What Exactly are Epoxy Floors?
Here we’ll try and provide a brief overview of epoxy flooring solutions.
Please remember though, this is no more than a quick and very general intro. Do please contact us for more specific information as to how this might apply in your specific circumstances.
What is epoxy flooring?
In everyday public use, this typically means one of two things:
- a concrete floor that has been painted with an epoxy paint to make it look shiny and smooth;
- a concrete floor that has had a special epoxy bonding layer laid on top to give, at face value, similar effects.
Both may claim to make the floor stronger and more resistant to wear.
However, these two solutions are typically very different.
In spite of the name, this is usually an acrylic latex product that’s mixed with paint. As the name suggests, it’s applied to the floor concerned.
True epoxy is a resin product that’s mixed with a polyamine hardening agent.
Epoxy is applied as a coating to the concrete floor.
The pros and cons – paint versus epoxy coatings
Broadly speaking, in terms of pros, paint is:
- relatively easy to apply and often within DIY capabilities – though professionals will always get a better final result;
- doesn’t require special equipment to apply;
- gives very reasonable visual effect finishes – if a good job has been done in application.
The cons for paint are equally clear:
- can’t always be guaranteed to give a very long-lasting finish, particularly in areas that experience a lot of traffic;
- isn’t always as stain-resistant as epoxy coating solutions.
The position with epoxy coatings is pretty much the opposite of the above, namely in terms of pros:
- very hard-wearing if correct materials and professional application techniques are used;
- can be highly stain-resistant;
- may provide over 10 years’ worth of service;
- can offer a high degree of non-slip surface finishes;
- options for ‘decorative effect’ final finishes;
- often a solution selected by professional establishments.
Things to consider as cons include:
- typically higher price than paint-based solutions (though possibly offset by the longer life expectancy of the final product);
- not always easy to achieve the best quality finishes if you undertake it as a DIY project;
- longer curing/drying times;
- professionals and special equipment may be required or at least highly advisable.
Finally, remember that over-economising in the short-term may cost you substantially more in the medium to longer term. It’s always imperative to have specialist advice before making a decision about a given type of solution.