What type of flooring should I install in my home?

If you are thinking about doing some renovations at home, you may have considered the possibility of betting on one of the new options in flooring. We refer to new trends such as micro cement, polished cement, resin or linoleum, basically. The proposals that have turned upside down the pavement landscape, whose features and finishes have made them some of the most used options.

Micro-cement

On the one hand, micro-cement is a type of coating that can be applied both as flooring or coating, on walls or floors, has an approximate thickness of between 2-3 mm, does not need joints and does not crack by itself.

It adheres perfectly to any material and is ideal for creating seamless spaces, without joints.

Micro-cement floors have become one of the best options to design contemporary or industrial spaces. It can be applied directly on the existing floor so that the rubble and the time of the refurbishment are reduced. A perfect option for homes.

Polished concrete

Polished cement needs expansion joints, approximately every 4 or 5 meters away and is basically used as a surface treatment of hardened concrete slabs. It’s not recommended for homes located on high floors.

Polished cement is used especially in works of industrial characteristics in which there will be high loads for the pavement (industrial buildings, shopping centres, garages …), while micro-cement is used in domestic environments of all kinds thanks to its lightweight and great resistance.

Linoleum

Linoleum is made up of natural components that make it an ecological material. Its main component is linseed oil mixed with other materials such as ground stone or wood flour, among others.

There’s a great variety of designs for linoleum floors, finishes that imitate other types of materials, a very wide range of colours and different formats to combine with each other.

Epoxy resin

In contrast, epoxy resin floors are composed of a polymer that covers an existing floor or base, starting from a semi-liquid state that becomes a solid, hard and very resistant material when mixed with a catalyst agent.

Epoxy resin floors are self-leveled floors that can be easily placed on any type of original floor while linoleum floors should be installed on a prepared and well-leveled surface.

Although visually they can be very similar, there are also some differences in maintenance and cleaning issues that will help you decide on one or the other. Ask Topcret’s team if you need any kind of consultancy!

Micro-cement pools have become a trend

Talking about swimming pools is like entering a parallel universe, where the possibilities are practically endless. There are swimming pools for all tastes, of all sizes and budgets. And the trend that is becoming increasingly popular is micro-cement pools.

In the first place, it should be clarified that cement should not be confused (polished or not) with micro-cement. Both are different materials and the “polished” only refers to the type of finish.

Micro-cement is a coating between 2-3 mm thick, which due to its elasticity, seamless and strength can be applied on any surface. In the case of swimming pools, it can be applied to both a pre-existing pool and a new one. Its finish is continuous and waterproof and does not crack by itself. And the best: it’s a pretty fast and clean work to execute.

The micro-cement can be combined with natural pigments so that you can choose what look you want to give to your pool

And although there are limited colour options each pool ends up being unique, because finishes alternatives are vast: plain, coated, glossy, matt, etc. All this range of options allows you to escape from the “typical pool” to create something more personal that fits perfectly to the style that you like the most.

Micro-cement pools can not only be customized through colour and finish, but also through the shape

As the material is suitable for any surface you can create pools with the most whimsical shapes you can imagine, with rounded or straight edges, with fountains, waterfalls, spa area, etc.

In addition to its technical properties, the micro cement is so trendy because it allows it to be combined with any materials and integrates perfectly in any landscape, style and environment.

Another of the great virtues of micro-cement as a coating is the material allows because it has no joints and can be applied on large surfaces without seeing any type of division. This, added to the fact that you can choose the colour and finish, allows to integrate the pool into the environment, achieving a visual continuity and a feeling of incomparable relaxation.

If you want to discover more about our micro-cement solutions for pools, contact us and our team will be pleased to answer any doubt you may have, without commitment.

The influence of colour on architecture and interior design

It has long been recognized that colours connect with emotions in the brain and it has also been proven that the colours of our rooms can influence our mood and concentration. For all this we understand very important which one we should choose for our stays and here we want to explain some clues for it.

Green

How can you think green and not think about nature? Green means growth, the green colour stimulates feelings of harmony and peace.

A colour that is often used in hospitals, as it is associated with health and efficiency. Depending on the intensity of it and the light of the environment in which we use it, we can create very different effects. Bright greens improve vision and create a refreshing environment, while softer greens are more natural and produce a calming effect.

Yellow

The yellow colour represents the sun. Yellow makes us think about vitality, intellect and longevity. Yellow is all about energy. A trendy colour for studios and kitchens.

A very stimulating colour that improves the concentration and speed our metabolism. It is often used in schools as it keeps the brain “on”. In homes it is ideal for studios and kitchens, but not highly recommended for bedrooms. It is said that babies cry more in the yellow rooms.

Orange

The orange colour brings optimism and adds a welcome note for the entrances and corridors. A colour to stimulate conversation and the exchange of ideas. The orange colour can make a room look smaller, so if it is used excessively it can make a room become a claustrophobic and stressful space. It is not a suitable colour for bedrooms or studies, since we could find difficulties to sleep or concentrate.

However, it aids a good digestion and increases appetite, as well as brain involvement. Therefore, it is ideal for kitchens, play areas, living rooms and dining rooms.

Red

We will never use red as the main colour of our house, it is a colour full of passion and must be used with moderation, as a unique accent with which we will be able to dramatize any room.

It is also a stimulant of appetite, so it is interesting to splash red details in our dining room.

Violet

An artistic colour, linked to meditation, spiritual and ritual. In darker shades they are associated with passion. On the softer side, the lavender shades have a powerful sedative effect, you have to use them carefully if you do not want our living room or dining room to look sleepy. However, they are ideal for use in our bedrooms.

The darker shades of violet create fantastic dramatic effects, but they must be used sparingly or in the long run they can cause a depressive effect.

Blue

Blue is often associated with qualities such as calm, peace and introspection. It embodies the spirit and energy of water.

Although for many people it is their favorite colour, blue may seem a cold and unwelcoming tone. According to a study conducted by Pantone, the office workers complained that the office was very cold when it was painted blue, and yet when it was painted a peach colour, they felt it was warmer despite that the temperature had not changed.

The blue colour suppresses the appetite and stimulates thought, so it is bad for bedrooms and dining rooms, in their strongest tones. However, it is an excellent colour for studios and games rooms.

Take a look to our wide variety of microcement for colourful surfaces, including floors and walls. Microcemento is the micro-coating chosen by professional interior designers to provide quality and distinction.

Innovative materials that are turning interior design upside down

The interior design is increasingly in tune with the trends that promote sustainability, environmental impact and reuse. Specialists in architecture and interior are always looking for alternatives to create innovative spaces.

Interior design is a process that has to nourish ideas and concepts that contribute to recreate beautiful, efficient and pleasant environments. Therefore, it is necessary to have advanced materials, such as the ones that we will show you below.

Microcement

Microcement is a coating based on cement and quartz with a low thickness colour (1 to 2 mm). It has a soft and fine finish, which makes it ideal for modern and minimalist environments. It is suitable for different kinds of surfaces on all types of firm surfaces. It can be applied on floors, walls, stairs, furniture and others, both indoors and outdoors. It does not need joints, therefore, seamless can be achieved and can be combined with other materials such as wood, ceramics, etc.

One of the great advantages of micro concrete is that it can be applied on existing coatings such as ceramics, mosaics, marbles and tiles. It allows, in a very short time, to renew the surfaces without having to suffer the disorders, dirt, and cost of the traditional renorations.

See all technical info here

Stabilized moss

Coming from northern Europe, the Stellaris Cladonia species is a very special moss that can be used for acoustic interior panels that do not require maintenance, light or water. It has a variety of colours and can be used in various ways to incorporate elements of vegetation to any structure.

To achieve the desired effect, the moss undergoes a process of modification after its collection. The internal sap it contains is replaced by a biodegradable substance that is very similar to sugar. This allows the plants to stay fresh, look beautiful and do not require any care.

Bakelite

This material has been named this way, but it is superimposed sheets of Kraft paper that have been compressed by pressure and heat. During its manufacture, this product is injected with a phenolic resin to give it a compact nature. The result is an element with excellent mechanical and electrical properties.

These qualities allow it to have various applications within the interior architecture, such as panels, switchboards, insulating parts and much more. It is a material that has a thickness between 0.3 – 80 mm, a density of 1.3-1.4 g / cm3 and a resistance perpendicular to the tension of 300 M Pa.

Alucore

Out of the aerospace industry, this material represents two layers of fiberglass that cover a honeycomb structure made of aluminum. Among its characteristics we find lightness, rigidity, the ability to dampen vibrations, great environmental resistance, can be easily manipulated with common tools and is very versatile for architecture and design.

As an element to be used in interior design applications, it can be used in balconies, internal ceilings, roof coverings, façade cladding, portals, canopies and much more. It also includes an extensive range of metallic colours that can be customized depending on the work.

Tadelakt: A Millenary Technique of Morocco

Tadelakt is an ancient Moroccan technique handed down from generation to generation, which has fascinated interior designers from all over the world. Today in Topcret’s blog, we are going to show you what Tadelakt is and why it has become so popular.

The restoration in progress of many of the riads of Morocco has brought this ancient technique to become fashionable, not only in Morocco, but also in other parts of the world. Artisans from a lot of different places, mainly from the USA and Europe, have traveled from their countries to be trained by Tadelakt masters and are introducing some of the exotic decoration of Morocco in their own countries.

What is Tadelakt?

Tadelakt is a lime coating obtained from the Marrakech region. The amazing thing about Tadelakt is that many of the surfaces that were created centuries ago are still intact, and, in fact, are even more beautiful than when they were created.

Tadelakt in Morocco

Moroccan Tadelakt is considered one of the oldest and most refined plaster finishes in the world. It is a technique with a long history, from around 2,000 years old. The Tadelakt was initially used by the Berbers for the storage of drinking water, waterproofing their cisterns that they had underground.

Subsequently, it was used in a decorative way on exterior facades, in the manufacture of small drinking containers, in the construction of public restrooms, and finally, in the decoration of the walls of the private bathrooms of the wealthiest houses in Morocco.

The preparation and application of Tadelakt is a long and complicated process, and it has been transmitted from teacher to apprentice or from father to son, through many generations.

The word Tadelakt comes from the verb “dalaka”, which in Arabic means to rub, to caress, to massage or to flatten. In addition, Tadelakt is the Berber pronunciation of the name Dalk.

The perfect alternative to tiles for bathrooms

Tadelakt, as we have said, is increasingly popular all over the world. It is not strange however, due to the many properties it has. It is a natural and ecological product and also resistant to water, making it ideal for bathrooms.

In fact, interior designers that travelled to Morocco believe that Tadelakt is the ideal alternative to tiles in bathrooms. It is perfect for shower cabins, swimming pools, steam rooms and in general for any wet space. It is porous to the air but not to water, therefore, the walls can breathe.

And the precursor of microcement

Tadelakt is considered inside the industry such as the ‘precursor’ of the microcement. However, the fact that Tadelakt has never been such accessible as the microcement (or micro concrete) is today may be the sign that shows us that, thanks to Topcret microcement, a material based in the Tadelakt for many reasons, is an alternative that these days we can choose regardless of where we are.

Resin floors (or epoxy flooring): how and where to use them

Resin flooring is perfect to renew the floor of your home or office without getting into expensive installation costs, and that is, among other reasons, why they are being used more and more by both architects and interior designers nowadays.

In fact, and apart from its less expensive cost of installation, resin flooring is raising in popularity because it does not raise dust when it is used to give a renewed air to a floor and it is not needed to remove the existing pavement before being installed.

Changing the pavement is, in general, one of those changes that make us think twice before deciding to reform our home. That is why today, we are going to explain how to keep it simple with resin flooring.

Easy setting-up

Epoxy resin flooring is a kind of flooring formed by a thermosetting polymer that hardens when it is mixed with a catalyst agent. Because of that, this type of pavement offers a lot of durability, waterproof properties and earns resistance to abrasion.

Resin flooring is applicable on existing pavements

In addition, resin flooring is distinguished from other flooring alternatives because its thickness, which is so small that can be placed on existing pavement without removing it before, such as ceramic tile floors, terrazzo, wood or concrete. That advantage provides three main benefits:

  • You will avoid the cost of removing the initial flooring.
  • Its application will be much faster and more practical.
  • The cost of the reform will be lower.

It is suitable for outdoor

Resin flooring can be used in both indoor and outdoor spaces, and because of its high resistance it is suitable for kitchens and bathrooms as well. The resin layer is water resistant, so damp rooms are not a problem for this kind of flooring.

However, there are better alternatives

Resin flooring can look ‘artificial’ if we compare it to other alternatives that look more natural, such as microcement, an option that has far more benefits than resin flooring. The most important advantage of microcement, and a feature resin floors cannot offer, is that microcement is environmentally sustainable compared to resin flooring. If you would like to know more about the full list of benefits of microcement, you can find a lot of information about this material at this blog.

If you are interested in microcement, contact with us. We offer free counselling to our clients in order to make their ideas real. What are you waiting for?

4 Flooring ideas to change the soil without works

The new generation of reforms seeks to speed up the execution of works while avoiding the inconvenience of users. Changing the floor had until now been one of the most annoying works, but the new concepts allow to change the pavement as if they were one more element of the decoration, with immediacy and cleanliness to quickly adapt it to the new preferences of the user.

The new floors are now available in much more manageable formats, such as planks, tiles and rolls. They are fixed by using mechanical elements or easily removable adhesives, or they can be applied directly on the previous pavement without having to lift it thanks to its minimum thickness. In this way, the revolutionary idea of ​​a floor that can move as if it were a piece of furniture has ceased to be a futuristic chimera and is an affordable reality. Here are four flooring ideas to achieve it.

Floating parquet

The parquet floors are in the market in thicknesses between 9 and 16 mm. This includes the insulating plastic sheet that is placed between the floor and the pavement – hence the name floating. The assembly system is very fast and can be carried out in phases, but it forces the existing skirting board to be started and the lower part of the doors to be sanded.

Dry ceramics

The dry-laid ceramic floor consists of tiles on a plastic matrix that forms the base and the joints, which eliminates the need for adhesive material. It arose in principle for temporary installations or for pavements that require rapid commissioning, such as offices and commercial premises, but is perfectly applicable to homes.

Vinyl

Vinyl floors are an alternative to parquets and wood laminates. Vinyl is a resistant, hypoallergenic material with acoustic insulating properties. It is installed in a lamas, tiles or rolls usually. Its versatility allows it to imitate not only wood, but other materials such as stone, concrete or fabrics.

Microcement

The continuous cement coatings, also known as microcement or microconcrete, are ideal for a reform for its minimum thickness, which together with an exceptional adhesion allows its application on a wide variety of different supports: tile, marble, mosaic, concrete, revoke, and etcetera.

In addition to the floor can cover walls, countertops, bathtubs, sinks, swimming pools … Here, at Topcret, we are focused on microconcrete solutions for all kind of surfaces. It is a fine, versatile and elegant material that suits perfectly to all needs. Contact us to know more about our microcement products, microconcrete flooring ideas and solutions.

Which factors affect the price of micro-cement?

The application of Microcemento® is carried out through a handmade process with numerous layers and therefore the price per square meter varies significantly depending on:

The size of the job: Larger projects require fewer start-up costs reducing the price of Microcemento® per square meter.

The size of the panels: Larger panels with fewer corners and joints that require extra trowel work and preparation can also reduce the square meter costs.

-The type of sub-base on which our product is applied: if the base is irregular or susceptible to cracking, it will require a greater number of layers. On smoother and more rigid bases, Microcemento® will cost less.

-Floors verses walls: The application on floors is faster than on walls. Even though a fiberglass mesh is usually installed in floors, which is not usually applied in walls, the greater ease of distribution of the material on floors makes the price per square meter of Microcemento® slightly more economical.

We are an international company, fully specialized in the manufacture of micro-cement. This is a material that offers a characteristic and attractive appearance, due largely to the handmade installation and the effects that arise from it.

With our exclusive micro-coatings, we maintain an aesthetic excellence while we achieve an improved resistance to numerous agents, as well as greater flexibility, all of which have an impact on the durability of our seamless floors. In addition, when buying Microcemento® with us you will have the opportunity to choose between a wide range of colours and special finishes.

For image, durability and fast and convenient installation, Microcemento® is the best option to dress your floors. We offer remarkable advantages over any other type of aesthetic solution.

Please feel free to contact us to learn more about the solutions we offer; we will be pleased to study your project, your ideas and your needs carefully. Topret’s clients trust us not only because we provide the best quality, but also because we build strong communicative relationships with them.

What is Micro-cement?

Micro-cement, currently a global trending decorative material, is a micro-coating composed of  high-performance cement, mixed with polymers, ultra-fine aggregates, additives and natural colour pigments.

Topcret’s Microcemento® adheres to almost all surfaces. For this reason, it is commonly used to cover concrete, mortar, tile, plaster, cement, metal, stoneware, plasterboard or plastic, just to name a few materials. Its great finish, texture and versatility is why Microcemento® has become one of the preferred materials for interior designers.

In addition, because it is not necessary to remove the existing base material, there are considerable construction cost savings. The old material serves as a sub-base on which the Microcemento® is subsequently applied without problem, layer by layer until a thickness of between 2 and 3 mm is obtained.

What maintenance does Microcement® require?

This material is very easy to maintain, since it cannot be stained if the sealing and waterproofing process has been carried out correctly. However, it is necessary to perform periodic maintenance in order to guarantee greater durability and  better amortization of its aesthetic properties.

Simply cleaning the surface with water and neutral soap is enough, but if the Microcemento® is placed on the floor the key is to renew the protective layer of the material by applying self-polished waxes diluted in water.

What is the difference between micro-cement and polished concrete?

While Microcemento® is a thin coating (approximately 2 and 3 millimeters), polished concrete requires a thickness of between 5 and 7 centimeters. This means that the structural weight of Microcemento® is significantly lower than that of the polished concrete.

In addition, polished concrete requires expansion joints, a feature that Microcemento® does not share. Also, Microcemento® can be placed both vertically and horizontally without a problem.

Although the application of micro-cement started a little over a decade ago, in recent years its use has spread widely throughout the world. This is why we believe that Microcemento® is the best choice for those who need to do any kind of renovation work.

Chelsea Flower Show 2017

Topcret’s Microcemento® was chosen by renowned designer Manoj Malde to help him compose his garden showcase entitled “Beneath a Mexican Sky”. The Chelsea Flower Show, formally known as the Great Spring Show, is the world’s most prestigious flower show, regularly visited by Her Majesty The Queen.

Topcret’s contribution to this splendid and colourful garden showcase consists of a Microcemento®  covering for the entire submerged surface of the pool of water, demonstrating the product’s waterproof properties. Topcret has also covered the large steps that cross the pool, a task that initially seemed too challenging as the steps had to be strong enough to withstand foot traffic, but at the same time lightweight enough so that the structural steel wouldn’t have to be over-engineered. Topcret’s Microcemento®, one of the UK based company’s best selling products, proved as the perfect solution due to its unparalleled combination of strength and thinness, allowing for a durable and yet lightweight surface.

The show will take place at the Royal Hospital Chelsea from May 23rd to the 27th.