Epoxy Flooring Review: Durability, Cost + Problems

Where Can You Install Epoxy Flooring?

An epoxy floor can be installed in many areas, including but not limited to swimming pool areas, bathrooms, sports venues, kitchens, basements, garages, showrooms, locker rooms, and any other places with high foot traffic.

How long does the epoxy floor last?

Epoxy floors can last for over 20 years depending on the following factors.

  • Foot Traffic: The more foot traffic on your epoxy floor will lead to faster wear out.
  • Sunlight Exposure: Epoxy floors are vulnerable to the sun. Long exposure of your epoxy floor to UV will cause your floor to fade, causing your coating to degrade into chalk dust, and in the end, decrease its lifespan.
  • Under-Flooring: An epoxy floor adds strength and longevity to a strong, constructed floor.
  • Maintenance: A properly maintained epoxy floor which touch-ups are made when needed lasts longer.

Is Epoxy Flooring Fire Resistant?

An epoxy floor is non-flammable and does not expand or contract with temperature variations. The epoxy resin in general does not burn easily, this limits the rapid spread of any potential fire in your house.

DIY Epoxy Flooring Installation

Despite the fact that there are many epoxy flooring companies worldwide, you can install it yourself to reduce the costs associated with hiring a professional epoxy installer. The steps below will guide you to installing it yourself:

Step 1: Make sure the floor is suitable for epoxy.

Test the floor for moisture by covering it with a plastic bag for 24 hours to see whether moisture accumulates. If there is no moisture, the floor is suitable for epoxy installation. Besides, where necessary, remove floor paint because epoxy, if applied on top of floor paint, will not work properly.

Step 2: Clean and prime the floor

Clean thoroughly the floor using a vacuum cleaner to remove debris and other small particles. You can also use a high-pressure washer to remove any other impurities. Use hydrochloric acid to remove the upper surface of your concrete floor, also referred to as etching the floor. Ensure that you have followed the indicated instructions to the letter. Wait until the acid that you poured on the floor stops bubbling. Use baking soda or water to neutralize the acid, then rinse the floor with a lot of water, then leave it to dry through the night. If there are cracks on your floor, apply epoxy filler to seal the cracks.

Despite the extra costs involved in priming, it is advisable to prime before installing epoxy. Priming will reduce the risk of the coating breaking or being absorbed by the substrate.

Step 3: Mix your preferred epoxy.

Ensure that you wear protective gear. Mix the standard epoxy and epoxy primer. For instance, you require rubber boots, goggles for eye protection, gloves, and face masks for lung protection.

Step 4: Install epoxy

Start installation from the back corner, heading towards the exit using a nap roller. Ensure your roller does not become dry. Ensure the coat is thin. Allow your primer coat to dry for 12 – 24 hours without stepping into the room. Make sure the room is well ventilated. Once dry, you can apply the second coat and follow the same procedure as the first.

Advantages of epoxy flooring

There are many advantages to epoxy flooring including the following:

1. Chemical Resistant: Epoxy flooring is resistant to chemicals and stains.

2. High Resistance: Epoxy flooring is resistant to shock, water, and heat. For these reasons, it is useful to be used for waterproofing.

3. Long-lasting: Well-installed epoxy flooring lasts for many years if well taken care of. They last for more than 20 years.

4. Stronger: Epoxy flooring enables your concrete floor to carry more weight, thus avoiding surface wear and tearing.

5. Protection: Given that epoxy flooring is a sealant, it makes it act as a protective overlay.

6. Covers Damages: A properly installed epoxy flooring resin covers any damage caused to your floor. It makes your floor sleek, smooth, and complete. Besides, designer metallic epoxy gives your floor a polished ambiance to the defects and imperfections that were initially visible.

7. Cost-Effective: Epoxy flooring resin does not require any flooring materials, therefore reducing installation-related costs, and its prices are comparatively pocket-friendly. In addition, since it lasts longer, it becomes more cost-effective.

Problems With Epoxy Flooring

Epoxy flooring has its own disadvantages or cons. Some of the disadvantages associated with them include:

1. Toxic Fumes

If you are installing yourself, especially in the house, you will definitely notice that it has a very strong smell, especially when it is still wet. In other circumstances, it will emit a smell similar to that of ammonia immediately after you start installing it. The fumes that are emitted are toxic and can harm anybody around them. The fumes can cause eye, nose, and throat inflammation, besides lung irritations.

However, once the epoxy has dried completely, it ceases to have health risks. It’s on the basis of the health risks that are posed by wet epoxy that we recommend that you wear protective gear and keep unprotected people away until the epoxy flooring has completely dried.

2. Slowly harden

Once you have installed epoxy flooring, it requires several days for it to harden fully. The installation requires allowing plenty of time to dry in warm conditions. Once you allow it to slowly cure, it will make it more durable and much stronger. It’s for these reasons that installing the proxy flooring in your home is an inconvenient process. Some installations take up to 30 days.

3. Not A Floor itself

Epoxy flooring cannot stand on its own. In most cases, you will find epoxy flooring applied on top of the concrete flooring. In other cases, you will also have an epoxy wood floor. For this reason, epoxy flooring is a temporary flooring solution that requires new coats once it wears down. The situation worsens in cases where it wears down more often, especially when not properly installed.

4. Slippery Once Wet

Since the resin epoxy floor is not porous, it makes the surface smooth. When epoxy flooring is wet, it is very dangerous to walk on it. The risk is increasing, especially for children and elderly people. To reduce this risk, you can apply silica, aluminum oxide or a shark to your final coat to add more grip and add texture and resistance. In addition, once the flooring has been done, you could also purchase containment mats.

The unfortunate thing is that these methods suggested adding an extra cost to installing proxy flooring. Besides, the containment mats will result in the loss of aesthetic value intended to be gained when installing an epoxy floor.

5. Installation Process

To reduce installation costs, many homeowners decide not to seek professional installation services. The end result is that the installation process is not as easy as expected, but rather a tedious one. The process requires good planning since it starts with cleaning and checking to ensure the humidity levels are favorable to avoid damaging the floor.

6. Cold Under-Feet

In most cases, the proxy flooring makes the floor very cold, especially for bare-footed individuals, as is the case with tiles. To remedy this, you can also use an under-floor heating system on your floor. This implies an additional cost. 

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