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What is Epoxy Flooring?
When we talk about epoxy, there are two concepts: epoxy floor and other is epoxy floor coating. There is a difference in thickness between these two.
If the epoxy thickness is less than 2 mm, it is called epoxy coating, and if the thickness of epoxy is more than 2 mm, it is called the epoxy floor.
The epoxy floor is also recognized as resinous flooring. Epoxy systems are made up of a combination of polymers resins and hardeners.
When these two chemicals are combined, a chemical reaction occurs, and rigid plastic material is formed.
The final substance is strong, durable, resistant to be gradation, and bonds exceptionally well with most base layers, like concrete, steel, and wood.
The epoxy floor requires 18 to 24 hours to make it suitable for walking. It can take 30 days for complete curing, where epoxy attains its final form and hardness.
Since epoxy forms a harder, denser, and more durable film than paints, it is a better choice to paint and other coatings. They are available in a stunning variety of shades, colours, and effects.
Purpose of epoxy flooring
- Epoxy coating can extend the life of the floor and deliver a great appearance.
- Unprotected concrete floors can be stained by oil fluids and can be damaged by corrosive effects of snow and ice melting chemicals such as rock salt.
- Oil and fluids cannot penetrate the epoxy floor surface to soak in and cause staining because it gives a tough and durable finish that is dense.
- Epoxy flooring can be applied for many different materials, including steel, concrete, and wood. But the best surface for laying epoxy floors is concrete.
Types of Epoxy Flooring
- Self-Levelling Epoxy Floor
- Epoxy Flake Floor
- Epoxy Mortar Floors
- Quartz-Filled Epoxy Floors
- Anti-Static Epoxy Floors
Self-Levelling Epoxy Floor
Self-Levelling Epoxy is used to apply over cracked, damaged, old, or even new concrete floors to make it durable, smooth, and a levelled texture surface. Self-levelling epoxy floors give a shiny, seamless look. It also comes in multiple different colours.
It is suitable for commercial garages, kitchens, athletic facilities, manufacturing buildings, showrooms, and warehouses.
Epoxy Flake Floor
Epoxy flake floor contains coloured grain materials entered in the epoxy to produce a vibrant, striated look. The flakes give a seamless look and provide a surface with detailed grooves to avoid any slips and falls. These floors are available in various sizes, styles, colours, and textures customizable for any place.
Epoxy Mortar Floors
The epoxy mortar floor comprises 100% solid epoxies and graded or quartz sand. This flooring is the most rigid epoxy floor system. Epoxy mortar floors are ideal for areas that need a highly chemically-resistant floor.
It can resist a considerable amount of impact. It can also be used to repair cracks before the application of another epoxy floor. This flooring type is perfect for warehouses, restaurants, garages, commercial kitchens, mechanical spaces, and manufacturing plants.
Quartz-Filled Epoxy Floors
This type of floor is a combination of a high-performance epoxy resin and quartz grains. This epoxy floor should be used for beautiful spaces that need clean and slip-resistant properties. These types of floors are suitable for lobbies, offices, showrooms, locker rooms, restrooms, schools, cafeterias, Etc.
Anti-Static Epoxy Floors
ESD (Electro-static charge) can be dangerous to several work situations to overcome any static hazards in these spaces; anti-static epoxy floors can be applied. The anti-Static epoxy floor contains a conductive compound that stores static electricity that diffuses any potential discharge.
It is a strongly preferable epoxy floor solution for areas that contain flammable materials. It is ideal for areas that use flammable gases or liquids that lead to a risk of ignition. It is used for chemical, electronic, or healthcare facilities pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities.
Also Read – Difference Between Granite and Marble
Uses of Epoxy Flooring
Epoxy produces rigid, durable, and chemical resistant materials; that’s why epoxy flooring or coating can be used for multiple purposes. So let us understand the uses of the epoxy flooring.
- Epoxy flooring gives an easy to clean and chemical resistant flooring solution which can be applied directly over new or old concrete floors.
- Epoxy floor coating is generally used for commercial and industrial flooring. Many commercial buildings, industrial sites, and warehouses depend on epoxy floors to maintain a clean and safe working environment.
- Epoxy can be used to make a beautiful entrance for an office, hotel lobby and fireproof warehouse floor.
- Because of its durability and ease of application, epoxy coating is used as powder coating for white goods like dryers, washers Etc.
- An epoxy coating is used on automotive and boats because it acts as a primer to prevent corrosion and ensure paints’ adhesion.
- Fusion bonded epoxy coating is used for corrosion protection in steel pipes and fittings, oil and gas industry, water transmission pipelines, concrete reinforcement rebar.
- Metal cans and containers are often treated with an epoxy coating to prevent rusting, mainly when used to package acidic foods such as tomatoes.
- Epoxy coatings can be used as epoxy floor paints in industrial or commercial applications.
- Epoxy flooring can be used in airplane hangars, manufacturing facilities, distribution facilities, residential and commercial garages, pharmaceutical plants and laboratories, retail stores, hospitals, showrooms, restaurant kitchens, cinema halls, shopping malls, schools, sports facilities, gyms, etc. You can also use it in private living rooms, kitchens, or other rooms.
If you’re living in cold weather or if the temperature is less than 13 degrees Celsius, then the application of epoxy is not recommended as curing takes a long time, and it can create problems.
Before laying epoxy flooring, it is mandatory to do the moisture test. In the moisture test, moisture content shall be checked. If the floor is free from moisture, then the following steps shall be carried out.
Surface preparation – for proper bonding between the epoxy and the base, the base surface shall be sanded or grinded with a diamond grinding machine. Any existing surfaces like paint, sealer, or topping, shall be removed. The surface should be free for moisture, and it should not contain oil, grease, acid, alkali, etc.
Sweeping and cleaning of the floor – The floor shall be clean with an industrial vacuum cleaner’s help, and the floor must be dust-free.
Application of primer – Primer seals the base surface and eliminates the risk of bubbles and gases, it’s important to apply primer before application of epoxy to give longer life to the floor and better addition to the base surface.
Application of epoxy grout – Epoxy grout can be applied before the application of primer also. If any thin cracks are visible, then these cracks shall be widened with a diamond cutter’s help before filling it with epoxy grout. T
Application of the first coat of epoxy paint – read the manufacturer’s instructions written on the product and mix the components with an electric mixer for at least two minutes. Use the right quality roller for the application of epoxy paint as poor-quality rollers may start to shade. After the application of the first coat, wait for 24 hours, then check the floor. If some cracks or holes are still visible, then fill it with epoxy grout and leave it to dry for one day
Apply the final coat – Before applying the final coat, make sure all cracks and holes have been filled, and all dust has been removed. When you mix the components, it should be applied in forty minutes; otherwise, it starts to harden.
Advantages of Epoxy Flooring
When we compare epoxy floors to the average garage floor epoxy floors are bright and professional. It gives a shiny high gloss surface finish that increases the brightness of interior areas significantly. The smooth and even surface is also effortless to clean and maintain.
Epoxy is available in various colours and shades, which make it flawless, shiny, smooth, and elegant. The epoxy allows you to arrange to the floor in traditional or personalized patterns and designs
Epoxy Floors gives a rigid, durable surface that can withstand heavy and continuous traffic. Epoxy floor coating increases the life of the concrete and makes concrete incredibly durable.
Epoxy flooring protects the concrete below it from cracks, moisture, grease and stains. In the long run, this can save your money cleaning and maintenance costs by eliminating the need to clean carpet or grout. However, it is also very reasonably priced for the duration and level of protection that it offers.
Epoxy improves visibility inside the garage by reflecting the floor’s light that enhances safety. It is one of the significant advantages of using epoxy on the garage floor, which is lesser-known.
When we compare epoxy flooring with other flooring types, the cost per square foot, including installation, is relatively lower.
epoxy floors are highly resistant to chemicals, oils, gasoline, bleach, transmission fluid cleans up, etc. Due to which they are usually used in garages and automotive industries, where oil is more.
Apart from Resisting with chemical spills or cleaners, epoxy floor coating is also heat and water-resistant. They act as an almost impervious layer to most chemical spills without any adverse effects on the layer.
Another advantage is that these floors are also resistant to bacteria and germs, making them very easy to sanitize. Because of that, it is an excellent choice for hospitals and clinics.
epoxy coating is durable, and it can last longer than many types of flooring. If installed properly, it can serve for several years without any problem like cracking or peeling.
Epoxy flooring is monolithic and jointless. Epoxy floors are easy to clean and require little or no major maintenance.
The materials and installation costs for epoxy flooring are not very high, making it a secure investment.
Epoxy flooring cost rang starts from 120/- square feet and may go up to 550/- per square feet, including material and labour. Price may vary according to quality, quantity and location.
Disadvantage of epoxy flooring
- Epoxy flooring is a temporary flooring solution; it is one of the significant disadvantages of epoxy flooring. However, it is durable and chemical resistant; but you will have to replace it ultimately.
- Preparing the concrete floor, ready before the application of epoxy is tiresome. It has to be clean and free from any oil and grease before applying the epoxy that requires a considerable amount of effort and time.
- Besides the extensive groundwork required to get the concrete floor ready, the application of the epoxy coating is a time-consuming process. Epoxy requires many days to dry completely. Moreover, the first coat of epoxy must dry completely before applying the succeeding coat.
- Once the epoxy is employed, modifying colours or designs can be an effortful and costly attempt. Repairing and removal of coating are extensive and challenging.
- Epoxy flooring requires it to be installed precisely according to specifications. If not done correctly, the flooring will not serve as long as it should. The coating should be applied during that time when humidity levels are low; this is because the moisture can affect the floor’s durability.
An epoxy floor is a flexible flooring solution that is useful, durable, highly resistant to chemical, and customizable also. Whether you want a stunning entrance to a hotel or office or require a rigid surface to withstand industrial work, there is an epoxy floor solution right for your need.
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