Epoxy flooring is growing in popularity thanks to greater consumer awareness, lower costs, and a greater number of options. Epoxy is applied as a liquid and reacts chemically to bond with a prepared concrete substrate and form a very strong plastic material that withstands all types of abuse. Epoxy can also be highly decorative and it’s now found in upscale hotels, restaurants, bars, and storefronts as well as breweries, medical facilities, grocery stores, and more. Here are three of the biggest benefits of epoxy flooring and three downsides to consider before investing in an epoxy floor system.
Benefits of Epoxy Floor Coatings
An epoxy floor coating offers a wide range of benefits no matter where it’s installed. Epoxy works well in commercial and residential applications with unique benefits for homeowners and facility managers. Here are the biggest perks of installing an epoxy floor system in Austin, TX.
Pro #1: Affordable and long-lasting
Epoxy flooring can deliver a finished floor system with a relatively low cost as low as $5 per square foot, depending on the design, colors, and epoxy formulation. Epoxy also delivers a low lifecycle cost for facility managers because it can last up to 10 years in harsh industrial settings and up to 25 years in residential settings.
Pro #2: Extremely resistant to damage
You really have to try to damage an epoxy floor system. In a garage, it will repel gasoline and oil spills as well as damage from hot tires, road salt, and dropped objects. In a basement, it won’t be damaged by moisture or even flooding. It’s also durable enough to withstand heavy wear and tear in commercial and industrial settings, even extreme temperatures, heavy loads, forklift traffic, and constant foot traffic.
Pro #3: Endless design choices
Epoxy can be installed in a single color, multi-color patterns like checkerboard, custom patterns, and with unique effects like flake epoxy that looks like granite or an upscale metallic epoxy floor with a 3D effect. It can even incorporate a business logo in a lobby or safety striping behind the scenes.
Drawbacks of Epoxy Flooring
No product is perfect. Before choosing an epoxy coating for your home or business, make sure you are aware of potential drawbacks.
Con #1: Careful preparation is required
Epoxy flooring can’t be applied to damaged, stained, and unprepped concrete. A long-lasting epoxy system requires cleaning and repairing the floor as well as thorough diamond grinding to open the concrete’s pores and profile the surface. This preparation can be time-consuming and, if skipped, is guaranteed to lead to premature floor failure. This is why epoxy flooring is difficult to install yourself, even with a quality epoxy product.
Con #2: Concrete still cracks
Epoxy creates a virtually seamless coating that’s bonded to your concrete substrate. While this increases the strength of your concrete and protects it from damage, concrete still cracks over time. Serious cracks can broadcast into the epoxy coating. A cracked epoxy coating isn’t common but it can’t be repaired; the epoxy will need to be replaced.
Con #3: Slippery when wet
Epoxy flooring creates a smooth and high-gloss surface that is generally slip-resistant. When epoxy is wet or covered in powder, however, it can be very slippery. The best way to counteract this problem is adding a skid-resistant additive to the epoxy topcoat when it’s installed in areas prone to spills.