Epoxy floors are known for their sleek appearance, durable quality, and great protection of the floor. But what are the pros and cons of epoxy flooring?. There are a few limitations of epoxy flooring that are worth considering before you decide to install in your home.
Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of epoxy flooring worth knowing.
10 Disadvantages of Epoxy Flooring
Here are 10 disadvantages of installing epoxy flooring in your home and garage.
1. Strong toxic fumes
As soon as you start installing an epoxy floor, you’ll notice a strong smell when wet. Sometimes, you may notice the epoxy floor smelling like ammonia as soon as you start applying.
These fumes are toxic and may cause some side effects to anyone near. Some of the common signs and symptoms you’ll experience as a result of inhaling the fumes include inflammation in the nose and eyes, throat, and lung irritation. Asthmatic people may have problems breathing.
However, fully cured epoxy floors pose no health risks unless you decide to sand the surface. The dust from sanding should never be inhaled as it contains the component chemicals. This is a Con for the garage epoxy floor despite being one of the cost-friendly floorings. Asthmatic people will never enjoy it since its a health hazard.
Study shows that epoxy may enter your body through and affect the lungs, skin, eyes, nose, and throat. Extensive exposure is known to cause health issues as well as affect the nervous system just like alcohol. Skin cancer also reported in animal clinical studies.
Below are some recommendations by Oshwiki to reduce the exposure to fumes to recommended levels.
2. Epoxy takes long to harden completely
It takes several days for an epoxy installation to cure completely. The general rule of thumb is that the floor should be left to dry in warm conditions and the duration should be a long one. A slow curing process yields a very strong, more durable result. However, a faster epoxy curing method may be used with the best curing products.
However, this can be a con especially if you’re installing this floor in a home you already live in. Some installations can take even as long as 30 days to dry and cure completely. This can cause inconveniences to any homeowner who’s not planning to go on holiday during the installation process.
3. Temporary flooring solution
Epoxy flooring is not a floor on its own. You’ll need to install either steel, concrete, or wooden floor before adding an epoxy on top of it. This coat is merely a temporary flooring solution.
As the coat wears away, you’ll constantly need to install new coats needed frequently. Unlike other flooring solutions, high traffic and heavy impacts wear out epoxy floors. For some people, this is a con because the costs involved may not be planned for.
4. Cracks and Chips on high impact areas
If you’re planning to install an epoxy floor in your garage or storage areas, prepare to do frequent replacements. Epoxy flooring does not do so well in areas with high impact and traffic. The surface chips and cracks easily, meaning you’ll incur extra costs and labor repairing and fixing the damaged areas.
5. Very Slippery when Wet
One serious disadvantage of epoxy flooring is that it can become very slippery especially when wet. In fact, any resinous flooring material is non-porous. This means that it creates a very smooth surface that becomes dangerous when wet or when there’s oil on the surface.
Homes with kids, the elderly, and even pets can pose a huge hazard to these vulnerable groups when epoxy flooring and the coating is installed. However, there are mitigation measures that can be applied to make epoxy flooring less slippery. These measures are, unfortunately, an additional cost. They may include the following:
- Using silica sand on the final coating when installing to create resistance.
- Adding an aluminum oxide additive to the epoxy material to get the maximum grip.
- Adding Shark Grip to the final coating for texturing and adding resistance to the floor.
- Purchasing containment mats
Some of these methods are an extra cost. Others such as containment mats may not be very attractive if you’re planning to install a designer epoxy flooring for the purpose of beautification.
6. Tedious installation process
Preparing the existing floor for the installation of epoxy coating or flooring is very tedious. Removal of grease, oils, or any sort of solvents, for example, must be done on concrete floors for proper installation of epoxy coatings.
Another sensitive disadvantage of epoxy flooring is that it requires the installation process to be done exactly according to instructions. For example, the humidity levels must be low enough for you to install an epoxy floor. If you do not take note of this, moisture usually ends up damaging your floor, affecting the durability of your floor in the end.
Any amount of moisture trapped inside the flooring material can cause serious damage to the epoxy installation as it dries. For example, when trapped moisture starts to evaporate, it can cause buckling, warping and even bulging on the surface as the flooring material dries.
When this occurs, you may incur extra costs re-installing your epoxy coating or flooring, doing re-touches, and refinishing to prevent visible flaws on the surface.
It takes a lot of effort to prepare concrete floors for the installation of epoxy. Getting rid of all the moisture and cleaning can be very tedious tasks before applying epoxy material on the surface. In some cases, you’ll find small particles still trapped beneath the application of epoxy. These usually become the origin of cracks in the future.
7. Complex Removal Procedure
Probably your epoxy flooring was installed by a professional, which increases the probability you will need one to remove it. Epoxy in your garage or home is meant to be durable and lasts long which reduces the chances you will be needing to remove it soon.
Removing epoxy from the concrete floor requires grinding and it’s an expensive undertaking. Since many people don’t own industrial grinders, this means you consider hiring a contractor. Remember, it is important to prevent damaging the underlying concrete, or you will need to pour a new floor as well.
The main very important characteristics that make epoxy flooring desirable, makes it also very difficult to remove from concrete. Thankfully, with proper maintenance, a professionally done epoxy floor should last a lifetime.
8. Costly Maintenance
To properly maintain your epoxy flooring, you will need to buy special cleaning acids and other chemicals. In addition, you will need to have protective gear during installation and or when cleaning with these chemicals.
The cost of protective eye-wear and breathing gear increases the constant amount of time and effort required to install and maintain the floor.
9. It’s Cold Under-feet
Compared to hardwood floors, epoxy without heating system is cold on your feet. Epoxy floor feels cold just like tiled floors. However, this may be addressed through installing underfloor heating system on your floor.
10. Epoxy Dis-coloring
When you DIY, improper mixing of the epoxy can make the floor coating look off. In addition if you use mutliple kits during installation, there may be colorvariations due to different batches.
Ultraviolet rays is also another problem that can lead to color variations. If one batch sit in the sun and not the other, it could result to color variations between the two.
Advantages of Epoxy Flooring
Here are the advantages of installing epoxy flooring in your house or garage:
1. Cost friendly
One of the major considerations for each homeowner is how much does the epoxy floor cost?. The price is relatively cost-effective compared with other durable floorings like hardwood floors. The cost of installation depends on the space and the needs of each person.
Compared to even concrete, it’s inexpensive especially considering there will be no need for painting and routine maintenance due to chippings.
2. Easily customizable
Once you get a professional installer, he or she may be able to customize your epoxy floor depending on your likes, whether you like honed stone finish or a glossy and brilliantly colored floor.
3. Damage resistant
The epoxy flooring is resistant to wear, cracking, peeling, and corrosion. It can resist damage from chemical like acids and other environmental degradation.
Cured epoxy is able to resist moisture. Epoxy on its own may not be UV resistant. However, adding epoxy coating will help floor last longer and make it even scratch resistant due to composition of the ingredients.
Urethane and a other variety of top coatings can make epoxy flooring more abrasive and scratch resistant. Long term curing, may even make it gasoline . Heated healed or cured floor will also make the epoxy floor more heat resistant.
4. Durable and Long-lasting
Epoxy is durable in less traffic areas like the garage. When the epoxy is installed in the grade it helps eliminate the need to keep on repainting which is a costly undertaking.
The epoxy layer also adds more protection to your garage or home when installed correctly for decades. It’s also able to withstand extreme temperatures for long as well as extreme impacts like fire.
What is Epoxy Flooring?
Epoxy flooring material is made up of two components: resins and hardeners. The resulting material is usually a very rigid plastic material that has advantages including the following:
- Highly durable
- Very strong
- Highly resistant to degradation
- Forming strong bonds with base materials such as wood, concrete, and steel.
For most people, the concern with epoxy floors is that they might be toxic. However, what is usually ignored is the fact that the contents of the material are no different from what is found in a normal can of paint we buy from our local building stores.
The biggest benefit with epoxy floors is that you can make a very unique style and design that you’ll never get anywhere else. This is usually achieved through either a coating or a floor. An epoxy floor qualifies to be called so if its thickness is more than 2 mm. If you’re planning anything less than 2 mm thick, then you’re looking at an epoxy coating. Regardless of the type, you might want to consider the disadvantages.