Epoxy Concrete Floor – DIY Epoxy Floor Coatings [Instruction]
An epoxy resin floor is trendy, noble and timeless at the same time and particularly durable. These are just a few of the advantages that count in favor of a floor made of synthetic resin. In this article, with integrated instructions, you will learn in detail how you can make an epoxy resin floor coating for your living space yourself.
- 1 Which Aspects speak for a concrete Floor Coating with Epoxy Resin?
- 2 Overview positive Properties of Floor Coating with Epoxy
- 3 Application for different Epoxy Floors
- 4 Challenges associated with Epoxy Resin Floor Coatings – These Points should be considered
- 5 Material required for a Floor Coating of 2k Epoxy Resin
- 6 Preparations for Floor Coatings with Epoxy Resin
- 7 Step-by-step instructions Epoxy resin flooring in living areas
- 7.1 Step 1: Mixing Resin – These Points must be Observed
- 7.2 Step 2: Application of individual Epoxy Resin Coatings to Floors
- 7.3 Step 3: Scattering Decorative Elements such as Stones, Flakes, or Chips
- 7.4 Step 4: Sealing the Synthetic Resin Floor
- 7.5 Step 5: Complete Compliance with Drying and Curing Phase
- 7.6 Step 6: Care and Cleaning the finished Floor Coating with Epoxy Resin
Which Aspects speak for a concrete Floor Coating with Epoxy Resin?
Due to its numerous favorable properties, there is probably no other material that is used in such a wide range of applications as epoxy resin. Starting with the shower in the home, through the coating of three-dimensional components of terrariums to the sealing of industrial floors, the use of epoxy resin is unanimously enjoying steadily increasing popularity. Epoxy resin is also being used more and more in the sports sector due to its positive properties.
Overview positive Properties of Floor Coating with Epoxy
- Increased hardness and abrasion resistance
- Impact resistance
- Low tendency to crack
- Resistance to acids, chlorinated hydrocarbon, alcohol, petrol and mineral oil
- Weather resistance
- Good suitability for electrical insulation and tracking resistance
- Difficulty of the epoxy resin to ignite
- Especially low shrinkage in the drying phase
- Increased accuracy of the dimensions
- Increased strength of adhesion
- Resistance to UV radiation when using a special clear coating
- Particularly high resistance yo heat
- Optimum thermal properties are in some cases up to 250 degrees Celsius
- Increased density of around 1.20 grams per cubic centimeter
Hint: However, since the lion’s share of these positive properties can only be guaranteed once the floor coating has fully cured, special attention must be paid to meticulous adherence to the specified drying and curing phase when using epoxy compound.
There are numerous possibilities to enhance the positive properties further. For example, glass fiber fabric can be embedded in the liquid resin to further increase the strength of the dried and fully cured epoxy. At best, this gives the epoxy resin of the floor coating a similar strength to steel. In comparison, however, the epoxy resin has a much lower weight and, in particular, is absolutely free of any kind of corrosion.
Application for different Epoxy Floors
The following applications are suitable for floor coating with epoxy resin:
- Noble living room floors with concrete effect, matt or mirror gloss result in countless design possibilities
- The kitchen also benefits from the resistance of the two-component system
- Floors in bathrooms are optimally suited due to their durability and water resistance
- Shower trays, which must be waterproof, can also be made with epoxy
- Epoxy resin floors are also very well suited and easy to maintain in conservatories
- Cellar floors can either be painted with an epoxy resin paint, but also poured
Challenges associated with Epoxy Resin Floor Coatings – These Points should be considered
Despite all the positive aspects, the use of epoxy resin is also associated with negative properties. In comparison, however, the extent of negative aspects is kept quite short.
- Increased hardness and abrasion resistance
- No complete lightfastness
- Fire resistance in case of ignition
- Resistance to highly concentrated acids is not guaranteed
- Causation of skin rashes and inflammation in the liquid state during processing
Material required for a Floor Coating of 2k Epoxy Resin
For floor coating, there are select products that have been developed for this application.
1. Repair of damaged Areas
Damaged areas should be repaired beforehand so that the substrate is leveled. Ideally, you should use a special repair mortar.
For almost all surfaces, you should apply a primer first. This prevents the applied epoxy resin from sinking into absorbent surfaces and leaving an uneven surface.
3. The suitable Epoxy Resin for Floor Coating
The right product for the actual coating of the floor is important for a successful project. It is essential that you use specially developed products that are designed for this application. They are available either as already colored or as colorless containers, whereby the quality is essential.
4. Colour Paste, Decorative Flakes and Glass Nuggets
A suitable colorant should be used to tint the resin. Additional color accents can be achieved with decorative flakes that are sprinkled into the still wet resin. Glass granulate is particularly suitable for making the substrate non-slip.
5. Tools and Assistance
The application of epoxy resin works best with a coating roller.
For the application of epoxy resin a special venting roller is necessary, which removes air bubbles and provides the final fine distribution.
To mix the two components, you need a drill with a stirring attachment to carefully mix both components for several minutes at a speed of about 400 rpm.
6. Occupational Safety
When working with epoxy resin, you should take some safety precautions for your health. Wearing nitrile gloves and protective goggles is an absolute must. To protect against vapors escaping, you should also wear a respiratory mask with a gas filter.
Preparations for Floor Coatings with Epoxy Resin
The more carefully the preparatory measures are carried out, the better the result of your floor coating will be afterward.
At the beginning of your coating work, the current condition of your floor must be analyzed. If it already has cracks and grooves in its structure, it is advisable to fill these in advance using a fine spatula and to close them thoroughly. The sealing is done with a special filler, which is available in almost every hardware store. Ideally, your floor should be sanded down after the filler has completely dried and hardened.
In addition, it is advisable to apply a special primer before the actual floor coating with epoxy resin. This is designed to remove the absorbency of the floor and ensure that the paint cannot seep through the floor. Consequently, you can keep the paint consumption low.
Tip: For both the epoxy resin primer and the coating compound itself, a drill or electric mixer with a speed of 300 to 400 rpm is required to mix the components. It is also advisable to use products from the same manufacturer to ensure that they are fully compatible.
Step-by-step instructions Epoxy resin flooring in living areas
Step 1: Mixing Resin – These Points must be Observed
One of the most important aspects when working with two-component epoxy resin is to maintain the recommended mixing ratio of resin and hardener. Careful working according to the manufacturer’s instructions must be observed to avoid any form of deviation.
Manufacturers can specify the required mixing ratio either as a percentage or as a ratio. Within the range of 1.5 percent up to a mixing ratio of 1:1, almost any form is conceivable. If too little hardener is added to the epoxy resin, a possible inconsistency could be that the floor coating is not entirely cured. Otherwise, too much hardener can cause the floor to become brittle and porous. Many manufacturers already offer a delivery of the correct dosage. This is an optimal way to avoid problems arising from an incorrect mixing ratio.
Images: Chinnabanchon9Job / shutterstock.com
As mentioned before, it is essential to ensure that the product range is adhered to. Consequently, under no circumstances should two products from different manufacturers be mixed together. Even if the prescribed mixing ratio is correct for one of the two products, it is almost certain that the reverse is not true for the other product. Failure to comply with the product range may also result in incomplete curing of the epoxy resin mixture. In addition to the consistency, the color of the finished product may also show weaknesses. At best, the result of the floor coating only becomes milky and cloudy; at worst, the epoxy resin may become unevenly yellowish or even bluish.
In order to mix the epoxy resin coating for your floor, first pour the colored resin as a so-called stock component into a separate container and stir briefly. Then the hardener from the same product line is added to the same container in the specified ratio. To mix both components, use a drill or electric mixer at the recommended speed of 300 to 400 rpm.
Step 2: Application of individual Epoxy Resin Coatings to Floors
The method of application of the finished mixture of epoxy resin mass is similar to the method of painting walls and is also carried out with the help of a roller. For this reason, this type of coating is also called roller coating. For a careful application of the epoxy resin mixture, it is essential to ensure that the roller used is free of fluff and dust. As with wall painting, it is also recommended that two coats are applied for optimum coverage. A drying and curing time of at least 24 hours should be observed between the application of both layers.
Images: Salamatik / andrey gonchar – stock.adobe.com
Step 3: Scattering Decorative Elements such as Stones, Flakes, or Chips
With the help of decorative stone elements, great patterns can be integrated into the floor coating using epoxy resin. With this method, stones in different colors or grains are simply drawn into a grid. This grid is then pulled out of the coating in time before the drying and curing phase is complete. For corresponding works of art in your floor coating, however, you should seek the advice of a specialist to avoid inconsistencies.
Untrained do-it-yourselfers often lack the necessary sensitivity to pull the grid out of the floor coating at the right time. Due to lack of experience, it can otherwise result in the two colors not fully combining. This sometimes creates joints through which moisture can later enter under the floor coating. A further risk is the possible formation of unevenness on the surface. These occur when the stone mass has already set in the coating.
Colored decorative chips offer another possibility for a distinctive contrast. These are simply sprinkled into the damp epoxy resin mass immediately after the application of the last coating. The deco chips then dip into the resin so that ultimately only the upper edge remains on the surface of the floor coating.
To avoid leaving footprints in the not yet hardened coating, the use of special nail shoes is necessary.
If a single-colored but non-slip floor coating is desired, the use of glass beads is used. These are comparable to the consistency of fine grains of salt and, like the decorative chips, are sprinkled into the damp epoxy resin mass immediately after the application of the last coating. However, as these are only half immersed in the resin, a special anti-slip effect of the floor coating is achieved. The quantity of glass beads used influences the corresponding degree of slip resistance.
Step 4: Sealing the Synthetic Resin Floor
After complete drying and curing, the epoxy resin has an unusually high durability. However, this type of floor coating is not entirely resistant to light. Consequently, yellowing may occur if no special clear coat is applied. Even coloring with select tinting colors or pigments cannot guarantee complete lightfastness of the floor coating. In order to achieve both lightfastness and optimum gloss, it is recommended that the floor coating be sealed afterward.
This involves applying a further layer of a transparent epoxy resin. This can further increase the stability of the floor, which provides additional resistance to scratches and other influences such as fireplace sparks. The weather resistance of the floor coating is also further strengthened. The resulting gloss of the transparent epoxy resin rounds off the advantages of the application.
Images: Chinnabanchon9Job, Bannafarsai_Stock / shutterstock.com
Step 5: Complete Compliance with Drying and Curing Phase
Since adherence to the drying and curing phase during coating with epoxy resin has a significant influence on the result, the corresponding time period must be explicitly emphasized again. Depending on the manufacturer, a drying time of up to 24 hours per coat is required. This is followed by the curing phase of the floor coating. A period of up to 7 days may be required before the resin really reaches its full load-bearing capacity. For detailed information regarding the drying and curing times, please refer to the corresponding manufacturer’s instructions.
Step 6: Care and Cleaning the finished Floor Coating with Epoxy Resin
Over time, use inevitably leads to wear and tear and possible discoloration of the floor coatings. Especially dirt in granular consistency has an increased abrasive effect on the coating surface and can cause irreparable damage. For hygienic reasons as well as for purposes of substance preservation, every floor coating requires special cleaning and care. During the construction phase, the floor should be protected from damage with the help of an appropriate covering. In addition, regular cleaning is recommended during the construction phase to remove sand, dust, and similar dirt carefully.
Images: Bannafarsai_Stock, BELL KA PANG / shutterstock.com
After completion of the construction phase, it is particularly important to avoid white cracks due to sharp-edged mechanical stress on the floor coating. This can be counteracted, for example, by special felt glides on chair legs or soft castors on chairs and cupboards.
In general, when coating floors with epoxy resin, it should be noted that lighter colors require more cleaning. Particularly in the case of coatings with a high decorative value, it is evident that around 85 percent of the dirt gets into the interior of the building via the footwear. This soiling can be effectively counteracted by the individual application of so-called clean running zones. This not only reduces the costs for cleaning, but also preserves the appearance of the floor coating and extends its service life. While grating grids have proven to be particularly useful as clean running zones in front of the front door in outdoor areas, textile runners or mats are primarily used inside the entrance area.