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Choosing the Right Epoxy – 10 Factors for a Perfect Floor Finish

Choosing the right epoxy is one of the most important decisions you will make for your floor. It is not only what makes the final look but will determine how much abuse it can take and how easy it will be to maintain.

There are many different types of epoxies. They range from water based to cycloaliphatic.

1. Resin Type

There are several different types of epoxy resin floor coatings, each offering a specific set of benefits. It is important to understand the differences between them in order to make an informed decision about which type will best suit your needs.

Epoxy floors are ideal for residential and commercial spaces. They are easy to clean and highly resistant. They are also hygienic and can withstand various chemicals, making them perfect for food and drink factories and departments in the health sector.

Epoxy resins can be applied over existing concrete surfaces, which makes them a cost-effective and quick solution for renovating floors without major construction. However, it is crucial to work with a specialist that has experience installing these floors and can perform thorough moisture tests. In addition, they should use a high traffic urethane for the final coat, which is designed to resist heavy traffic.

2. Color

A good epoxy floor coating will look great in any space. It will also offer a functional benefit that isn’t available with traditional flooring options like tile or carpeting.

Choosing a color is one of the first things you need to consider when laying down an epoxy floor. The color will affect the aesthetic of your floor. Darker colors are better for disguising oil and tire marks as well as dirt and dust that can become tracked in from the outside.

Lighter colors require more effort to maintain as dirt becomes more visible on these floors. However, if you’re willing to commit to regular cleaning, these floors can be beautiful in any space. Regardless of the color you choose, it’s important to read and understand the specifications of the epoxy product you’re considering. This will help you avoid a bad choice that will result in a poorly looking floor.

3. Surface Preparation

Aside from aesthetics, many business owners choose to invest in an epoxy floor because it prevents their concrete floors from further cracking. However, the most important factor in choosing the best floor coating is adequate surface preparation.

Various methods can be used to prepare the floor, including grinding and shot blasting (uses small spheres of material to remove oxides from a surface). The most important step in this process is ensuring that any previous coating is removed and all defects are repaired.

This ensures that the resin will bond to your concrete floor, maximizing its longevity. Not following these guidelines will result in your floor wearing through the coating and down to bare concrete within a short period of time. This is what we call abrasion loss and it is very hard on your flooring. It is very important that you only use the highest quality epoxies.

4. Temperature

There are a number of different types of epoxy floor coatings available to choose from, and selecting the right one for your needs is important. A good epoxy should be durable, long-lasting and easy to clean.

You should always read and understand the specifications for each type of epoxy you are considering. Some companies will falsely advertise their products as heavy-duty, industrial grade or commercial-grade floor coatings when they are not.

Epoxy is a two-part product consisting of a resin and hardener/activator. The resin and hardener must be mixed together in the correct ratio to achieve proper results. Epoxy does not dry the way paint dries (through evaporation of water or solvent), but rather through a chemical reaction. Therefore, it must be kept in a warm place until you are ready to use it. This prevents the epoxy from freezing and cracking as it sets.

5. Time of Day

Epoxy floor coatings come in a wide variety of colors and many installers can custom mix color for each project. They can also add colored epoxy “flakes” to the floor to give it texture and visual appeal.

If you choose the wrong color for your floor, it can impact the look and feel of the space. For example, choosing a bright color with shiny metallic chips might not be best for a sleek office building.

It’s also important to understand what level of durability you want and need. Many epoxies will claim to be heavy duty or industrial grade, but once they’re on the floor they quickly wear down and expose bare concrete underneath. Educating yourself about what makes an epoxy coating great will save you time and money in the long run. Taking these factors into account will help you choose the perfect epoxy for your home or business floor.

6. Underlayment

The underlayment is a key part of the flooring system that will greatly impact the finished floor finish. It improves stability and evens out minor subfloor imperfections. It also protects the floor against moisture and vapor.

Most epoxies are solvent-based and require an active chemical process to dry. Water-based epoxies are easier to work with because they dry through the simple evaporation of water rather than a chemical reaction. However, they are not as durable as a true 100% solids epoxy.

Read the specifications of each type of epoxy you are considering buying. You will save yourself a lot of heartache and frustration down the road when you do. Many online retailers make claims about heavy duty, commercial and industrial grade epoxy that aren’t true. These products will not last a lifetime and you will find yourself redoing your floor again sooner than you should have to.

7. Cleanliness

A pristine-looking epoxy floor adds style and value to a space. It protects against stains, moisture and damage and can be used to create a safe, slip-resistant surface. It’s also easy to clean and maintain. Many installers offer different colored chips in addition to a variety of neutral color options, giving the flooring a more modern look.

However, the level of durability you need depends on where and how your floor will be used. Avoid the low-cost, low abrasion products advertised as industrial or commercial grade. These epoxies will fail to withstand the daily destructive forces of aircraft, vehicles, forklifts, pallet jacks and material carts. They will also yellow, wear and peel up far sooner than aliphatic epoxies with a true urethane topcoat. This is the choice that customers from home owners to all branches of the US Military choose.

8. Flexibility

An epoxy floor is very resilient, which makes it a great material for floors that see high volumes of traffic. They can resist a lot of damage from car tires, heavy equipment and forklifts. They also are resistant to most chemical spills and cleaners.

The problem is that this same resilience can make them quite slippery if they are wet. Luckily there are ways to reduce this risk by adding anti-slip additives.

Another issue is that the epoxy needs to be mixed in the right ratio of resin to hardener. If this isn’t done properly, the epoxy will fail prematurely. The wrong proportion of hardener can also cause the epoxy to yellow and lose its color. This is a major reason to always have your floor epoxy professionally applied. It will save you money and headaches in the long run.

9. Durability

Epoxy floors can withstand heavy traffic and loads without scuffing or scratching. They also resist the effects of oil and grease and are simple to keep clean. These factors make them an excellent choice for commercial spaces. They can even be used in homes as a sleek, attractive alternative to other flooring solutions. Explore the exceptional durability of their epoxy solutions by examining some garage epoxy flooring samples, showcasing the high-quality protection and resilience they can provide.

While scuffs and abrasions are to be expected, it’s important to know when your floor is beginning to lose its strength. It’s best to address any cracks that appear, as they will worsen over time if left untreated. If you notice these cracks on a large portion of your floor, it’s likely time to schedule a replacement. Otherwise, you could have a floor that looks worse than it did before you applied the epoxy. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each product before making a purchase.

10. Warranty

Choosing the wrong epoxy or failing to follow application directions can cause your floor coating to fail prematurely. Abrasion from heavy traffic will soon wear through the epoxy down to the concrete, and this is a very expensive mistake.

A well-chosen epoxy will provide a glossy, attractive finish that enhances the look of any room. It also provides protection against mold and mildew growth in damp areas of your home.

Many types of epoxy are available in different colors and can be mixed together to create a custom look. Choose a color that complements the other fixtures and finishings in the room. You can also add different colored chips to the epoxy, which can create depth and design, or tone down a bold color. The right epoxy floor coating can elevate a showroom, nightclub or office and project a high-quality image for your business.