Your floor is probably among the first things visitors see when they enter your house.
There are many different materials and styles of flooring but one of the increasingly popular ways of flooring is using a coating.
Floor coating is a quick way to make your floor both attractive and durable. The difference lies in the type of coating you use. While there are many ways to coat floors, epoxy floor coating remains to be top on the list.
However, not everyone knows about this excellent floor coating. Therefore, we have prepared a guide to help you understand.
So, let’s talk about epoxy flooring!
What is epoxy?
Epoxy is a term that can be used to describe a type of material as well as the act of using the material. Epoxy coating is created using two components – resins and hardeners.
When an epoxy coating is poured on a concrete surface, it forms a hard, shiny plastic floor. This floor is resistant to things like vehicle drippings, water, and oil. Therefore, epoxy increases the lifespan and look of surfaces.
There is a slight difference between epoxy flooring and epoxy coating – though these terms are often used interchangeably. The difference lies in the application.
- Epoxy flooring: The application should be at least two millimeters thick and provides structural support.
- Epoxy coating: The application is less than two millimeters thick and only creates a protective layer on your floor.
Types of epoxy floor coatings
Epoxy floors come in many different types so there is always something for everyone.When thinking of laying an epoxy floor, consider your needs and how you use your floor to guide you to the right one for you.
Here is a list of the different epoxy coatings.
Solid color epoxy
Solid color epoxy is the most durable type of epoxy coating and is highly recommended over the other epoxy applications. If well installed and maintained, solid epoxy could last for as long as 20 years.
The coating is solidified using hardeners to create a bond with the concrete substrates. The characteristics of solid epoxy coating makes it ideal for use in places with a high risk of possible abrasion resulting from constant foot traffic. It is also ideal for parking lots as it protects the floor against marks from tires and oil spills.
Solid color epoxy can also be used as a sealant on cracked floors before installing the other types of epoxy coatings.
However, solid color epoxy coating is highly sensitive to temperature and as a result, surface preparation is vital before the installation of the coating.
Epoxy flakes are not necessarily a type of epoxy floor coating, but rather, a specific style of applying an epoxy coating on a concrete floor.
The application technique involves the addition of multi-colored flakes or chips over the epoxy coating to give it a decorative look/finish. The flakes/chips are added while the epoxy is still wet.
Epoxy chips/flakes come in different colors and designs to give your floor an elegant, stylish, and attractive look.
Epoxy flakes are best for outdoor use and in areas exposed to water.
If you need a flooring solution that will grab the attention of your visitors or customers, try metallic epoxy coating.
This coating comprises a metallic pigment and a yellowing epoxy that are mixed together to form a 3D illusion on a concrete surface. Metallic epoxy is both slip and chemical resistant – which creates a safe environment for your family or workers.
The outcome of this epoxy coating entirely depends on how you install it. If done well, it furnishes your floor creating a clean, blemish-fee elegance.
Just as the name suggests, self-leveling epoxy coating is easier to install as it spreads and levels itself as its being installed. The coating can be applied to either old or new concrete surfaces.
The coating turns your floor into a beautiful shiny surface that is slip-resistant for the safety of your family or workers.
The coating comes in multiple colors giving you countless decorative options for your floor.
You can also use the self-leveling epoxy coating to create and design your business logo on your floor. This coating is best applicable in commercial and industrial areas such as warehouses, garages, hospitals, manufacturing facilities, showrooms, and shop floors.
Where can you apply epoxy coating?
When it comes to decorating your home, epoxy floor coating is a great option.
And since the flakes come in different designs, shapes, sizes, colors, and textures you can easily customize your floor to your desired needs and preferences. Colored chips/flakes can also be added for a decorative finish.
If you have a garage, epoxy floor coating is a worthy investment. You won’t have a difficult time maintaining your garage floor since epoxy is durable and resistant to things like water, oil drippings, and other chemicals.
Have you ever gone into a shop, office, or any commercial building and saw footprints or signs on the floor directing you? Well, that is the power of epoxy floor coating.
You can showcase your business logo, use epoxy floor coating to mark and demarcate spaces, and give basic directions, all on the floor. The coating can also help you lure customers to a particular area of business.
Large commercial places like supermarkets often receive high foot traffic, which could easily damage an ordinary floor. But, with epoxy floor coating, floors become sturdy and can withstand any kind of pressures for a longer period.
Other commercial areas where epoxy floor coating is ideal include
- Commercial warehouses
- Commercial garages
Industries are the biggest beneficiaries of epoxy floor coatings. The multiple activities and movements at those work spaces require a sturdy, safe floor. The machines are heavy and can easily damage an ordinary floor within a short time.
What of those industries manufacturing or using corrosive chemicals that are reactive?
Epoxy floor coating is the perfect solution for industrial work spaces. It provides an anti-slip yet shiny feature, making it safe to move around, especially in close proximity to machinery and tools.
The coating also creates a smooth surface on concrete floors, which makes it easier to move things around by simply pushing – using little effort thus saving energy.
Why you should consider epoxy coating
You may be wondering why epoxy flooring has continued to gain immense popularity over the years. The benefits of epoxy outweighs its limitations.
Here is why you should consider coating your residential, commercial, or industrial floors using epoxy.
If your flooring needs are long-term, epoxy floor coating is a perfect solution. Epoxy floor coatings make a floor sturdy – especially when applied over concrete structures.
The floor coating does not chip or crack easily, which explains why it is ideal in commercial and industrial work spaces.
But of course, the durability of epoxy floor coatings depends on the installation, type of products used, the amount of traffic the area receives, and the effort you put to maintain it.
The benefits of epoxy floor coating go beyond the physical appearance. Sustainability has become a global agenda and we should all participate in making sure that we create a green environment.
Epoxy floor coatings do not need frequent replacements due to their durability, hence there won’t be waste creation resulting from the frequent disposal of the old coating and laying of the new coating.
When the coating reaches the end of its usable life, all you have to do is recoat rather than removing it completely. Also, epoxy floor coatings are produced in an environmentally-friendly manner.
If well installed on your floor, epoxy floor coating will serve you for an extended period with little maintenance required. You only need to keep it clean.
Cleaning a floor coated with epoxy is effortless – you only need to mop or wipe away any liquids or substances and you are good to go.
When you have an epoxy coating installed over your concrete surface, you don’t have to worry about a slippery floor. Since the coating is impervious to moisture, it reduces the risk of slip and fall accidents.
Again, it is possible to adjust the slip inhibiting additive depending on the facility’s needs and usage.
Resistant to chemical corrosion
Do you know the reason most commercial and industrial floors are coated with epoxy coatings? It is because of its ability to resist a large number of chemicals such as acids and solvents.
When a facility is exposed to high levels of corrosive chemicals, the corrosive chemical agents destroy or damage an ordinary floor within a short period. However, epoxy floor coating has the ability to withstand this.
Easy to install
The application of an epoxy floor coating is fast and requires minimal effort unlike other types of coatings that require multiple procedures.
Also, the curing period is very short thus, it causes minimal work interruption when applied in commercial and industrial works spaces.
Decorative and customizable
Epoxy floor coatings come in various colors, textures, and designs which can be used to give your floor a desired look.
You may choose to sprinkle your floor with epoxy flakes or use different patterns and designs to decorate your floor. Epoxy floor coating can also be used to decorate commercial work spaces by adding things like business logos and messages.
Drawbacks of epoxy coating
Just like a coin, epoxy floor coating has two sides – the good and the bad. Let’s take a look at the drawbacks of epoxy floor coating.
Strong toxic fumes
When installing an epoxy floor coating, a strong smell like that of ammonia will hit your nose, especially when the coating is still wet.
These fumes are very toxic and dangerous and anyone around could experience the side effects. Some of the side effects may include nose and eyes inflammation, and irritation to the lungs and throat. Those with asthma may find it difficult to breathe.
The good news is that, after the epoxy floor coating has fully cured, there are no health risks.
Just like tiles, epoxy floor coatings feel cold under your feet. You will have to put on your shoes or socks to keep your feet comfortable when stepping on a floor coated with epoxy, especially during the colder months.
However, this problem can be remedied by installing an underfloor heating system.
This is a common problem especially for those who chose to DIY the project. If the epoxy floor coating is not mixed well, the coating will look odd.
Using multiple kits during the installation process often result in color variations because of different batches. Ultraviolet rays are also another major cause of color variations.
Epoxy floor cleaning and maintenance
A little effort goes a long way in ensuring that your epoxy floor coating lasts longer. Thankfully, epoxy floor coating requires very little maintenance.
The first maintenance tip to increase the lifespan of an epoxy floor coating is regular cleaning. For vehicle drippings and other minor spills, you only need a soft cloth or a paper towel to wipe it up.
However, routine cleaning requires a quality mop – which can be easily purchased at your local home improvement center or Amazon. A soft bristle also goes a long way in ensuring that your epoxy flooring stays clean.
For heavy-duty cleaning, you will need ammonia, foam mop, and hot water.
If you have been looking for a flooring solution that not only looks good but also ensures the safety of those using it, epoxy floor coating is here to the rescue.
The coating is slip-resistant, easy to install and maintain, and could serve you for a lifetime. Epoxy floor coating can be applied to old and new concrete structures and is ideal for residential, commercial, and industrial spaces.