The Beauty and Versatility of Decorative Concrete Overlays
Decorative concrete overlays are sometimes viewed as a lesser choice to polished or stained concrete flooring. Historically, concrete overlay applications were utilitarian, having been used to correct damaged, worn or newly uncovered concrete floors. However, concrete overlays have crossed over into the decorative concrete arena. From a design standpoint, decorative concrete overlays offer the most variety in color and finish. Whether giving existing concrete floors a total makeover or as an option to new concrete floors, decorative concrete overlays offer beauty, strength and unlimited design options.
“Decorative overlay” is a term that covers a wide variety of products and systems designed to provide a decorative finish over an existing substrate. Proper preparation of the floor surface is critical to ensure a concrete overlay will take hold. A decorative concrete overlay can be very thin, 1/16th of an inch or up to 1/2 an inch and is typically applied in two or more coats by magic trowel, hand-trowel, brush, roller spray or notched squeegee and back roll.
Two popular types of decorative overlays are Microtoppings and Polished Overlays.
Microtoppings, or thin-section overlays, are the most popular type of overlay on the market. There is good reason for the popularity.
“The multiple colors and textures you can get with a microtopping are not achievable with regular concrete. These systems give the installer a lot more options,” says Trevor Foster, western sales manager with Miracote Products. “You can produce a large surface area without any grout lines,” he says.
The Decorative Range of Microtoppings:
- Microtoppings offer the most variation in color and finishes.
- The ability to manipulate the look of a microtopping creates a wide range of design options.
- Microtoppings are strong. Some microtopping systems can reach 3000 psi, while higher-end interior systems used in high-traffic situations can top 6000 psi.
The majority of concrete slabs can be polished. Existing slabs often have imperfections such as tile grout lines, patch marks from framing braces or carpet tack strips, or even larger areas of the slab that have that have been torn out and replaced in making major plumbing repairs. Polished overlays give concrete the brilliant gloss but without the imperfections of the existing slab showing through.
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Concrete Overlay Facts
All concrete overlays are polymer-modified, which increases their strength, adhesion, and durability.
When combined with cement and sand, these toppings can attain strengths exceeding 6000 psi.
The additional strength provided by the polymer allows the cement-based material to be applied thinly without becoming brittle and weak.
Miracote Concrete Overlay System
Miracote One Regular is a polymer modified, cementitious microtopping that only requires the addition of potable water on site for use in resurfacing and beautifying concrete and other compatible substrates. Miracote One Regular can be integrally pigmented to be both pigmented and stained to achieve a limitless choice of distinctive finishes.