FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
No, Stucco Italiano is a Proudly South African Company. All Stucco Italiano products are locally manufactured.
In 2001 we phoned the Italian consulate in Cape Town and told them we intended to start a company specialising in decorative concrete plasters. Because we knew that Italy was synonymous with quality in this regard, we were searching for a suitable name that could tell all. They suggested naming the company “Stucco Italiano” and the rest is history.
No, this is not generally true. But the perception persists in parts of the industry and one can hardly blame clients questioning this idea about concrete floors.
There are different reasons why concrete floors may crack. Here one must distinguish between structural and non-structural cracking.
Structural cracking: If there is a structural failure in a concrete structure and/or concrete floor, the failure will usually be visible in the form of significant cracks and/or deflections. All cracks in this regard will be easily observable on the surface of the concrete floor. The only way to prevent and/or to cater for these structural failures, is to use the service of a qualified engineer.
Casting a concrete floor is not a simple matter of mixing concrete with cement, sand and aggregate and casting the concrete floor. Some important issues to be taken into account are: thickness of the concrete floor slab, reinforcement, joints, etc.
Non-Structural cracking: These types of cracks are usually visible in the form of crazy cracking and shrinkage cracking. Shrinkage cracking can be attributed to insufficient curing of the concrete or it can be due to the time period of casting and the prevailing temperature during the casting process. These cracks are not significant at all in terms of the structural soundness of the structure, but may be not that pleasing to see due to esthetical reasons.
When a decorative concrete floor finish is desired, it becomes important to pay attention to the substructure below. We always say “what happens under the floor finish, will be mirrored on the floor finish surface”. By this we mean existing or emerging cracks and/or failures in the substrate below will show on the floor surface. We advise the use of competent people in the industry with a track record of success in decorative concrete floors to guide you in this regard.
This is a major reason why pigmented concrete floors are sometimes regarded as floors that are known as failures.
The approach mentioned above and the way that people may think “this is so simple to achieve the desired look”, is due to a lack of knowledge and very outdated ways of doing things. The knowledge gained over years and the adoption of new technology has taken pigmented cementitious floors to new levels. These days, it is correct to regard pigmented cementitious floors as high tech engineered concrete floors.
To float raw pigment in on the surface of wet concrete is the wrong thing to do and will no doubt end in a failure.
This product is called Colour Hardener. It is a specially engineered product and needs to be applied in a specified manner and preferably with the necessary knowledge and experience. This means it is not just a process of adding pigments to the surface of the concrete. Colour Hardener concrete floors are engineered concrete floors.
No, at Stucco Italiano we have developed a cementitious overlay of 3-4mm thick that could be applied on a solid steel trowelled screed. It is important that the screed should be level, sound and solid.
If you are in any doubt, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will assist you with a specification to install a sound and solid screed.
As mentioned, these 3-4mm Stucco Italiano AquaGuard and Stucco Italiano Solido Floor Plaster overlays, need applicators with the required skill and experience to achieve a high standard of finish.
Stucco Italiano Solido Floor Plaster is a harder product than Stucco Italiano AquaGuard Floor Plaster and is therefore more hardwearing. It can withstand increased traffic and is more chip resistant. This product is the latest development in our floor product range.
Yes, both these products can be applied over tiles. It is very important that a proper inspection must be carried out to determine the soundness of the tiles. All the tiles must be solidly embedded and not loose. To determine whether the tiles are properly embedded, bounce a golf ball on the tiles. If you detect a hollow sound, this will be an indication that the tiles are loose. It is not recommended to apply Stucco Italiano Floor Plaster products over cracked tiles. These Stucco Italiano products need to be applied as per the technical data sheets.
Yes, but it is highly recommended to liaise with Stucco Italiano’s Technical Representative to clear technical issues before installation.
The products have water repellent qualities, but are not waterproof on their own and need to be sealed according to the requirements of the type of application. If the product is been used in a wet room, please liaise with Stucco Italiano’s Technical Representative in this regard for advice.
Yes, this is essential. Use a cement-based waterproofing product instead of a bitumen product.0
Stucco Italiano AquaGuard Floor Plaster, Stucco Italiano Solido Floor Plaster and Stucco Italiano Wall Plaster are applied with thicknesses varying from 3-4mm, depending on the smoothness of the floor and wall surface. Stucco Italiano Tadelakt thickness is between 1-5mm.
If the floor surface is uneven, we recommend using a Stucco Italiano Floor Repair Kit and/or a Stucco Italiano Floor Fixing Kit prior to the application of the Stucco Italiano Floor Plaster product. On walls we recommend using a Stucco Italiano Scraper Coat prior to the Stucco Italiano AquaGuard Wall Plaster.
It is not recommended to use any gypsum-based product at all. Stucco Italiano products are all polymer based and we therefore recommend using Stucco Italiano products for this specific purpose.
As stated, these product application thicknesses range between 2-4mm and will not be able to hide imperfections. It is recommended to first plaster all walls before applying any Stucco Italiano Wall products. If the product is applied directly onto a brick wall, the brick lines and/or unfinished surfaces will show.
Stucco Italiano products are some of the most flexible floor and wall products on the market, but it will never withstand cracks caused by structural movement. What happens underneath the Stucco Italiano product will be reflected on the surface of the product. It is essential to apply a proper, sound screed and/or wall plaster when it is known that a cementitious overlay is going to be the final finished layer. If uncertain about the screed and/or plaster mix, do not hesitate to liaise with Stucco Italiano’s Technical Representative.
The product by itself without a sealer coat is non-slip. When applying a polyurethane and/or epoxy sealer coat in a wet area, there is the risk of slip. In this scenario we recommend using a non-slip sealer.
Yes, the UV in South Africa is too high and there is no epoxy in South Africa that will produce a non-yellowing effect in direct sunlight.
There is a high skill level required to successfully apply Stucco Italiano products, and not anyone can master the technique that easy. Not even a qualified plasterer and/or skimmer may be able to apply Stucco Italiano products correctly the first time.
Yes, but the painted surface must be sound and solid and the paint must not be peeling.
Yes, Stucco Italiano products can be used as interior and exterior products. Please consult the technical data sheets if you want to read more about the products.
It all refers back to the exposure of the surface to traffic. 95% of the floors we have installed since 2001 have only been sealed once.
It all depends on the traffic and exposure of the floor to dirt. Use ordinary cleaning soap such as Sunlight liquid and/or Clean Green, diluted in water. Do not use any ammoniac and/or acid to clean the floors.
The installation normally takes up to 5 days from start to finish, but it also depends on the weather, surface preparation and size of application.
Yes and no. It is difficult to mix and match a specific customized colour. If a required colour is not part of our standard range and it is for a special big order and/or for a special project, Stucco Italiano will consider the request on merit.
No. Due to the skills level that an applicator needs to master our products, Stucco Italiano has decided, for the present, not to distribute our products via hardware stores.
Bear in mind that countertops take a lot of hard wear and tear. This means that the sealer will be the contact surface taking the brunt of use and therefore will need to be sealed more often.
Go to our Contact Us page for more information and to make contact with our concrete specialists.