For decades, epoxy floor coatings have been a mainstay in commercial and industrial applications. The tough, resilient coating turns bare, porous concrete into a flooring surface that’s both attractive and resistant to stains and dirt. With the newest generation of colored epoxies and additives, residential applications have grown tremendously in popularity. You’ll often hear the consumer description, Decorative Polymer Coatings, used instead of epoxy.
Epoxy coatings are resistant to scuffs and stains
The primary attraction to an epoxy finish it’s ability to resist abrasion and staining. Epoxy coatings are activated by mixing two chemical components that once combined, react and change into a highly adhesive, waterproof membrane. The coating, when applied to a properly prepared surface, is stronger than the concrete itself.
Car showrooms favor epoxy coatings because they are resistant to salt, oil, grease and the rubber from tires. These same properties make epoxy a great choice for residential applications including garages, hallways and vestibules.
Epoxy coatings are available in many colors and patterns.
If there’s one factor that has accelerated the residential application of epoxy coatings (what we call decorative polymer coatings) on concrete, it’s the myriad of colors and patterns possible. For example, one popular choice is to add colored chips to the top coat, creating a terrazzo or marble-like affect. You can also color the epoxy directly much as you would tint paint. This offers an almost unlimited range of aesthetic choices.
(Photo of residential garage)
Surface preparation is critical to a long-lasting epoxy finish
To insure the best adhesion for epoxy, the concrete surface must be carefully cleaned, leveled and prepared. Using either diamond abrasion or shot blasting, a thin layer of the concrete floor is removed, creating a clean surface for the epoxy coating to adhere. To improve the appearance of the floor, any depressions in the concrete are filled in and any high spots ground down.
The process of applying an epoxy coating can range from three to four days. How long the process takes depends on the amount of surface preparation required. Once the top coat of epoxy is applied, it is usually 24 hours before you can walk on the newly finished surface.
To download a brochure on decorative polymer finishes, click here.