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If you are renovating and want to create a very special floor covering, we have an insider tip for you: the 3D floor. With this, you can give your home a very special flair. In our step-by-step instructions, we will tell you what makes 3D Epoxy Flooring so special and how you can make a 3D floor yourself.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a 3D floor?
- 2 Advantages and disadvantages of 3D Epoxy Floors
- 3 Needed Supplies for your 3D Floor Art
- 4 3D Flooring by yourself – Step by Step Tutorial
- 5 3D Metallic Floor
- 6 Maintenance of 3D Floors
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
What is a 3D floor?
A 3D floor consists of a three-dimensional image that is coated with synthetic resin. In order to achieve a realistic effect, the image must have the highest possible resolution, i.e. a certain size. If the Epoxy Floor 3D has been laid correctly, a photorealistic 3D effect is created for the viewer.
Which picture you choose is a matter of taste. In principle, almost any design can be chosen for a 3D floor – the main thing is that the resolution and angle are right. There are companies that only offer their own pictures for laying a floor, and there are also companies that will allow you to use your own pictures. As a do-it-yourselfer, you have the possibility to choose the one that suits you best from a variety of pictures.
Advantages and disadvantages of 3D Epoxy Floors
A 3D effect on the floor in your own home creates an almost overwhelming ambience. In addition, a floor with 3D optics has many other advantages. Here is an overview of all advantages and disadvantages:
At first glance, it looks as if the advantages clearly outnumber the disadvantages and in fact, a 3D floor is an impressive work of art that is second to none. Nevertheless, the installation of such a floor should be well considered. If you are not confident in creating such a floor by means of self-prepared and printed pictures, we recommend that you use a finished 3D floor sticker. This variation is much simpler and also cheaper.
However, if you have experience in the field of craftsmanship, the laying of 3D floors is not that difficult. In the following we will give you practical 3D floor step by step instructions.
Needed Supplies for your 3D Floor Art
To make 3D Epoxy flooring yourself, you need the following materials:
- Suitable cleaning utensils to remove dirt and dust from the floor
- A self-leveling primer
- The canvas to be applied, i.e. the 3D image
- A 2K synthetic resin, PU resin is preferable – we will go into the basics below
- A plastic squeegee for smoothing the canvas
- A plastic roller to distribute the resin
In this list we have not listed the corresponding image processing program, which you should definitely have. With its help you can adapt the design perfectly to the room whose floor you want to line with it. We will go into this in detail later.
Possibility 1: Digital Printing of the Picture
The design should be printed with at least 300 dpi resolution. A poorer resolution will result in an unsatisfactory image and therefore not an optimal 3D effect. Even more: the image applied to the floor looks washed out and blurred. Instead of transforming your home into something special, it would look rather inappropriate.
Possibility 2: Buy finished 3D Floor Stickers
If it is too expensive for you to prepare and print the design yourself, there is also the possibility to buy 3D floor stickers as an easier alternative. These are our recommendations:
PU Resin for Sealing of 3D Floors
When it comes to sealing 3D floors, you have the choice between epoxy resin and PU resin. Both are two-component synthetic resins that must be mixed in a certain ratio. Both are durable, can be applied to a variety of surfaces, and offer the viewer a great look. In addition, both types of resin can be mixed with different filling materials, for example with inhibitors to extend the pot life, or with glitter particles and color pigments. However, these are less important for a 3D floor.
PU resin has the advantage of being UV resistant when used as a sealant for a 3D floor. Epoxy resin is not suitable for outdoor use and care should be taken even with large windows with direct sunlight, as this synthetic resin is at risk of yellowing over time. With PU resin, however, you are on the safe side, because it preserves the color brilliance of the underlying 3D image for a long time.
3D Flooring by yourself – Step by Step Tutorial
If you want to make a 3D floor yourself, you should not only have time but also patience and the right tools. With our step by step tutorial, you can easily create your own individual 3D epoxy floor.
The choice of photo can make or break the project. That being said, be creative, but remember it should have a very high resolution. It must, as already mentioned, be at least 300 dpi.
When choosing the design, however, do not only think of what you want, but also how it will work with the interior of the room. A 3D floor should be well thought out and in any case adapted to the color and decoration of the walls and furniture of the room.
Adjust Perspective of the Photo to the Floor
Now you can take pictures with a camera of the room where you want to lay the 3D image. Use the perspective of the viewer for this. Remember, however, that cameras often distort the perspective a little. Upload the photos into an image editing program and change the size of the selected 3D picture so that it fits perfectly on the background of the photo you have taken. In this step, you lay the 3D floor on the photo you have taken. To do this, use the “Perspective distortion” function in Photoshop or your graphics program.
This step is not only necessary to choose the right perspective and adjust the floor to your needs, but you can also check whether the chosen design fits your needs and with the rest of the room. As already mentioned, the installation of a three-dimensional floor covering should be well-considered, as it is difficult to remove once it’s laid. So when choosing a design, be careful not to use a picture that you might get tired of after a few years. Also, think about your future needs – imagine you have a photorealistic and rather frightening picture of a dragon with its mouth wide open, and a few years later you may have a new addition to the family.
Print 3D Image
To print the 3D image, drag it onto a USB stick and contact a print shop specializing in large format prints. Let them advise you on the correct perspective and print a smaller sample of the image. Then you can print the actual 3D image in XXL format for the floor. For this purpose, not only high-quality inks should be used, but also inks that are as UV-resistant as possible.
A good and simpler alternative to printing 3D pictures are 3D floor stickers, which you can easily order over the Internet.
Prepare the Substrate
As with virtually all surfaces, the floor must be absolutely clean for the use of a 3D floor image. This means you have to clean it – make sure it is not only dust and dirt free, but also grease-free. With the 3D floor, there is also a small special feature that is not so important for other floor coverings: the substrate must be absolutely flat, i.e. free of any unevenness. This can massively impair the quality of the 3D look.
Fill all cracks and holes with a suitable filler and putty. Let the compound dry well. Then remove dust and dirt from the floor using suitable tools such as a sweeper or vacuum cleaner. Edges and corners of the floor must be well sealed so that they are completely waterproof. Use commercially available edge insulation strips for this.
Depending on the substrate to which you want to apply the 3D floor, you may also need to roughen it to give the primer that will be applied later better adhesion. Also, remember that the substrate must be absolutely dry, otherwise the sticking properties of the adhesive will be impaired.
Now, first apply a self-leveling epoxy primer so that the substrate is really perfectly level. This must be allowed to dry completely before you can continue with the next step.
Apply 3D Image to the Floor
The actual application of the image to the floor is not as complicated as it seems. Either a high-quality glue or a two-component epoxy resin adhesive is used for this. The adhesive is applied to the floor with a toothed spatula before the 3D print is applied to the substrate.
The 3D image is applied with the help of a rubber pressure roller. The application should be completed in about 45 to 60 minutes. Pay attention to the pot life of the epoxy resin adhesive used.
After the 3D flooring has been applied, you must remove all wrinkles and bubbles that have formed. To do this, use a plastic squeegee and evenly stroke out all bubbles and wrinkles, from the center to the outer edges.
Seal 3D Flooring with PU Resin
Once the 3D image has been applied to the substrate, and you have eliminated all the bubbles and wrinkles, you can mix the resin for sealing. To do this, mix resin and hardener in a specific ratio. It is essential to adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions, as the floor will become porous if too much hardener is added. If too little hardener is added to the resin, the flooring may not harden sufficiently. Mix the two components very thoroughly and repot them two or three times.
Now the pot life begins, which is about 30 to 45 minutes. After this time the work on the resin must be completed because then the hardening of the material begins.
Apply the synthetic resin to the floor with a lint-free and dust-free roller and distribute it evenly. Roll several times over the floor to avoid the formation of bubbles. Once you have applied the resin to the entire floor, the curing time follows, which can be up to 24 hours, depending on the manufacturer, ambient temperature, and ventilation. After that, you should apply another coat to increase the durability and longevity of the floor. This layer should also cure for about 24 hours.
Always think of your safety when working with resin and wear protective equipment like safety glasses, a respiratory mask, gloves, and long-sleeved clothing. Also, ensure that the working environment is optimally ventilated.
At the very end, you can apply a second layer of sealant to increase the scratch resistance of the floor covering. After about a week the floor is completely hardened and you can furnish and use the room normally.
3D Metallic Floor
Besides the 3D floor, which is applied with the help of photorealistic images, there is also the possibility to apply a 3D metallic floor. This can be tailored to your needs and score points with mirror-smooth and shiny structures. It will give your home both an outstanding, as well as a modern look. Like the 3D floor, the 3D Metallic flooring is durable and can withstand high mechanical and chemical loads. It is joint-free and therefore very easy and hygienic to clean.
Maintenance of 3D Floors
3D floors are relatively easy to maintain compared to other floor coverings. Soiling from daily use can be easily removed by wet wiping. You can use various care products as well as special PU cleaner. The latter is also recommended for more thorough cleaning.
More stubborn dirt can also be removed with the PU cleaner and with the help of a lint-free cloth or a scratch-free pad.
From time to time and when conspicuous scratches occur, resealing with a PU resin is recommended. To do this, the floor must first be thoroughly cleaned and then sealed with the synthetic resin.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
What is the Minimum Depth of a 3D floor?
The depth of a 3D floor is at least 1.5 mm. This is due to the thickness of the image and the coating layer of epoxy resin or PU resin.
What are the Costs of Laying a 3D Floor?
Making a 3D floor yourself costs less than having it done by a professional. With a professional, you pay about 80 to 100 euros per ft². The costs depend on many factors such as the material used, the substrate, the design, the spatial conditions, and the degree of difficulty involved. In any case, please ask for a quote upfront.
Where can I find 3D Floor Photos?
In today’s digital world it is incredibly easy to find suitable professional images for a 3D epoxy floor. If you are a gifted photographer, you can, of course, create your own images, but it is easier to use Google Image Search. If you want to be on the safe side, you have to pay attention to the licensing.
Online photo providers score points for legal security and the quality of the photos. You can register there and receive 3D images for your floor for a fee. Photo databases can now be found en masse. You pay a certain amount of money, and either purchase individual photos, or you take out a whole subscription.
Apart from that, there are now also companies that offer special 3D images for the floor.
Although it is not so easy to make a 3D floor yourself, it is still possible for private users. We hope that we have been able to help you with our 3D Floor Making Guide.