Some time ago Ray and I attended a workshop about how to use beton cire within your home.
Beton cire is a great way to upgrade your kitchen countertop or use it instead of tiles in your bathroom. (We are going to use it as a floorfinish while Ray will use it in his new bathroom).
The Beton cire Atelier of Sandra Graller is situated in Viennas 17th district in an amazing neighborhood (and house!) We met her a few month ago at the trade fair and talked with her about the material and her workshops.
Back then I was amazed by the professional look of her fair booth and the beautiful corporate identity Sandra created around her business Beton Cire.
We have been lucky to chat with her before the workshop started and I was not at all surprized to hear that shes got a professional background in advertising and marketing. But after several years working for an agency she changed tracks and started to get her hands dirty with beton cire. After a loveatfirstsight-meeting (businesswise spoken) with her dutch supplier they asked her to be the chief agent for Austrai and so she started the business and didn’t regret it eversince!
You can tell that she really loves her job, the material itself and the contact with both, companies who purchase Beton Cire from her and private persons who want get to know more about the material and try to embelish their homes and try themselfs as Beton cire craftsmen.
After a quick introduction regarding the different surfaces and finishing options we started to mix a bucket full of material…
You can choose between a lot of colors. The plain material and the suitable amount of pigment will be supported to you by Sandra (or any other supplier). Fold it under and strain it through a sieve.
Add the ace resin (actually it’s better the other way round: add the pigment/betoncire mix to the ace resin) and mix everything until it gets the consistency of ice cream. (that’s a hard job… Ray worked up a sweat)
We started smoothing it on to our surface. We used special scapers but normal ones (and some skills) will do the job as well. the Beton cire layer is really thin but super durable.
We tried it ourselfs and it was really a hard job. After the first layer we waited about 20 minutes and started over with the second layer on top of the first one. I tried a rough and a smooth finish on my panel just to get an idea of how it works.
Sandra prepared two panels the day before so we could sand them as well the same day. And I think sanding is the hardest part of it…
You have to add a lot of pressure, the machine is pretty heavy and you’ll always keep in mind that you don’t stay too long at the same spot to get an even surface with a nice calm look.bcire017
After you’ve dry cleaned the surface from all the dust you can seal it with a special wax or a synthetic varnish depending which surface you did (f.ex.: bathrooms demand the synthetic varnish to stay water resistent…)
We’ve learned a lot and it was a great way to get a feeling with the material. Looking forward to our beton cire floor!
Thank you Sandra to share your story and the possibilities of this amazing material with us!


trade fair – Bauen & Energie Wien

Martin, Ray and I went to the fair! In Viennas trade fair center we visited the biggest of them all .. a must for folks like us who are renovating or building a new home from scratch. You can find almost everything there – from interiors like floors and doors to windows, get advice, or find the right constructor, get informed about new engergy efficient technologies or buy some stairs – like we did! (can’t belive it either but in a few weeks we’re going to have beautiful new steel stairs infront of our house! YEAH!)

We started the day early (9 am) and the first thing we did at the fair center: we had breakfast! Ha, all three of us had a lack of sleep the night before (due to some partying) …but I was really proud we made it there anyway. Breakfast was excellent and we were ready to go and get our brains packed with information! overkill here we come!
Martin and I had been on the hunt for the perfect floor-heating system in our attic. Without any workable solution so far.
One good reason for us to visit the fair, we wanted to find the right underfloor-heating-thing in one of the exhibition halls.
The requirements are simple: easy to install but most of all we need a system that is lightweight so that our wooden ceiling will support it. We saw different types but I think we will go with this one. (not only because its so fancy! all polished metal!)
There has been a whole exhibition hall full of interior basics like floors, doors, windows and whirlpools!

And I had the opportunity to finally meet some of the lovely contractors and people from companies I’m emailing back and forth with questions and cost estimates. Like Sandra Graller of Beton Ciré. I was thrilled to finally meet her and chatting about her Atelier, while Ray was fascinated by the material and got information about the workshops they offer. (We thought about attending a workshop where you learn how to work with the material beton ciré. Ray is thinking of using it in his bathroom redo. Looking forward to that!)
I absolutely fall for the Corporate Design of Sandras company! Really classy and trés chic!
I’m glad we finally bought a stair! It’s a stairway-assembly-kit so still some work left for us.. I’ll show you the whole thing in a few weeks while we install it (with a little help of our friends of course!).

We’ve been at the fair the whole day and when our tummies rumbled for the second time that day we decided to treat ourselves with some great mexican food in a delicious place right next to the fair center!
What a beautiful, funny and interesting sunday it was! Thanks Martin and Ray for taking me to the fair and thanks to the team of Bauen&Energie Wien for the warm welcome!