Epoxy resin flooring has proven itself to stand out from other coating options in industrial, commercial, and residential settings.
Epoxy is capable of providing benefits to almost any surface due to its high durability, customizability, and sustainability. It is also very decorative. Of these benefits, its durability shines the brightest, which makes it a long-lasting flooring option.
In this article, we will discuss what makes up an epoxy resin floor and the types that are available and where they can be used.
What is epoxy?
Epoxy Coating systems consist of two parts, polymer resins and hardeners. When mixed correctly, a chemical reaction occurs that forms a chemical bond between both of them and also with the floor itself. This bond creates a tough and durable mixture that binds exceptionally well to its substrate and is resistant to degradation.
An Overview of Epoxy Flooring
Put simply, epoxy flooring is a coating comprising of several layers applied at least two millimetres deep to the substrate. The many benefits of epoxy flooring allow it to be a fantastic solution in almost any scenario. It is versatile in that it is both functional and decorative. For example, its durability allows for a long-lasting, highly resistant floor while also providing a stunning, unique appearance thanks to its customisability. These benefits mean that it can be used in almost any environment whether it’s a sleek entryway for a restaurant or a warehouse floor that needs to be durable and capable of withstanding heavy industrial use.
Epoxy Flooring Types and Application Areas
100% Solids Epoxy
Epoxy which consists of 100% solid content evaporates no water or solvent during its curing process. This means that no VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) are emitted like those produced in urethane applications. In addition to the many already-stated benefits of epoxy, it is aberration-proof, chemical-proof, stain-proof, and in general, the strongest floor coating.
Application Areas: Commercial, industrial, and residential buildings such as manufacturing facilities, industrial warehouse floors, showrooms, hospitals, food facilities, retail stores, garages, kitchens, bathrooms, and internal pathways for a wide range of uses.
Some epoxy can self-level meaning that it will spread out across the substrate and create a smooth, durable, and levelled texture. This can be used on concrete no matter its condition. In addition to the benefit of a seamless appearance, there are often a variety of colours available for self-levelling epoxy, making it an appealing option in many different areas.
Application Areas: Most industrial buildings such as manufacturing factories and warehouses, offices, showrooms, retail outlets, commercial garages, athletic facilities, production facilities, food packing plants, and so on.
Quartz Epoxy Floors
Quartz can be used together to create a slip-resistant, durable, and stunning floor. Quartz is available in a variety of colours allowing for floors that are both effective and aesthetically pleasing.
Application Areas: Areas that require slip-resistance and sanitary properties such as locker rooms, restrooms, school cafeterias, lobbies, offices, and showrooms as well as residential and commercial garages.
Epoxy Flake Flooring
Combining flakes with an epoxy solution produces a visually-appealing blend of colours. An additional benefit of this method comes in the form of slip resistance due to the subtle grooves that are created by the flakes. These floors are highly customisable, with many sizes, colours, styles, and textures available, so can be the perfect solution to many areas.
Application Areas: Public locations benefit highly such as supermarkets, hospitals, offices, schools, shopping centres, food preparation areas, toilets/washrooms, garages, and sports facilities, among others.
Metallic Epoxy Flooring
Metallic epoxy floor coatings allow for the most unique and exotic designs. This is achieved by mixing metallic additives into clear epoxy coatings. Designs that resemble lava and other interesting patterns are created as the metallic pigments move through the epoxy as it cures. Due to the way the pigments flow through the epoxy, no two floors will be the same even if the colours are similar.
Application Areas: This type of epoxy flooring can be used in many different types of places including residential, commercial, retail, salons, restaurants, cafes, hotel lobbies, offices, reception areas, recreation rooms, and more.
Epoxy Terrazzo Flooring
Epoxy terrazzo floors are achieved by mixing aggregates bound with a thin-set resin into epoxy. Epoxy terrazzo allows for the creation of almost infinite designs by combining a variety of colours with glistening pieces of glass, marble, or granite.
Application Areas: New technologies have shaped terrazzo’s evolution. As epoxy has grown and become more popular, designs and installations have transformed.
Glitter Epoxy Flooring
Industrial differs from traditional/craft store glitter as it is highly resistant to commercial solvents. It is compatible with most solvents, acrylics, vinyl, and gel systems. Epoxy glitter floors are capable of producing captivating surfaces.
Application Areas: Epoxy glitter floors have many uses in locations where appearance is the deciding factor such as residential, commercial, retail, salons, restaurants, cafes, hotel lobbies, casinos, nightclubs, offices, reception areas, recreation rooms, and more.
Epoxy Floor Advantages
Appearance: Compared to traditional flooring options, epoxy has a bright, professional appearance. This makes them a very attractive option for commercial areas and homes. Epoxy floors are also very easy to maintain and clean.
Inexpensive: Thanks to the fact that epoxy can be installed directly over concrete and other substrates, it has a very low installation cost. When compared with other flooring options, the cost per square metre of epoxy cannot be beaten.
Resilience: The durability of an epoxy floor is one of many key benefits. Capable of resisting chemicals like oil, gasoline, bleach, transmission fluid, cleaners, and more, they are often chosen to be installed in garages and kitchens. Chemical resistance isn’t epoxy’s only trick as it is also water and heat-resistant. They are also hygienic as they resist bacteria and germs and are easy to sanitise meaning that they are suitable for use in hospitals and clinics.
Decorative: Epoxy can be used purely as a material used for decoration. With high customisability and functionality, it can be used in almost any space while providing a flawless, elegant shine to the room.
What To Avoid
Deciding on a flooring option can be a difficult task so knowing the difference between the many types is important for achieving your desired floor the first time. There are many factors affected by each option and it is important to invest in an epoxy floor that lasts for a long time.
Before the epoxy is installed, existing floor treatments must be removed. Some professionals may recommend degreasers for oil stains, however, these can leave a residue that will affect the adhesion of the epoxy.
The most effective method to prepare a surface for an epoxy installation is by grinding the surface with a floor prep machine. Unfortunately, there are certain floors that can be stubborn when trying to clean. This can happen when they are heavily stained and an oil stain primer will be required. Alternatively, muriatic acid can be used as a cheaper and highly effective solution.
Another method that can be used is shot-blasting. This method is not recommended unless you are a trained professional with experience using a shot-blasting machine. Used incorrectly, lines can be left that can show through even the heaviest epoxy coatings.
Some believe that it is possible to coat right over the top of an existing application. This is not true and the majority of coatings cannot be applied over existing coatings. Due to this, a primer is highly recommended to ensure the correct bonding of the epoxy.
There are some installers that use a hand grinder for an entire floor. While it is possible to do this, hand angle grinders are recommended for areas that are better suited such as edges, corners, closets, or narrow hallways that are difficult to reach.
Epoxy has many advantages that make them a popular flooring solution for a wide range of applications. They are affordable, durable, and aesthetically pleasing. With many different types available, a resinous epoxy floor is suitable in almost any location.