Epoxy coatings have come a long way over the decades. When they first hit the market as a flooring option in the 1950s, there was nothing very memorable about the product as it looked the same from place to place and was just another surface to roll a cart across or trample over.
Skip to today’s market, and there are no less than 50-types of epoxy resins on the market, all of which aim to protect various types of surfaces. They also exist to give homeowners and business owners a functional material that can be altered in numerous aesthetic ways. Epoxy is a versatile and flexible application for home or office spaces. So let’s dive into the various pros and cons of using it at your home or office.
VALUE – For the square footage, epoxy is going to be one of your best economic choices in the flooring market. To duplicate what it can do with other materials, you’ll spend significantly more and actually have fewer customization options. It makes you wonder why anyone would choose any other option in the first place. Part of the value is found in the longevity of the product, as it can outlast other options like tile, stone, vinyl, carpet, or hardwood flooring.
EYE APPEAL – Epoxy has a way of capturing the eye. Some of that might be due to its mesmerizing color options or design patterns. But one of the significant reasons is due to how the product reflects light. An epoxy floor can nearly double the light in a room, showroom, home, or office space, and light always makes a space look more valuable. As a bonus, epoxy flooring is a snap to clean. You won’t need special cleaners or tools to keep the floor looking brilliant year-round.
RESISTANT – In space like an auto shop or your own garage, epoxy really shines as it wards off various troublesome spills like gas, antifreeze, chemical solvents, and other damaging substances. Its nonporous make-up doesn’t allow these products or materials to seep or penetrate the flooring. Epoxy is also heat and fire-resistant, which business owners specifically favor, but is a smart feature for anyone who wants to minimize fire hazards.
SUPER-DUTY – Epoxy is designed to take on a lot of day to day abuse. For busy homes, businesses, or multi-complex spaces, this is ideal. Despite regular foot traffic, flooring takes on a lot of drops, spills, and pressure. Aside from concrete, epoxy will outlast just about any other material around. And it’s a little easier on the body than concrete for falls or long-periods on the feet. This makes employees happy, as you might imagine, but the maintenance staff loves it even more. They can spend more time on other projects than dealing with the floors or repairs.
NOT PERMANENT – While this floor can withstand many years, epoxy isn’t a lifelong material. It could be if it’s in a space that is used less. In reality, these floors are usually well-traveled. When the floors start to wear (as what happens with other materials) you will have to replace them at some point. The more day to day abuse, the sooner that replacement time will come.
POOR CARE DAMAGES – When these floors are left to deteriorate with little to no attention to damages, they will fall apart faster. Small cracks or chips from mishaps can happen, but it is how you care for those things that make all the difference. Epoxy can be repaired, not always to what it looked like originally, but it will get worse and more costly if you don’t do the repairs within a reasonable timeframe. Unknown chemical spills or debris can also break the material down.
SOME ARE SLICK – Depending on the type of finish you get, some epoxy coatings can turn into ice rinks if they get wet. An easy remedy for this is to have the flooring textured, so it becomes more slip-resistant. It should be noted, however, if you want that high gloss, showroom floor look, you’ll need to be extra careful when those floors get cleaned or have outdoor elements compromise their safety.
INSTALLATIONS – While far more affordable and faster than other options, epoxy installation can still take a while. This is a multi-step process that a good company will take its time in handling. If a company misses steps or problems are ignored before the process, it can certainly complicate the time frame to complete. The liquid form of epoxy is rather potent, which can be tough on those with sensitive noses. Darker colors require a good bit of ammonia to ensure the color takes, and that might keep staff or your family away for a while until the floor is fully cured.
More Details About Epoxy Flooring
Be sure to ask your installer about their plan and the time frames of your epoxy coating project. It can come to many homeowners’ surprise that they might need to spend several days away from their homes to have the project done and cured. If you’re a business and you’re using a urethane epoxy coating over your concrete floors, you might need to wait weeks away from your business, which might not be possible. Also good to note, be cognizant of the temperatures. You’ll need a 24 hour period where the temps are at least 50-degrees, which can be tricky for outdoor spaces.