Microcement: Evolution and Interpretation of the Term in Europe

Microcement is a word that is becoming increasingly popular in the context of interior design and construction. Although it is derived from Spanish, a variety of European countries – including France, Spain and Italy – assign it their own specific meanings and uses. The purpose of this article is to understand the impact of cultural and linguistic differences on the definition and use of the term.

French Viewpoint: Beton cire

In France, this technology is most commonly known as “beton cire.” In free translation, the term means “waxed concrete.” However, it is an evolving term, because as the technology developed, wax began to be replaced by polyurethane sealers. In the French Wikipedia we can find information that beton cire is also referred as microcement or micro concrete. The article also points out that nowadays we can make this type of finish with various materials – not only cement-based concretes, but also those containing epoxy resins, dispersion systems with enhanced water resistance, hybrid products and so on. The term serves as a general term for various decorative techniques that give surfaces a unique character.

Italian Perspectives: Microcemento and micro topping

In Italy, two terms are used in parallel to describe this technology: “microcemento” and “micro topping.” The latter seems to be the most intuitive, as it literally refers to a thin layer of material on a surface, best capturing the essence of the products and technology we are covering in this article.”

Spanish Origin: Microcemento

In Spain, the word “microcemento” came from a simplification of terms such as “suelos de cemento” or “solera de cemento,” referring to various forms of cement floors and screeds. In colloquial language, however, Spaniards began to use only the shortened form “cemento” to describe floors made of this material. When technologies emerged to create surfaces as thin as 2-3 mm, the prefix “micro” was added to the term, creating the word “microcemento.”

It is worth noting that this term does not mean fine cement. In this context, the Spanish would use the word “fino,” which refers to the granulation of the aggregate in, for example, the thinnest finishing layer.

Polish Context: Abbreviations and Analogies

Various forms of simplified terminology can also be found in Poland. For example, “cement screed,” “anhydrite screed” or “concrete floor” are often shortened to “screed,” “anhydrite” or simply “floor.” The same is true for the term “plastering,” which is still in use, although plaster-based materials are being increasingly replaced by polymeric products.”


In summary, we can note three key points:

1. Different European countries have different names for similar techniques and products.
2. “Microcement” is a term derived from Spanish, which means a thin finishing layer.
3. The word “microcement” is a general term for a decorative technique that can be made of different types of materials.