For those who think that epoxy flooring won’t last long, it may come as a surprise to learn that this remarkable floor covering began as a formulation invented in the 1930s to make dental brackets.
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The invention of Dr. Pierre Castan from Switzerland and Dr. Sylvan Greenlee from the United States. The very first epoxy products on the market were amber-coloured and were often used as adhesives.
There are more than 50 types of epoxy resins on the market today, and although not all of them are suitable for flooring, it is interesting to know that this material has become a favourite with companies and homeowners over the past 90 years.
In this article we discuss the pros and cons of epoxy flooring, the costs of this type of material and other details, so let’s get to work.
What is an epoxy floor covering?
The fact is that there are two types of epoxy floors. Although the term is used interchangeably, it is advisable to understand where the differences lie before committing to having your epoxy floor laid.
In order to make a distinction, the thickness of the surfaces to be compared must be determined. Epoxy floors must be at least two millimetres thick according to the experts at EpoxyCentral.com.
Epoxy floor coverings with a thickness of less than two millimetres belong to the family of epoxy floor coverings. In all cases, coating a floor with an epoxy product requires the application of several layers of this viscous product.
Whether you want to add epoxy to your kitchen floor or renovate a commercial building and need floors that can withstand constant abuse, you won’t be disappointed when you discover how versatile and easy to clean epoxy is.
5 types of epoxy resin floors
-The self-levelling epoxy should be your choice when applying the medium to old, damaged and cracked concrete (see photo above).
Choice of epoxy mortar if the floor is likely to be exposed to aggressive chemicals and frequent impact-related attacks.
-Quartz-filled epoxy for decorative surfaces which must meet the criteria for slip resistance.
Use of anti-static epoxy when static electricity is widespread and flammable materials are constantly being used.
-Use epoxy tiles and chips to create unique patterns that give floors an elegant decorative effect.
-Commercial and industrial epoxy resins are specially formulated for driveways and garages.
Key benefits of epoxy resin flooring
- Epoxy floors are affordable. The cost per square metre is hard to match compared to other materials and this is an important reason why epoxy flooring is preferred by contractors working with tight budgets for high-traffic areas such as garages and warehouses.
- Epoxy floors are attractive, clean, bright reflective and look professional. They require very little maintenance to keep them clean, and they are easy to disinfect – a major reason why epoxy is installed on hospital and clinic floors.
- Epoxy floors are insensitive to chemical attacks that would destroy another type of floor. Even spilled oil, bleach, petrol, automotive products and aggressive detergents cannot damage the surface and this material is ideal for floors where people’s safety and well-being is a priority.
- Epoxy floors are so durable that they survive a long list of other surface materials, except concrete. As long as the epoxy finish is applied correctly, it will last a long time, and for those who have to stand for a long time, epoxy finishes offer anti-fatigue gains.
- The colours of the epoxy floors have evolved from the original amber hue to an unlimited variety of colour possibilities, creating surfaces with patterns and designs that can enhance both traditional and modern environments.
Main disadvantages of epoxy resin floors
- Epoxy resin floors are not intended for permanent use. At some point you will have to replace it because, despite all its advantages, the wear and tear of epoxy resin floors takes its toll, especially if heavy objects continue to fall to the surface.
- Epoxy floors can crack and peel. Even the slightest gloss can cause the coating to peel off from the bottom. Damaged areas, if not repaired as soon as they are noticed, can lead to trenches that jam wheels, shoes and other materials in contact with the ground.
- Epoxy floors can be slippery. Although commonly known as an anti-slip, epoxy oil can slip and cause falls. All epoxy floors can become treacherous surfaces when wet. This is why many installers of epoxy flooring today specify textured epoxy surfaces, which provide better adhesion.
- Installing epoxy resin floors can be a long and tedious process that requires hard work and thorough cleaning prior to installation. Skipping the cleaning process and ignoring cracks is detrimental to the integrity of the floor, and if the floor does not dry properly between applications, it can quickly begin to deteriorate. The removal of epoxy is also a tedious, costly and time-consuming process.
- Epoxy gives off strong fumes that can be embarrassing or smell so dirty that they can make someone sick. The darker the shade of the epoxy you choose, the worse the smell will be, because the hardeners needed to obtain darker colours need more ammonia during the manufacturing process.
Epoxy resin floor Costs
After consulting credible sources, the survey published by HomeAdvisor.com gives the most detailed breakdown. So you can rely on these figures to make an estimate of the work you have in mind. These figures do not include geographical price differences, but you can use them as a guide to the cost of your project.
-The average cost of coating an existing concrete floor with epoxy products is $2,156, based on a national range of $1,431 to $2,947.
-The typical cost per square foot of an epoxy floor ranges from $3 to $12, most of which is labor.
-The materials needed to coat a floor with epoxy products cost between $2 and $5 per square meter.
-The cost of -work to complete the work averages between $1 and $7 per square foot.
Choose solid epoxy over water-based epoxy and be prepared to expunge three times more than water-based formulation.
-A single 250 square foot -epoxy garage floor costs between $750 and $3000. If it is a garage for two cars (400 to 500 square meters), you will spend between $1,200 and $6,000.
Epoxy floors in a basement or kitchen cost between $3 and $12 per foot unless you choose a decorative product with chips or glitter added.
If you plan to make it a DYIproject, the materials and equipment will cost between $2 and $5 per square meter.
– DIY kits in DIY stores sell for $50 to $600, with an average cost of $250. These kits do not contain sealants, cleaning agents, degreasers, finishing agents or application tools.
Other facts to know about epoxy flooring projects
Epoxy needs a minimum of 24 hours between coats to dry properly, and since three coats are needed to achieve the desired thickness, you can expect three 9-hour days to complete this project from start to finish.
When pouring epoxy and urethane sealers over concrete, wait 28 days before walking on the floor or laying anything on top of it.
Some walkways require a drying and sealing period of 6 months to obtain the desired finish.
– Apply epoxy products only in dry weather conditions, otherwise the epoxy will not adhere to the floor surface, regardless of the curing time.
Professionals say that the ideal conditions to perform this task require a period of 24 hours, in which the average temperature is 50 degrees F.
-Remove the coating you choose to cure the job for at least three full days before walking or driving on the newly installed epoxy floor.
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