Living in a concrete home is highly sought after these days. The cool look makes a solid backdrop for ‘gram-worthy pics, plus there’s a certain amount of street cred that comes with living in an unfinished space and saying IDGAF to traditional surfaces. Then again, the thought of spending a chilly morning or entire five-month winter in that cold concrete environment (physically and visually) sounds way less appealing. That’s why we were thrilled to learn about faux poured concrete finish, which is applied like plaster and looks incredibly close to real concrete. We first noticed the finish in Homepolish designer Tali Roth’s Manhattan apartment, where she used Concrete Studio 7 by i-Faux’s poured concrete on a 35-foot wall in her living room.
The added texture far exceeds what any luxury paint color can achieve, similar to the effect of Venetian plaster. Texture, in fact, is what spurred Tali to look into faux concrete. “I was exploring this finish for a multi-residential project I am working on in Brooklyn—for the lobby and as a ceiling treatment—and I really wanted to add some texture to my own space,” she wrote us in an e-mail. “It definitely added a lot of character to the space that a paint simply would not have been able to!” We should also add that Tali’s apartment is a rental, meaning faux concrete can come off when you’re ready to move. She’ll have to skim-coat it and paint the wall white again when it’s time to go, no small feat for a 35-foot wall, but she adds, “we love it and enjoy it and are glad we did it.” And, hey, sometimes love (of a wall finish) wins.
But faux concrete need not be limited to an accent wall. The finish can also be done in wet areas of the home, like bathroom walls or a kitchen backsplash or countertop. To waterproof the finish, i-Faux would “follow special procedures including elastomeric membrane, mesh, additional coat of concrete and a few coats of matte epoxy concrete sealer,” according to Concrete Studio 7 design director Andrei Kievsky.
Now, for the moment you’ve been scrolling for: the cost. Faux concrete will run you around the same as installing good-quality wallpaper. The base price for the finish is $18 per square foot, plus or minus 30% depending on the situation. For example, a large, flat wall could be brought down to $12 per square foot, and a bathroom with waterproofing might be more like $24 per square foot. Application by i-Faux professionals is included in that price; for Tali's wall, the process took about two days. "It's definitely an art form and not anybody could do it without practice, experience, and the right tools," writes Tali. "After they applied it with a trowel they added texture, which we had specified to the exact degree beforehand." Much like wallpaper, you really have to love the look and commit to the project to make the price tag worth it. But, also like wallpaper, the payoff can be so, so good.