Epoxy flooring is an amazing and innovative way of creating beautiful, durable, and smooth floors. This flooring has been around for many years, traditionally it was used in industries, warehouses, and other such big units.
Epoxy floors suit such places because these places require hard, durable, and easy to install floors. But in recent times, with many innovations, the reach of epoxy floors has extended to many other places.
It is now being used in homes, shops, complexes, and even in posh and premium places like five-star hotels, and high-end restaurants. And with the inclusion of HD and 3D designs this new version of epoxy flooring has already become very popular.
What Is Epoxy Flooring
Epoxy flooring is a multi-layer and multi-component flooring that is done by mixing the epoxy resin and hardener. Other components like adhesive promoters, accelerators, design patterns, UV inhibitors, etc. are also added to get the end result.
The epoxy resin is mixed with the hardener and other components and it is then applied on the floor. And after some time this mixture for a hard floor surface like a stone or marble floor.
The epoxy flooring is generally done in two to three layers or coats to give the floor the required thickness. Making a thick epoxy floor with two to three layers helps to make it more durable and strong.
It is a self-leveling compound that gets leveled by itself in some time and results in a beautiful shiny surface. You can also get it in a matt finish if you do not want the glossy or shiny finish for your floors.
Types Of Epoxy Flooring
On the basis of application the epoxy floors can be of the following types.
Single Coat Epoxy Flooring
This epoxy flooring involves a single thin coat of the epoxy compound on the floor. An additional layer of primer may also be coated before applying this single layer of epoxy.
This single layer is generally applied on the floor with the help of a roller. This flooring is usually done to protect the base floor from damage and wear and tear.
Multi Coat Epoxy Flooring
This type of epoxy flooring involves at least two or more layers of epoxy compound to give the floor extra strength. These are applied with the help of a trowel and a spiked roller to break the air bubbles.
The multiple layers allow the epoxy compound to self-level properly and it gives an amazing finish to the floors. This type of flooring is used in many hotels, warehouses, small units, storehouses, and other such places.
Heavy Duty Epoxy Flooring
This type of flooring is done in places that require an extra layer of protection. In these floors, the main component is not the epoxy coating itself but quartz, sand, or cement that is mixed with the epoxy.
They are mixed in such a way that the floor becomes extremely strong and resistant to any kind of damage. These floorings are usually required in industries, manufacturing units, and other such big units.
Texture or Color Epoxy Flooring
This is also a multi-layer epoxy flooring in which first the base of the floor is done. And after that, the second or third layer is applied to give it the final perfect finish.
There are several possibilities of colors, textures, metallics, and other patterns in these epoxy floors. It is not just flooring, it’s quite an art to make a beautiful texture or color epoxy floor.
3D Epoxy Flooring
These floors are the latest innovations in the flooring industry and not many people have the skill to perfectly execute these floors. This type of flooring is done with transparent epoxy material.
Several types of 3D designs and patterns can be applied on the floors with this technique of flooring. In this flooring, the print is pasted on the base and then the top transparent layer is applied to it to give it a perfect finish
Where Can You Do Epoxy Flooring
Epoxy flooring was traditionally done in spaces like industries and warehouses but now this flooring can be done anywhere as per the suitability of the consumer. These floors have their own pros and cons which should be clearly understood before using these floors.
You can put epoxies in your home for places like a garage, storerooms, basement, etc. For such places, epoxy is probably one of the best floor material you can have.
You can easily clean the oil spills, tire marks, dust, and dirt from these floors. So it is a great solution for places like multi-purpose area, play area, garage, parking, etc.
Life Span Of Epoxy Flooring
The life span of the epoxy flooring depends on many factors. Some of these factors are mentioned below.
- Quality of epoxy material.
- Usage of the epoxy floor.
- The number of layers or coats.
- Type Of Epoxy Flooring.
- The skill of the floor maker.
For a general guideline, you can understand that the life span of the epoxy floor in a manufacturing unit is about 3 to 5 years. And for a place like a warehouse or storage facility, it is about 4 to 6 years. For a home interior floor, the life span of an epoxy floor is about 5 to 7 years.
How To Do Epoxy Flooring
Prepare The Base
The first step is to prepare the base of the floor, and for this, you need to clean the floor properly. Properly sand the floor, then use a blower to clean the dust, there should not be any dust on the floor.
Then clean the whole area with water and scrub any area with any kind of spots. Make sure the whole area is clean and then vacuum clean the whole area.
Tape Up The Edges
After preparing the base make sure you apply the tapes on the edges of the walls so that the epoxy does not stick to the walls. Tape off all your boundaries, doors, or anything else that you don’t want to get your epoxy on.
The epoxy material comes in two components – Part A and Part B. Make sure that you mix the epoxy properly, you can add about 5% acetone to Part A to increase the life of the floor.
Make sure you mix the components properly or else air bubbles will appear in the mixture. And these air bubbles will start heating up the epoxy which will shorten your floor life.
For applying the first coat you will need a notched squeegee and a good quality roller. Apply the epoxy properly with your squeegee, then use a solvent resistant roller to complete the first coat.
Once the first coat is done, let it sit overnight because it is going to take a while to settle down. You will get some bubbles and that is quite normal.
The next day after the first coat is done you will some bubbles on the epoxy. You have to repeat the sanding process again and then you have to wash and clean the whole floor again.
After you clean it up it’s time to do the second coat. The second coat goes down just exactly the same way as the first one. Mix your epoxy the same way, and roll it exactly as you did for the first coat, and leave it overnight.
Final Polyurethane Coat
Add another coat of polyurethane on top to protect the epoxy. Polyurethane is a very good top coat; if you have any imperfections on your epoxies like bubbles or anything else, you can go ahead and sand them down.
Then you can put your polyurethane coat, roll your polyurethane coat on the top and let it sit for a while to settle down properly. This is what it takes to do a good epoxy job.
Epoxy Flooring Cost
Epoxy flooring is neither very cheap nor very costly, but to assess the true cost you have to weigh in all factors like the maintenance cost, the life of the floor, renovation requirement, etc.
Also, the cost of epoxy flooring will vary with many factors. But to give you a general idea the single layer epoxy flooring with all material will cost you somewhere around Rs. 70 to Rs. 100 per square feet.
And the total cost for a double layer epoxy flooring with the material will cost you around Rs. 120 to Rs. 150 per square feet. The price will vary with the quality of material, pattern, texture, etc.
Advantages And Disadvantages
Like every other flooring options, epoxy flooring also has some advantages and some disadvantages. Let’s have a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of epoxy flooring.
Advantages Of Epoxy Flooring
- The first advantage of epoxy floors is that they provide protection from mechanical abrasion. Having epoxy on top can protect the floor from damage from cracks and from dust being created.
- Epoxy floors provide cleanliness and hygiene, most factories now have very strict standards, especially when they produce medicines or foods. Epoxies can create beautiful smooth surfaces that are very easy to clean.
- Epoxies are very good at waterproofing a surface; they are excellent because any water that could be absorbed by the floor does not get absorbed. This helps to protect the floors further.
- Epoxies are also very good at saving the floor from chemical abrasions. Many factories involve work with chemicals, and thus epoxies become a perfect choice for them.
- The other advantage of epoxy floors is aesthetic or the beauty that they provide to the floors. You can decorate your floor with any color like black color, white color, or anything else you want.
- The epoxy floor gives you a jointless, seamless, super smooth floor that you can use for many purposes. They are also swift to make; they can be made in very little time as compared to other floors.
Disadvantages Of Epoxy Flooring
- They require skilled labor and a good supervisor, making epoxy floor is not regular work, it is quite a craft. So if your floors are not built properly then they can be troublesome.
- The life of the epoxy floor is quite an issue, they are not like stone and other materials that will stay forever. So you need to keep this in mind while getting epoxy floors.
- They do not suit the residential parts quite well, these floors develop scratch and marks eventually. And this can be a big issue for most homeowners.
Can You Use Epoxy Flooring In Your Home
Many people are nowadays interested in using these floors in their homes too. But these floors are not yet the best options for homes because the main issue with epoxy flooring is that it scratches and creates marks with time.
Some people advocate the usage of polyurethane coating over epoxy for avoiding scratches. But the bitter truth is that with time scratches are bound to happen and this is not something you want for your home floors.
In an industry or a warehouse scratch marks or other marks on the floor is no big deal. But for your home floors, you want them to shine and look perfect as long as you live there.