Metallic epoxy floors are a popular trend that is beginning to make its way into homes as a visually intriguing, high-tech garage flooring option. These metallic epoxy coatings create the illusion of depth and a glossy look. Available in a variety of colors and visual effects, some appear three-dimensional with the illusion of fluid movement like ripples in the water.
What are metallic epoxy coatings?
Metallic pigments are added to 100 percent solids epoxy for the purpose of creating many different visual effects. The coating is self-leveling and easily manipulated to achieve the desired look. Once the metallic epoxy coating is applied to the floor, solvents are used to move the pigments around to create the effects.
For three-dimensional designs, some products are available that incorporate a leaf blower or air nozzle to create such popular effects as water ripples, rolling waves or moon craters. To achieve a two-tone visual effect just adds a second color during the application process.
Are metallic epoxy floors long lasting and durable?
Metallic epoxy floors are stunning, with high-performance coatings that are designed to last for many years. An epoxy primer is installed first, followed by the metallic epoxy coating that is covered with a clear top coat. As with any epoxy floor coating, the surface can be slippery when wet if an anti-slip additive isn’t included in the top coat. This process results in a thick, durable garage floor coating that is resistant to chemicals, oil, salt, water, and wear. Also, metallic epoxy is easy to maintain.
How are metallic epoxy coatings installed?
The installation process for metallic epoxy floor coatings in the same as for any multi-coat system, except for the step of manipulating the pigments. If you want to do a DIY epoxy floor project, have at least two helpers on hand due to the time constraints involved with the process.
Metallic epoxy coatings are typically applied with a squeegee or a notched trowel and rolled back allowing the pigments to move throughout the epoxy. Since the coat is so thick, a gallon only covers approximately 50 square feet. This is why help is needed to mix batches while someone else applies the epoxy.
Once the coating is applied, the metallic coat needs to be manipulated within 20 minutes. This can be done by the person mixing batches. Air is blown on the metallic epoxy to diffuse the pigments and create waves, ripples, and craters. Expect to see depression in the epoxy initially, but the coating will self-level within 10 minutes and you will see the desired effect.
Epoxy flooring DIY
Keep in mind, this type of DIY garage flooring is expensive and the materials are going to cost more than a standard multi-coat epoxy garage flooring system. Installation of metallic epoxy coatings is usually done by experienced flooring professionals, but a skilled DIY homeowner can also get the job done well.