Epoxy is a great choice if you’re looking for a flooring option that gives you the best balance of cost, durability, and attractiveness. If you’re looking for the best choice in epoxy floors, then a flooring solution that delivers on all of those factors is important.
To ensure you get the best finish possible, it’s important to know what the different types of epoxies are so that you can get a great looking floor that will give you many years of satisfaction.
What is epoxy flooring?
Epoxy resin is a coating applied to your concrete to add greater durability and protection to your floor. It goes over the top of the concrete to create a sealed barrier that’s a chemically bonded mix of epoxy resin and hardener. Because of this, epoxy-coated floors are hard-wearing and give you a seamless coating that can incorporate decorative finishes like marble, metallic, or flake, to give you a finish that will suit any décor and environment, whether it be residential, commercial, or industrial.
What are the different types of epoxy?
In the epoxy floors market, you have different choices available on the epoxy types. The type of epoxy you choose will impact the cost, the thickness and lifespan of the finished product, how long it will take to dry after being coated, and what protective steps are needed during application.
The types of epoxies available include:
- Solvent-based epoxy
- Water-based epoxy
- 100% solids epoxy
1. Solvent-based epoxy
Solvent-based epoxies are made up of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are carrier agent that slows down evaporation. VOCs help extends the time you have from mixing to applying to penetration into your concrete substrate (known as “pot-life”).
A solvent-based epoxy will be cheaper than other types of epoxies but comes with risks due to the chemicals contained within the VOCs. As solvent-based epoxy dries and evaporates, harmful fumes are emitted which makes handling this type of epoxy hazardous; full protective gear is required during application.
2. Water-based epoxy
Water-based epoxy has an extended pot-life without the harmful VOCs that solvent-based epoxy contains, which makes it much safer to apply. However, because water is the carrier agent instead of chemicals, the resultant coating is weaker, which impacts the durability of the finished product.
3. 100% solids epoxy
By comparison, a 100% solids epoxy doesn’t contain water or solvents, just resin, and a hardener. There is no carrier agent, which means it has a much briefer pot life, so has to be applied straight after mixing. While the cost is higher than a solvent-based or water-based epoxy, 100% solids epoxy provides the thickest, most durable, and long-lasting finish, and can still be a more cost-effective option than other flooring choices like tile, carpet, and hard floor.
Epoxy floors for a better, longer-lasting flooring finish
Epoxy floors are a great choice for your flooring needs, regardless of whether you’re looking for a residential, commercial or industrial flooring solution. Epoxy provides a balance between cost, durability, and attractiveness, and it’s suitable for all environments.
While solvent-based and water-based epoxies have their place, choosing a 100% solids epoxy from a reputable, professional epoxy flooring specialist will guarantee you achieve a floor coating that not provides robust protection for your concrete, but will look great and last many many years.