Tips for Choosing the Right Epoxy Floor for Your Project
Think of Your Needs
If you’re putting a new epoxy flooring finish in your sleek office building, for example, choosing a big, bold color with a shiny metallic finish might not give off the impression you’re going for.
While you may love that muted overall tone with bright chips in it, depending on where you’re putting the floor and the feel of the rest of the space, it may end up being more distracting than attractive.
Before you ever think about a type of epoxy finish or a color, think first about its use and what you’re hoping for the space to feel like once the project’s complete.
A more professional space that will get a lot of clients and customers is going to need a very different epoxy floor than a personal-use garage or man cave. Spend a little time looking at examples of epoxy flooring in a similar space to yours to give you a guide on what to choose.
Choose Your Finish
At Armor Tough Coatings, we offer two types of epoxy floor finishes: Metallic and standard, or matte.
Metallic epoxy floors finish to a lava-like pattern that offers visual interest and can distract the eye from a mess, such as on a shop floor. This finish also is more shiny than a standard epoxy floor, adding extra brightness to the space.
Standard epoxy floors have a matte finish and, depending on the color chosen, aren’t going to be as good at hiding spills.
Both finishes can look gorgeous in almost any space, so choosing your finish really comes down to a matter of personal preference over any actual functional difference.
Choosing a Color
Color can make or break the look of your finished epoxy floor.
If you choose the wrong color for your room, like choosing the wrong carpeting, it could impact the look and feel of the space. However, the right epoxy floor in the right color can elevate a space to give it a sleek, modern feel.
Epoxy floors are available in a variety of colors and many installers can custom-mix colors to give you exactly the look you want.
When choosing the color of your floor, first decide whether you want something bright and bold or a more neutral color.
Different-colored chips also can be added into many epoxy floors, giving it a different look and amping up the style of a more neutral color.
Your epoxy flooring installer can help you select the right finish and color of epoxy floor for your space, finding a way to make it work well with the other fixtures in the room.
Epoxy Floor Coatings
100% Solid Epoxy Floor Coating
This is one of the most durable flooring systems you could ever install on your property. These types of coatings last over two decades with little to no maintenance because they are highly resistant to common and uncommon forms of damages. Even when subjected to high levels of foot traffic, heat, impact, chemical spills, or potent substances, 100% epoxy floors are there for you. So, if you’re installing epoxy floors in an area where exposure can be a big issue, consider installing this flooring. The initial installation price is more expensive than the counterparts we will discuss; however, the maintenance, durability, and longevity of your floors will repay that cost quickly.
Water-Based Epoxy Floor Coating
This is what you find when you go to a store and try to purchase and install a DIY kit. Professional installers have the access, training, and licensure to prepare, design, and install longer-lasting and much more durable floors. If you’re just using this type of coating in an area that does not need protection, if you don’t mind constant maintenance, or if you just need a primer, then this is the flooring for you. This will give your floors a glossy smooth finish but will not protect your floors from damages. These floors have a much lower overall cost but should be noted that the surfaces will not be around for very long so more money will have to be spent on repair, placement, or some other form of flooring.
Solvent-Based Epoxy Floor Coating
This is a great floor sealer and primer that contains about 30% to 70% epoxy-based solids. This is rarely used and is a topic that should always be discussed with a professional.
Epoxy floors are great systems that can take your flooring to a completely new level of design and functionality. Do your research and discuss options with credible professionals!
This does not mean search for a contractor in your area, this means to learn about the different epoxy coatings, soak up as much knowledge as you can about different products and what they do. Keep in mind while researching, you are wanting your epoxy installed in a specific place, make sure this epoxy would be long-lasting and well suited for that area, then see who is near you.
LICENSURE AND INSURANCE ARE IMPORTANT
The best time to talk about a license and insurance is the first talk. This is an important topic and should never be ignored. If you don’t want to ask in person or over the phone, the internet is a lovely place, and you can search to ensure that the company that is promising you the world has the knowledge to do so.
REPUTATIONS SPEAK LOUDLY
Guess what? You don’t have to take the business you’re interested in at their word! You can check online once again! If you’re satisfied with the aforementioned steps and questions, then make sure to check with either the consumer protection agency of your state or you can check on other search engines for customer reviews.
an Epoxy Contractor
Know your coating
Yes, do your research on specific epoxy coatings that are popular for properties like your own. This will help you narrow down if a company can even be of service to you. Knowing and learning the differences between coatings can protect you and your best interest, in the long run, so do your research. By the end of your research, if you’re still not convinced on the best coating for you, that is okay because you’ve gained a general understanding of epoxy itself and that will help you find the contractor that will suit you.
Check if they’re licensed and insured
Honestly, the best time to ask is on your first date. Don’t wait until you’re about to sign paperwork to ask if your contractor has a license or if the company is insured in case any damage comes to your belongings. If they don’t present this information immediately, move on. Don’t forget, this is not a boy scout system, ask for copies of everything, including verbal agreements, have everything written down, copied, and on paper.
Reputation, it’s not just a Taylor Swift album
If you’re satisfied with the contractors’ legal requirements, move on to the next important steps, their reputation! What do others, who have worked with your potential contractor in the past have to say about her/his work? How they leave a past client is a telling factor on how they will treat you. It is important to also be forming your own opinions, however, it is better to be safe than sorry. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau and look up reviews that have been written before or simply ask for references.
How long have they been running?
Not literally, but you get the point, how long has this contractor been working with or in the business? The best ones haven’t always been around for decades, which takes us back to the aforementioned statements, ask for references.
How to Choose the Best Epoxy Floor Coating
Two-Part Epoxy Floor Coating With 100 Percent Solids
Two-part epoxy floor coatings are described as “100 percent solids” because they do not contain any traditional solvents. Two-part epoxy coatings offer the very best surface for concrete, a thick, hard, and attractive finish. These epoxy kits are often used with decorative chips that are sprinkled over the surface while it is hardening to provide a texture and attractive finish. The surface will be fully hard fairly quickly, within about 24 hours of application.
True 100-percent-solids epoxy is also the most expensive option, and it is a bit more demanding to install when compared to other types of coatings. These products emit intense fumes when applied, requiring thorough ventilation. But installing 100 percent epoxy floor coating can be done by DIYers. You can buy a kit for a one-car garage for $250 to $300, which includes application tools. EpoxyMaster, which is available from Costco or online retailers, maybe the easiest product to find.
Two-Part Water-Based Epoxy Floor Coating
Quikrete, and Rust-Oleum (EpoxyShield) offer popular DIY two-part epoxy floor coatings that are readily available at many home improvement, paint, and hardware stores. These are hybrid products that have the components of genuine epoxy (resin plus hardener/activator), but they also include water as a solvent. You can identify these products because they consist of two parts that are mixed together, but are cleaned up (when wet) with soap and water. They may also be advertised as “low VOC” or “low odor,” a striking difference to true epoxies, where thorough ventilation is critical.