An epoxy floor coating is one way to enhance the properties of your concrete flooring. It’s one of the more popular choices in terms of concrete treatments. So how does it differ from concrete polishing or concrete grinding and how can it be used?
In this blog, we’re going to take a look at epoxy floor coating. We will be discussing its properties, its applications as well as its benefits. Hopefully, by the end of this blog, you’ll have an idea on whether or not epoxy coating is right for you.
What is epoxy floor coating?
Epoxy coating is created by mixing an epoxy resin with a co-reactant. Co-reactants, in this context, are typically referred to as curatives or hardeners. When you mix a resin with a curative, it creates a chemical reaction that then leads to cross-linking. Cross-linking bonds two polymers together, creating a strong and rigid end product. This bonding process is also referred to as curing. It’s this process that gives epoxy coating its advantageous properties.
The mixing process can also be modified to give the epoxy additional properties. For example, sand blends can be added to the mixture to make the end product more slip-resistant. Through various additives, you can also increase abrasion resistance, improve chemical resistance and adjust the viscosity of the end product.
Perhaps one of the more appealing aspects of epoxy is that you can customise its look. You can add glitter, quartz and metallic pigments to alter the surface patterns of your floor.
It’s important to note that epoxy paint is different from epoxy coating. As the term suggests, epoxy paint is simply paint containing a small amount of epoxy. When applied to concrete, epoxy paint dries and does not cure. As such, it doesn’t have the same enhancing properties as epoxy coating.
Applying epoxy coating
Epoxy coating can be applied to an existing concrete floor. If there’s a layer of paint or an older epoxy coating on the surface, it will need to be removed via a grinder. Once the surface is smoothed out and cleared of debris, a coat of primer will be applied.
The primer does two things. First, it gives the epoxy a better surface to adhere to. Secondly, it prevents any contaminants from the concrete from making contact with the epoxy layer.
After the epoxy itself is applied, most contractors will usually give the floor another polyurethane coating for further protection.
Benefits of epoxy floor coating
If properly installed, epoxy coating can last for many years without peeling or chipping. Epoxy is resistant to many substances including oils and gasoline. Additionally, its resistance to wear allows it to endure a significant amount of foot and vehicle traffic. These properties make epoxy the ideal coating for a garage, where the floor is constantly exposed to dirty tyres, lubricants and other automotive fluids.
Since it can resist most fluids, the epoxy is able to protect the concrete from moisture. This is important as moisture damage can significantly affect the strength of your concrete floor.
Epoxy coating is also resistant to germs and bacteria. This makes your floors easy to disinfect and sanitise. For this reason, epoxy coating is often used in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
Epoxy can enhance the look of an otherwise boring concrete floor. Perhaps its most appealing quality is its shine. When applied properly, epoxy can give the concrete a glossy, polished finish. This aesthetic is perfect for professional settings like offices and various commercial venues.
Depending on your preferences, you can either keep the epoxy clear, so that you can see the concrete underneath it, or you can add a pigment to the coating.
As mentioned before, additives can also be used to alter the surface patterns of your flooring. For example, by getting a metallic pigment and mixing it with the epoxy, you can get a hazy swirl of colour on your concrete floor. In terms of colour options, you practically get any hue that you like.
Indeed, there are endless aesthetic possibilities when it comes to epoxy floor coating.
Concrete grinding and polishing takes a lot of time and effort. The floor will need to be grinded multiple times, various sealants will need to be applied and so on. This process usually takes three to five days to complete. For that reason, the cost of getting these types of treatments can be pretty high.
Epoxy coating, on the other hand, is much easier to apply and therefore costs significantly less. On average, the cost per square meter of epoxy is more affordable compared to other flooring types.
Although the epoxy needs a few days to cure, the labour that’s needed to complete the project is significantly less compared to polished concrete.
So, if you’re looking for a durable floor treatment, consider epoxy coating. For a reasonable price, you’ll be able to enhance your floors and give your property a whole different vibe. If you have further questions be sure to contact your local concrete specialist. They should be able to advise on matters regarding costs, installation timeframes and additives.