Choosing Epoxy Flooring
A little homework will help you decide which type of do-it-yourself epoxy flooring is right for your planned usage. For areas with only light foot traffic, a porch and sidewalk paint with epoxy additives may be all you need. If your floor will be subject to hot tires or other heavy usage, a dual-component epoxy floor covering will probably be needed. For heavy commercial use, there are also commercial-grade epoxy flooring options that will withstand heavier abuse from traffic or chemical spills.
About Epoxy Flooring
For most do-it-yourself projects, the dual-component epoxy flooring will provide a tough, easy to clean surface. It is available in kit form at most hardware stores and home centers. The kit will contain an etching compound, an epoxy base coat, a hardening agent and a top coating. Make sure you read and follow all instructions on the box to receive a satisfactory result. While epoxy flooring can be a do-it-yourself project, you will be dealing with chemicals that react with each other in specific ways. Taking shortcuts or skipping steps will almost always result in a disappointing finished product.
Applying Do-It-Yourself Epoxy Flooring
Before applying any type of epoxy flooring, the floor must be completely clean and free from stains, blemishes and moisture. New concrete must be given ample time to cure and existing concrete must be scrubbed, degreased and touched up. When the floor is ready, an etching solution must be spread onto the floor and then quickly and completely removed. Applying the new epoxy flooring is a two-step process. The base coat and hardening agent should be mixed together, then applied to the floor before it gets too hard to spread. Once that coat has dried, a top coat will be rolled on to provide a tough, transparent shield.
Maintenance of Epoxy Flooring
If the concrete floor was prepared correctly, the epoxy flooring will adhere to it indefinitely. About the only thing that will loosen it is extreme heat from above or excessive moisture from below. The clear top coat will receive the majority of abuse and will require some attention. Keeping it clean will prevent abrasion from wearing through the coating. Cleaning up spills quickly, especially petroleum or other chemical spills, will prevent it from being dissolved. Over the years, if the floor finish starts becoming dull or worn, a good cleaning, followed by a fresh application of top coat, will restore the floor to its original beauty and extend the life of the epoxy flooring.