What is Magnesite?

Magnesite stairway

Greetings, all.  A lot of you have been asking us what exactly magnesite is. If you’re already familiar with it, you’re probably the owner or manager of a home or building constructed in the early 20th century. Magnesite was used extensively both indoors and outdoors on buildings constructed in this period.

For those of you not in-the-know, magnesite is composed of magnesium oxychloride and inert fillers such as sawdust, stones, etc. It has a high strength/ low weight ratio and features a smooth or textured finish and sealer to complete its waterproofing characteristics.  Magnesite is resilient and certainly quite beautiful– but can be prone to cracking.

Today, it is far more common to encounter magnesite around flooring surfaces at the exterior of a building. It is often used for walkways and stairs.  Some may argue, due to availability of a wider variety of coatings (which we offer as well), that magnesite is a dying product.  Due to this, there are only a handful of contractors which continue to install magnesite, and we have a half century’s worth of experience doing so.  We sometimes supplement magnesite with another system to increase grip and texture.

If your building features magnesite and you’ve noticed cracks, pits, or chips, call us at 800-986-4164 to schedule a visit with one of our estimators.

Don’t wait– with El Nino already upon our doorstep, this could be the last chance to protect your building from water damage, and your tenants from injury.


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