Learning how to use industrial epoxy flooring in the field isn’t necessary if you’re working with a professional contractor, but it is always useful to know more information about the service you may be buying. As you probably know, epoxy is a mixture of hardeners and resins that cure (dry) to form an incredibly durable surface.
This floor coating can withstand chemical/oil spills, moisture, scuffing, falling objects, children, and more! Epoxy is also strong enough to handle the weight of rolling/parked cars and is great for basement and garage work spaces. The two-part epoxy chemical mixture is combined right before application.
The Process of Applying an Epoxy Flooring System
Want to know more about how we install an epoxy flooring system? Read on! First, make sure to choose the right epoxy. The more “solids” an epoxy has, the harder the finished product will be; however, it will also be more difficult to apply the mixture, and they generally require a professional to apply. Solvent and water based epoxies have 40%-60% solids, so they are easy to apply but not as strong as an epoxy mixture that contains full solids. Besides applying the actual mixture, the hardest part of applying an epoxy floor may be prepping the surface itself.
Prep the surface
You’ll want to prep the concrete surface by sanding the surface of the concrete floor. While some people will use flat-edged shovel or scraper to shave off hardened debris and other imperfections, a specialized diamond concrete grinder is used by professionals to save time and to do a more thorough job. Prepping the surface may also involve filling in any chips or cracks in the concrete, which can be done with an epoxy mixture.
Wet, scrub, and etch
Wet the floor and give the floor a good scrubbing to remove any of the dust that may have accumulated form the concrete prepping step. After that, many contractors and DIY-ers choose to acid etch the floor to prepare the concrete for the epoxy mixture. 15 cups of water and 12 ounces of 32% muriatic acid can be applied and then scrubbed. This acid etching increases the retention of resin sealant and prepares the surface by removing water-soluble contaminants.
Mix the epoxy
Many contractors and even the Best Stained Concrete contractor In Nashville choose to use a drill and a stirring bit to properly mix the epoxy. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines as to how you should install the epoxy. Make sure to read the manual thoroughly to know the curing time and other important information. The rule of thumb is that the more solids a mixture has, the quicker the curing time will generally be.
If you are working with a space like a garage floor, it is recommended to start with the perimeter of the area. Use duct tape to tape the area directly beneath the floor, and then paint along the walls of the room you wish to apply epoxy to. This step applies for perimeters that will be epoxy applied.
Depending on the thickness of the mixture, contractors then use either a roll or a trowel to cover the floor in an epoxy mixture. Remember to backroll to fill in any roller/trowel marks. If you don’t want a glossy floor, apply a second coating and add a non-skid mixture to the product. Epoxy flakes also work very well for non-skid applications.
The Finished Epoxy Application
After the floor is finished, painting the bottom 4 inches of a basement or garage wall with epoxy mix creates a cohesive look and also provides a strong protective barrier and baseboard to the flooring system. To maintain your epoxy floors, we recommend to immediately wipe away spills and to lift rust stains using an abrasive cleaner and warm soap water. To deep-clean your epoxy floor, mix a ½ cup of ammonia into a gallon of water and scrub. Always remember to sweep up debris and to vacuum your floor. This will prolong the life of your epoxy floor and ensure a safe flooring solution for all.