Epoxy flooring is undoubtedly the most common choice for floors among DIYers and Painters. However, if you want to use this finish on your floor, it’s good to know its advantages and disadvantages.
The main advantage of epoxy flooring is that it is super strong and durable. Epoxy flooring is usually a two-part formula consisting of a resin and hardener. When combined, the result is a very strong finish that will withstand heavy impact, foot traffic, and even vehicle weight.
The main disadvantage of epoxy flooring is that it takes very long to completely harden and the finish produces strong chemical fumes while wet. This is due to the chemical composition and thick nature of the epoxy. But that’s not all.
This post digs deeper into the formula, uses, advantages, and disadvantages of epoxy flooring. So, let’s dive in.
What Is Epoxy Flooring?
Epoxy flooring also called resinous flooring is a floor finish common for its strength and durability. Epoxy flooring is usually a two-part floor finish that is gotten by mixing a hardener and epoxy resin. The combination of these two compounds causes a chemical reaction that results in a thick plastic finish known as an epoxy flooring.
Asides from the resin and hardener, epoxy flooring also contains other additives and chemicals in its formula that help to reinforce the finish. You should know that epoxy flooring comes in different types and colors. The most common type of epoxy flooring is self-leveling epoxy because this particular epoxy flooring can be used on different types of floors regardless of the texture.
Epoxy flooring is not only hard but the finish is moisture-resistant. Water, oils, and grease can’t penetrate the epoxy flooring. Epoxy flooring is also resistant to chemicals and solvents meaning that the finish doesn’t peel off. The advantages of an epoxy finish over a floor also extend to heat resistance as epoxy flooring can withstand high temperatures without peeling or blistering off.
So what is epoxy paint used for? Let’s find out.
What Is Epoxy Flooring Used For?
- Epoxy flooring is used for covering garage floors
- Epoxy flooring is used on outdoor surfaces including composite decks
- The flooring is used over high traffic areas in the home like the stairs and ground floor.
- Epoxy flooring is used to protect the floor from damage and dents
- Epoxy flooring is used to make the floor moisture resistant
- Epoxy flooring is commonly used on laboratory floors because the finish is resistant to chemicals and etching.
What Are The Advantages of Epoxy Flooring?
Next, let’s check out the advantages of epoxy flooring:
1. Epoxy Flooring is Super Strong
The first main advantage of epoxy flooring is its strength and ability to decrease wear and tear on the floor. Regardless of the impact or traffic on the floor, epoxy flooring will not crack, peel, or tear.
The ability to withstand impacts is why epoxy flooring is common on garage floors and workshops where heavy tools and machinery are used.
2. Epoxy Flooring is Weather Friendly
Epoxy flooring is also weather-friendly meaning that epoxy flooring will not get damaged by rainfall, wind, or dust. Unlike some other paints that bubble and peel off during the cold winter months, epoxy flooring will retain its finish due to the flexible nature of the finish. So, the floor finish can be used on outdoor floors and decks.
3. Epoxy Flooring Can Be Sealed
Trust me when I say you won’t find many floor finishes that can be sealed. Epoxy flooring is one of the few elite floor finishes that can accept a top coat although you need to sand before applying the top coat. Polyurethane is a common sealant used over epoxy flooring.
4. Epoxy Flooring is Easy To Apply
Epoxy flooring is also not tough to apply. Though complete application especially on large floors can take some time, the task is fairly easy to complete.
In most cases, you just need to mix the hardener and resin and apply the mixture on a clean floor. Self-leveling epoxy flooring is even easier to apply as the floor finish requires almost no prep work. Even on uneven surfaces, self-leveling epoxy flooring will still dry smoothly.
5. Epoxy Flooring is Moisture Resistant
Epoxy flooring makes it very difficult for water, oils, or any form of liquid to penetrate the floor underneath. This is because the particles in the epoxy resin are compact so it is almost impossible for water to penetrate the flooring.
6. Epoxy Flooring is Easy To Clean and Maintain
Another massive advantage to epoxy flooring is that it is very easy to clean and maintain. The hard and moisture-resistant nature of the finish means it’s difficult for stains to stick to the floor finish.
Most stains on epoxy flooring can be easily wiped off with a damp rag. You can even use cleaning solvents to remove stains and grease from the epoxy flooring without damaging the floor finish.
7. Two-Part Epoxy Flooring is Durable
Epoxy flooring is also very durable as the finish can last over 10 years on a floor. The ability to withstand almost every factor that can damage the finish makes it last longer than most floor finishes.
8. Epoxy Flooring is Heat Resistant
Epoxy flooring doesn’t blister or peel off when exposed to heat. In fact, manufacturers sometimes advise DIYers to use a floor heating mechanism around or beneath the epoxy flooring because the floor finish can get very cold. So heat got nothing on this finish.
9. Epoxy Flooring Can’t Be Damaged By Chemicals
Solvents, chemicals, and the likes can’t damage or etch epoxy flooring. This is why epoxy flooring is used in laboratories and warehouses that deal with chemicals. Chemical spills can be quickly wiped off an epoxy floor. These chemicals will damage many other types of floor finish.
Next, let’s check out the disadvantages of epoxy flooring.
What Are The Disadvantages of Epoxy Flooring?
There are a few worries when it comes to epoxy flooring but you should know that most of these can be avoided. So to make this guide helpful, we’ll check out the disadvantages of epoxy flooring and check out ways to avoid them.
1. Removing Epoxy Flooring Can Damage The Floor
The major disadvantage to epoxy flooring is the damage it can cause to the floor if you try to remove the finish.
Epoxy flooring sticks to the floor through a chemical reaction that allows the finish to strongly adhere to the floor. So removing epoxy flooring is usually very difficult and even if you succeed, chances are the floor will be damaged.
So How Do You Avoid Damaging Your Floor?
By painting over the epoxy flooring – Most people don’t know this but you can apply a top coat over epoxy flooring. So instead of removing the epoxy, just sand it with an orbital sander and apply a new top coat over it.
By softening the epoxy flooring first – If you can get the epoxy flooring soft, then it will be easier to remove it.
2. Epoxy Flooring Takes Very Long To Cure
Epoxy flooring takes a very long time to cure and harden. This is due to the complex chemical composition of the floor finish. On average, epoxy flooring will take at least 3 days to fully cure. That’s a long time to wait.
So How Do You Avoid This?
By exposing wet epoxy flooring to increased heat – you can make the epoxy dry and begin to cure faster by exposing the epoxy coating to increased heat and airflow. This will make the finish get hard quicker.
3. The Floor Is Noisy
The hard nature of epoxy flooring makes it a very noisy finish. The sounds on the finish such as foot traffic are further amplified. Sadly, there isn’t a way to avoid this. But you can reduce the noise by using moisture-resistant floor mats.
4. Epoxy Flooring Produces Strong Odor and Fumes
The strong chemical composition of epoxy flooring means that it will produce strong odor and fumes during application. The strong fumes are released as the chemicals disperse in the atmosphere.
The paint fumes can linger for days till the finish fully cures and if inhaled in large quantities, the fumes can turn toxic.
So How Do You Avoid This?
By ensuring proper ventilation before applying the epoxy flooring – Before you apply the epoxy, ensure to open all windows, vents, and doors so the fumes from the epoxy can escape. Turning on the fans also help in this case.
By using breathing protection – face masks would prevent you from inhaling the fumes.s
What Else Do I Need To Know About Epoxy Flooring?
Here are 5 facts that every DIYer, homeowner, or painter must know before choosing epoxy flooring:
- Epoxy flooring can be mixed with other oil-based paints to enhance the appearance and performance of the finish.
- Epoxy flooring can be used on several types of floors including wood and concrete floors.
- The reason epoxy resin is super hard and moisture resistant is that the particles in the epoxy resin are cross-linked so there is a greater bond between them than in other paints.
- Epoxy flooring is usually applied at a depth of 2 millimeters
- Epoxy flooring can expand in hot temperatures and contract in cold temperatures. This is why the floor finish is weather friendly.
In summary, epoxy flooring is a great choice when you want to finish your floor. There are tons of advantages to the floor finish and most of the disadvantages can be avoided.
So you are sure to enjoy the finish on your floor. Just remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions while applying the finish and you are good to go.