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How to incorporate a concrete finish into your restaurant

Concrete floors and stone walls are the new must-have look in restaurants. Polished plasters mimicking marble and polished concrete floors transform simple spaces into modern ones with a classier vibe. If you’re planning a refurbishment of your own, you can incorporate the appearance of concrete in a number of ways. In this article, we’ll explore those with some recommendations from our experts.

For your floors

The best material for a concrete finish on your floors is, quite simply, concrete. Concrete is available in a wide range of colours, the most common being mid grey. Beige colours are in now too. Concrete is a durable and sanitary product so long as it’s sealed properly. It can be polished, left natural or sanded (for a matted look).

Laying a concrete floor requires a lot of skill. The floor has to be completely flat, and the concrete has to be given time to set. In hot dry weather, concrete sets very quickly so an air con system in your restaurant will be a bonus.

The most popular finish in restaurants is polished concrete. Polished concrete is regular concrete that’s processed through a series of polishing and grinding stages. Standard practice sees a penetrant chemical, or hardener, applied during the polishing stage to make the finish as durable as possible for foot traffic.

If a fresh concrete floor isn’t possible for you, you can buy concrete floor tiles. These have an appearance of their own, with contrasting characteristics between the tiles. The result is a floor with an industrial look. The downside is you can see the grouting.

For your restaurant walls

The best material to achieve a marbled concrete finish on your walls is a stucco, or Marmorino plaster. This can be mixed with a natural dye or other colouring agent to give it a grey or beige appearance. The finish can then be polished to a high shine to mimic the appearance of a high-quality concrete or stone.

In addition to Marmorino plaster (which is typically used as a polishing plaster to mimic marble or granite), you can use an acrylic. Acrylic plaster has a structure like stone with a grain and mimics concrete wonderfully. This is a modern plaster that’s perfect for walls with imperfections. It looks like a normal plaster when set.

You could also use a specially mixed concrete too. Concrete is more difficult to apply to walls, because it doesn’t set as well against gravity. Nether-the-less, it’s possible and we’ve lots of experience plastering walls with concrete for an industrial look. A reinforcing system may be needed to reduce the risk of cracks on the surface.

As with a concrete floor, plastered or concreted walls can be given a polished or matted appearance. Which is best is a matter of taste.

For your restaurant ceiling

Concrete-look ceilings are not a regular request, but they are rising in popularity particularly in modern ‘hipster’ restaurants. The appearance of a concrete-look ceiling contrasts beautifully with artificial and natural light. Unlike a white plastered ceiling, concrete ceilings reflect light and give spaces a cool, industrial vibe.

Because concrete is a very heavy, dense material, it isn’t suitable for plastering directly onto ceilings. Instead, you should use a plaster that’s coloured to mimic concrete. The finish can be polished or matted to give the ceiling the appearance of real concrete. For instance, you can use a resin-based plaster to mimic concrete.

Tiles are another option. Ceiling tiles can be affixed to supported ceilings using fixings and adhesive. Gap ceiling tiles are popular as are fair-faced concrete panels. Tiles are heavy, however, so they are not suitable for plasterboard ceilings.

If your ceiling is plasterboard, a new system will be needed. Alternatively, you can just wallpaper your restaurant ceiling. Wallpapering is the most cost-effective way to get a concrete look on your ceiling. It won’t be real, but it’ll certainly be convincing and look good.

Lastly, a word on the durability of concrete. Concrete finishes are exceptionally durable and highly fire and water resistant. Polished floors will stay polished for several years with heavy foot traffic and matted floors will always look the same.

We are experienced in working with specialist decorative materials and are able to expertly create a variety of concrete finishes in your restaurant. Whether it’s something bespoke you’d like or something you’ve seen, we’ll get the job done. Contact us today to start a conversation about your project. Thank you.







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