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Thin Section Concrete Overlays

Concrete overlays can update an existing space or be integrated into new builds when high levels of precision are required. These engineered topping installations can be poured in any colour as thin as 3/8″ and are incredibly durable. They can be poured over wood or concrete subfloors, encapsulate heating and have an extremely low profile compared to conventional concrete.

Thin section concrete overlays have come a long way over the last ten years. We stopped using them for a short period 20 years ago when polishing equipment started to ramp up. These days concrete overlays polish just like conventional concrete, are more consistent, and incredibly design diverse. 

Most modern homes these days utilize no baseboards, which mean that tolerances need to be tighter. Laser screeds used on big commercial jobs can allow for super flat floors, but are nearly impossible to use on residential jobs. For the most accurate, flattest and consistent floors, Stone Design recommends a combination of a concrete substrate prepped properly with a thin section overlay.

Concrete Overlays
Concrete Overlays

Heat Your New Concrete Bathroom

Concrete overlays can be heated by utilizing Nuheat or other electric heat mattes. Utilizing self levelling concretes with heating systems means that total thickness can be less than 3/4″. Anti fracture membranes can be used to control cracking when floors are installed over wood substrates.

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A New Beginning

Self-leveling overlays are an ideal way to establish a uniform, new, smooth surface for rough, pitted or damaged concrete floors, and bring into conformity different sections of concrete either in adjacent rooms of the same building, or that have been created by large plumbing, electrical or structural repairs made to the existing concrete. This situation is commonly encountered in basements of old homes, and on ground floors of old buildings in metropolitan areas, that are undergoing renovation or remodelling for new residents, owners or tenants.

Concrete Overlays

Design Options

Self Leveling concrete overlays provides a brand new skin to an existing concrete or wood floor. They can be applied over just about any substrate and offer a diverse array of aesthetics. Stone Design has been working with self levelling concrete products such as Ardex, Mapei and Rapid Set for over 18 years. In the last 5 years most manufacturers have changed formulas to use less polymer, resulting in a product that can be machined and manipulated like conventional concrete. Self-leveling overlays are excellent at levelling existing concrete floors. Sometimes things go sideways during a concrete pour, in these cases self levellers can correct mistakes. In addition, even well-placed concrete poured without the assistance of a laser screed typically has a variation in flatness of ⅜”, and sometimes ½”, over a 10’ or 12’ expanse. Self-leveling overlays can eliminate this deviation, whatever the cause, without tearing out and re-pouring the existing concrete slab. What this means is much less noise, debris, disruption and expense for a flooring project, as well as a final floor that doesn’t have visible low-lying areas, known as “bird baths”.

Concrete Overlays

Any Colour

Self leveling concrete overlays come in white or grey bases and have no aggregate. This means that more uniform, minimalist surfaces can be easily obtained much easier than with conventional concrete. It can often be more cost-effective to install white concrete floors with self levelling than traditional concrete installations.