Kitchen Backsplash...but its not tile...
Updated: Mar 26, 2022
I stared at my glass mosaic tile backsplash for far too long before I decided to finally do something about it. When my husband & I first renovated our 70's built home, we made a lot of design decisions that fit our budget then. We also rushed a lot of decisions to have our home move-in ready in just three months. Today, I am able to take my time with design decisions and change every corner of my home on my own time. So let me tell you more about my DIY MICROCEMENT backsplash.
My current Microcement backsplash
Before: Glass Mosaic tile (the mesh is the first step to start the #microcement process- pictured here)
LINKS AND INFORMATION FOR YOU
Microcement Topciment is a decorative coating composed of cement, water-based resins, additives and mineral pigments that can be applied on a multitude of vertical and horizontal surfaces thanks to its great adherence https://www.topciment.com/en/microcement?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIu5iAjMLb9gIVwhx9Ch0CywiTEAAYASAAEgJCtfD_BwE
My inspiration for Microcement came from the organic elements of homes in the Middle East & Europe.
HOW TO APPLY MICROCEMENT:
You should know that I purchased the microcement from a distributor of Topciment locally. However I have found other suppliers that you can check out to get started. I will link one here: https://surecretedesign.com/all-concrete-products/
STEP 1: Calculate the square footage of the space you are wanting to cover with Microcement.
STEP 2: Choose your tint for the Microcement. Colors vary depending on what the company provides. Mine does not have a tint. I chose to leave mine natural so it would not compete with my Quartzite countertops.
I tinted some Microcement with color here and applied it over the basecoat (note this was the first coat- unfinished). The colors did not compliment the countertop- they were too grey for my liking or way too white. I left the Microcement natural.
STEP 3: Now that you have chosen a color of Microcement. You will need to order your Microcement batch, which should include: the microcement, the fiberglass mesh, primer, and sealer.
STEP 4: Gather these tools to complete the full process:
Bucket to mix microment in
Drill driver and mixer attachment for mixing
Orbital Sander with Sanding Paper (low grit 40-80 and high grit 120-220) you will need low grit to sand the rough areas and higher grit for a smooth finish (it will still look textured) before the sealer is applied
Oscillating Tool with sander attachment for hard to reach areas
Painters tape and brown paper to prep for the messy job
Paint brush, paint roller, tray for primer and sealer
Trowel to apply Microcement
Scissors and utility knife
Caulk gun for the silicone
(To watch the process visit https://www.instagram.com/onefortyfour_/ I have it saved in my story highlights)
STEP 5: Apply Fiberglass mesh with primer (glue) with a paint roller. The primer and the fiberglass was purchased through the Microcement suppliers.
This is the mesh fiberglass, the primer is (glue). I used scissors and a utility knife to cut the mesh around corners and outlets. I then applied the mesh directly over the primed backsplash and rolled the primer over it again. I let this sit overnight to dry.
STEP 6: Mix the basecoat (mixing instructions should also be provided from the supplier you decide to go with). Once mixed in a large Home Depot bucket I moved small batches into bowls so I could easily apply it to the trowel. You want the consistency to be thick enough to stay on the trowel but thin enough to apply easily. Start smearing the basecoat on to your backsplash/any surface you decide to apply it to. It can be applied however you like: long strokes, short strokes, X- strokes. This is where you get creative. It all depends on what you want your finished project to look like. Let the basecoat cure/dry.
STEP 7: Now its time to sand the basecoat. I sanded the basecoat with 40 grit sand paper attached to my orbital sander, and one to my multi tool with sander attachment (for hard to reach corners).
STEP 8: Mix another batch of Microcement. This will the last and final coat of cement. This time when you're applying really think about the way you're applying it to achieve the finished texture you want. Let dry and repeat sanding steps. This time sand with 80 grit sand paper.
STEP 9: Apply your top coat sealers/hardeners with a paint brush and paint roller (sealers and top coats also sold from suppliers). You may need more than one coat. Let dry. Remove tape
STEP 10: SEAL SEAL SEAL with Silicone where the countertop and backsplash meet.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS about my Microcement backsplash:
How do you clean it? I use a dish towel with soap and water to wipe it down. Remember, its sealed so it's waterproof, stain proof and splatter proof
Why didn't you remove the tiles? Topciment products can be applied over existing backsplash without removal. I did not have to remove the old tiles to get this project done. Removing the old tiles would mean more work, drywall repair and would cost more.
What if you want to tile again? In the future, if I decide I want a different look I will have to remove it the same way you would remove tiles/backsplash. Demo and drywall repair.
What was the cost of this project? Total cost will depend on square footage coverage you need. For my backsplash, we paid 250.00 Cdn Dollars for the Microcement. This does not include tools or labor cost, since I did this myself.
I hope this Inspires you to play around with design, texture, something different, something that speaks to you. It does NOT have to be trendy to be beautiful. Do what makes your heart happy. Your home. Your rules.
Thanks for stopping by!