common questions when it comes to microcement:

  • What is microcement?
  • How is microcement applied?
  • Is microcement waterproof?
  • How much does microcement cost?
  • Can I put microcement in the bathroom?
  • Can microcement be applied to floors?
  • Should I use microcement or Venetian plaster?

Let’s hop in.

What is microcement?

Microcement is a decorative lime/cement plaster-like finish that is gaining popularity in Ottawa but is already very popular and established in other countries and cities around the world. The final finish can vary between smooth stone wall designs and rough industrial cement feature walls and ceilings. Microcement can also be applied on floors, furniture, ceilings, and showers.

How is microcement applied?

Microcement is applied by a specialty trowel. Not every application requires the same process, but generally speaking, the application goes like this:

  • Prep the area by patching, taping, and sealing the surface with primer sealer.
  • Apply specialty microcement primer.
  • Apply 2-3 coats of microcement.
  • Sand the final finish (optional).
  • Apply multiple coats of specialty sealer (optional).
  • Allow the final finish to cure.

The above is a simplified process of how microcement is applied. Depending on the surface and final look, microcement can have between 2-5 layers. Sometimes you have to include a mesh between the layers to prevent cracking. We will discuss the details of the layers in the following sections.

Is microcement waterproof?

Yes, it can be.

Microcement on its own is very durable and water-resistant, so it is not always necessary to apply a waterproof sealer or the Schluter system. However, if you do need to waterproof your microcement finish, you will always need to apply a waterproof sealer, and sometimes you will require preparing the area with a Schluter system.

Microcement showers require a waterproof membrane like a Schluter board system installed in the shower area before you apply the microcement. The Schluter board system includes specialty mortar and pliable waterproof sheets that are installed over cement board or moisture-resistant drywall. After applying the microcement over the Schluter systems, a sealer coat is still required.

Microcement bathroom walls and wet areas like backsplashes require a specialty waterproof sealer on the final application. The sealer comes in different sheens like matte, satin, and glossy.

How much does microcement cost?

The square foot price for projects above 500 sq ft ranges between $20-$35/sq ft. The reason there is a large range is that some surfaces require more preparation work, more layers, and more details.

The low-end $20/sq ft cost is for large areas like floors or big walls that are unobstructed by corners or height restrictions like tall walls that require scaffolding.

The $35/sq ft cost is for areas like showers that require multiple layers or ceilings, which are harder to apply.

For projects that are under 500 sq ft, the cost ranges between fixed prices of $4000-$8000 (maybe less for small walls). The reason we charge fixed prices for projects in Ottawa that are under 500 sq ft is that each project requires a minimum setup time and service fee to be feasible.

Each microcement project has variables such as surfaces, design, durability, setup, preparation required, and location. We do our best to work within our client’s budget and offer alternative solutions that can be more cost-effective or a better solution.

The prices listed above are our pricing model. Other companies can have different rates. Our rates are reflective of the quality workmanship we provide.

Can I put microcement over tiles?

Yes. Microcement can be placed directly over tiles using specialty mesh sheets in between the first coat and second coat of microcement. You can apply microcement over floor tiles and shower tiles, which can save you in renovation costs and debris.

Microcement can be a cost-effective way to modernize showers and floors with minimal demolition required. Instead of demolishing your walls and floors, you can apply a modern smooth or rough cement finish customized in any color.

Can microcement be applied to floors?

Yes. Microcement floors are durable and modern. It can also be cost-effective if you apply the microcement over existing tiles rather than demolishing the old tiles and reinstalling new flooring. Again, you might have to add a mesh between the first and second coats to prevent cracking.

Microcement floors also provide different options when it comes to design, color, and sheens. For example, you can create a rough-textured design with a matte sheen or a smooth texture with a glossy sheen. If you choose a rough-textured design, you will have to apply the sealer coat with a thick roller to ensure the sealer gets in between the textures.

The options are limitless when it comes to applying microcement on floors in your Ottawa project.

Examples of microcement floors:

  • Over existing tiles in the front entrance
  • Over bathroom floor tiles
  • Over old unpolished cement floors
  • On exterior walkways and patios

Should I use Microcement or Venetian Plaster?

One of the most popular questions we get is “what’s the difference between microcement and Venetian plaster?” or “should I use microcement or Venetian plaster?”. We discuss the differences between microcement vs. Venetian plaster in this article. Choosing between the two depends on the functions and design you are going for.

Microcement is simple, modern, durable, hard when it dries, and waterproof. You can’t add as much detail in microcement as Venetian plaster because microcement dries much faster and primarily only comes in one grain size.

Venetian plaster is natural, simple, complicated, detailed, sometimes durable, water-resistant, etc. Venetian plaster dries slower than microcement, which allows you more time to design or “draw” with the plaster. And since Venetian plaster comes in different grain sizes, you can add more depth/details in the design because of the different textures.

Both Venetian plaster and microcement can be simple and modern. The real question is, do you want to have more details and customization (Venetian plaster) or more durability (microcement)?

If you need help designing your space and selecting the best finish, book a design session with us.

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