If you’re considering new flooring for your home, office, or commercial space, epoxy flooring is likely near the top of your list.
This durable, easy-to-clean and attractive flooring can provide all the benefits of a concrete floor -- with an additional aesthetic appeal.
That said, there is much to consider with any flooring purchase. Here are the pros and cons to keep top of mind when considering an epoxy flooring.
First thing’s first: what is epoxy flooring?
Epoxy flooring is a durable, attractive concrete flooring option created by combining resin and hardeners together. The resulting liquid is then applied to your floors, creating a hard-to-the-touch floor material that is:
Though this type of flooring was originally created for industrial or heavy-duty environments (thanks to its durability and long-lasting nature) it has since become an attractive option for hotels, residential homes, restaurants, and more thanks to the variety of options that are available today.
But before we weigh up your pros and cons, let’s unpack a few of the most popular epoxy flooring finishes available.
Epoxy flake floors are created when paint chips are mixed into the epoxy resin to add colour and style. This can result in a dynamic, multi-hued epoxy option that is:
Similarly, metallic epoxy flooring is created when metallic additives are added to clear epoxy resin. This can result in a shiny, aesthetically pleasing flooring that looks just like natural mineral slabs. You can also add additional colouring or pearlescent effects to improve the aesthetic of this option.
Self-leveling epoxy flooring is generally used if you have concrete floor that is already damaged, chipped, or cracked. Rather than needing to replace that concrete altogether, you can apply self-leveling epoxy flooring directly on top of the damaged floor, creating a smooth, level, and fully repaired final product -- no demolition needed.
What’s more, self-rising epoxy can also be applied with various colours and effects, making it the perfect option for a quick and cost-effective renovation.
You can also add quartz grains to epoxy polymer to create quartz-filled epoxy. This is not only durable and attractive but also chemical-resistant, decorative, slip-resistant, and hygienic.
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Now that you understand the basics of epoxy flooring -- as well as the primary options that are available today -- let’s divide into the benefits of this durable flooring option.
First, epoxy is extremely long-lasting and durable. Depending on how your epoxy flooring is applied, it can last from 7 years and up. Some epoxy floors last longer than 20 years. That said, this lifespan will depend largely on how the epoxy is used. If you are in a place with frequent foot traffic, heavy loads, or chemical exposure, your epoxy won’t last as long.
Epoxy is also extremely durable and resistant to most hazards, including:
This makes it an excellent choice for demanding environments, including retail stores, auto shops, factories, garages, medical facilities, and labs. It also makes it a sanitary option for those who are concerned about viruses or germs -- that’s why it’s often used in hospitals and medical clinics.
Epoxy is sanitary and extremely dust-resistant, unlike other flooring options -- like hardwood or tile -- that get dust and debris lodged in. This can make it an excellent choice for those that want to keep allergies to a minimum.
Compared to other types of flooring -- like wood, vinyl, and tile -- epoxy flooring can ultimately have a lower cost per square foot over time. There are a few reasons for this. First, during the initial install, epoxy can be installed directly over existing concrete. This can reduce out-of-pocket demolition costs.
Additionally, replacement costs can be lower than other concrete costs, because concrete substrate doesn’t have to be prepared. These factors make epoxy’s total price per square foot tough to beat over time.
As we mentioned, there are many finish options when it comes to epoxy flooring, and you can easily add:
This makes epoxy an attractive and durable choice for basements, retail stores, hotels, shopping centers, and garages.
If you are trying to apply epoxy to an area with significant moisture, it can be hard to get it to adhere. For example, if you have a basement with moisture problems, the concrete will need to be properly dried and prepared. Otherwise, chronic moisture issues can cause the epoxy to lift off the floor and peel.
Of course, professional installation can help overcome this issue, but it’s important to keep in mind if you’re planning to go down the DIY route.
While epoxy is typically slip-resistant, particularly if you get an option like quartz-filled epoxy flooring, certain epoxy surfaces may require a non-slip additive or a skid-resistant top-coat if used in spaces like commercial kitchens where grip strength is key.
It’s not easy to apply epoxy flooring, and there are many steps and factors to be considered.
First, proper floor preparation is required. Your concrete floor must be completely cleaned of any oil or grease, and any cracks or chips must be sealed before the epoxy coating is applied. Cleaning concrete in this way can be tough, and many cleaning attempts might need to be made depending on how dirty it is.
Next the actual epoxy application can be time-consuming. Each coat of epoxy must dry completely before the next coat is added, and the drying process can take several days. Additionally, applying each coat of epoxy can be time consuming. This is important to keep in mind.
Finally, you’ll need to account for the vapours. While dried epoxy surfaces are odourless, the liquid resin can give off extremely strong fumes -- and darker shades can have a particularly strong ammonia smell when applied.
Though epoxy flooring has lower costs over time, it does cost more money per m2 than other flooring options, like acrylic concrete sealants. This higher up-front investment can be a drawback for many.
Once epoxy flooring is applied, removal can be both labour-intensive and costly.
Epoxy floors are engineered to offer lasting protection, meaning you can enjoy a hardened surface for up to 20 years with the right maintenance and care. But if you think you might have to remove your flooring for any reason, this may not be the most effective choice for your home or business.
As with any flooring solution, there are pros and cons to epoxy flooring.
That said, if you are looking for a durable, aesthetically pleasing, and long-lasting flooring solution, then epoxy flooring might be the best option for you.
At Flawless Floorz we understand the research that goes into a home improvement or commercial upgrade, so let’s start with an obligation-free chat.