What Is Epoxy Floor Coating? Advantages & Disadvantages of Epoxy Floor Coating
What is Epoxy Floor Coating? Advantages & Disadvantages of Epoxy Floor Coating | Epoxy Flooring Applications
What Is Epoxy Floor Coating?
Epoxy refers to a combination of resins and hardeners which cause a chemical reaction when they are mixed together. The reaction results in a rigid plastic material formed of tightly-linked cross-polymer structures. This material bonds well to most base layers and creates a durable and highly resistant floor surface.
Epoxy flooring is a two-part mixture of resin and hardener. It is also known as resinous flooring or polymer flooring. Epoxy is applied on concrete, wood, VCT, tile, and a variety of other industrial and commercial floors. The chemical reaction forms a hard plastic by forming a connection with the substrate. Furthermore, it heals quickly, allowing your organization to resume operations as soon as possible.
Epoxy floor coating is applied as a liquid to concrete floor surfaces and then hardens to form a smooth, hard-wearing floor. The porous nature of concrete means that a bond is formed between the base layer and the epoxy coating, creating a strong and seamless surface.
But the coating must be applied by an epoxy expert . Only experienced professionals can ensure that the original surface is suitable and that the correct type of epoxy coating is used.
Benefits of Epoxy Floor Coating
Here is why industries and factory owners should choose to invest in epoxy floor coatings:
- Resists damage from caustic chemicals
- Bonds with your existing concrete floor
- Withstands extreme cold and heat
- Reduces slip and fall accidents
- Easy to clean and sanitize, even with pressure washing
- Customizable appearance with safety striping
- Withstands heavy loads and friction
Advantages & Disadvantages of Epoxy Floor Coating
Epoxy flooring is a widely used floor covering due to its many advantages. It is affordable, easy to apply, has good performance characteristics, and can be manufactured under a wide range of conditions.
It is ideal for areas where high wear resistance, wear resistance, strength, or slip resistance is required.
Advantages of Epoxy Floor Coating
1. Epoxy Surface Is Seamless and Easily Cleanable
Because epoxy is poured, there are no seams, joints, or ridges to contend with, as there are with tile or other forms of flooring.
As a result, epoxy is a more hygienic flooring solution, as it eliminates cracks and crevices where dirt and bacteria might hide during cleanings. An anti-microbial additive can improve sanitation in food processing factories or healthcare institutions.
Furthermore, its smooth surface allows hospital gurneys or forklifts to roll over without jarring or resistance from floor seam bumps.
2. Epoxy Floor Coating Is a Perfect Choice for Food Processing
Epoxy is FDA-approved as a smooth-surfaced flooring material. Since it has no open pores, epoxy does not absorb water like concrete or stone and therefore does not harbor bacteria. It also resists grease, oil, and acids in food processing environments.
3. Epoxy Floor Coating Is Versatile with Many Colors Options
Epoxy floor coating can be formulated to suit virtually any type of environment and budget. In fact, its variability allows for a color palette of warm and cool hues.
From traditional beige, to bright white and wood grain-inspired, epoxy floor coating is a surface that can fit the style and aesthetics of your product.
4. Epoxy Floor Coating Is Easy to Clean
Because epoxy is poured on floors rather than cut in, it can be cleaned as frequently as you like – without worry about tearing or chipping any seams or bumps along the way.
Epoxy is also made to be easy to clean, even with the heaviest of machinery.
5. Epoxy Floor Coating Strengthens Floors
Because epoxy is poured on surfaces rather than cut into them, the floor does not weaken in any way during installation.
Additionally, because it’s poured with a liquid state, epoxy can cover any rotted or cracked concrete areas and strengthen them as well.
6. Epoxy Floor Coating Is Eco-Friendly
Because epoxy does not absorb water in the way that wood does, you don’t have to worry about warping and swelling. This makes it a better solution for health care environments than traditional wood flooring.
Additionally, because epoxy is poured in place, there are no scraps or waste products left behind – which means it’s 100% recyclable when you’re done with it as well.
7. Epoxy Is Shock Resistant
Because epoxy can be poured on and immediately installed, it’s protected from minor bumps and pulls e.g. those caused by machinery or furniture.
8. Epoxy Is Slip-Resistant
Because epoxy dries almost immediately upon application, it is ultimately stronger than wood flooring that has been treated with polyurethane or other types of glue-based adhesives.
9. Epoxy Is Shock Resistant/Antistatic
Because epoxy is poured and not cut, it does not warp and make bumps. Furthermore, it’s much less likely to attract dust or dirt, or develop mildew or mold at all.
10. Epoxy Is Chemical Resistant
Epoxy floor coating is more chemical resistant than other flooring materials, thanks to the fact that it’s poured like paint – with an open and unbroken surface.
It also resists the effects of acids, greases, oils and other types of chemicals used in food processing facilities or healthcare institutions.
11. Long Lasting
Once epoxy has been poured on a surface, it is more resistant to wear than wood, concrete or stone because it’s solid and strong. It is therefore able to withstand frequent foot traffic and heavy machinery.
12. Epoxy Floor Coating Is Resistant to Stains
Epoxy floor coating is resistant to stains that can occur in food processing, healthcare, architecture, or other environments where floors are exposed to grease or oil.
It thus protects against staining and contamination of floors. Epoxy is also a popular choice for exposed concrete due to its chemical resistance.
13. Epoxy Floor Coating Is Anti-Microbial
Due to its non-porous smooth surface, epoxy resists bacteria that might get on it through food and machinery passing over it. An anti-bacterial additive can be used to prevent the spreading of germs in hospitals or other health care settings.
14. Epoxy Floor Coating Is Easy to Clean
Because epoxy is poured on floors rather than cut in, it can be cleaned as frequently as you like – without worry about tearing or chipping any seams or bumps along the way. Furthermore, because epoxy forms a solid, shock resistant surface when it dries, it also prevents cracks and crevices where dirt and grime might hide during cleanings.
15. Easily Customizable
Epoxy floor coatings can be modified to fit any space, environment, or budget with a wide range of colors and glosses.
Disadvantages of Epoxy Floor Coating
1. Long-Term Maintenance Needs
Epoxy floor coating is a highly durable product that is resistant to scratches, chemicals, and extreme temperatures.
The only exception to this is where you might have a lot of foot traffic on a daily basis – in which case, repairing epoxy flooring coating can be expensive.
2. Epoxy Floor Coating Damages Floors
Epoxy floor coating is a strong surface material that can withstand a lot of foot traffic. However, during installation, the floor underneath can still show scratches or discoloration.
This has to do with the phenomena of capillary action. When liquids are poured on the glass, this capillary action causes the epoxy to expand like a liquid would – leading to blemishes and imperfections when it dries.
3. Epoxy Floor Coating Is Slippery
When wet, epoxy floor coating is slippery, especially for people wearing shoes with smooth bottoms. In food processing environments where there is a lot of traffic and cleaning, this can be a problem.
4. Epoxy Floor Coating Has Tedious Installation Process.
Epoxy floor coating is a concrete product with a low viscosity – this means that it flows more freely and therefore takes longer to dry. This can make installation painstaking and time-consuming.
5. Epoxy Floor Coating Can Be Fragile
Epoxy is brittle by nature because it hardens so quickly. Any damage to the surface layer of epoxy after installation will be noticeable because of its white, glossy appearance
6.Epoxy Takes Long to Harden Completely
The curing process of epoxy floor coating is an important consideration for those who need to move heavy machinery or people around the building before it has hardened. 6.Epoxy Floor Coating is expensive
Although epoxy floor coating can be a great investment in the long-run, it’s also one of the most expensive options for concrete floors.
7. Complex Removal Procedure
It is very difficult to remove epoxy floor coating before installation, and complex process.
8. Epoxy Floor Coating Adds to The Weight of Floors in Food Processing Environments
Because epoxy is more dense than other types of concrete flooring, it may be more difficult to move around heavy machinery if your building isn’t completely up to code.
9.Strong Toxic Fumes.
Epoxy floor coating is a chemical reaction that is exothermic, meaning it produces a lot of heat as it hardens. This may lead to health problems for those doing the installation work.
10. Epoxy Floor Coating Cannot Be Recycled
Concrete, once cured, is almost impossible to break down because of its strong molecular structure. In turn, this makes the recycling of epoxy floor coating challenging as well.
11. Costly Maintenance.
Because epoxy floor coating hardens so quickly, it’s prone to cracking. Furthermore, the high heat it produces when hardening can damage floors under it and make them slippery.
12. Epoxy Floor Coating Is More Expensive
Pricing is one of the main reasons you would choose to go for an epoxy floor coating over other types of concrete flooring.
Epoxy Flooring Applications
Epoxy Floor Coating is used in several different applications:
1. Epoxy Floor Coating Is Used in Healthcare Institutions
Epoxy floor coating is applied to surfaces in healthcare facilities that are exposed to acids, oils, and other types of chemicals. These include:
- Medical Centers
- Diagnostic centers
- Respiratory care facilities (such as hospital rooms)
- Nursing care facilities
- Rehabilitation centers
A hospital room floor is very susceptible to bacteria and germs because of all the traffic it receives. Since it’s a moist environment, it is important to completely eradicate any traces of bacteria.
Epoxy floor coating prevents the spread of bacteria in hospitals. This is vital in hospitals and other healthcare facilities because of the sensitive patients that reside there, as well as the staff that maintain this space (which can be quite large).
Epoxy floor coating prevents the spread of bacteria and germs in these environments, which helps improve patient care.
Like healthcare facilities, nursing care facilities are often situated in rooms or areas where germs and bacteria can spread easily.
This is especially true if surfaces are frequently cleaned with chemicals or disinfectant solutions. Epoxy floor coating is therefore very important in this environment as it prevents the spread of bacteria – improving patient safety and making the workplace environment much safer to work in.
2. Epoxy Floor Coating Is Used in The Food Processing Industry
Epoxy floor coating is a popular choice for food processing facilities due to its anti-microbial and chemical resistance properties. These include:
- Food processing plants
Epoxy is a popular choice for these facilities because of its chemical resistance. It protects the floor against beer spills, vegetable oil and other types of food-related chemicals.
It can also be poured on concrete floors that have had a rough or broken surface – which helps prevent cracks from developing in these areas and spreading elsewhere thanks to heavy machinery rolling over them.
These are environments where the risk of bacteria spreading is heightened – especially due to the large number of people who pass through them on a daily basis.
Epoxy floor coating can also be applied to the floors of laboratories for chemical processing plants and facilities – where solid floors are exposed to dangerous chemicals, and constant wear and tear threatens to compromise the structure’s ability to support heavy machinery.
3. Epoxy Floor Coating Is Used in Warehousing Facilities
Epoxy floor coating is also very popular in warehouses. It provides warehouse owners with the option of painting their floors to match the colors used in their business’s decor – or applying a pattern or design to distinguish their warehouse space from others within a company’s structure.
Epoxy floor coating is also very popular in food warehousing environments, along with other warehouse flooring options.
- Transit areas (such as loading docks)
Warehouse floors are often used to store and transverse heavy machinery, as well as the products that they produce. Such environments can cause damage to a building’s floor, as well as wear out machinery more quickly.
4. Epoxy Floor Coating Is Used in Residential Homes
Epoxy floor coating can also be applied to commercial spaces. However, many people are familiar with it as an option used in their home’s laundry room and garage floors.
This is because epoxy is the most popular choice among homeowners who want both the long-lasting durability of a solid floor and the easy-to-clean aesthetic of a floor coated with paint.
It can be painted any color or design – which makes it ideal for individuals who are looking for a one-of-a-kind garage floor or laundry room.
5. Epoxy Floor Coating Is Used in Garage
Epoxy floor coating is an ideal choice for the garage. It provides a highly durable, slip-resistant surface that can be literally painted any color or design.
This provides homeowners with the option of painting their garage floor to match the theme of the inside of their home, or applying a design such as a checkered flag to their garage floor to make it more stylish and appealing.
Additionally, epoxy floors are resistant to petroleum products and oils – which means that these surfaces are less likely to stain and retain odors. This makes them ideal for garages that are used to store cars and other vehicles, as well as the fuel they require.
6. Epoxy Floor Coating Is Used in Laundry Rooms
Epoxy floor coating is also a very popular choice for laundry rooms. It provides homeowners with the option of either applying a pattern or design to make their laundry room more attractive – or painting it in a solid color to complement the rest of their home’s design.
Additionally, epoxy floor coating is highly durable, which makes it ideal for areas where many people pass through on a daily basis.
- Laundry rooms
- Drying rooms (such as paint shops)
- Automotive service bays
Epoxy is also used in these areas because of its slip-resistant and chemical resistance properties. This makes it an excellent choice for facilities that engage in heavy material handling, and requires a flooring option that can withstand the wear of heavy equipment without cracking or falling apart.
How Long Does Epoxy Flooring Last in Homes?
The lifespan of an epoxy floor system is determined by its thickness, use, and maintenance. Epoxy flooring typically last 10 to 20 years, far outlasting polished concrete floors, which chip and wear quickly in high-traffic areas.
Because epoxies fade and chalk with time (they are not UV stable), often application of a urethane or polyaspartic finish to increase durability and color stability.
Epoxy Flooring Problems
The success of any form of floor, not just epoxy, is entirely dependent on its installation. Just as a skilled tailor is required to ensure that your new suit fits properly, so is a good installation to ensure that your new flooring does as well.
If the color of your epoxy floor coating appears off, it could be due to incorrect epoxy mixing. Color differences can also be caused by oil or grease on the concrete.
Furthermore, if you need to purchase numerous kits to finish your garage, there may be color variances between batches. As a result, the color will appear skewed in some locations.
The color of epoxy can also be altered by ultraviolet light. If you leave one batch in the light but not the next, there may be color differences between the two.
Floors That Peel
Several things can cause the epoxy on your floors to peel. The most typical causes are poor epoxy preparation or applying the epoxy when the temperature is too hot or cold or the humidity is too high.
Improper concrete flooring preparation is another reason that causes floors to peel. The floor must be clean and clear of trash, oil, and grease.
Otherwise, the epoxy will peel away from the floor as it cures, resulting in “fisheyes” or round holes in the finish.
And, contrary to popular belief, epoxy will not stick to a smooth surface. This means that even a brand-new concrete floor must be properly prepared.
At the very least, acid etching is required. The best way to prepare the concrete for epoxy is to grind it, but this might be tough for the typical homeowner.
Air Bubbles Beneath the Epoxy
Applying epoxy in direct sunlight or when the temperature is too chilly can also result in air bubbles in the epoxy.
They can also be caused by placing epoxy on porous concrete. To avoid this issue, the porous concrete must be adequately prepared in order for the epoxy to seal properly.
If you do not properly mix the epoxy, you may notice air bubbles. Using a paddle mixer too quickly traps air in the epoxy. When the epoxy is applied, air bubbles will emerge in the finish.
Don’t jerk the paddle mixer or run it too fast near the surface. This will draw air into the epoxy, resulting in an undesirable finish.
You may also have problems if you do not combine the Part A resin and Part B hardener in the proper proportions. You must carefully follow the mixing directions. Some goods necessitate allowing the combined batch to sit for an induction time.
If you do not allow for the induction period, your epoxy may fail to cure and harden adequately.
If you apply epoxy when it’s too hot outside, air bubbles may form. When the temperature is high, you have less time to apply the epoxy, and air bubbles can form in the finish.
Moisture Precipitation Beneath the Coating
This can happen if there is moisture in the concrete or if there is a significant temperature difference between the epoxy compound and the underlying floor.
After etching the floor with acid, ensure that it is totally dry before applying epoxy. You should normally wait at least 24 hours after etching before applying the epoxy.
Otherwise, moisture trapped in the pores of the concrete will rise to the surface and form bubbles in the floor’s finish.
Furthermore, moisture under the concrete slab creates pressure, which forces the epoxy to separate from the concrete’s surface, frequently carrying bits of concrete with it.
Avoid the issue by doing a simple moisture test to establish whether the floor is suitable for an epoxy coating.
Epoxy Blistering, Bubbling and Poor Bonding
Blistering, bubbling, and poor bonding are all typical issues among epoxy users. These failure difficulties, like other common problems, are simply avoidable.
Epoxy Blistering Problem
Osmosis causes blisters in an epoxy coating. The passage of liquids through a membrane is referred to as osmosis. Think of the epoxy coating as your “membrane.”
Epoxies are designed to withstand moisture. When liquid on the bottom of this membrane tries to pass through the epoxy barrier, the moisture resistant layer blocks it and forms blisters in the coating.
Moisture buildup under an epoxy finish can be caused by a variety of factors. There may be a temperature difference between the epoxy compound and the substrate.
As the epoxy cures, it will cause the floor to “sweat” and form blisters. Certain salts or solvents may also be present on the floor’s surface.
These compounds can produce chemical reactions that raise the vapor pressure beneath the epoxy surface, causing blistering.
Epoxy Bubbling Problem
Non-osmotic factors cause an epoxy coating to bubble. Instead of liquids pushing up the covering, air pockets beneath the epoxy layer produce bubbling.
When an epoxy coating is placed and then exposed to direct sunshine, the top layer of the coating cures too quickly. As a result, there will be a greenhouse effect, forcing the air beneath to expand and push the layer higher.
Applying a coating in an overly cool temperature, on the other hand, will restrict the release of solvents from the substance, resulting in a slower cure.
As the weather warms, the solvents evaporate more quickly, causing partially or completely cured regions to bubble.
While climate is a significant consideration, the qualities of the substrate are equally important. If the concrete is particularly porous, air may be trapped inside during the coating process.
In this situation, as the air warms, it will seep upward through the substrate, causing the epoxy covering to bubble.
Epoxy Bonding Problems
An epoxy floor system’s good bonding might be hampered in a variety of ways. The majority are the result of poor floor preparation.
Failure to remove any oil, grease, or filth before to application will result in lifting and peeling of the floor coating.
Similarly, failing to properly remove all cleaning agents can hinder the epoxy from making a solid bond. Cleanser residue will also block the bond between the epoxy and the substrate.
Causes Of Epoxy Flooring Problems
These are some of the most typical reasons for epoxy floor failure:
A Substrate That Is Incompatible or Improper.
Although epoxy flooring is durable, they cannot compensate for an unsuitable substrate, such as wood. Wood is never a good choice for an epoxy installation.
When determining the suitability of a floor, the adhesive capacity and tensile strength of the surface must be considered.
Plywood flooring is too flexible for epoxy, and the expansion and contraction it undergoes due to temperature and humidity variations exposes far too much movement for an epoxy floor to withstand.
This results in tearing, peeling, cracking, and, eventually, failure.
After you’ve removed any pollutant (such as dust or dirt), you must now address another critical issue for epoxy: moisture! Solvent-based epoxy compounds do not adhere well with moisture.
High moisture content can cause a significantly weaker bond between the epoxy and the old floor, or it can prevent any bond from developing at all.
A skilled chef is only as excellent as his ingredients, and an epoxy floor is only as good as the substrate on which it is installed.
An epoxy installation might fail and separate from the ground.
Insufficient Surface Preparation.
For a successful installation, a strong bond between the new epoxy and the existing floor is required. For the epoxy to stick well, the existing surface must be roughened.
To guarantee that the existing surface is ready for installation, we recommend grinding it with diamond or metal to remove any potential flaws.
The installation surface must be clean, dry, and dust-free. Otherwise, your new floor may just stick to the pollutants on the current floor.
There Is No Primer or The Primer Is Inadequate.
In many ways, epoxy is comparable to paint in that it begins as a liquid and eventually hardens into a solid surface layer.
Similarly, to painting, using the proper primer to assist the epoxy adhere to the concrete floor is critical to achieving good and firm adhesion.
Commercial and industrial flooring get a lot of use, thus it’s critical to choose the right primer to fit the specific needs and requirements of your substrate.
Cleaning And Reconditioning Tainted Floors
Existing contaminated floors are a common problem in buildings with specialized applications and problematic existing flooring, such as food and beverage manufacturers, vehicle repair shops, industrial chemical facilities, and so on.
In such circumstances, extra preparations should be made to guarantee that any pollutant that could cause epoxy failure is thoroughly eliminated before laying the new floor.
Before laying the new epoxy floor, all oils, greases, and residues must be carefully cleansed and neutralized.
Preventing These Epoxy Floor Problems
The application of epoxy floor coatings can be difficult. To avoid these issues, make sure the concrete is thoroughly prepared and the environmental conditions are ideal. You must also properly mix the epoxy to avoid color fluctuations and air bubbles.
Although it may appear that putting an epoxy floor coating yourself will save you a lot of money, it is usually preferable to leave this job to the specialists. You may save money in the short run, but you may run into complications later on that cost you even more money.
What is the typical cost of epoxy garage floors?
The dimensions of a typical two-car garage are 24′ x 24′. Using these figures, we get 576 square feet and a price range of $2,500 to $5,500. Take into account that these figures can fluctuate depending on surface conditions.
If your flooring has a lot of cracks or chips, they will need to be filled. Contaminants such as grease stains, for example, would have to be eliminated.
Are Epoxy Floors Expensive?
Professional epoxy flooring installation ranges between $3 and $12 per square foot, including materials and labor. The cost of equipment and materials alone will range between $2 and $5 per square foot.