When we bought our apartment we didn’t have any plans on doing any kind of renovation in the bathroom, at least for the first year.
Well, we just couldn’t resist it!
The more I lived in the apartment, the more I wanted to make changes in the bathroom. There was nothing broken but, mostly, it was uncomfortable.
The layout in the bathroom is a bit unique, so I wanted to do something that would turn this really small bathroom into a comfortable cozy space.
I decided the layout and planned to buy a new sink, shelves, mirror… and everything was ready to order. But, there was something missing… too many tiles made it very busy – I knew what we needed was microcement!
A new project.
I researched on how to apply microcement over tiled walls and I thought that it seemed quite simple, although very tedious.
The main problem with it was the time. For every layer you apply, you need to wait 12 hours to proceed to the next step, so it becomes a one week project.
But we were decided to do it because it made no sense to change everything but leave the tiles untouched. We knew it was worth it! So we went to Dekorhuset and bought everything we needed to do the job.
I chose a standard warm grey 40% pigment, which I thought was similar to the grout on the tiles and was not too dark, since the bathroom is very small.
The first thing we did was to dismantle everything we were going to change; sink, cabinet, mirror, hangers… and to do that we called our plumber. He also told us we could not use the shower until we were done...UPS.
Luckily, we live very close to one of my colleagues and she offered us to shower at her place anytime during the process! I don’t think I could’ve survived not showering for a week…not to mention going to work all smelly and full of concrete lol.
Next step was to prepare the walls. I cleaned the tiles with a wet cloth and let the surface dry before I started.
First: Net + Primer
I must say that this is the way they told me to do it in Dekorhuset, so depending on where you buy the products you might do it differently.
The purpose is to flatten the surface because the tiles have a grout between them and therefore we need to eliminate those gaps on the wall. The first thing we need to do it to place the net and apply the primer on top with the help of a roll brush. The primer is like a glue, and will stick the net over the tiles to create a surface where the concrete can get attached to.
The Ready Mix comes in a big bucket (covers up to 5m2, you can also get the 10m2) and the only thing you do is stir the mix with a whisk and apply it with a steel tray on the surface.
It’s important to pull the mass very well into the grid to fill out every space in it. This layer is supposed to be just for that, very thin!
The first coat should dry for around 12 hours and make sure it’s completely dry before sanding. You can sand by hand with sandpaper or with an electric sanding machine, but grain size should be 80-120.
After this we just cleaned and started applying the second layer! You can do more than two layers if it’s needed. We ended up doing a third one because we saw a few areas that weren’t perfect yet.
After that we were happy with the result and we moved on to the next step: Microcement!
So this is the step where you finally get to see the final tone of the surface.
This time you mix the pigment well into the ready-mixed microcement with an electric whisk. The dry pigment must be previously mixed well in hot water before it is added to the mortar (they did this in Dekorhuset, so didn’t need to do it myself).
It’s also important to check that the colour is correct before you start applying the first coat.
Now you just apply the mix again in a very thin layer with the help of a steel tray. Here you start applying it while drawing a curved pattern.
We now repeat the process: The first layer of microcement should dry for 12 hours and be completely dry before sanding. Then we sand with sandpaper, either by hand or with an electric. The grain size should
be of a finer type and adapted as you use fine or medium grain cement!! I think we used 120-240 grain. NOTE: Avoid sanding too hard or for too long, since this can uneven the surface and create unwanted shadows or become too polished.
After this you just repeat the same process for the second layer and…it’s ready for the final step!
For the final step you need to make sure the surface is very clean.
Then you need to impregnate the surface in order to make it completely washable (and avoid water to destroy your masterpiece).
First we add a layer of pore filler, also called primer before varnish. This can either be applied with a sponge in circular motions or with a roller. I chose to use a very thin roller, because our bathroom has some hard-to-reach areas behind the pipes.
NOTE: It’s recommended to start at the bottom and work your way up to avoid gutter marks.
When the primer has dried, then we need to apply polyurethane varnish. This varnish can also be applied with a roll and you can use any varnish suitable for wet areas.
AND C’EST FINI!
If you want to try it yourself I would recommend to always ask your supplier beforehand. The application method may vary from different product suppliers.
Before and after
The new layout offers way more storage space. Also, the mirror over the sink is bigger. I actually struggled a lot with this because I am short and I needed the mirror to be bigger and lower than the previous one.
There’s now also a custom made mirror over the cistern, to make the space look bigger once you enter.
I would also recommend never to place the mirror too close to the sink, since water splashes and it’s very tedious to have to clean it every time!
I used the toilet cistern height to determine how high the microcement would be. I also aligned the mirror and floating shelves to it, so everything looks neat and tidy.
What do you think about our bathroom project? 🙂
If you want to check out our full apartment renovation story, click on these: