What You Need to Know About Burnt Cement

Burnt cement and exposed concrete are a growing and creative trend in modern buildings. These finishes, both simple and innovative, have become a must-have in modern houses and in the architecture and decoration universe, adding charm and style to new constructions.

This type of flooring or wall covering is made from a special mortar. The materials used to make the mass itself are cement, water and sand. It is worth noting that currently there are brands that manufacture burnt cement ready to use! Concrete, in turn, is even stronger than cement, because its mass is made from the mixture of cement, stone, sand and water.

Example of Burnt Cement flooring, also known as Dry-Shake.
Example of Burnt Cement flooring, also known as Dry-Shake. Picture taken by Rodrigo Barata for homeyou.

How to Make a Burnt Cement Floor

To make burnt cement (which, despite the name doesn’t involve burning), you:

  • Use a mix of cement and pigment (sometimes marble powder as well)
  • Sprinkle the mix over a fresh concrete floor (1 part cement and 3 parts sand)
  • Use a steel float to spread the mixture.

Burnt cement can add a bit of color to otherwise “cold” cement flooring, or it could add a stained effect to give it character.

You have the option of buying a ready-made compound called dry-shake, or to be more specific, dry-shake color hardener.

The Advantages of Burnt Cement

The advantages of concrete and burnt cement are very similar: both are a perfect finish for those seeking an aesthetic advantage to the house. Although they are simple, they help to compose contemporary environments with practicality and sophistication, creating an effect that brings out elegance characteristics, freshness and rusticity.

It should also be noted that they do not harm the environment. Burnt cement floors also have durability, grip, protection, a great cost-benefit value, and a lot of versatility - just to give you an idea, the burnt cement and exposed concrete are so versatile that they can be used both in small rural houses and in mansions in big cities!

Burnt cement can be used any room of the house, including bedrooms
Burnt cement can be used any room of the house, including bedrooms. Picture taken by Rodrigo Barata for homeyou.

Burnt cement can be used any room of the house, including bedrooms

Get the Industrial Look

The gray unfinished touch made burnt cement and exposed concrete become the new industrial-style décor stars. Combined with exposed beams, these elements are gaining more and more fans around the world. Another possibility to enhance industrial decoration projects is to mix concrete with brick, wood and glass. The visual result is simply amazing.

The use of exposed concrete and burnt cement is definitely not limited to floors and walls! These finishes have numerous possibilities and can be used in a variety of surfaces:

  • Slabs
  • Ceilings
  • Columns
  • Countertops
  • And so much more!

The use of burnt cement isn’t limited to floors and ceilings. It also looks great on countertops and even on .

Burnt cement use isn't limited to flooring. You can, for example, use it on countertops.
Burnt cement use isn't limited to flooring. You can, for example, use it on countertops. Picture taken by Rodrigo Barata for homeyou.
It also looks great on home facades.
It also looks great on home facades. Picture taken by Rodrigo Barata for homeyou.

To use it in your house or apartment, one option is to buy burnt cement ready-for-use, which is a mortar that can be applied directly on the floor.

For those seeking an alternative, which is probably a little more durable and easy to care for, there are porcelain-floor tiles that imitate it. There are several suppliers and brands in the market and some at reasonable prices, so it's worth researching.

These porcelain tiles that look like burnt cement are extremely durable and easy to maintain.

Use Burnt Cement on Walls and Ceilings

Another option to get the burnt cement effect is to use textures when painting walls and ceilings.

Fully aligned with the latest decorating trends, burnt cement painting products bring a stained and rustic effect to the environment. Matte finishes go very well with various other types of materials like wood and stone.

Painting manufacturers have developed that can be applied by the customer, eliminating costs with labor. The process should begin with the preparation of the surface that will receive the actual effect. You must apply two to three coats of a matte acrylic product using a lambswool roller, respecting the drying range indicated on the label. After twenty four hours it is necessary to sand the surface gently to remove excesses and then remove the dust. It should then be applied a wax paste coat with a soft sponge. Wait for the wax to dry for five minutes and polish with a cotton cloth.

Burnt cement used on a living room floor.
Burnt cement used on a living room floor. Picture taken by Rodrigo Barata for homeyou.
...in the kitchen...
...In the kitchen...picture taken by Rodrigo Barata for homeyou.
...and in the dining area.
...and in the dining area. Picture taken by Rodrigo Barata for homeyou.

We hope you enjoyed this introduction to burnt cement and the many aesthetic and practical advantages it has. Check back for more ways you can use burnt cement in your home!

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