Are you tired of the dull and boring look of your concrete floors?
Want to upgrade them with a durable, long-lasting solution that adds style and sophistication to your space? Look no further than epoxy flooring!
But if you’re new to the world of epoxy floor installation, don’t fret.
In this detailed walkthrough for beginners, we’ll guide you through every step of the epoxy flooring installation process so you can DIY like a pro and transform your floors into works of art.
From prepping your surface to applying the final topcoat, get ready to learn everything you need to know about installing epoxy flooring in your home or business. Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
Clean the Surface
After you have chosen the epoxy flooring system that is right for your needs and environment, it is time to prepare the surface on which the epoxy will be installed.
i) Clean the floor – The first step is to thoroughly clean the floor. All dirt, grease, oil, and other contaminants must be removed from the surface to ensure proper adhesion of the epoxy.
If you are installing it for your home use a vaccum if it for a bigger area like a garage use a leaf blower to blow off the large dust particles and make the surface clean.
The best way to do this is with a vacuum cleaner designed for use with power tools.
ii) Clean walls – For better safety, also make sure the walls are clean as well. Sometimes with dirty walls dirt can fly off and fall off on your epoxy floor before they cure. A worst nightmare.
iii) Repair cracks – Any cracks or holes in the floor must be repaired. Epoxy will not bond properly to a cracked or damaged surface, so it is important to make sure the floor is smooth before proceeding.
iv) Make the surface even – Once repairs are made, the floor should be sanded to create an smooth and even surface. If there are any paints, rubber marks and other stubborn stains or rust just scrap them off your floor. For paint stains you can use soy gel.
Uneven surfaces or bumps can reduce the adhesiveness of the epoxy and over time can damage the flooring.
Sand the Surface
For a smoother and even surface sand your floors. After sanding the floor vaccum again to get rid off all the sand dust. Using a leaf blower or even simply sweeping itself is not a better approach here as the sanded dust will fly and float in the air and will eventually settle down over time on the epoxy again. So it is best to vaccum the floor after sanding.
While walking over the epoxy when the installation is in process, make sure to wear the special spiked shoes that are made just for this.
Acid Etch the Concrete
If you are applying epoxy over a concrete subfloor then you need to acid etch the floor.
Mix a 1:1 ratio of water and muriatic acid and spray it all over the flooring in a circular motion. Once the entire floor is acid etched, the next step now is to neutralize the acid with a base.
Mix a 20:1 ratio of water and ammonia (20 parts of water and 1 part of ammonia). Apply this mixture on the floor using a spray and use a sponnge to cover the entire floor. After this rinse the entire floor with clean water once or twice. Now the floor is well prepared to apply the epoxy.
Let the moist floor dry overnight and carry the epoxy application the next day for better hold. Don’t hurry with the epoxy application process.
Before applying epoxy tape off all the boundaries and edges of your walls, furniture or other items to prevent them getting epoxy on. Usually a painters tape is reocmmended for better protection.
Mixing and Applying the Epoxy Resin
Before you can apply the epoxy resin, you will need to mix it. This is usually done in a large container with a drill attached to it.
The ratio of epoxy to hardener will be provided by the manufacturer. While mixing your epoxy be sure not to be so fast as it can form bubbles on the mixutre.
Since there are different types of epoxy hardeners, based on the type of product you are using the ratio you need to use will vary.
Make sure read the instructions on the back of your epoxy products carefully for better adhesion and finishing.
Once the epoxy and hardener are mixed together, you will need to pour it onto the floor and spread it out evenly. A squeegee is often used for this.
While applying epoxy pour the epoxy and use a notched squeegee to spread it out evenly. Don’t use a roller to dip in a epoxy mixture and apply.
Applying epoxy this way can cause uneven application. So it is recommended to use squeegee for spreading out. After spreading out the epoxy evenly you can use a roller to make sure to even out the epoxy. Use a high quality solvent resistent rollers.
Once the epoxy has been applied, you will need to let it cure for the amount of time specified by the manufacturer.
If you find any bubbles after curing sand them down and apply the second layer of epoxy. If you need to add chips then they should be added after the first layer of coating. See below.
This is a completely optional step, but if you would love to add an additional layer of protection, then add a layer of polyurethene after the second layer of epoxy. Applying polyurethane has a lot of benefits to it.
Adding Decorative Chips or Flakes
If you’re looking to add a little extra flair or beauty to your epoxy floor, you can do so by adding decorative chips or flakes.
This is an optional step, but it can really help to give your floor a unique look. Here’s how to do it:
- After the application of the first layer of epoxy coating on your floor, sprinkle your decorative chips or flakes onto the wet epoxy. Be generous with the amount of chips you use. Just throw in a big handful of chips over the wet epoxy until the entire flooring is completely covered.
- Let it cure. After the epoxy cured, scrap off all the excess chips from the floor
- Now it is time to apply the second layer of the epoxy coating. This will create a sandwich in which the chips are sandwiched between two coatings of epoxy.
Curing the Floor and Cleanup
After you have allowed the epoxy to cure overnight, you will need to remove the painter’s tape and plastic sheeting. Inspect the floor for any areas that may have been missed and touch them up as needed.
Once you are satisfied with the results, you can begin cleanup.
Start by sweeping the floor with a broom to remove any loose debris. Then, mop the floor with a mild soap and water solution.
Be sure to rinse the floor well afterwards. Allow the floor to air dry or use a fan to speed up the process.
Once the floor is completely dry, you can apply a sealer if desired.
Tips and Tricks
These tips and tricks will help protect your new epoxy floor and keep it looking its best for years to come!
- Always start with a clean floor. Any dirt, debris, or grease on the surface will prevent the epoxy from adhering properly.
- Always work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling fumes from the epoxy.
- Be sure to mix the epoxy according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Failure to do so could result in an uneven finish or premature curing.
- For best results, apply the epoxy in thin coats using a squeegee and even out with a roller. Allowing each coat to cure and dry completely before applying the next will give you a professional-looking finish and a durable flooring.
- Once the final coat has been applied, be sure to let it cure for the amount of time specified by the manufacturer. Curing times vary depending on conditions like temperature and humidity, so it’s important to follow these instructions carefully.
What is Epoxy Flooring?
Epoxy flooring is a type of floor coating that is typically made from a two-part system consisting of an epoxy resin and a polyamine hardener.
When mixed together, these two components create a cross-linked chemical bond that is extremely strong and durable. Once cured, epoxy floors form a hard, seamless surface that is resistant to wear, chemicals, staining, and UV light.
Epoxy flooring is commonly used in industrial and commercial settings because it can withstand heavy foot traffic and equipment traffic without showing signs of wear.
They are also easy to clean and maintain, which is why they are often used in food service areas, laboratories, and hospitals. They are different types of epoxy flooring.
Benefits of Epoxy Flooring Installation
If you’re considering epoxy flooring for your home or business, you might be wondering what the benefits are. Though there are a few disadvantages to using epoxy flooring, the benefits always out weights the drawbascks.
So, here are some of the top benefits of installhing epoxy flooring:
- Durability: Epoxy floors are very strong and resistant to wear and tear. They can withstand heavy foot traffic and equipment without showing signs of wear. This makes them ideal for high-traffic areas such as commercial kitchens, retail stores, and warehouses.
- Easy to clean: Unlike other types of flooring, epoxy floors don’t require special cleaners or maintenance. You can easily sweep and mop them just like any other type of floor.
- Slip-resistant: Epoxy floors have a smooth surface that is less likely to cause slips and falls. This makes them a good choice for areas where safety is a concern, such as factories, hospitals, and schools.
- Low-maintenance: Once your epoxy floor is installed, there’s not much you need to do to maintain it. There’s no need to wax or polish the floors like you would with other types of flooring.
- Long lasting: With proper care, an epoxy floor can last for many years. This makes it a cost-effective flooring option that can last for years together.
We hope this article has provided you with a detailed walkthrough of the epoxy flooring installation process.
From preparation to application and finishing, we have outlined each step in detail so that you can complete your project with confidence and ease.
With the right tools and supplies, as well as careful attention to safety measures, anyone can successfully install an epoxy floor for years of enjoyment.
So don’t wait any longer – get started today!