concrete look resin1 - Concrete Look Resin Flooring or MicroCement?

Concrete Look Resin Flooring
VS
Microcement

Are you looking for a contemporary polished concrete effect for your floor and not sure sure which option will offer the comfort you need?

Our specialists have put together the features for both resin flooring and micro cement to allow you choose the right seamless flooring for your home.

Here, at 3D Royal Floors, we have been asked many times by our clients what floor should they go for - a resin floor or a polished concrete floor? Therefore our flooring specialists have tried to offer more details about similarities and the differences between the two seamless flooring finishes.

Polished Concrete/Microcement

Micro Cement - Concrete Look Resin Flooring or MicroCement?

Concrete Look Resin Flooring

IMG 3633 - Concrete Look Resin Flooring or MicroCement?


Seamless

Both, the resin flooring and the microcement floor finishes are seamless, with absolutely no joints, no thresholds or any other unevenness on the surface. This gives the floor an impervious smooth finish, completely waterproof, mould and dust free. The seamless floor finishes are considered very hygienic and easy to keep clean.


Trend - Contemporary Industrial Look

Since 2013 the polished concrete floor became one of the most appreciated floors between the UK designers and architects. People are mostly attracted by the authentic and very stylish look of the concrete effect. The good news is that this same effect can be achieved when using a special application technique for poured polyurethane and epoxy resins. So, if you are looking to have a trendy industrial looking floor, both flooring systems are suitable for your project and you should consider other features when choosing the floor finish.


Diversity of Colours/Choice of Finishes

The polished industrial effect is a result of grinding, polishing and working out the raw concrete. The variety of colours is much more limited than the resin floors. You can have a classic grey colour, a polished stone colour or you can choose to have some additional coloured quartz integrated. Generally there are up to twenty colours to choose from. You can also have special effects; everything depends on the skills of the installer and your preference.

Both systems can be installed in a gloss, satin or matt finishes.

The urethane resin floors offer a wider variety of colours. Theoretically you can combine any RAL colours to achieve a polished effect. The choice of designs is endless. This offers you the opportunity to create bespoke personalised floors in your house. You also can create special effects on the floor by adding different colours and sizes of flakes which are strewn into the wet resin. 3D Royal Floors offers a range of over 190 Flake colours to choose from. The Arturo Colour Brochure offers a big variety of Beton look shades.


Durability

Generally speaking, as long as the floor substrates are stable and durable, micro cement and resin floors should last over 10 years. However, there are little differences you should take into consideration when choosing your floor finish.

The longevity of the raw polished concrete depends on the maintenance quality. It needs to be swept dry after cleaning. These floors require regular maintenance, applying an emulsifying wax, dissolved in water. This is a technique known as “washed-wax”. With this type of flooring, care must be taken to reduce the risk of scratches and heavy impacts. The waxed concrete must especially be protected against cracks caused by furniture or objects with sharp feet or with sharp edges. When having a polished concrete you’ll have to consider regular resealing – probably once a year.

The resin floor finishes are considered to be more resistant to scratches. Depending on the quality of the resin products you are going to choose for your project, the resistance to scratches can differ.

So, we'll describe the resin materials that 3D Royal Floors specialists apply. The urethane sealer is highly wear resistant. It is resistant to animal wear and to high foot traffic. It is permanently elastic. The polyurethane finishes are resistant to impacts as they are flexible and can resist to high floor vibrations created by different impacts. The satin and matt finishes are considered more scratch resistant than the gloss finishes. Most people are considering resealing the resin floors after 4 – 5 years of intensive foot traffic in order to renew it.


Flexibility

Microcement floor finish has a low to no flexibility degree therefore it can only be installed on highly stable substrates.

We recommend NOT INSTALLING THE MICROCEMENT ON WOODEN SUBSTRATES. There is a big risk of having hair line cracks in the microcement when installing it on a flexible substrate.

Resin floors are very flexible. They can even be rolled just like a vinyl after it is fully cured. This allows us to install it on any substrates – wooden, cement based, existing tiles etc.


Costs

The polished concrete costs depend on the

thickness of the materials to be applied.

For a poured concrete floor of up to 75 mm nominal, including polishing the prices will reach £60 to £400 a sq meter.

Microcement can reach prices between £50 and £150 per sq meter, depending on the floor size. Having different effects on top will add cost to the initial pricing.

Concrete Look Resin Flooring exceed the price of the microcement. Depending on the project size and floor plan, the price per square meter can be £80 - £200 ex VAT.

Short term, the resin floor cost is higher. However, long term you will definitely catch up on costs with spending on microcement maintenance within up to 5 years.


Installation Time

The polished concrete installation time depends on your project specifications. If you have a newly installed floor in a new build house, then the concrete will have to be poured and worked out in order to achieve the polished concrete effect. This should take 2-4 weeks, depending on the temperature and humidity levels. The new concrete is very thick and needs time to dry.

On another hand, if you only consider refurbishing your house by renewing your floors, then installing a microcement finish can take up to 4 days.

The resin floor can only be installed on a ready prepared subfloor. It is only 2.5 – 4 mm thick. However it requires up to 4-5 installation days considering the very thin layers of resins applied.

The resin floor installation time also depends on the air and floor temperature and humidity levels. Having a few layers of resin allows creating a perfectly smooth surface that will delight you with its beautiful appearance for many years to come. Whether you have 20 m2 or 200 m2 of plain floor, the installation time is the same.


Under Floor Heating

The polished concrete/micro cement  and the resin floors are compatible with most under floor heating systems.


Hardness

The raw polished concrete is very, very hard. If you fall, it hurts. The option would be to lay small carpet covers to add some softness.

The urethane resin floors offer a flexible warm feel underfoot. They are very pleasant to touch. So, if you have children or crawling babies, I would definitely recommend you to choose a poured resin floor.


Slip Resistance

Both flooring systems can be provided with a slip resistant finish. This makes these floors perfect for kitchens, bathrooms and public areas.


Warmth

The concrete is very cold underfoot. You could compare it to the tiled floor in this matter. So you might want to consider under floor heating, which will, of course add to the cost. This floor is very easy to heat up, but it cools as soon as the UFH is cooling down.

The nice thing about resin floors is that they take the room temperature. This makes it permanently warm and will stay warm long after the temperature in the room is cooling. This will save you on heating costs during the winter.


Light Reflectivity

The big advantage of having one of these systems is the high light reflectivity. When installed with a  gloss or satin sealer, the flooring systems create a mirror effect which reflects the lights of the interiors. This feature reduces the need for high energy lighting by up to 30% compared to other floor finishes.


Acoustic Features

The big advantage of having one of these systems is the high light reflectivity. When installed with a  gloss or satin sealer, the flooring systems create a mirror effect which reflects the lights of the interiors. This feature reduces the need for high energy lighting by up to 30% compared to other floor finishes.

Most poured resin floors are permanently flexible. When plying a Comfort Floor including the acoustic rubber underlay, the floor finish becomes the perfect solution for your soundproof requirements.