Epoxy flooring is most commonly used to coat concrete floors in commercial buildings, industrial and residential garages. It is a coating system that is comprised of two materials (parts). When the parts are mixed together, they turn into a substance that hardens quickly. This is a semi-gloss or high-gloss durable flooring surface.
Epoxy floors can, however, fade or turn yellow in direct sunlight. Epoxy coating material can be used on cement mortars, concrete, wood, or metal surfaces. It can also be used as an undercoat. Before the mixture dries completely, paint flakes can be used to create designs or give the appearance of granite.
Epoxy is one of the most hard-wearing and resistant resins used in coatings, and these qualities mean it is used for a variety of purposes. These qualities also make it a preferred component of flooring systems. An epoxy resin floor coating is a two component system that results in a hard, durable and resistant flooring solution for everything from industrial warehouse and manufacturing plants to home kitchens, driveways and garage floor coatings. Whether a public, commercial, industrial or residential floor system is needed, epoxy resin floor coating is the flooring of choice.
It is recommended not to use Epoxy when moisture is present, so test for moisture first before starting the project.
An epoxy floor system can require anywhere from one to four coats. For a standard application process, a base coat (primer or adhesion promoter) is put down first. That is followed by one or more coats of epoxy, a colored decorative coat, and a final top coat.
Before applying the epoxy, the floor needs to be patched and leveled. We have prepared another article about substrate preparation for epoxy coatings. The concrete must then be cleaned and etched with a mild acid solution or a grinder.
Epoxy floor coating comes in three different categories:
1- The highest performance type of epoxy flooring is 100% epoxy floor coating. This most expensive coating is used professionally on commercial flooring.
2 & 3- Water-based and Solvent-based epoxy coating contains from 40% to 69% epoxy, and is more affordable. The least expensive choice is water-based epoxy paints. These are thinner that solvent-based coatings and easier to apply, but they are also less durable. Solvent-based materials are a bit thicker and cover more of the floor's imperfections, but the applicators need to wear respirators to apply the floor coating.
The ways to use epoxy floor coating
Epoxy resin floor coatings can be used for three different applications: a primer on concrete to even it out, an undercoat to be covered with a carpet or the like, and a decorative top coat. Epoxy resin has many beneficial properties that make it suitable for many applications – especially floors. Below are several properties that make epoxy resin flooring a coating of choice for almost any floor.
- Seamless finish – The absence of seams makes floors easy to clean and pleasant to walk on, as well as making it suitable for hygienic purposes.
- Abrasion resistant – Parking garages, factory floors and other heavy-duty applications can be re-surfaced with epoxy floor coating. It is one of the hardest coatings available.
- Chemical resistant – Epoxy resin is one of the most chemical resistant resins available. These are suitable for laboratories, clean rooms and other locations dealing with chemicals.
- Clear epoxy coating – A clear option is available to create 3D flooring and the same clear coatings are also used for creating artworks or topping for bars and tables.
- Attractive – Epoxy resin floor coating comes in a variety of colours and textures. In case the right appearance cannot be achieved with epoxy, the coating can be topped with a polyurethane or another solution.
- Cost-effective – Epoxy flooring cost is one of the attractions for the coating. It is the cheapest of the resin floor coating systems.
A quick guide to applying epoxy resincoatings
For the consumer market there are epoxy paint floor coating products that consist of one component (these are available for example at Bunnings as garage floor coatings). However, traditional epoxy resin floors are 2-part systems and this provides a far superior finish to the one component options. Therefore, in this guide we assume you are using a product that requires mixing the A and B component before applying.
You should always start the job by reading the manufacturer’s instructions on surface preparation and mixing the coating. If you have prepared the surface properly with a primer or grinder and mixed the two components according to the instructions, you can start with application.
- Pour the coating mixture onto the floor
- Spread out the coating evenly with a spreader and/or roller (as advised by the manufacturer)
- Make sure you use enough layers to comply with the advised thickness for your project
- Let each layer cure before applying the next one.