There is much information about epoxy on the internet. Some information may be helpful, while some might lead you to regret your decision. Before investing in this type of flooring, you need to know what it entails. You also need to determine if these features match your preferences and needs.
Epoxy Flooring Types
First, let’s discuss the different types of epoxy flooring you can find.
There are two main categories: traffic and non-traffic. These classifications depend on the durability and resistance to scratches and stains, which vary substantially between both options. You must understand how long your floor will last before wearing it down without losing its original charm.
For non-traffic areas, opt for decorative epoxy. Suitable for garages, workshops, basements, storage spaces, and more. You can pour this on concrete or asphalt. Decorative stones will include decorative stripes for an even more stylish appearance.
On the other hand, you can get industrial epoxy flooring for high-traffic areas. These are for kitchens, restaurants, shops, and bakeries. They are available in countless finishes, colours, styles, and shapes.
Traffic floors are ideal if water is continually on the ground since stains and scuffs are less noticeable. This option is also better to hide imperfections such as cracks, gaps, and holes in the concrete base.
Industrial epoxy floors can be poured over an asphalt floor or applied directly to smooth concrete. If you decide to use the latter, the surface needs to be at least four weeks old. Moreover, the room’s humidity must be below 80%, as high moisture can warp or damage the concrete floor.
Epoxy Floor Coating Options
Not all epoxy floor coatings are the same. Different types have different benefits. Some coatings have a high visible gloss, whereas others have a matte finish. Some are more durable than others, and some even come with anti-slip properties that increase safety.
Epoxy Satin or Gloss Finish
Satin is most suitable for basements and garages, as it makes the floor easier to clean. Satin is much more durable than matte, but it doesn’t provide much coverage.
Gloss finish is for commercial projects or homes with pets. It’s effortless to clean, and it looks great year-round. However, if you have kids known for spilling food or drinks on the floor, opt for satin epoxy. It’s more durable, and it hides stains better than gloss does.
Epoxy Anti-Slip Coating
The anti-slip coating increases safety, especially in areas with high traffic like hallways, entryways, kitchens, etc. However, many homeowners worry that anti-slip epoxy makes the floor too slippery.
That’s not true. Anti-slip coating textures are specifically to allow proper footing. However, they are still easy to clean and maintain. Just remember that the more anti-slip texture you have, the less visible your concrete will be.
Epoxy Chemical Resistance
Chemical resistance is another crucial variable that varies by coating type. Some epoxy coatings are more chemically resistant than others, and some even come with a chemical resistance warranty. This is important if you do a lot of DIY projects or work with chemicals on your floor.
Because epoxy coating comes in two parts, you can easily put a clear topcoat over it to protect the colour and ensure that your floor doesn’t get dull. Although it’s not necessary, if you’re using an off-white or light grey coat, for example, this will help keep it looking bright. With a dark-coloured epoxy, you can skip the topcoat.
A primer is a coat you put on your floor to provide a solid topcoat foundation. This layer has to be smooth and stable to support the extra weight of traffic after installation.
You should pay close attention to what kind of primer you use because the surface will determine the quality and durability of your epoxy flooring. Even if you use the same primer for all floors, be sure to give them time to dry according to manufacturer instructions. Suppose your primers are wet when you apply your topcoat. In that case, the result will be a mushy mess that’s difficult or impossible to remove.
Pot Life And Drying Time
You can expect to wait 30 minutes or more before you’ll be able to walk on the epoxy. This varies with temperature and humidity, so check the weather forecast before beginning your job. However, pot life will probably range from 60 to 90 minutes for most floor coating applications.
Drying time is even harder to judge since it depends on which epoxy you use and how many coats you apply. A high-quality, 10-mil product might require as little as six hours of drying time before you can apply a second coat of epoxy or wax to an already finished floor. However, the curing period can stretch to 24 hours or more for some brands.
What You Don’t Need To Know About Epoxy Floors
There are a lot of questions and worries about epoxy flooring. Still, the correct information can help you avoid many of them. For example, not all epoxy is created equal, so it’s essential to stick to established brands that you trust.
Epoxy flooring doesn’t last forever.
Depending on which coatings you choose and how often you use them, they may need to be recoated every 5 to 10 years. Without proper maintenance and care, your epoxy coating will not only lose its lustre and beauty but will also begin to chip and flake.
Epoxy flooring doesn’t have to be loud and garish.
You can choose from dozens of colours, from subtle earth tones to bright whites, blues, and reds. Some epoxy manufacturers offer a 100% colour guarantee. So if you’re not happy with the way the colour looks on the day of installation, you can have it changed for free.
Epoxy flooring isn’t just a DIY project.
Although some epoxy compounds work well on smaller projects, many brands require special training and certification to apply. If you plan to hire a company or contractor, ensure that they’ve been certified by the manufacturer.
Epoxy is costly, so you may want to avoid products that aren’t very good at resisting fading, discolouration, and damage from use. This goes back to how seriously the manufacturer takes your epoxy floor paint application on concrete. A product that offers a “translucent” finish will likely let stains and other wear show through.
Guarantees and Warranties
Manufacturers that stand behind their products, and offer warranties or guarantees on them, are more likely to produce high-quality epoxy. These manufacturers will also discuss any problems with the product in question. Warranty periods vary from 20 years (on concrete) to 2 years (on tile).
Before buying, ask how long the warranty lasts, at what cost you can get another gallon to touch up your floors if necessary, and whether this epoxy comes with a money-back guarantee.
Less expensive epoxies often have no warranty, are not free of defects, and have no money-back guarantee. The manufacturer may even refuse to repair or replace faulty products if they feel necessary.
Install with Professional Assistance
When considering epoxy flooring, the last thing you want to do is DIY application. You’re only going to end up ruining your investment. Hire Floormaster. We know the application of various epoxy flooring systems. You can rest assured knowing that our team will do the job right.