Garages, basements, sunrooms, and showrooms usually have concrete floors that are covered with epoxy coating. This can enhance the decorative feature of the floor. Aside from that, epoxy flooring also comes with other benefits, including making the floor anti-slip, flame-resistant, and water-resistant. Aside from that, it can also make the room brighter.
Epoxy coatings on floors are also applied over concrete floors to provide a high-performance, smooth, and durable surface that can last for a long time and withstand heavy loads. This is the reason why most of the time, they are applied on floors in industrial sites, warehouses, and commercial buildings to maintain clean and safe conditions for the workers and as well as for the equipment.
Compared to traditional coatings applied over concrete, using epoxy for flooring comes with more advantages. It is quick and easy to install, it does not require any layout, cutting, or special equipment, it is durable and easy to clean, it can resist oil stains and water, it can prevent wear and tear on existing concrete floors, and many more.
If you are looking into applying epoxy coating on your garage floor at home or other work areas, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we are giving you a guide to using epoxy for flooring.
Check If Your Floor is Suitable for Epoxy Coating
One of the important things you need to do first before applying an epoxy coating to your flooring is to ensure that it is suitable for it. One of the things you can do is test your floor for moisture. You can do this by laying a plastic garbage bag on your floor and secure it with duct tape on all four sides. Leave it on for 24 hours and see if there’s moisture accumulation. If the plastic bag or floor is dry, then you can proceed with epoxy coating. However, if any moisture has formed, it means that your floor is not suitable for epoxy coating.
You also need to check if a concrete sealer has been used on your flooring. You can do this by pouring a cup or two of water onto the surface of the floor. If the water beads up immediately, then it means that a concrete sealer has been used. Therefore, it’s not a good idea to coat your floor with epoxy because they are not compatible with one another.
If your flooring is newly installed, then it’s best to wait for at least 28 days to 2 months before you apply an epoxy coating. This way, the floor will have time to cure and dry. If your flooring is painted, it’s best to remove the paint because epoxy coating does not work on latex and polyurethane floor paints.
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Clean Your Flooring Before Epoxy Applications
Before applying an epoxy coating to your floor, it’s important to clean it first. Make sure that there are no oil or grease stains. You can remove these by using a concrete degreaser and a stiff scrub brush. If there are any rubber residue on the floor, sand them off and rinse with clean water. Use a vacuum in cleaning any remaining debris on the floor. If you want to make sure that the floor is clean, you can also use a pressure washer to deep clean it. This will remove any remaining impurities on the floor. You also need to patch any cracks on the floor with an epoxy crack filler. The same goes for any holes or spalled areas.
Choose and Mix and Epoxy Product
When choosing an epoxy coating for flooring, you can select between solvent-based and water-based epoxies. Solvent-based epoxies adhere well, and they come in many different colors. However, they can be hazardous. You also need a ventilator to apply it. On the other hand, water-based epoxies mostly come in clear color, but they do not give off any hazardous fumes. Both usually have 40% to 60% solids or epoxy. The higher the epoxy percentage, the harder your floor will be. When buying epoxy, make sure that you buy enough to cover your floor in at least two coatings.
You also need to decide if you will be using an epoxy primer. But it is recommended because it can smooth out minor imperfections in the floor, and as well as give the epoxy coating a better base to bond to. If your flooring is porous, chalky, rough, or flaky, you need to use a primer to add strength and durability.
Apply the Epoxy
When applying epoxy on flooring, make sure that you wear protective gear and that you turn off the power. Wear gloves, eye protection, rubber boots, and lung protection to keep you safe while applying. It’s important to turn off gas and power to any heaters or appliances around you. Make sure that there are no kids or pets near the area while you are applying the epoxy on the floor.
All of the hardener contents should be placed in an electric mixer and mixed for about two minutes. Mix all the components properly for a more durable result. To apply the epoxy coating on the floor, use a good quality roller that can last a long time and will not shed. After the first application, leave the floor for 24 hours and then re-coat it. If there’s any cracks or holes after the first coating, seal them up before the final coat. If there are surfaces that look uneven, sand them first.
After checking the surface for issues like holes and cracks, you can then apply the final coating. Make sure that you mix only one bucket at a time because epoxy floor coating has a short pot life. Let the final coating dry for 24 hours. Do not go near the floor as it dries, and make sure that there’s enough ventilation. Then, give the floor a day to cure before stepping and walking on it.
These are some of the best tips and tricks we can give when it comes to using epoxy for flooring. When you apply the epoxy coating well, the end result will be a spotless and bright flooring that is prepared for any kind of use. The process may take a few days to finish, but it will be worth it. We hope this guide helped you in understanding how to use epoxy for flooring.