Your lab, commercial kitchen, garage or medical practice needs a floor that can withstand whatever the day’s events throw at it. You need flooring that is tough, durable and easy-to-clean. In short, you need resinous flooring. If you’re looking for a type of resinous floor that’s typically extra durable, you should look at epoxy flooring.
While not all types of resinous flooring are made from epoxy, all types of epoxy floors are resinous flooring. Learn more about the benefits of epoxy compared to other materials and the options available.
What Is Epoxy Flooring?
Epoxy flooring is a type of floor coating made from resin mixed with hardeners. As a material, epoxy is a type of thermosetting polymer. Thermosetting means that once the epoxy resin hardens or cools, it remains solid. This is in contrast to thermoplastic polymers, which turn liquid again when heated and solidify as they cool. You can heat and melt thermoplastics again and again. Once thermoset polymers are set, they are set for good. Generally speaking, thermoset polymers are considered to be more durable than thermoplastic polymers.
The discovery of epoxy dates to 1936, when the Swiss scientist Dr. Pierre Castan created a material that melted at low temperatures. Dr. Castan combined bisphenol A (BPA) with epichlorohydrin and set with phthalic anhydride. Although the first use of Dr. Castan’s epoxy was to hold dentures and other dental fixtures in place, its functionality soon increased. Today, epoxy is used to create non-stick coatings, foam, adhesives and, of course, flooring.
You are likely to find epoxy flooring in a wide range of settings. Some of the places that use epoxy flooring include:
- Stores and shopping malls
- Factories and warehouses
Any location that is likely to see a lot of foot traffic or significant wear-and-tear over the years can be a good location for epoxy flooring.
What Are the Benefits of Epoxy Flooring?
Choosing epoxy flooring has many benefits. Some of the advantages of epoxy flooring include:
- It’s hygienic: The surface of epoxy flooring is smooth and non-porous, which means that it will not absorb materials that might spill on it. Its non-porous nature makes it easy to clean and sanitize. Since the material is smooth, there are no nooks or crannies where bacteria and pathogens can lurk and thrive.
- It resists chemicals: Some materials react when they come into contact with chemicals. Just think of what happens when baking soda touches vinegar, for example. Epoxy can generally resist chemicals, meaning that if you spill acid or another substance on it, you won’t have to worry about the substance interacting with the surface of your floor. Epoxy’s chemical inertness also makes it easier to clean up spills.
- It’s incredibly durable: People can walk across epoxy flooring day in and day out without the floor indicating signs of wear. Epoxy flooring can be durable enough to withstand the weight and force of cars and other vehicles, as well.
- It protects the underlayment: Concrete is usually what lies beneath an epoxy floor coating. Unlike epoxy, concrete is not chemically resistant or hygienic. It can be easily damaged by exposure to moisture. Epoxy resin provides a protective barrier, helping to preserve and protect the structure of a building.
- It’s aesthetically pleasing: You aren’t limited to just a handful of style choices if you choose epoxy flooring. The material is available in a wide range of colors. Some types of epoxy flooring also have attractive designs or patterns.
How Does Epoxy Work?
Epoxy develops its durability, chemical-resistance and protective properties through a process known as curing. Before it is applied to a floor, epoxy is two separate materials: a resin and a hardener. At the beginning of the application process, the materials need to be mixed together. Once they are combined, a chemical reaction called polymerization begins. During polymerization, a series of smaller molecules attach together to create macromolecules. The large macromolecules link together to create polymers.
Typically, polymerization requires a catalyst to get things going. In the case of epoxy flooring, the catalyst is often heat. The resin and hardeners are heated before they are applied. As they cool, the material becomes thermoset and bonds to the underlayment, creating a hard, protective surface.
How Is Epoxy Flooring Applied?
The application process for epoxy flooring usually involves four steps. For best results, it’s important to choose an installer that has plenty of experience working with epoxy flooring and is committed to providing a high-quality product and final result. Before you move forward with an epoxy flooring installation, learn as much as you can about the company that will perform the work and about the people who will apply the floor coating.
Durex Coverings only works with a team of trained and highly-qualified employees on all our floor installations. We know who will be doing the work on your project, allowing us to promise you that the finished product will be high-quality. We oversee every step of the application process, from the beginning until the end.
- Surface preparation: If you’ve ever tried to paint on a surface that was dirty, you can understand the importance of preparing the surface before applying the epoxy coating. A properly prepared surface will allow the epoxy to bond correctly to the concrete beneath it. Our surface preparation process is the starting point of all of our flooring installations. For epoxy flooring to bind to the concrete correctly, the concrete needs to be roughed up a little. We will etch or grind the concrete to create a surface that’s ready for a coating.
- Applying the epoxy: The next step is to apply the epoxy coating to the floor. The process might begin with the application of a primer, which usually is followed by a build coat. The final step is typically adding a clear topcoat. The topcoat creates a seal that helps the flooring last longer. It can also help to reduce the risk of slipping, making the floor even safer.
What Types of Epoxy Flooring Are Available?
You have a lot of options if you are interested in installing epoxy flooring. Our product line has several epoxy flooring options. Take a look at what we have available to determine which one will work best for you and your needs.
Our Mosaix Floor line combines chemical-resistant epoxy with colorful quartz aggregates to produce a seamless, beautiful flooring. The flooring can withstand scratches, spills and wear-and-tear, making it a good choice for high-traffic areas that need to be kept sanitary. If you are looking for epoxy flooring for a locker room, cleanroom or bathroom, Mosaix might be the right option.
The flooring is available in 16 different color options, such as “Citrus,” “Icicle,” and “Jungle.” If you are installing the floor in an area that is exposed to a lot of moisture, such as a shower room or bathroom, you can choose a version of Mosaix that has a high grade of slip resistance.
Three Mosaix options feature epoxy:
- Mosaix Floor: This is our standard 1/8-inch thick seamless flooring system.
- Mosaix Floor #190: This is the 3/16-inch version of our seamless flooring system. Like Mosaix Floor, it is made from clear epoxy resins combined with ceramic quartz aggregate.
- Mosaix Floor HD: Our 1/4-inch seamless flooring system. HD features a heavy-duty trowel-applied mortar system of epoxy technology and quartz aggregates.
A fourth option, Mosaix Cementight, uses urethane instead of epoxy. All Mosaix floor options are VOC-complaint and do not produce an odor.
DymaFlake is our seamless flooring option made from chemical-resistant epoxy and vinyl flake aggregate. Like Mosaix Floor, it is ideal for use in areas that demand a sanitary floor surface that still looks good. DymaFlake is also VOC-complaint and easy-to-clean. The material is stain-resistant and offers varying grades of slip resistance. Depending on your needs, you can add a waterproofing and anti-fracture member for additional protection.
Three types of Dymaflake flooring are available:
- DymaFlake: This is the standard option.
- DymaFlake HD: DymaFlake HD is 3/16-inch thick. It’s made from clear epoxy, urethane resins and vinyl flakes.
- Dymaflex: Dymaflex is a 90 mil (0.09 inch) decorative flake floor that has a waterproofing membrane. It is made from a combination of a semi-rigid waterproof membrane, urethane, epoxy resin and decorative vinyl flakes.
DymaFlake comes in 16 colors, such as “Granite,” “Caribbean,” and “Evergreen.”
We designed our Impax Floor line with industrial use in mind. That means the 1/8-inch epoxy, urethane resin and graded aggregates material can withstand the toughest conditions. If you’re looking for epoxy flooring to install in a machine shop, aircraft hanger, automotive bay or hospital, Impax is likely to be the right choice.
The flooring is seamless, which makes it easy-to-clean and hygienic. There are no areas on the floor where bacteria and other pathogens can collect and grow. Impax is also VOC-complaint, spill and chemical-resistant, and stain- and slip-resistant. Several slip-resistant grades are available, and waterproofing and anti-fracture membranes are also available.
In addition to the standard, 1/8-inch thick Impax flooring, we offer:
- Impax Floor SL: SL is 1/16-inch thick. It’s made of a slurry mixture of pigmented epoxy and resins and graded aggregate.
- Impax Floor HD: Our heavy-duty option, HD is 1/4-inch thick and consists of a mortar mixture of epoxy resins and graded aggregate. HD delivers superior resistance to abrasions, impact and wear.
- Impax Mer: Impax Mer was designed with mechanical equipment room needs in mind. It measures 90 mil (0.09 inch) and is made from a slurry mixture of pigmented epoxy resins and graded aggregate. It also has a semi-rigid waterproof membrane.
Trust Durex Coverings When You Need Epoxy Flooring
Epoxy flooring can be an excellent choice if you need a durable, chemical-resistant and sanitary floor. Whether you’re looking to install new flooring in a garage, hospital, machine room or food preparation area, epoxy can work for you. Durex Coverings has been a leading epoxy flooring contractor in the Mid-Atlantic area for more than five decades. We stand by the work we do and do not use subcontractors for any of our projects. When you work with us, you get the reassurance that you are working with the team you hired, from start to finish.
Contact us today to talk about your project and to learn more about our epoxy flooring options.