Polished cement screed (tsimentokonia), the beauty of simplicity
The polished cement screed is a simple uniform molded floor that has been widely applied recently. Its application starts from antiquity. The Romans, and long before them the ancient Greeks, used a kind of cement which was based on pozzolanic minerals. The pozzolans, such as pumice and volcanic ashes, have hydraulic properties. Mixing them with powdered whitewash and water creates this type of cement, which the ancients used to call binary. Even the most recent ancestors in our islands and villages laid the floor with molded materials which were based on cement, mainly for reasons of economy and convenience.
Today, the polished cement screed is preferred not only for its price (the price of a cement floor can be compared to that of floor tiles or marble) but mainly for aesthetics. This molded material provides an ideal background for any decoration. Because of its uniformity, it is worshipped by the supporters of minimalism, and because of its history, it can be used from the “heavier” classical decorations to lodges in the countryside. On the islands especially, it is widely applied, as it comes close to the aesthetics of traditional houses.
The ability to be combined with other materials such as stones, pebbles, glass, wood, incorporating them into the surface, gives an additional aesthetic advantage to polished cement screed. The polished cement screed has application not only in floors and walls, countertops, sink basins and bathtubs but also anywhere else you can imagine, as it is spread like plaster. It is particularly preferred in kitchens and bathrooms because of the final waterproof surface, while for the same reason it has applications outdoors. It is also ideal for reconstruction work because of its good adhesion over any surface (wood, tile, terrazzo, marble) with a special undercoat, having a small total thickness of about five millimeters. It has very good time and wear durability and scratch-proof properties. Since as a floor it is flexible and easily cleaned, it is preferred in places with young children. Finally, it works well with underfloor heating.
During its application, the polished cement screed should be made very smooth so that it is as flat as possible. On its final surface a special sealer is applied for it to obtain the waterproof capacity and to avoid blemishes from stains. This varnish will also give its final texture, glossy or matte.