Pros and Cons of Epoxy Resin Flooring
Epoxy flooring is becoming an ever more popular flooring choice. While you might be used to seeing epoxy coating on floors in an industrial or garage setting, they are popping up more and more as decorative flooring in homes and businesses as well. If you're considering an epoxy floor coating, you'll probably be wondering what the pros and cons truly are. Read our tips from Epoxy Gang for everything you need to know.
What are epoxy floors?
Epoxy floor coatings are created by mixing liquid resin with a hardener and pouring it onto an existing concrete floor for both residential and commercial flooring solutions. Once the resin flooring fully cures, you are left with a completely seamless floor coating with a highly smooth finish.
Pros of epoxy flooring
Durable and long-lasting
Epoxy resin floors are highly durable. You can expect a resin floor to last somewhere between 10 and 20 years, depending on how it is used.
This type of floor coating can withstand heavy foot traffic and heavy machinery, which is why it is often used in industrial settings. It is also resistant to scratches, heat, stains, shock, water, and chemicals so its likelihood of getting damaged is less than other flooring materials.
The upfront cost per square foot of an epoxy resin floor won't be the cheapest out of all the flooring solutions (although it certainly isn't the most expensive either). It will usually work out to be more cost-effective in the long run, however.
Because epoxy flooring will last for so long and need very little maintenance or repair, you will need to replace it less often than you would for other surfaces.
And since you can lay an epoxy coating on top of an existing concrete surface, you don't have the additional cost of installing a separate floor system.
Ease of maintenance
Epoxy flooring is easy to clean and maintain. It really only needs a daily sweep and mop with the occasional wash-down. Compared to something like carpet or even hardwood floors that will need waxing, the time and effort needed to maintain epoxy flooring is much lower.
Epoxy coatings are a completely seamless flooring solution. Because of this, they create a very hygienic environment. There are no cracks where bacteria and other pathogens can multiply and cleaning the entire floor fully is much easier.
Epoxy flooring serves as a protective coating for the concrete floor beneath. It prevents the concrete surface from cracking and crumbling and it strengthens it against heavy use.
There are endless design possibilities for epoxy flooring. The resin can be in any colour, with any pattern you choose. You can also add additional decorative elements such as vinyl flakes, metallic flakes, and multilayered inlays.
The smoothness and shine give epoxy flooring a modern, sleek look. Along with the large amount of design options, it means that this type of flooring can be suitable in a wide range of chic and sophisticated settings.
Cons of epoxy flooring
Epoxy flooring needs very precise installation. If the process isn't completed correctly, then the entire floor may need to be replaced.
For example, if the resin and hardener are mixed at an incorrect ratio, then the epoxy flooring may be brittle and crack. The concrete surface will also need to be prepared correctly, otherwise, the epoxy coating won't adhere to it properly and may lift.
The curing time for epoxy flooring is long and each coat needs to cure fully before the next coat is added. This means that it can take quite a long time before the floor is ready. And, until it is, the room will be unusable.
While the epoxy resin is curing, there will be strong application fumes. This can be unpleasant and even dangerous to be around. The problem is gone once the epoxy has cured because then it is inert but the area will be difficult to be in during the installation process.
These issues are why epoxy flooring needs to be installed by professionals who understand how to work with this material.
Slippery surface (sometimes)
Epoxy flooring isn't slippery when it's dry. It actually has quite good traction most of the time. When it becomes wet, however, then it can become slippery. This is because the surface is smooth with no pores and there are no seams. So water pools on the epoxy coating.
If the resin flooring is being installed in a room that is likely to have lots of water, then a non-slip additive can be included that will increase traction and eliminate the slipperiness. This can either be aluminium oxide that is added to the epoxy itself or silica sand to etch the smooth epoxy surface after it is installed.
Epoxy resin is prone to colour discolouration due to UV light. This can be a problem if the flooring is likely to have direct sunlight shining on it regularly, especially if the surface has been made decorative.
A UV protective sealant can be added to the epoxy resin to prevent UV damage and discolouration, although, of course, this will add to the cost of the flooring.
Difficult to repair and remove
Epoxy resin is a long-lasting floor and its durability means that it is difficult to damage through normal wear and tear. If it does become damaged, however, then this can be an issue. Because the coating is completely seamless, it is very difficult to do a patch repair that won't show.
Removing epoxy flooring is also very labour-intensive. Because it is installed directly onto the concrete below and adheres very strongly, the entire floor will need to be removed. And this can quickly turn into a very big job.
Epoxy flooring is a highly durable, long-lasting, customisable, cost-effective, and attractive flooring solution. It works well in industrial and business settings as well as in residential homes. It needs high-quality professional installation, however, for it to adhere and cure properly, or else it won't last as long as it should. It can be slippery when wet and prone to UV damage if protective additives aren't included, and it is quite labour-intensive to remove.
With that being said, the benefits of this type of flooring will usually outweigh the potential costs. As long as it is installed properly, this flooring is an easy-to-maintain investment that will look good and work well for at least a decade or more.
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