About Tim And Maggie, Epoxy Flooring Co's Resident Experts!
Maggie and Tim have been involved in the construction and property industry for over 25 years, during which time they have worked extensively with builders, architects, real estate agents and valuers.
This wealth of experience has allowed them to develop extensive industry knowledge, particularly around the key components which successfully add value to properties.
What Is Epoxy Flooring?
We have heard people refer to epoxy flooring as a “paint” which it absolutely is not true epoxy flooring is a coating which sets or ‘cures’ into a super hard surface on top of your substrate (concrete floor).
Specifically: Epoxy is a thermosetting resin, which means it ‘cures’ depending on the surrounding temperature.
Epoxy flooring is applied as a coating and once it is cured, it cannot be uncured. It is formed when one part epoxide resin is mixed with one part polyamine hardener.
The hardener acts as a catalyst and gives epoxy its strength. Strong and durable, epoxy floor coating also comes with the benefits of being easy to clean and best for overall value, it just looks great.
It offers a much more professional and long-lasting finish than paint, and a much more pleasing aesthetic than plain old concrete. Epoxy floor coating comes in a variety of different systems, with each category providing certain characteristics to suit differing uses.
We explain this in depth in our 7 Mistakes People Make With Epoxy Flooring.
What Are The 5 Main Types Of Epoxy Coating Flooring Systems?
What The Room Will Be Used For, How It Will Be Used And The Climate It Is In Will Determine Which Floor Coating Is Right For You.
Full Flake Seamless
Customised Full Flake Seamless
Partial Flake Floors are excellent for those spaces with light foot traffic, whereas garages and sheds likely to experience heavy duty traffic such as trucks and cars, would require a Full Flake Epoxy.
Single Colour and Metallic. Epoxy coatings are excellent for showrooms, but require a lot more preparation of the substrate.
How Is The Floor Prepared?
Epoxy coating is applied to a substrate, which is your concrete floor or slab. Ensuring this substrate is at its best usually requires work with a grinder. Grinding the floor is so important. It not only helps to level the substrate, but also ensures the epoxy has the best chance of ‘sticking’ to or ‘curing’ on the concrete.
Part of Epoxy Flooring Co’s installation process begins with a test of your concrete to ascertain its hardness (yes, it’s a thing. Ask for our 7 Mistakes ebook for more information on this), before we smooth it out correctly with our specialist grinders.
Only then do we get to work with the actual epoxy. We know that acid washing (or etching) is another method to prepare the substrate, but it is really quite risky. Acid residue can get left behind after acid washing, and if it is not removed, can result in the epoxy being unable to cure properly and a peeling epoxy floor coating.
The difficulty with acid washing is with the process itself: after scrubbing and washing the concrete with acid, the floor must dry completely to see if there is any acid residue. You must then remove every trace of the acid residue, which can sometimes take two, three or even four washes.
Of course, this equates to the job taking more and more time between the floor drying and removal of the residue. In comparison, grinding your average double garage takes [NUMBER] hours. And then, even after it’s dry, miss just a little acid residue and the results are disastrous: your floor will bubble and peel, often just days after installation.
The whole point of an epoxy floor coating is to deliver something that looks amazing in a reasonably painless process: peeling floors look horrible and are an absolute nightmare to fix. Hence, we grind!
Will Epoxy Floor Coating Turn Yellow?
Provided your epoxy floor coating is not exposed to UV light, it WILL NOT turn yellow.
However, if a plain epoxy floor like a [TYPE eg SINGLE COLOUR] is exposed to sunlight, yes, it will yellow or discolour.
This is not the end of your epoxy dream however: there are a number of solutions to prevent your floor from turning yellow.
Firstly, don’t expose it to sunlight. Simple! A great solution in theory, but most garages when the door is left open, will inevitably have sunlight creep onto the floor.
Secondly, and more effectively, cover the epoxy with vinyl flakes: these do not turn yellow after exposure to sunlight. This kind of system is called a Full Flake Epoxy Floor.
An added bonus is that these types are floors are better at camouflaging the kinds of dirt car tyres and vehicles unavoidably carry into the garage.
At Epoxy Flooring Co, we also cover our Full Flake Epoxy Floors in a 100% UV stable clear top coat of Polyaspartic, Polyurethane or Polyurea. Polyaspartic coats are an outstanding option for tough conditions like those in Australia, because they are:
Some Polyaspartic Top Coats Even Have Rapid Cure Properties, Which Means They Can Endure Traffic Just 4 Hours After Being Applied.
This Is Excellent News For Those Businesses Coating Their Floors In Epoxy Between Opening Hours.
Will Epoxy Coating Crack Or Chip?
Under normal conditions and use, your epoxy floor coating will not crack and chip.
It is extremely hard wearing and will easily handle cars and heavier vehicles like 4WDs and SUVs being driven over it.
If you have heavier industrial traffic like forklifts, pallet jacks and even planes, industrial grade epoxies are capable of enduring these kinds of loads.
I’m always interested in testing these products out myself, and ran a series of tests.With the Epoxy Flooring Co work truck to see how it would stand up to heavy vehicle traffic.
The team and I attempted to crack, chip or at least damage the epoxy coating over 12 months, and the results were incredible.
Will An Epoxy Floor Scratch?
Under ordinary day to day use, your Epoxy Floor Coating is virtually bullet-proof!
However, if you try hard enough you can probably scratch it.
The Epoxy Flooring Co team saw this first hand during a commercial bakery installation, where, unwittingly, the newly coated epoxy floor was given a rigorous test.
About 8 hours after we had finished, the bakers returned to begin baking, and dragged a 200kg machine back in place across the floor.
The two images show me trying to push the machine (an impossible one-man job) while the other shows the floor after the bakers had dragged the machine across it.
You can barely see any scratching, and the owners were delighted with the floor’s strength.
Is Epoxy Waterproof?
Are Epoxy Floors Slippery?
No they aren’t, but yes, they can be....
Floors coated in epoxy need to have a form of slip resistant coating seeded into the top coat, otherwise they will be slippery.
I found this out the hard way, after I didn’t make sure a slip resistant coating was in the epoxy flooring I had put in my garage by another installer.
The kids walked on it after being in the pool, and I was staring at my feet in the air with a pain in my back shortly after.
Common types of slip resistance grits are aluminium oxide and silica, which look and feel like grains of sand.
These grains are pressed into the top coat and once cured, are a permanent part of the floor.
Grains sizes differ, so slip resistance can be increased or decreased as required.
Is Epoxy Floor Toxic?
The amount of toxins released by the application of epoxy flooring differs depending on the type of epoxy used. Hint: one is much better than the other!
Solvent-based epoxy (usually in the form of epoxy ‘paint’) cures via evaporation because of the other liquid based materials it is mixed with.
During the curing process, the epoxy mixture releases gases, or VOC’s. Some of these gases can be harmful to people. However, once the epoxy has cured, these gases are no longer present and the floor is safe.
Epoxy Flooring Co uses the second type of epoxy flooring: this is 100% solid and cures purely by the thermal reaction (rather than evaporation) of mixing two chemicals together (epoxide and polyamine hardener).
No gases are released. This type of epoxy flooring is thus safe for humans during and after the curing process.
Will Epoxy Flooring Smell?
Again, the amount of smell released by an epoxy floor is dependent on the type of epoxy used...
Solvent based epoxy is smelly and unfortunately will continue to smell until it is fully cured.
This can be anywhere from 10-14 days. Again, this comes down to the materials mixed with the epoxy to make it into a ‘paint’ like substance.
Acetone or nail polish remover is a solvent, and this is what solvent-based epoxies smell like until they are fully cured.
We recommend checking with your installer that the product used is definitely NOT solvent based, unless you love sniffing nail polish remover for a few weeks on end (in which case, knock yourself out. Literally).
100% solid epoxy flooring is virtually odourless: Because the epoxy coating we use is 100% solid, there is nothing within the product that can actuallyevaporate. Almost like honey.
Honey is a 100% solid product: if you spill it, it won’t evaporate.
It will just sit as a sticky mess for ages until your dog comes and licks it up. 100% solid epoxy is like honey.
It doesn’t evaporate nor release smelly or harmful gases during the curing process as it sets into an extremely hard coating.
This is simply because there is nothing in the product that can evaporate and cause a smell.
Is There Any Dust During Installation?
If your installer uses a high quality HEPA-rated vacuum attached to their grinders during floor preparation, the process is virtually dustless.
Being quite the clean freak, ensuring a clean and tidy worksite is one of my superpowers.
I know how irritating dust from a grinder which doesn’t have a HEPA-rated vacuum attached it can be.
Here’s a short video demonstrating the difference between the HEPA-rated vacuums we use on our grinders, compared without the use of a high-powered vacuum.
The mess with the latter is diabolical! Most importantly, inhaling concrete dust into your lungs is a health hazard, so avoiding that wherever possible is preferred.
Always ask your installer if their vacuums are HEPA- rated, or be ready to contend with a huge mess throughout your garage and home and a small pool of concrete in your lungs. (Okay, probably not a pool of concrete, but you get the idea).
What Is The Lifespan Of Epoxy Floor Coating?
The average epoxy coated floor will last for many years.
The best products have a 20 Year Warranty, something we here at Epoxy Flooring Co offer on all of our work.
Getting it right is thus very, very important to us.
How Much Will It Cost?
Get an instant online dollar estimate...
There are a myriad of different flooring systems but as a general rule, a budget between $50-80 +GST per sqm (in Australia) will cover most finishes. (NB metallic epoxy flooring is around $130 plus GST per sqm.)
Better still, call the Epoxy Flooring Co team on 0438 444 400 to chat about your needs and a quote.
What Are The Alternatives To Epoxy Floor Coating?
I am a little biased, but I can categorically say after 25 years in the building and development business, that epoxy flooring is one of the most cost effective flooring solutions available.
Especially when compared to the median or average price of other common flooring options:
Polished concrete = approx. $150.00 + GST per sqm.
Tiles of medium quality = approx. $40.00-60.00 + GST per sqm. This does not include the additional cost of installation = approx. $60-80.00 + GST per sqm.
Vinyl flooring of medium quality (including installation) = approx. $80.00 + GST per sqm.
Engineered floating timber flooring of entry level quality (including installation) = approx. $90.00-120.00 +GST per sqm.
There will always be bargain tiles, end-of-line vinyl or sale rack timber flooring out there.
And of course, you might find installers willing to lay the flooring cheaply.
However as a general rule, epoxy flooring is usually cheaper, and at the very least, extremely competitive with all other flooring alternatives.