When to install microcement in a bathroom

If you’re reading this, perhaps you’ve already decided that Microcement in your bathroom is the finish you’re going for, or maybe the idea has come about. You’re uncertain how this decision might affect the overall schedule.

Either way, we’re glad you’re here, and as you read through this post, your questions should be addressed.

Firstly, let’s look at the schedule:

When is the ideal time to install a microcement for a bathroom renovation?

Microcement installations in your bathroom should be scheduled towards the end of the project. After all, first fix the plumbing, electrical, and tile work, which is complete. 

Depending on your bathroom design, some items may need to be second fixed before micro cement installation. This consideration will need to be picked up by all parties involved so everyone knows what needs to happen and when.

Once the micro cement has been installed, you must avoid heavy objects sitting on the micro cement during the curing phase, which can be a few days to a week or more, depending on the material thickness and which brand is being used.

As an approved Forcrete installer, we recommend using this product range for surface certainty and reassurance.

Decorating can happen on either side of the micro cement installation; we prefer that it occurs before as typically it will only be a ceiling, maybe some woodwork or a small amount of wall that needs decorating.

This is easier to consider and protect than sheeting up whole bathrooms worth of microcement.

What must happen before microcement is installed, and what should I tell the builder?

The surfaces where micro cement is to be installed must be adequately prepared in your bathroom, which means fully dry, cured and solid substrates before the works commence; we’ll cover that in more detail below.

Before work commences, the space must be clean, clear, and free of dust and debris.

Floors should be screwed down, solid and have no movement in them.

If underfloor heating is being installed, it will need thoroughly testing and running through before any microcement work begins.

Falls in surfaces must be incorporated by the builder or plumber.

What substrates are permissible for micro cement installation on bathroom walls?

We only recommend two options here:

Cement board on surfaces for microcement installation.

Multi-finish plaster over moisture-resistant plasterboards.

Since micro cement is a decorative coating, it will typically have a finished thickness of 5- 7 mm, which needs to be factored into the design of your bathroom and tolerances for second fixing.

The joint lines must be tight, straight, and true if a cement board is used. Any shoddy work here can show through in the top coat.

Which substrates can micro cement on floors be installed over?

You can install micro cement over most common floor types; our preparation system will ensure a belt and braces approach for a successful installation.

Wet underfloor heating systems are commonly used underneath a micro cement floor. If this is the case with your project, the plumber must thoroughly test the system before work commences.

This will involve running the system through complete cycles and incrementing the temperature.

If the floor substrate is screed, it must be scorched and cured before microcement; we’ll always check moisture content before an installation.

Microcement should not be installed over any floor or substrate when moisture is still present, as it will cause further problems.

Should your existing floor have oils, chemicals or old stains on it, we advise attempting to remove them before installing microcement. However, we use a system that can neutralise and block these out.

Suppose we need to install micro cement over bathroom worktops, basins, bathtubs, shower niches or any other surface that is to be made from wood. In that case, we recommend that it is constructed from good quality plywood and then overboard with cement boards.

We don’t install Microcement over substrates or surfaces that we feel uncomfortable working with, as we cannot guarantee the workmanship.

What happens after the microcement installation in my bathroom?

Your applicator will clean down the space, protect any items that require shielding, and seal the micro cement bathroom with your choice of sealer.

The micro cement products we use are naturally water resistant, but adding a layer or two of sealant helps to safeguard the installation against general wear and tear, keeping your surfaces looking fantastic for many years. 

Sellers come in three options of finish, which will be agreed upon in advance; these are:

Matte sealer over microcement

Satin sealer over microcement

Gloss sealer over microcement

After installing the sealer on your microcement, it must be allowed to fully dry and cure before anyone enters the space.

This is incredibly important as footprints or hand marks will result in the installation needing to be recoated, adding further time and cost to the project.

We recommend leaving the space for 48 – 72 hours. 

Also worth noting is keeping dust down elsewhere in the project; you might have just had a lovely micro cement installation, but if the carpenter is working just outside the room, or the electrician drilling, coring holes, etc., the dust generated may embed itself into the partially dry sealant. 

The result is an effect that nobody wants, with the only solution being to sand and reseal.

Finishing touches will be a neat mastic bead to junctions or around where fixtures, fittings or furniture meet the microcement.

Protecting micro cement bathroom after installation

Once the micro cement project is complete and cured, it can be left ready to enjoy and use. However, if you must protect the surfaces from others who need to work there, you can defend them using Corex and low-tack tapes.

Be mindful of leaving the cortex on for too long if the product sweats and causes surface spotting or discolouration.

To discuss having micro cement installed as part of your bathroom renovation project, simply send us an email at hello@signature-walls.co.uk

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5-7 Kingston Hill
Surrey KT2 7PW