Home » Blog Posts » What is Epoxy Flooring?

What is Epoxy Flooring?

epoxy floors new jersey

What is epoxy flooring?

Concrete that has been prepped is coated with epoxy, a highly durable coating. A finished epoxy floor consists of epoxy resin and hardener chemically bonded together. Which further cures to create a hard protective barrier over the concrete.

Epoxy floors are hard-wearing and provide a seamless coating with a number of decorative finishes such as flake, marble, and metallic. This means epoxy is great as a flooring option for many kinds of environments. For a garage, kitchen, shop floor, warehouse, office or any other room.

Solvent-based epoxy

A solvent-based epoxy contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as a carrier agent to help extend its pot-life during application and its penetration into the concrete substrate.

VOCs slow down evaporation. Unfortunately, it creates harmful fumes that make handling the epoxy hazardous without full protection. VOCs can cause irritations to the throat, nose, and eyes. There is also evidence that these compounds can cause breathing problems and damage the central nervous system. Some VOCs can also cause cancer.

Inhaling fumes from this substance can also cause nausea and headaches. They are particularly harmful to those suffering from asthma, as they can worsen the condition. Even if the product specifies that there are only low amounts of VOCs present. It’s better to avoid using epoxies that include it.

The scent of these compounds will also linger for a longer time, even after the epoxy has fully cured. As well as embedding in fabrics, VOCs will continue to release into the environment after the job is completed.

Therefore, solvent-based epoxies may be cheaper, but their application risks make them unsuitable.

Epoxies containing solvents, however, tend to be softer. This means that they often do not require a slip-resistant coating after.

Water-based epoxy

A water-based epoxy, while safer to use and apply than a solvent-based epoxy product, comes with its own shortcomings. The benefit of a water-based epoxy is that it has an extended pot life without the harmful fumes of a solvent-based epoxy product. The downside, however, is that using water as the carrier agent results in a weaker coating. A coating that doesn’t have the same durability.

This form of epoxy has a slower evaporation rate than solvent-borne epoxies, which can lead to entrapment and disastrous results.

Thicker sections of this epoxy commonly have this issue because the water can’t escape before the epoxy begins its process of cross-linking and hardening. If the epoxy doesn’t cure as it should. Then it can create a ‘soft spot’ that’s weaker than the other areas.

Garage floors, which are subject to heavy traffic, are especially susceptible to soft spots. The pressure exerted by a parked car’s tires can quickly result in delamination.

100% solids epoxy

A 100% solids epoxy product is one that doesn’t use a carrier agent – no water or solvents, just resin, and a hardener. Due to its short pot life, it must be applied as soon as it is mixed. It is as close to ‘organic’ as epoxies can be.

The cost of coating a floor with 100% solids epoxy can be higher than using a solvent or water-based product. Although, it is still more economical than many alternative flooring solutions. 

It delivers one of the highest durability of finishes, so you get a floor coating that not only provides seamless protection for your concrete but will continue to do so for many, many years. This is where you see the real benefit of a quality epoxy product, and why spending a bit more will pay off in the long run. 

Water-based or solvent-based epoxies are applied thinner than solventless epoxies. It doesn’t penetrate as deeply as the other two types of epoxies. Therefore, epoxies containing acetone or something comparable to acetone will help it penetrate deeper if the concrete base is unstable, porous, or requires a penetrating primer.

Invest in Epoxy Flooring That Keeps on Delivering

What is epoxy flooring? It’s one of the best flooring solutions you can choose if you want to balance durability, cost, and attractiveness. Here at Elevated Home Improvement, we want you to understand the real benefits of an epoxy flooring solution, and why we choose to use 100% solids epoxy. Further, contact us here or call us at 732-707-1395!