Nowadays, epoxy flooring is one of the most popular options in industrial and commercial environments due to its numerous desirable properties. However, since resin flooring can be quite complicated, there might be some uncertainties about its fundamentals and implications. Here, we’ve put together an overview of epoxy flooring which includes its advantages, common types, and other useful information.
What is Epoxy Flooring?
Ultimately, epoxy flooring is a certain synthetic resin floor system that can simply be laid down on concrete surfaces for decoration and protection. This system includes various layers of thermosetting resin that are shoveled, coated, or poured and applied to a concrete surface.
After the resin layers are entirely cured, you can have a floor system that is permanent and durable. It serves as a resistant and decorative protection on the concrete substrate.
Most likely, epoxy is one of the most popular resin floor technologies since it includes excellent chemical and mechanical resistance properties. Additionally, you can customize your epoxy floors by choosing different styles, colors, decorative options, and effects.
However, epoxy flooring systems have different categories designed for different applications. There is too much confusion when different flooring terms are utilized interchangeably, for instance, flooring, coating, and screed. Technically, this is not accurate since each of these terms has their own properties and profiles.
What are the Different Types of Epoxy Flooring?
When it comes to aesthetics, epoxy flooring is the best. They are extremely versatile, flawless, and available in a wide range of styles, colors, decorative options, and effects. With these outstanding properties, epoxy flooring is the most suitable option for commercial and industrial environments. The following are some of the common types of epoxy flooring:
Epoxy Flake Coating
Epoxy flake coating includes different sizes of flakes spread over a colored epoxy base coat and coated with a strong resistant clear sealer. When done, it can provide a decorative floor finish that has superior resistance to foot traffic and very easy to clean. The epoxy flake coating is an ideal option for schools, restaurants, showrooms, shops, and other types of commercial spaces.
Epoxy Terrazzo Flooring
Generally, epoxy terrazzo flooring offers a flawless, durable, decorative, and colorful floor. This is produced by combining epoxy and distinct aggregates including granite, glass, mother of pearl, marble, etc.
Once the mixture is applied to the flooring, it will be grounded and polished, as a result, the aggregate will be exposed, providing you with a hard-wearing, decorative, and smooth floor finish.
Typically, epoxy terrazzo floors are not only extremely durable and highly decorative, yet it does not require too much maintenance and has an excellent life expectancy. That is why this floor system is perfect for large commercial areas due to its lifespan, durability, and aesthetics.
Epoxy Floor Coatings
Epoxy floor coatings are often known as epoxy floor paint or epoxy paint. Usually, It has a uniform single color and the finishing can either be glossy, satin, or matte. Epoxy floor coatings are more appropriate for spaces with light to medium traffic.
Although this is also a great option for commercial or industrial areas. Since epoxy coatings have a wide range of varieties and options, it’s best that you should consult a flooring specialist so you will know what the best match for your flooring is. Depending on the function and purpose of the area, you can always find a more suitable flooring option that meets your requirements.
Antistatic Epoxy Flooring
Aside from providing hard-wearing and smooth coating, antistatic epoxy flooring can also prevent electrostatic charges from generating on the surface of the floor.
It is a must that the antistatic floor system is flexible with antistatic standards requirements. Additionally, they are created to safely transport the static charge to specific earthing points. Antistatic flooring systems are customized for heavy-duty, medium, and light traffic.
Generally, antistatic epoxy flooring is applied in food processing facilities, special rooms, and laboratories. Most often, it is also used as part of ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) prevention, specifically in areas that include explosive contents and sensitive equipment. It is also ideal for pharmaceutical, automotive, aerospace, and electronic environments.
What makes self-leveling epoxy flooring different from the rest is that it is self-smoothing after pouring them into the concrete substrate. Ideally, self-leveling systems should be applied between 1 to 3mm. For quick installation, the liquid form should be used, providing you with a seamless, smooth finish. Epoxy SL is rich in resin, making it a strong durable flooring option for heavy-duty traffic environments.
Epoxy screeds are used in medium- to heavy-duty flooring systems. They act as an underlayment that holds different varieties of resin flooring including self-leveling epoxy coatings, anti-slip coatings, and others.
Epoxy screeds are typically thicker with a thickness between 4mm and 6mm. Since they are thicker, typically they are trowel-applied. To obtain a smooth, seamless, and level finish, it’s best that it should be power floated.
Epoxy screeds have superior impact resistance and extreme strength. They might also include anti-osmosis properties that serve as a damp-proof membrane. With all of these excellent properties, epoxy screeds are the perfect flooring systems to be used for medium to heavy-duty industrial environments including food and beverage processing, manufacturing, and many more.
When choosing your epoxy flooring, most likely it will greatly depend on your essential protection and functionality requirements as well as the frequent operations and activities in the environment.
What Are the Benefits of Epoxy Flooring?
Basically, epoxy flooring has several benefits compared to other options for flooring coverings including carpet, tiles, or vinyl. Let’s explore some of them:
Epoxy is a highly resistant and smooth flooring option, making your concrete substrate well-protected from liquids, dirt, chemicals, and other contaminants. As a result, you can easily clean your floors, all you need is a standard mop or a scrubber. Buffing and waxing are not needed anymore. Epoxy floors do not need too much maintenance, except for basic cleaning, making them very valuable in the long run.
Aside from providing you with an easy-to-clean, seamless floor surface, epoxy flooring also comes in a variety of color and gloss options, such as matte, satin, and glossy. Additional design options include the addition of metallic pigments and colored microchips.
One of the greatest advantages of epoxy flooring that is often less considered is its capability to include a non-slip profile by spreading sand into the wet coating during application. This is very important in industrial and commercial environments since the safety of its occupants should come first.
Suitable for Any Environment
Since epoxy flooring is one of the most versatile options, then it is ideal for different environments including commercial, industrial, medical, aviation, food, and beverage manufacturing, recreational, transportation, healthcare, manufacturing, grocery, educational, retail, and a lot more.
Epoxy floors can carry a variety of workloads from foot traffic to truck traffic. An ideal flooring option for industrial environments since it can withstand abuse from manufacturing processes and different variety of equipment. Since epoxy flooring can resist chemicals and abrasion, then it can meet the durability requirements of industrial manufacturers.
Be sure that the epoxy flooring that you choose includes low quantities of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), is solvent-free, and does not have any environmental hazards.