What are Epoxy Floor Coatings?
The term “epoxy floor coating” refers to the material itself that is used for floor resurfacing systems. It has been around for more than 100 years, offering durability, strength, and sustainability. An epoxy coating is two portions of coating material combined. Compared to other oil-based or water-based coating products, epoxy offers greater adhesive power. It most commonly sticks to concrete floor surfaces transforming them into strong finishes. Epoxy adds elegance and dimension to the flooring, creating a glossy, mirror-like look to the surface. More importantly, the epoxy coating makes any floor moisture-resistant and free from mold and mildew build-up.
Epoxy floor coating is often mistaken with epoxy flooring, however both have distinctive differences. The term “epoxy flooring” refers to a substrate, or surface that already has a finished epoxy coating system installed. Epoxy floor coatings get installed using multiple layers of industrial-grade hardener and resinous materials. In contrast, epoxy flooring refers to any floor that’s been treated with an epoxy coating. Its surface level does not exceed two millimeters.
Application of Epoxy Floor Coating
To give you an idea, here is a step-by-step surface preparation process of how epoxy floor coatings get installed:
- SURFACE CLEANING – Before anything else, it is vital to make sure that the flooring’s surface is clean and slightly porous (epoxy complies best with concrete floors). Otherwise, it can be challenging for the epoxy to adhere to it. Finding the proper cleaner chemicals will cut your preparation time in half, while reducing the spread of bacteria and ensuring your healthy, safe and protected. Our multipurpose concrete cleaners and strippers are formulated to adequately clean and remove contamination from surfaces.
- SURFACE REPAIR – Take a moment to study your now clean surface area. Because epoxy is a self-leveling material, any existing surface cracks, divots, holes and chips will certainly obstruct the material when it’s going through the curing process, causing the entire application not to cure properly. It’s very common to encounter these blemishes when dealing with substrates, some even have endured a substantial amount of wear and tear over its lifetime. Concrete repair products and crack filling materials are available to ensure a properly prepared surface area and also be sure there is no existing moisture in the slab. This can be accomplished using a moisture meter which detects and evaluates moisture conditions within the concrete slab or screed by measuring the electrical impedance.
- SURFACE PROFILING – This step is always underestimated or completely over, yet is one of the most critical steps within the preparation process. Epoxy will NOT properly adhere to smooth, flat concrete surfaces, so by profiling, or grinding that surface you are ultimately providing the necessary amount of roughness for the epoxy to adhere to, which will guarantee a strong and reliable floor finish. Concrete floor grinders are essential machines for this part of the process because they’re specifically designed to grind and profile concrete surfaces by using a powerful combination of tooling. Secured under the machine is a set of custom-made magnetic plates that act as adapters for concrete grinding tools that directly connect to it. Grinding tools may also be referred to as metal bond diamonds and are powerful tools that will evenly grind concrete floor surfaces, leaving you with the profiled surface you need for the final application. A powerful dust extraction vacuum system will be needed to collect the remaining silica dust, dirt, and debris, which can be very harmful to your health.
- SURFACE APPLICATION – Mixing and applying epoxy coatings can be best achieved by following manufacturer labels accordingly. Otherwise, the epoxy can form bubbles and peel during or after the installation process. Epoxy coatings have a “curing” time window, and once the coating is mixed you have a restricted amount of time to apply and spread over the surface area before the product begins to cure and harden. Curing times and direction for application will vary for each manufacturer.
2021 Epoxy Floor Finish Trends for Commercial and Residential Spaces
Epoxy floor coatings offer the modern flair that a majority of interior designers and industry professionals seek. With plenty of designs, patterns, and colors to choose from, it is no doubt that epoxy floors are going to take over commercial and residential spaces over the next decade. Anyone can experiment with their floor designs without breaking their wallet. Epoxy floor coatings offer practicality and minimal maintenance with unparalleled strength and durability. Its manufacturing can withstand extreme pressure and high foot traffic. Therefore, there are zero excuses for spending unnecessary bills trying to replace your dull existing floors, and ALL the reasons to upgrade your surfaces with epoxy floor coatings!
Here are the most significant trends in epoxy coating designs that you should look out for:
- Clear Epoxy Coatings (NO Additives) – Even though clear epoxy coatings have been around for awhile, it can still be utilized today to pave the way in 2021. Clear epoxy coatings offers your substrates the opportunity to shine bright with a simple, yet timeless floor design. Clear epoxy floor coatings will highlight the beauty and depth of your concrete floors. The simplicity of concrete flooring is why many people choose to integrate a clear epoxy coating, especially garages and warehouses. Clear epoxy coatings accelerate the strength of the floor without the need for excess maintenance.
- Metallic Epoxy Coatings (Swirls, Marble Finish) – By far the most popular design choice amongst all the color options is metallic epoxy coatings. Installing a metallic epoxy coating to your floors will completely bring the entire room to LIFE! These fascinating designs create an electric, beautifully smooth finish. You personally have the option to choose between a matte finish or glossy finish. Metallic flooring in residential and commercial spaces ultimately achieve a modern and mesmerizing ambiance guaranteed to WOW guests and clients.
- Flake/ Chip Epoxy Floor Coatings (Texture Finish) – Both residential and commercial spaces can benefit from flake/ chip epoxy floor coatings. The texture of the floor provides slip-resistance and tremendous strength making any room more visually appealing. Give yourself some design flair and ensure absolute resilience to your floor with our colorful combination of color flakes/ chips sure to please your decor requirements.
- Glitter Epoxy Coatings (Shiny Sparkle Finish) – Add dimension to your surroundings and captivate anyone with the remarkable special effects of our exotic glitter flakes collection for epoxy coatings. Glitter for epoxy gives people the ultimate freedom to express their glamorous side. Integrating a burst of glitter flakes into your epoxy coating brightens any room in your home or commercial building. The application of glitter epoxy coating is relatively easy, so more people are catching on to this trend every day, however this glitter is NOT your standard shelf-bought or craft glitter. Xtreme’s glitter flakes are industrial-grade and made of polyester, so their resilience is capable of withstanding the harsh properties of epoxy coatings. This eliminates any possibility of melting glitter flakes once applied to any epoxy mix. Have a little fun by creating floors with a dazzling, glittery effect with glitter epoxy coatings!
- Polyaspartic, Polyurea, & Urethane Top Coats (UV PROTECTION) – Top coats are clear, finish coatings that add an extra layer of protection to the surface. A polyaspartic, polyurea and urethane top coat application provides a superior chemical, UV, and solvent resistance, while yielding an outstanding finish. These protective coatings provide flooring solutions for the most demanding slip resistant, heavy-traffic environments. A top coat can also be used following an epoxy application, and once properly cured to .50 wet and .60 dry coefficient of friction standards, the floor is officially not considered slippery.
- 3D Epoxy Flooring with Epoxy Coatings (Adhesive Floor Graphics) – If you’re seeking a bold and creative way to utilize the surface of your organization’s floors then 3D flooring with epoxy coatings is ideal for you and your business. 3D floor graphics offer a professional signature on concrete surfaces for residential and commercial environments. Often times people mistake 3D flooring finishes as being a 3D epoxy coating, however that is not the case. 3D flooring is achieved by simply using printed graphics called ‘floor decals’, or adhesive graphics that are made from vinyl material that’s slip resistant and durable enough to withstand heavy foot traffic. You can order a custom designed vinyl floor decal from any local printing shop. Once the floor is prepped accordingly the adhesive floor decal is placed on the designated floor surface area, following a clear epoxy floor coating applied over it, sealing it in place and presenting a beautiful display of a company logo, an in-store promotion, unique 3D designs, or maybe even for directional purposes.
At Xtreme Polishing Systems, our team of experts understands that concrete can variate in properties, therefore each slab must be treated differently. We also know how common it is for those unforeseen complications to occur after hours while still on the job site. It is crucial to have immediate support for achieving beautiful concrete finishes.
Whether you’re a professional contractor or a do-it-yourself type of person, our top-of-the-line concrete product supply and industry expertise are available to anyone. Our pros are here to discuss all your project concerns to assist you every step of the way, from START to FINISH.
Questions? We would love to hear them! Our professionals are readily available to answer all your questions and to provide you with concrete knowledge and industry expertise in the overall preparation and completion of a concrete floor project. Shop Online or Call (877) 958-5732 for all your concrete flooring needs!