All you need to know about waxed concrete floors

Definition

Floor-applied waxed concrete is a coating composed of a mixture of cement and other elements such as sand and aggregates (often quartz), mineral pigments and various additives.

One or more finishing coats of mineral or organic woodstain, varnish or wax are added. Waxed concrete can be laid

  • on a concrete slab, itself laid on a screed
  • on tiles
  • on any other rigid, clean, flat surface that doesn’t “work” (which means you can’t lay concrete directly on parquet)

Colored in the mass or with a tinted stain, waxed concrete floors can be adapted to any aesthetic:

  • neutral, classy colors such as white, beige, black and grey
  • Mediterranean colors such as terracotta red or sand
  • pop colors like blue, green and orange

Depending on the type of varnish, it can be given a matte, satin or gloss finish to suit a variety of aesthetic styles, from the more traditional to the more modern and industrial.

Waxed concrete floors can be used indoors, in homes or businesses, or outdoors, for balconies, terraces or pool decks.

Waxed concrete, polished concrete, smoothed concrete: what are the differences? How to choose?

Helicopter-smoothed concrete slab

A smoothed concrete floor is a concrete slab, at least ten centimetres thick, smoothed with a “helicopter”: a machine with rotating blades that both smoothes and closes the concrete pores.

Smooth concrete is UPEC-rated. It is mainly used on large surfaces, in warehouses, stores, and sometimes on private homes.

If you want to lay a screed or millimetric waxed concrete on a concrete slab, you can also smooth it with a Flemish smoothing machine.

If the slab is to be laid outside, the concrete will be trowelled and rubbed to give it a roughness that will make the surface relatively non-slip; the fresh concrete can also be swept to achieve the same effect.

Polished concrete slab

To create polished concrete, pour a concrete slab and let it dry, then sand a few millimeters with a coarse-grit diamond sander to obtain a grainy finish.

Polished concrete is generally used for exterior applications.

For interiors, polished concrete can also be created in terrazzo or granito mode: these are concretes that incorporate fragments of marble or other materials to create a coloured texture. They are polished to a finer grain than exterior polished concrete.

Millimetric waxed concrete

Millimetric waxed concrete is used indoors rather than outdoors, as it’s a smooth, fine mortar spread thinly on the floor, over a concrete, tiled or other rigid, dry, clean surface.

Advantages of waxed concrete floors

Trendy flooring

Waxed concrete floors, like decorative concretes in general, are in vogue in the world of home and building. Their variety of looks and colors makes them compatible with all types of interior design and architectural styles: traditional, brutalist, contemporary, post-modern…

What’s more, a waxed concrete floor complements other building materials, such as wood, stone, metal, glass…

A durable, hard-wearing floor

Hard, so impervious to knocks and scratches, and protected by layers of stain and/or varnish, concrete is resistant to all kinds of aggression, making it a durable material.

A warm material

Thanks to its physico-chemical properties, concrete is warm to the touch, unlike cold materials such as marble.

Capable of storing and slowly releasing heat, it is ideal for underfloor heating.

Hygienic and easy to maintain

Smooth and uniform, with no joints or cavities, a waxed concrete floor stores neither dust nor dust mites and is therefore hypoallergenic.

Unlike floors and tiles, whose seams harbor dirt and micro-organisms, concrete floors ensure near-perfect cleanliness.

It can be cleaned with plenty of water and pH-neutral household products.

Waterproof

As long as stringent construction standards are met, waxed concrete can be used to create waterproof floors for kitchens, bathrooms and showers.

Waxed concrete floors inside the home

Beautiful, clean, warm and practical, waxed concrete flooring is perfect for the home interior and can be installed in any room. There are three ways to protect interior floors:

  • an aqueous polyurethane varnish, applied in two coats after sanding and sealing
  • IF3 solvent-based impregnation, directly after sanding and dusting (this solution offers high chemical and mechanical resistance)
  • or a combination of both

Marius Aurenti varnish and impregnation are classified A+ with regard to health and environmental factors.

Beton cire sur sol cuisine

In the kitchen

The kitchen is a messy room that requires frequent sweeping and cleaning, but it’s also a convivial and practical space, so a waxed concrete floor that’s easy to maintain and pleasant to live in is a real winner.

On average, we prefer to install a stained and varnished concrete floor, as these two finishes add water and oil repellent protection, making your kitchen floor more durable.

If you already have a tiled kitchen floor, you can easily lay a concrete floor over it.

Find out more:

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In the bathroom

In the bathroom, concrete is appreciated for its cleanliness, ease of maintenance and warmth, as well as for its softness to the touch and rich range of colors to suit every aesthetic.

A waxed concrete bathroom floor adds a touch of modernity and elegance to your home.

If you want to replace existing tiles with waxed concrete, it’s perfectly possible!

Find out more:

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In the shower

Warmer than tile, glass or marble, waxed concrete is an excellent choice for shower floors and walls, and even more so for walk-in showers.

Smooth and seamless, a concrete shower floor leaves no room for mildew and is easy to maintain.

Find out more:

Rachel Styliste beton cire sol MArius Aurenti

In the living room

On a living room floor, waxed concrete fully expresses the qualities that make it a decorative concrete par excellence.

In this usually vast room, it unifies and enlarges the space by presenting a plain, seamless surface and an appearance that often reflects the furnishings and walls.

Easy to care for, it offers a soft, warm touch.

Find out more:

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In the bedroom

In a bedroom, a waxed concrete floor offers many advantages.

The natural warmth of the material makes the piece comfortable, its smoothness makes it soft to the touch and sensual, and its cleanliness ensures hygiene and protects you from dust mites and the allergies they cause.

As a thermal conductor, concrete provides pleasant underfloor heating.

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On the stairs

A waxed concrete staircase is an excellent choice because of its proven resistance to wear, abrasion, scratches and other scuffs.

Its raw look is perfect for an industrial-style interior, but in smooth, colorful form it can be harmonized with any interior design style.

Find out more:

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Outdoors

Waxed concrete for outdoor flooring will work just as well as indoors, if not better: it will also resist the elements (rain, snow), the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays and temperature variations.

We protect it with a water- and oil-repellent coating, a mineral stain and a varnish.

Find out more:

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On terraces, pool decks, courtyards and walkways

A waxed concrete terrace floor will remain clean and beautiful for a long time, well protected behind its layers of mineral stain and varnish. Similarly, for patio, courtyard and driveway floors, waxed concrete is simply laid on a concrete slab and finished with a water- and oil-repellent finish. Find out more:

Marius Aurenti products for waxed concrete floors

A pioneer and expert in waxed concrete for decades, Matières Marius Aurenti offers a complete range of products for creating high-quality, aesthetic and long-lasting waxed concrete floors.

These products are designed for the installation of waxed concrete on floors (or walls), from concrete screed to cleaning products, including millimetric concrete (a fine, smooth mortar) or Vigorn concrete slabs, lasures, varnishes and waxes.

Samples are available directly from our material library.

Millimetric concrete

Millimetric concrete consists of a thin layer of concrete (fine mortar) on top of screed or tiles (see below).

It can be left untreated or colored in the mass. It can be finished with one or two coats of woodstain or varnish.

Vigorn concrete panels

Designed to be practical, easy and quick to install, Vigorn panels are 14mm concrete slabs for interior floors and walls.

Vigorn panels are large, measuring 125 x 240 cm, or over 2.88 m2 per slab, for concrete paving with the depth and quality of Marius Aurenti concretes.

They are available in the colors of MA’s Béton ciré color chart (71 mineral colors) and are protected by a high-performance varnish.

Mineral and organic glazes

A concrete floor is rarely used bare, as it is fragile, wearable and difficult to clean. It can be protected with three types of product: stain, varnish and wax.

Concrete glaze is a finishing coat that fills small holes and harmonizes the appearance.

It can be colored to hide or enhance the color of the underlying concrete. There are two types of woodstain:

  • mineral varnish seals and smoothes the surface, making it more resistant to wear and tear
  • organic glazes consist of a polyurethane coating; they are used to repair or renovate aged or stained concrete

Concrete floors in kitchens benefit from the protection of mineral or organic glazes, which seal, smooth and protect the surface.

Mineral stain can be used on new floors, as well as for renovation work on aged or deteriorated floors.

Organic glazes are best used to repair damaged waxed concrete or limewashed walls.

In both cases, it’s best to protect the coat of woodstain with a final finish: a coat of varnish.

The varnish

Applied directly to rough concrete, or preferably to glazed concrete, varnish adds a final layer of protection to waxed concrete.

By depositing a film over the entire surface, this protection prevents scratches and scuffs, as well as all forms of mechanical wear caused by friction. It also prevents stains caused by chemical aggression.

The wax

Wax gave its name to waxed concrete, while what we call it often refers to something else: varnished cement.

It is still possible to wax concrete, for example with carnauba wax.

Unlike varnish, wax acts by impregnation, penetrating the material.

Cleaning products

Marius Aurenti’s specific finishing treatments ensure excellent protection of the material, which is easy to clean and maintain using conventional detergents or Marius Aurenti professional cleaning products.

Nettoyant sol

Floor cleaner

Over 95% biodegradable professional cleaning product, Marius Aurenti floor cleaner is neutral, acid-free, ammonia-free and alkali-free.

It leaves surfaces clean and grease-free.

Suitable for all washable floor coverings such as waxed concrete floors, floor resins, tiles, painted surfaces, plastics, PVC and linoleum.

Nettoyant Degraissant Multi usage

Multi-purpose degreasing cleaner

Multi-purpose degreasing cleaner is suitable for a wide range of applications:

    • cleaning of waxed concrete, marble, terracotta, tiles, parquet, carpets, plastics
    • pre-construction paintwork cleaning, sanitary facilities, kitchens, bathrooms
    • cleaning of kitchens, floors, cold rooms, sinks, work tables, aluminum and stainless steel containers.
Nettoyant Anti calcaire Anti Bacterien

Anti-bacterial limescale cleaner

Over 90% biodegradable professional cleaning product from the sanitary and medical sectors, anti-limescale anti-bacterial cleaner is a powerful bactericide and scale remover.

It disinfects, removes soap scum and limescale and leaves surfaces perfectly clean.

Ideal for cleaning worktops, tiles, taps, washbasins, baths and toilets.

Waxed concrete and tiles

Waxed concrete can be laid over existing tiles. However, several conditions must be met:

  • the tiles are in good condition, with few loose or damaged tiles
  • the tiles are properly insulated from the layers below; if they are not, they should be removed.

To lay concrete over tiles, the substrate must be prepared:

  • sand and level tiles,
  • then apply a primer to improve adhesion.

Find out more:

Waxed concrete and underfloor heating

A warm, heat-conducting material by nature, waxed concrete goes very well with an underfloor heating system, either electric (with resistance, as in an electric radiator) or hydraulic (with hot water).

A waxed concrete floor heated from underneath is both economical and particularly pleasant to live on – it’s a pleasure to walk on barefoot.

Béton 71 colors - Marius Aurenti