Epoxy is a class of materials and the act of using those materials. Epoxy is based on a combination of resins and hardeners. The resin and hardener chemically react to form rigid plastic material when combined or mixed together. The final material is durable, resistant and very strong and bonds very well to any base layers. Since epoxy floors are so strong, they are often used in heavy traffic areas such as industrial environments, public halls, hospitals and sports facilities.
Types of Epoxy Flooring Systems
Epoxy is an industrial-grade flooring solution. Here is a list of the most popular epoxy systems:
Self-Leveling Epoxy Floors
To create a durable, low maintenance flooring surface, self-leveling epoxy is often used. It can be applied over old cracked and damaged floors to smooth the surface and create seamless exterior. A method wherein during the application, epoxy spreads out to fill cracks in concrete floors. It is also chemical and heat resistant. Aesthetically, it can also make decorative designs in varying colors.
Self-leveling epoxy can be used in:
- Gymnasiums and other sports facilities
Epoxy Mortar Floors
If you need a very strong, ultra-tough epoxy floor system for your busy, high trafficked place, epoxy mortar floor is recommended for you. This is made from 100% solid epoxy, graded sand or quartz sand and then scooped into place.
Epoxy mortar epoxy can be used in:
- Storage rooms/houses where heavy machines and equipment are used
Quartz-Filled Epoxy Floors
If you want a decorative, slip-resistant, decorative and highly durable epoxy system, quartz-filled epoxy floor is the one recommended for you. Quartz epoxy flooring systems is made of high performance epoxy polymer resin with colored quartz grains.
Can be used in:
- Schools and offices
- Cafeterias and lobbies
Anti-Static Epoxy Floors
Anti-static epoxy floors aids in reducing static hazards particularly in environments that contains flammable materials. This system contains conductive material that accumulates static electricity to drain any electrical discharge.
Can be used in:
- Electronic and chemical facilities
- Health care and pharmaceutical facilities
Epoxy Flake Floors
Epoxy Flake floors are made up of dry paint flakes and combined with a colored base coat to create a textured multi-color finish. The flakes are available in an endless variety of colors, styles, textures, and sizes and can be mixed into the combination of your choice.
Can be used in:
- Sports venues
- Locker rooms
Advantages of Epoxy
- Affordability. If you are in a tight budget, epoxy flooring is one of the most affordable since it can be installed directly over an old flooring. The installation cost is also cheaper than other flooring system.
- Resistance. Epoxy floors are resistant to almost everything whether be oil, cleansers and other fluids. This is the main reason why it is highly used in garages and kitchens. It is also heat and water resistant. It can also stand most chemical spills without any direct effect on the coating.
- Another pro is that these floors also resistant to bacteria and germs, which makes them very easy to sanitize. Therefore, epoxy is an excellent choice for hospitals and clinics.
- Appearance. Epoxy floors are very appealing because of its looks alone. They are even and smooth and very easy to maintain.
- Durability. Epoxy floors have a longer lifespan than many other floor types. They are also valued for their durability.
- Longevity. Epoxy coating lasts longer than many types of flooring. It can last for many decades without cracking especially when installed properly. This is the reason why it’s very popular in industrial and commercial use.
- Protective. Epoxy flooring can save you from too much costs because it can protect the underlying floor from moisture, grease, stains and cracks. Cleaning and maintenance is also so easy that you won’t hire professional to fix this problem anymore. Aside from its reasonably cheap price, it is also one of the best in terms of protection that it offers.
- Variety. Epoxy floors come with different varieties that will suits your taste and needs. (please refer to the above text on types of epoxy systems).
- Safety. Some of the epoxy flooring system is made to be slip-resistant. The reason why it’s very popular in very hazardous working areas. One of the lesser-known advantages of using epoxy on a garage floor is it enhances visibility inside the garage by reflecting light off the floor.
Disadvantages of Epoxy
- Adherence. Epoxy flooring system won’t work in damp or moisten surfaces that’s why the concrete floor must be dried and cleaned thoroughly before the epoxy is being applied.
- Application is time consuming. Applying the epoxy coating is a time-consuming process this is apart from the intensive preparation that goes into getting floor ready. It also takes many days to dry properly. In addition, the first coat of epoxy must dry completely before adding the next coat.
- Moisture. Any moisture trapped below the surface can be a problem as it evaporates. It may lead for repair or refinishing as bubbling is possible to occur.
- Removal. Changing colors or designs will cost a lot of trouble once epoxy is applied. Removing the epoxy coating would be very difficult and extensive.
- Smell. Epoxy tends to have a very strong fumes when being applied. Afterwards, it will smell like ammonia before completely drying up.
- Sensitivity. Epoxy flooring needs to be installed exactly according to directions otherwise it will get scratched easily or moisture will tend to build up between the coating and the concrete floor.
- Temporary Flooring. One of the major disadvantages of using epoxy on your floors is that it’s a temporary flooring solution. This primarily serve as a coating for concrete flooring.
- There are several pros and cons to using epoxy floors. It’s highly recommended to consult a professional flooring contractor in Atlanta (NSF) to conduct an inspection of your floor before making any decision. A professional can also address the need of your home or offices or in some cases the moisture tolerance of the floor to minimize the chances of deformity.