Throughout homes and buildings, each level needs flooring. As you traverse through a home, you may come across carpet in the bedroom, tile in the bathroom, wood in the living room, and concrete in the garage. For business spaces, one might also find carpet, ceramic or porcelain tile, concrete, or many other types of industrial-grade flooring for high-traffic areas.
No matter where we step at home or even at a grocery store, that particular flooring was installed in that space for a reason. But is it the safest flooring? Does it do the job right?
Epoxy flooring systems are becoming a go-to for homes, businesses, and other commercial spaces. While there is a huge variety of epoxy systems to choose from, many homeowners and businesses choose to install epoxy flooring systems for daily usage.
But what exactly is an epoxy flooring system and is it right for you? Let’s find out!
What is Epoxy Flooring?
Epoxy flooring, in its simplest of definitions, refers to using an epoxy solution for a floor within a selected space. Epoxy is used in the production of adhesives, paints, plastics, coatings, primers, sealers, and flooring. Broken down, epoxy contains components/products of epoxy resins (epoxy polymers). These resins help to bind the various types of epoxy flooring layers along with a hardening component to create the end product for your epoxy floor.
Typically, you don’t have to remove your current flooring to install an epoxy flooring system. As long as the new epoxy flooring can bond to the current flooring you have installed, the epoxy flooring will become a top layer without extra concerns or additional costs.
Epoxy Flooring vs Epoxy Floor Coating
You might have heard of epoxy flooring vs epoxy floor coating. You may ask “what’s the difference?”
While they are similar, what differentiates the two epoxy flooring systems is the thickness in which they are layered. A coating (also known as a paint) will be a simple layer(s) of up to 1 millimeter (mm) thick. An epoxy flooring could range anywhere from .01mm to 1 centimeter (cm) thick. Choosing between the two “systems” essentially comes down to what you expect from the installation.
Epoxy flooring solutions are most commonly used in commercial and industrial spaces, such as warehouses, health facilities (hospitals), air hangers, factories, and so much more. The reason they are so popular is because of their resilience to harsh conditions and heavy traffic along with easy maintenance. Epoxy floor solutions are known for:
- Creative coloring and designs
- Easy installations
- Safety against slippage, spills, hazardous materials, heavy impact, and extreme temperatures including fire
- Environmentally friendly
- Low cost (instead of replacing an entire floor, installing epoxy atop the current flooring is an option)
When epoxy flooring solutions are used for residential spaces, such as houses, it will typically be used for (but not limited to) garages, basements, kitchens, bathrooms, family rooms, and dining rooms. Since there is a variety of epoxy flooring options to choose from, you could install it in any room.
Epoxy floor coatings aren’t as strong or lasting as an epoxy floor system due to the depth of the layer(s). While they are still great solutions for designing and the protection for floors or metallic surfaces, when compared to full epoxy flooring options, they are the basic solution.
Is Epoxy Safe?
As a flooring system, epoxy is as safe as they come. With the durability, non-slip materials, and floor protection, epoxy is great for both homes and commercial uses.
When deliberating whether or not epoxy as a material is “safe” for the environment, animals, or people, the answer is yes. Epoxy is considered to be a non-toxic curing agent that obviously shouldn’t be consumed or digested. Exposing yourself to epoxy materials by breathing or through the skin shouldn’t cause a negative effect. We do recommend that you still try to be careful when working with or being around fresh epoxy materials until they dry.
Common sense would dictate that if epoxy were to be exposed to your skin while still wet, you should wash it off when you get the opportunity. Allergic reactions or other types of medical considerations should be taken into account due to the other materials accompanying epoxy resins to create the finished epoxy solution, such as the hardener. Irritation on the skin and other skin-related issues can arise if an allergic reaction occurs.
Protect yourself and those around you during the drying process by making the recommendation to wear gloves, goggles, long pants, and to do the bear-minimum of washing after touching the wet epoxy substance.
What Are the Types of Epoxy Flooring Options?
While there are a variety of epoxy flooring options to choose from, these are the most popular for common usage.
Vinyl Flake Epoxy Flooring
The vinyl flake flooring is both astounding to look at and offers better traction. The flakes are positioned between layers and offer grip on the floor coating. For homeowners, you won’t have to worry about slipping in your garage or basement and your vehicles will have a stronger grip on those rainy/snowy days.
For commercial usage, you can feel confident knowing that your employees are safer and your equipment won’t be sliding around. Vinyl flake flooring is especially useful for wet surfaces. With the dense durability of epoxy vinyl flake flooring, rest assured that your floors will be the safest and visually appealing.
Metallic Epoxy Flooring
If you’re looking for an epoxy flooring that has a lava-like design and is just as strong as it is beautiful, go for the metallic flooring style. Mixed in with the epoxy resin and hardener is a metallic powder, used for designing unique flooring.
As a homeowner, you can use this in any room of the house to add an exotic flair in a variety of colors.
Commercial spaces can use the epoxy metallic flooring for any area and can trust in its ability to remain safe and durable while creating an inviting environment.
Self Leveling Epoxy Flooring
This particular type of epoxy flooring is great for leveling out uneven areas by filling them in. For floors that have cracks, dents, chips, or any number of uplifted terrain, self leveling epoxy flooring is the go-to solution.
Just like the other flooring options listed, this flooring comes in a variety of colors for the project you’re working on. If your basement or garage has been beaten up over the years from excessive usage, structural damage, natural occurrences, or heavy impacts, installing this flooring is your best option.
Commercial usage of self leveling epoxy flooring systems results in a safer environment for employees, heavy traffic areas, and you don’t have to uproot the previous flooring to install it.
Self Dispersing Epoxy Flooring
Self dispersing epoxy flooring shouldn’t be mistaken for self leveling flooring. Self dispersing flooring is most commonly used for motorized traffic areas. This epoxy flooring will typically contain quartz sand which reduces slips and increases traction for wet areas. It’s best suited for industrial areas with heavy vehicles such as forklifts, trucks, and other unique heavy-duty vehicles.
Terrazzo Epoxy Flooring
Terrazzo epoxy flooring systems are very unique. What makes them so special is the ability to create a floor coating that is designed to be both attractive and safe. While terrazzo comes with the same benefits of other flooring options listed, it is a smooth, colorful flooring that typically includes recycled products for its creation.
You would usually find this particular type of flooring used in public and business spaces. Shopping malls, grocery stores, banks, and hotel lobbies are some of the few open areas that utilize this particular epoxy flooring option.
Can I Install My Own Epoxy Flooring?
DIY projects can be very fun and knowing that you installed the flooring yourself comes with a sense of satisfaction and pride. While there are many videos and tutorials online on how to install epoxy flooring systems yourself, this comes with a variety of concerns.
- Did you create the mixture of epoxy resin, hardener, and other substances correctly?
- Do you have the right tools to add the coating/flooring?
- Did you miss any spots during your installation process?
- Did you perform safe practices when installing your flooring?
- Will the epoxy flooring uplift over time?
- How long will it take you to install the flooring yourself then wait for it to dry?
What Type of Upkeep Does Epoxy Flooring Need?
Not as much as you’d think! The beauty of epoxy flooring systems is that, once they’re installed and dry, clean up and maintenance is simple. Just remember to clean the epoxy floor regularly from debris and spills, continue to review the flooring every now and again for aging, and hire an epoxy floor contractor when you notice that your flooring needs another coating.
The life expectancy for an epoxy flooring with high traffic and usage is estimated at 2-3 years. This can last much longer as you continue to treat it with care or if you’ve installed it for your home. Commercial and industrial usage tends to need more maintenance for coating than residential.
Choosing an Epoxy Flooring Contractor
While Epoxy Colorado is located in Colorado Springs and Northern Colorado, we service areas like Denver, Loveland, Greeley, Aurora, Boulder, Fort Collins, Aspen, Durango, Castle Rock, Englewood, Centennial, and many more! Give us a call today and receive a free quote to see if we can service you in your neighborhood for either residential or commercial spaces.
Choose a contractor who is experienced and provides you with the best epoxy flooring services available. Have any questions about epoxy flooring? Call us today!