We recently featured a staircase makeover with Cemcrete installed by Cherubinos in HL Jan/Feb 2016 and the result is truly outstanding. Not only does the cement colour and smooth texture update the space entirely but it also feels really good to walk on and makes the staircase more minimal and functional.
It's time we cleared up a few grey areas with regards to the actual product and application, so we've asked Nadine Prinsloo, Marketing Manager at Cemcrete to answer a few key questions:
Where can Cemcrete be applied?
Cemcrete offers a range of floor and wall finishes for all areas of your project, whether it is a renovation or new build. Entrance halls, garages, living areas, steps, bathrooms, patios, swimming pool surrounds and kitchens are all areas Cemcrete finishes can be used. Bathroom floors and walls can extend into the shower and even the bath and its surrounds creating a truly seamless look. We offer a slip-resistant sealer for areas prone to getting wet. We have specific products for outside areas, and the durability is great for entertainment areas. Kitchens are also great places to have Cemcrete finishes because it is easy to wipe up spills and traffic dirt. For a kitchen or bathroom renovation, instead of having a freestanding vanity or kitchen units, rather have built-in units that can be finished with a Cemcrete finish.
How durable is Cemcrete floors?
Cement is naturally an extremely durable product. It offers sheer strength which makes it the most crucial element on any construction site. Why, then, should you accept anything less for your floor? Cemcrete’s cement-based floor products offer the same durability and strength as the rest of your building therefore generating tremendous longevity. Many flooring options might be initially inexpensive in comparison to decorative cement-based flooring products, but cement will last much longer and eventually give you a better return on investment. Cement-based floors such as Cemcrete’s rarely need replacement especially if properly installed and maintained.
Can I install the products myself or do I need to ask an experienced installer?
Cement-based finishes take time to apply and as a result last a life time. The skills, equipment and the experience required makes applying a cement finish a specialist job and therefore needs to be applied by a trained independent contractor. What adds to the unique aspect of this product is that each hand has its own technique and character. You will seldom get an “identical” finish even from the exact same hand. Although the product may be the same, the movement of the trowel, the mixing ratio, the temperature of the day and the style of the contractor will all add to the individual flair of the final finish.
What is it made of and what makes it better than a normal cement floor?
Cemcrete’s finishes are made from a combination of cement, fibres, pigments and other additives to create the most durable cement-based floor finish once applied. Choosing a Cemcrete floor finish offers you a wide range of pre-mixed colour options, instead of just having a standard grey of cement. Cemcrete also offers a skim-on floor finish, CreteCote, which is extremely durable at only 1.5-2mm in thickness and ideal to use where there is no space for a normal cement floor. While Cemcrete’s Colour Hardener, a granolithic concrete material, is used in conjunction with a normal cement by strengthening and colouring a standard screed.
Do I clean with a specific product?
Once installed and finished off with the correct sealer, your new cement-based finish is very easy to clean and maintain. A good quality sealer is applied to help resist water, stains, dirt and abrasives. Cemcrete offers a CreteCare range of floor maintenance products, making caring for your cement floor that much easier. The range consists of three products: CreteCare Mop & Shine for daily cleaning when pure water isn’t enough; CreteCare Polish to protect the sealer (this will increase the time between re-sealing and may even eliminate the need to re-seal); and CreteCare Floor Polish Stripper for when the layers of polish become too thick or you would like your floors to look new again.
What guidelines can suggest to eliminate the floor from cracking?
Hairline cracking is normal, by nature cement is not flexible, so movement and temperatures causing expansion and contraction may cause fine hairline cracks. This is part of the natural element of a cement finish and adds to the unique look and feel.
However the correct preparation and application processes are vital to avoid bigger cracks from appearing. Also adding expansion joints, dividing your cement floor into big blocks, can help to allow for movement and could prevent larger cracks from appearing.
See the staircase makeover on page 144 of our Jan/Feb 2016 issue, on shelves next week.