Epoxy flooring is a versatile flooring solution used in commercial, industrial, healthcare, government, and educational facilities. Epoxy offers superior hardness than most flooring surfaces, while also offering long lifespan and relatively low maintenance.
Epoxy systems are made up of at least two parts—a polyepoxide resin and a curative. The components are mixed immediately before they are applied to the substrate. The resulting reaction causes them to chemically bond to one another and to the substrate itself. Assuming proper preparation, the epoxy polymers cannot and will not delaminate or fail.
Structural support in the form of a true Epoxy Flooring System can be achieved with an application that exceeds 2mm in thickness. Anything less is considered an Epoxy Coating, and provides only a protective layer. Success in choosing the proper system, whether it be “flooring” or simply a “coating”, is dependent on the application.
Finding a balance in cure time is important in epoxy formulation. While epoxy appears to set quickly, it does not mean it's ready for use. A time period of 16-24 hrs is a good rule of thumb for light foot traffic. Cooler temperatures than about 55F will slow the process. Different epoxy formulations have different curing temperatures, but very few will cure under 45-50F. Complete curing can take as long as 30 days. We have found that with some patience comes the reward, as the strongest polymer flooring systems almost always have an epoxy component or layer.
Cheaper epoxy formulations, like those found at big box retail stores, have as little as 30-40% solids by volume. This means that the product will dry with 40% or less thickness than when applied. The professional epoxies we use are typically 100% solids by volume.
While we prefer to install our systems on prepared concrete surfaces, epoxy coatings can be used to protect about any hard surface. Wood subflooring, tile, and vertical drywall can all be suitable substrates with proper preparation.
Some of our floor installations call for flexible grade epoxy floors. These more flexible epoxy formulations have advantages over common rigid versions. These systems are appropriate for applications where we could find movement, like trailers or in high rise structures.
At EPFC, we got our start in the industry with decorative installations. So we know how to make epoxy flooring beautiful! Logos, decals, metallic additives, micas, and custom color options are all available as a part of our installations. Some of our installations have included “glow in the dark” PVA flakes, and we’ve even installed floors that mimic the ocean.