After several years in the epoxy flooring and concrete restoration business, we have learned a lot our customers’ concerns. We have found that when most homeowners are tackling home improvements, they do their research to protect from making costly mistakes. Many of the concerns that we address around epoxy floor coatings are myths. These epoxy flooring myths are using derived from friends, family, or neighbors, but are largely unsubstantiated. However, keep in mind that myths started somewhere. If applied improperly, an myths about epoxy flooring could come true. The most important thing when thinking about an epoxy coating for your home or business floors is to consult with a professional.
Epoxy Flooring Myth: #1
“If I do it myself, I’ll save money”
This epoxy flooring myth is a bit misleading. If you know how to do it yourself, you could save money. Depending on your expectations, some big box stores epoxy kits are decent; however, you’ll need to pay close attention, because you could be setting yourself up for an epoxy flooring failure. First, you need to ensure that the substrate that your applying the epoxy coating to is well cleaned and neutralized. More often then not, this is the step in the epoxy floor application process where most weekend warriors fall short. Next, an adequate abrasive will need to be applied to the surface. Most DYI toolkits recommend using muriatic acid to accomplish this. Due to the properties of muriatic acid, it is not optimal to use it in this manner, especially for the unskilled. The acid does not neutralize any existing greases or oils present. Also, if acid is spilled or happens to get on an area where it is unintended, it will most certainly cause damage to that area. The fumes will also build up in enclosed areas, and it’s not an environmentally friendly substance. Simply, muriatic acid is just not a safe choice to use for substrate etching. The best methods are to use are a diamond grind or shot blasting on the floor. The floor composite will really determine what method needs to be used, and an experienced professional who sees these situations day in and day out will be able to advise. Lastly, the epoxy bonding agents found in consumer grade choices are often not as durable. They are more susceptible to heavy traffic wear, high impact damage, yellowing in UV rays, and peeling or lifting. In the end, you could spend more money by working to properly fix that which was doomed from the start. To avoid this epoxy flooring myth, consult with a seasoned epoxy flooring professional.
Epoxy Flooring Myth: #2
“Epoxy floor coating is expensive”
This epoxy flooring myth often creates anxiety, but it’s actually pretty simple to dispel and decompose. We all know that expensive is a relative term, but epoxy floor coating is not as expensive as you may think. The real value exchange will come from the reasons why you are interested in an epoxy floor. To help identify why you may want an epoxy floor coating, read up on our Benefits of Epoxy Flooring. As with any improvement, a value proposition has to exist. There are always up-front costs, and epoxy floor coating is no different. If you’re looking to protect your flooring from chemicals or impacts, an epoxy flooring can make a world of difference by providing a strong and durable surface. If you’re looking to improve safety or processes within your business, then an epoxy coating applied to your specifications can help contribute to your company’s bottom line. If you’re looking to save some time with cleaning the floor or simply want to be proud of the way it looks, there is intrinsic value within those things. To address this epoxy flooring myth and see if the cost is an equal or lessor value to the payoff, contact a seasoned professional and get a free quote. There’s nothing expensive about a free quote.
Epoxy Flooring Myth: #3
“Paint the floor. It’s just as good.”
Epoxy flooring myth three is a hard lesson to learn. It is not uncommon for us to be called out to bid an epoxy floor application where the floor had been previously painted. When we show up, we find a horrendous looking floor that appears to have been beaten to shreds. Patches in the floor paint have flaked off, high traffic walkways are evident, tire marks have scuffed up the paint, bleach or corrosive chemicals have mixed with the paint creating a mucky mess, and worst of all- now someone has to clean it up before a new floor can go down. Most of the paint flooring jobs we’ve seen come about two (2) years after the paint has been applied. Paint, by nature, it not epoxy. It is a very thin chemical layer meant to do nothing other than change the color of the surface it is applied to. Epoxy is a resin that contains hardeners that when applied, bonds with the substrate. After this bonding process, the floor is physically much more durable. The epoxy floor coating is chemical resistant, heat resistant, impact resistant, abrasion resistant, and UV protected. When applied correctly, an epoxy floor can last many, many years.
Epoxy Flooring Myth: #4
“The floor is swept. Ready to apply.”
All seriousness, this epoxy flooring myth really takes a true professional to address. Substrates can very in material, but the most popular is concrete. If you’re thinking about applying to something other than concrete as a DYI project, we would strongly encourage you to reach out and at least talk to an experienced installer. Prior to applying an epoxy coating, time will need to be spent in preparing the floor. Preparing the floor is just as important as the epoxy coating process. If the floor preparations fails, the epoxy application was for not. All grease, cement paste, waxes, glue, or other adherence will need to be removed from the floor. This removal will prevent any separation between the epoxy resin and the substrate. After the floor is thoroughly cleaned and neutralized, then a texture will need to be applied to the floor. This process can be done by either acid etching, diamond grinding, or shot-blasting, depending on the condition of the floor. Please do not assume that acid etching will applicable in all situations. The texture on the floor provides a coarse surface to give the epoxy resin something to grad and adhere to, allowing the resin to physically bond with the surface.
Epoxy Flooring Myth #5:
“I’ll need to do it again, next year.”
Like the other epoxy flooring myths, #5 could have some truth to it depending on how the epoxy coating was applied and who applied it. The truth is that not all epoxy resins are created equal. The chemical resin compound contains hardening additives. The quality of the epoxy will vary depending on where it was purchase, what application it was intended for, and how it was applied. Thankfully, a professional epoxy flooring installation job doesn’t take too much time. To help strengthen the epoxy coating, a protective layer of urethane can be applied on top of the epoxy resin. If properly cared for an maintained, a well applied epoxy flooring can last several years. But, eventually, it will need to be replaced.