Last week I left you all hanging after day one of our mini kitchen update. I wanted to post an update on Friday but unfortunately, the whole week was a blur – we had people coming over for the weekend so we had to be finished by Friday, plus they had a beach handball tournament Saturday & Sunday… lots and lots of plans and commitments. Anyway, we were able to finish by Friday, but today I’m sharing what we did days 2&3 (so Tue&Wed). After prepping everything on Monday, Andoni gave the first coat of micro concrete on Tuesday morning all by himself since I wasn’t home that day.
Micro concrete comes in several components; the brand we used, EasyFloor, needs 3-4 layers of application plus 2-3 layers of the protective resin. You first apply a layer of base (coarse) micro concrete (and optionally a second layer of base micro concrete); then two more layers of the fine micro concrete, sanding in between. The last step is to apply 2-3 layers of resin, which seals the micro concrete and makes it waterproof. One of the biggest advantages of the micro concrete is that, since you apply it on site, you don’t have any seams at all. Of course, another plus is that you can update existing surfaces (e.g. old tiles) without any need of demo first. We’re actually thinking of applying it on the kitchen floor too, but this will be a project for another year.
The way you apply micro concrete is very similar to skim coating walls. The micro concrete comes in two components, the micro concrete powder and a liquid component. You mix both of them on a 3:1 ratio (for example, we used 2kg of base micro concrete and 0.667kg of the liquid component for our layer of base micro concrete), add the tint you’d like, and mix it all properly with the help of a . We had a bit of a hiccup adding the tint – we wanted a light/medium gray color, added about a tablespoon of the black tint, and the mix came out really really dark, almost completely black, so for the subsequent layers we added the tint with a syringe. Besides that hiccup, we learned that it’s very very hard to know exactly what color you’re going to end up with – when you add the tint in, the mix is wet and is a lot darker than what you’ll end up with (you’ll see what I mean in the pics down below). When you apply the micro concrete and it dries up, it gets a lot lighter than the original mix… and when you apply the resin it darkens again, but not as much as it originally was. So it’s very hard to figure out what color you’ll end up with unless they give you an exact formula, which they didn’t do.
But enough with the color and on with the actual application. It’s actually very easy: you apply a layer of base micro concrete (the coarse layer) with a big spatula, evening it out as you go, just as you would do if you were skim coating the walls, then let it dry for 2-3h minimum (depends on temperature and humidity) and sand it down. Once you’ve sanded it down, you’ll need to vacuum all the dust and run a wet rag through the whole surface so that it’s dust free and ready for the next coat. You can either apply a second coat of base micro concrete or move onto the fine coat. We only did one of the base and it turned out really well.
In our case, Andoni applied the base coat Tuesday morning (it took him about an hour or so), let it dry, and sanded it down and removed all the dust. Tuesday afternoon he installed the new faucet and sink. Why did we do it this way? We wanted the new sink to be flush/level with the countertop, since we couldn’t install an undermount sink, we thought this would be the best alternative. The edges of the new sink are about 1.5mm thick, so by installing it before applying the fine micro concrete layers, we thought we would get the countertop and the sink to about the same height (spoiler: we more or less succeeded in getting the look we wanted). With the first coat done, and the sink and faucet installed and covered up, we finished for the day and continued on Wednesday.
The next morning, we applied the first coat of fine micro concrete. You apply it the same way: mix the fine micro concrete (a dust component) with the liquid component they give you on a 3:1 ratio, add the tint, mix, apply with a large spatula evening it out as best as you can and applying a thin coat. We found it easier to use a semi-flexible silicone spatula instead of a more rigid metal one. In this case, we skimped on the tint too much, and as soon as it dried up it was almost white! Not what we wanted… you can still see the darker layer underneath, and it gives it an interesting effect that was a happy accident.
Again, once it was dry (2-3 hours) we sanded it down, this time with a fine sand, vacuumed, wiped it with a wet drag, and applied the third coat, adding a bit more tint this time. The third coat was the final one for us, so you want that you be as even as you can. You can still sand it down later though, so don’t worry too much. Plus when you apply the resin it fills most of the cracks you might have. We applied the third and last coat Wednesday around 3PM, which meant we had to wait 24h to apply the first coat of resin. We spent Wednesday afternoon cleaning up most of the kitchen, removing all the paper we had covered everything up with, etc. since the resin is applied with a roller and everything doesn’t need to be protected.
How are you liking the micro concrete so far? It gives the kitchen an industrial vibe, so it’s definitely not for everyone, but we really like it!
P.S. Easyfloor provided the materials for this project, but they didn’t otherwise compensate us nor pay us to write this post.