Epoxy Floor Coating: All You Need To Know About Epoxy Coating
When it comes to garage flooring, there is a wide array of options available. One of the most popular and attractive options is Epoxy. Epoxy is an aesthetically pleasing and versatile floor coating. It’s what you’ll find in high-end showrooms, car dealerships, and commercial garages. Epoxy is highly recommended for a wide range of uses in commercial, industrial, and healthcare sectors, as well as for individual homes. That said it is important to remember that newer technology exists. While this article is dedicated to epoxy, Garage Flooring often recommends polyurea garage coatings. Polyurea is more suitable for many, if not most DIY projects, except when an odor is a concern or there are major repairs. The bottom line is an article can’t answer the ‘which is best’ question for you, so give us a call to discuss the specifics of your project.
But, Epoxy coating isn’t as simple as some of the other floor coating options out there. For anyone considering coating their floors with Epoxy, here are some crucial points to know before making the final decision.
What is Epoxy?
First things first, it’s essential to understand the basics. What exactly is Epoxy? Epoxy is a compound that consists of 2 elements: epoxy resin and a polyamine hardener. When mixed, these two undergo a chemical reaction in which they cure and harden into a tough and resilient surface when applied on bare concrete.
The Benefits and Drawbacks
What’s so great about Epoxy? For one, it is an attractive choice. When compared to bare concrete, Epoxy stands out because of the bright, professional, and luxe feel. It has a smooth surface that reflects the light and creates a pristine look in the space. On top of looking great, it is easy to keep clean. Since it is a smooth surface, you can sweep it regularly to keep it clean. If anything spills on it, an immediate wiping up or a quick mopping will do the trick.
In addition to looking great and being easy to maintain, Epoxy is also cost-efficient.
Also, Epoxy flooring is highly resilient. It is resistant to almost anything you throw at it – from gasoline to snow to dirt to bleach, transmission fluids, cleansers, and oil – epoxy can handle it. The reason you’ll find epoxy flooring in so many dealerships or industrial spaces is because of its chemical resistance. Additionally, Epoxy is both water and heat resistant. Epoxy is also easy to sanitize from germs and bacteria, which is why you’ll find it in so many hospitals and clinics as the floor coating of choice.
A few other reasons why Epoxy is so popular is that it is long-lasting. Therefore, your investment will be well worth it for those staying in their homes or for those using the revamp as an added feature to help drive up value on a property. When installed correctly, it can last many decades without peeling or cracking. Epoxy coating is also great for creating a highly customized space; you can add colors, designs, and flake to it to make the area more unique. Lastly, it is an excellent choice for protecting your bare concrete floors. It is highly effective at keeping moisture, cracks, stains, and grease from damaging the floor underfoot. Installing Epoxy can help save money on maintenance and cleaning for carpet, grout, or concrete.
What are some of the drawbacks of Epoxy? The biggest thing to keep in mind is the time and level of involvement it takes to install an epoxy floor coating. It takes extensive preparation to ensure that the floor underneath is ready to bind with the epoxy floor coating. Installers and DIY customers need to follow instructions strictly to ensure a successful installation. We will go into precisely what it takes to install later on in this article.
Also, we do not recommend Epoxy for flooring that has a moisture problem. Installation efforts could go to waste with an unsuccessful installation or with the development of a mold problem.
Epoxy also is known for the strong fumes of ammonia during the installation process. This can cause headaches for those installing it. Lastly, an epoxy installation is final. It is not easy to change the color or design of the floor once installed – a perk of other flooring options.
Epoxy vs. Epoxy Paint
When you’re looking into Epoxy, you might start seeing Epoxy, Epoxy coating, and Epoxy paint used interchangeably. It’s important to note the difference. Epoxy coatings consist of epoxy resin and polyamine hardener. Mix the two components before applying the materials to the floor. Epoxy cures, it doesn’t dry like epoxy paint.
Acrylic Epoxy paint is a latex acrylic product that has a bit of Epoxy mixed in. Epoxy paint adheres to the ground and has more extended durability over regular latex or acrylic paint. However, it isn’t as durable as Epoxy. We do not sell acrylic Epoxy paint on our website. Epoxy paint is easier to apply and less expensive. But, it is generally a poor investment due to poor quality and a higher susceptibility to hot-tire lifting.
Installing Epoxy Takes Time and a Lot of Prep Work
Note that if you desire a garage floor coating that requires less prep-work while still maintaining high durability, we recommend the AWF Polyurea.
Converting your rough concrete floor into a beautiful epoxy covered area has tons of benefits. But, to get those benefits, you’ll have to invest some time and effort. First things first, you must prep your concrete floor sufficiently. If not completed correctly, you risk the installation process failing. You’ll need to clean your concrete floor thoroughly, test for moisture, and any residual paint or sealants. Then, you’ll need to etch or grind the floor to ensure that it can adhere to the Epoxy. After etching or grinding, you’ll need to make sure the ground has no cracks in it and fill them in if they are present. Next, you’ll need to begin the multi-step application process that starts with mixing your epoxy coating. You’ll then apply the first coat, usually a primer coat or color base coat and allow it to dry for 12-24 hours. Once dry, you’ll then apply the first coat of Epoxy, give it 24 hours to dry, then move on to the second coat, which will require another 24 hours to dry. After this step is complete, you’ll move on to adding the vinyl color flakes. Last come the topcoat and any non-slip additives you might want to add. While this is a quick overview, there are a lot of finer details to take into account when installing an epoxy floor. Be sure to watch instructional videos and read full instructional articles. The instructions will guide you step-by-step on how to install Epoxy before starting the project. If you ever have questions, just call us! Installation is highly susceptible to mistakes, and it is essential to complete each step carefully to make sure your Epoxy bonds to the concrete floor and cures properly.
With all these things taken into consideration, epoxy flooring is a highly recommended floor coating for many homes and commercial garage spaces. It is crucial to determine what you’ll be using the area for, whether you’re looking for a long-term flooring solution and if you have the time to invest in the lengthy installation process. This is essential to figure out before deciding on the epoxy floor coating for your garage or space.