Whether you’re building from scratch or renovating a room, it’s vital that you choose the right materials from the beginning. Some environments demand more durable materials than others, especially on the floors and walls. Plush carpet and wallpaper might be at home in an office or boutique but won’t last long if installed in a commercial kitchen, school cafeteria or research laboratory. Environments that see a lot of use and abuse need flooring and wall systems that are chemical-resistant, moisture-resistant and hygienic.
Resinous flooring and wall systems, such as epoxy flooring and epoxy coating, are built with the needs of a demanding environment in mind. Epoxy floors and walls are seamless so that bacteria and mold can’t grow in grout or seam lines. There are additional benefits of installing epoxy flooring or of using epoxy coating on a wall system.
Epoxy is a thermoset plastic material used to create a hard, durable coating on the surface of floors or walls. The process of installing an epoxy floor involves preparing the surface, usually concrete floors, by grinding, scarifying or shot-blasting.Surface preparation readies the concrete for the epoxy and helps the materials bond more effectively.
Epoxy is a two-part product, made up of epoxy resin and a hardener. It’s also common for materials such as quartz aggregates or vinyl flake aggregates to be mixed into the epoxy to create a decorative finish. A chemical reaction between the resin and hardener causes the epoxy to cure, or harden to a smooth, durable finish.
If you decide to use epoxy flooring, Durex Coverings has several product lines available:
Mosaix and DymaFlake systems can also be installed as coatings on walls. Additionally, Durex Coverings is a licensed and factory-trained installer of the following epoxy coating wall systems:
Benefits of Epoxy Flooring
Epoxy floor coatings offer several advantages, particularly when used on floors that see a lot of use. Some of the benefits of installing an epoxy floor include:
- Seamless design: There are no grout lines or spaces between planks or tiles when you install an epoxy floor. Instead, the surface is entirely smooth and seamless. The design of the flooring means that bacteria and other microbes do not have a place to hide or get trapped. Since the flooring is seamless, it’s considerably more sanitary and hygienic than tile or other flooring options.
- Easy cleaning: Epoxy flooring is generally very easy to clean. You can sweep the floor or vacuum it to remove loose dirt and debris. For more thorough cleaning, you can mop the flooring with warm water. It’s generally best to avoid using soap or detergents on an epoxy floor, as they can create a hazy coating on the surface. Warm water, a mop and a little elbow grease should be all you need to make the floor look sparkling clean.
- Aesthetically appealing: You do not need to sacrifice form for function when you choose an epoxy floor. Our Mosaix Floor and DymaFlake product lines are meant to be decorative and feature either quartz or vinyl flake aggregates, which create an attractive floor. Both lines are available in a wide range of colors, too.
- Excellent resistance: No matter where you install an epoxy floor, something could spill on it. Epoxy typically has excellent chemical resistance, stain resistance, shock resistance and moisture resistance. If you spill acid on it, such as vinegar, the acid won’t eat through the epoxy material. Motor oil or anti-freeze also will not damage it. Epoxy isn’t conductive, so if there is an electrical shock, you don’t have to worry about the floor spreading the electricity to other objects.
- Hard-wearing: Epoxy coatings are known for being extremely durable. Since they are made of a thermoset polymer, they will not “melt” if exposed to high heat. The material is also strong enough to withstand a considerable amount of force and weight. You can park cars or trucks on top of an epoxy floor without creating dents or divots in the material.
- Can be VOC-compliant: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are gases that certain liquid or solid materials produce. VOCs are found in many products and may contribute to short- or long-term health concerns. VOC-compliant epoxy flooring is available, meaning it doesn’t produce VOCs and has no odor. Our Mosaix, DymaFlake and Impax Floor lines are all VOC-compliant.
- Easy maintenance: Some types of flooring require a lot of upkeep. Hardwood floors need to be sanded or refinished from time to time and the grout of tile often needs a deep clean. Epoxy flooring is very easy to maintain. As long as you keep it clean, the floor will continue to look attractive and function well for years to come.
Where to Use Epoxy Flooring
Epoxy flooring is generally used in industrial and commercial settings. Some places likely to benefit from the installation of epoxy flooring include:
- Garages and car dealerships: Epoxy flooring can be a great pick for car dealerships and other locations where vehicles are stored. The flooring is strong enough to withstand the weight of multiple cars or trucks without show wear-and-tear or damage. Since epoxy cleans easily, you can wash away any dirt or mud tracked in on vehicles’ wheels.
- School cafeterias: The floors of school cafeterias get a lot of abuse. Children aren’t the tidiest of diners, and the occasional food fight could break out. The floor of a cafeteria needs to be easy-to-clean and hygienic. It also needs to be able to withstand a high amount of foot traffic. Fortunately, epoxy flooring is ideal for high-abuse, high-traffic areas like cafeterias. It can also be an excellent option for flooring in other zones of a school, such as the hallways and classrooms.
- Locker rooms and public restrooms: Whether they are located at a fitness club, school or recreational center, locker rooms need floors that can stand up to foot traffic and high moisture levels. Since people use locker rooms to shower and groom themselves, the rooms also need to have sanitary floors. Epoxy flooring’s seamless design and moisture-resistance make it a good pick for locker rooms and public restroom facilities.
- Food preparation facilities: In the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) both have compliance guidelines and rules regarding flooring in a facility where food is prepared. As a general rule, the flooring in areas where food is prepared and handled should be durable, smooth and easy-to-clean. Seamless epoxy flooring meets all of those requirements.
- Hospitals and doctors’ offices: Healthcare facilities, such as hospitals and private doctors’ offices, all need to use materials that are sanitary and easy to keep clean. Epoxy flooring can be an appropriate choice for all areas of a hospital or doctor’s office, from the waiting rooms to the patient rooms and from the restrooms to the cafeterias.
- Veterinary practices and animal hospitals: It’s also essential for the flooring at a veterinarian’s office or animal hospital to be hygienic and easy-to-clean and maintain. Chemical resistance is another thing for vets to consider since a sick, frightened animal might have an accident on the floor or kick over a bottle of medication.
- Pharmaceutical laboratories: Labs at pharmaceutical companies or chemical companies need flooring that can withstand spills and regular exposure to chemicals.
- Warehouses: Warehouses often see a lot of foot traffic, as employees travel through the aisles in search of products to put into shipments. Spills can happen, particularly if a product drops or breaks open. Some warehouses also use of heavy machinery, such as forklifts, which can put a lot of strain on the flooring. A heavy-duty epoxy flooring, such as Impax Floor HD, can be a good option for a warehouse setting.
Benefits of Epoxy Coating Wall Installations
Epoxy can also be used to create smooth, seamless finishes on walls. Seamless epoxy wall coatings offer many benefits when compared to traditional painted, tiled or wallpapered walls. Some of the advantages of seamless wall systems include:
- Seamlessly connects walls to floors: In some settings, there is a clear division between the floor and wall, as the two structures are made from different materials. The line where the floor and wall meet can be challenging to keep clean and can be a magnet for microbes. When an epoxy wall system and epoxy floor are both used in the same area, the result is a seamless transition between floor and wall, creating a more hygienic environment.
- Provides moisture resistance: Walls need to be able to resist moisture as much as the floor in some environments. Expoxy coated walls in shower stalls allow for privacy and create an environment where it is difficult for mold, mildew and bacteria to grow. The moisture-resistant walls also minimize the chance of decay and rot in a room.
- Provides protection: Spills can happen anywhere. Sauces and soups may splatter onto the wall behind a stove in a food preparation facility, for example. An unplanned for chemical reaction in a lab can cause liquids to spray on to the walls. An epoxy coating won’t react or be altered when exposed to many different types of chemicals, making it a reliable option for a wall system in a kitchen or lab setting.
- Adds aesthetic appeal: Although you might be more concerned with the function of a wall system, it does affect the aesthetics of your environment. Aesthetic appeal can be particularly important when the wall system is installed in a locker room or restroom at a health or beauty spa. The walls of the restroom or locker room can help to create a welcoming environment that helps people feel relaxed.
- Easy to clean and maintain: Like epoxy flooring, wall systems with epoxy coatings are easy to keep clean and require little maintenance. You can wash the walls with warm water and a soft cloth. If you just want to remove a light layer of dust from the walls, you can do so with a microfiber cloth.
Where to Use Epoxy Coating Wall Installations
You can use seamless wall installations in any environment where you might also benefit from epoxy flooring. Some examples of environments that might be particularly well-suited for epoxy wall systems include:
- Beauty spas: When a person visits a spa for a facial, massage or other beauty treatment, they want to enter a place that is clean, relaxing and attractive. A seamless wall system with Mosaix or DymaFlake material can help to create that environment for a client. In addition, installing a wall system allows you to create private areas in a beauty spa so clients can receive their treatments or relax away from prying eyes.
- Fitness clubs: Fitness clubs are another place where people expect cleanliness. Clubs that cater to high-end clients must also be aesthetically appealing. A seamless wall system installed in the gym or workout areas of the club itself will help you keep the main areas clean. At the end of each day, an employee can easily wipe down the walls, removing any built-up sweat or grime. Epoxy partitions between shower stalls or locker areas provide privacy and make the locker rooms easier to clean.
- School gyms, cafeterias and classrooms: School-age children can be messy. It might be that their projects generate a lot of mess or the cafeteria doubles as a gym. Installing an epoxy wall system throughout a school building will make it easier for maintenance and custodial staff to keep the school clean for students, teachers and parents.
- Indoor swimming pools: A seamless wall system with an epoxy coating can also be ideal for use around indoor swimming pools. You can also add an antimicrobial agent to the material used on the wall system to make it even more sanitary for use near pools and in other humid environments.
Work With Durex Coverings When You Need Epoxy Flooring and Wall Systems
One of Durex Coverings’ specialties is creating a sleek, stylish look by installing epoxy flooring that transitions seamlessly into a wall system. Whether you want to install a new epoxy floor, upgrade an existing floor or install both flooring and wall coverings, we are here for you. When you work with us, you have the assurance that everyone working on your project will be one of our trained employees. We don’t work with subcontractors and we never hire out our projects.
Since 1964, we’ve been working with clients in healthcare and education, biotech and pharmaceuticals and the food and beverage industry, among many others. To learn more about our epoxy flooring options, contact us today.