How Much Does Epoxy Flooring Cost?
Epoxy flooring has been used for some time as a protective measure for concrete garage floors and other floors exposed to a lot of heavy activity. However, today's epoxy methods and products serve a wide variety of needs for indoor and outdoor settings. In addition to adding a layer of protection to the surface of a concrete slab or patio, epoxy can be selected with textured or colored features to add decorative and safety value to an area. Some of these effects are featured in high-end resorts around the world, and those walking the halls of such areas might be surprised to discover that the marbling and intricate color patterns are not much different than those shiny garage floor finishes.
Minimum material cost is approximately $150 to cover an area of 100 square feet
Maximum material cost is approximately $475 to cover an area of 100 square feet
Advantages of Epoxy Flooring
There are both practical and decorative benefits in selecting an epoxy solution to enhancing a floor or slab. Whether the material is used for a patio, pool surface or dining room, the product is extremely durable once curing is complete. The underlying slab is protected from moisture, grease, food and any other product that might stain an unprotected surface. This can save a great deal on maintenance costs, eliminating the need to clean carpet or grout. Cleaning is easy, and the new look of the flooring can last for years. In fact, a floor sweeping compound may produce the most effective refreshing of an epoxy floor that seems to be losing its luster. Although epoxy flooring can potentially last for decades, it is also versatile in that new materials can be applied if a different effect is desired at a later time.
Textured epoxy flooring adds a grip to the surface, which is important in areas that may experience dampness. Pool decks are particularly dangerous if the surface lacks any texture, posing the risk of an individual slipping as normal use of the area occurs. Epoxy flooring with a textured finish allows for enjoyment of the area without significant worries about falls. This type of solution may be ideal in an active kitchen as well, helpful for avoiding inadvertent slips in the event of spills.
One of the most significant reasons homeowners consider epoxy flooring for indoor areas is the ability to achieve beautiful architectural effects. In some cases, flaked materials are used in the epoxy products to produce a result similar to terrazzo at a fraction of the cost. In other cases, beautiful colors can be used to create marbling effects. Different colors can be used to create subtle highlights or stark contrasts.
Disadvantages of Installing Epoxy Flooring
Moisture levels in a floor can affect the durability of an epoxy product. Because the material doesn't breathe once it cures, any moisture trapped below the surface can be a problem as it evaporates. In some cases, bubbling or buckling in the flooring material may occur as a result of moisture being present, leading to the eventual need for repair or refinishing. It's important to work during a time of year that involves low humidity levels, and it's ideal to have a professional evaluate the moisture tolerance of the floor in question to minimize the potential for de-lamination.
A lack of experience can be a drawback during the application process. It's important to recognize that time limits with polymer epoxy products are important. Once the material cures, the effects achieved will be set. Changes after that stage of the project will either require fresh material being used to overlay the previous layer or removal of the damaged material. Marbling effects may appear easy to achieve, but professionals are trained in obtaining those effects. A lack of experience on a homeowner's part could lead to undesired results in such efforts.
It is a priority to wear a respirator while handling epoxy products. It is also important to maintain a good flow of air through the space receiving the new flooring to ensure that fumes don't become overpowering. Additionally, it's wise to tape off edges at walls and columns to avoid accidentally getting the product in places that it shouldn't be.
Preparing an Area for Epoxy Flooring
Little preparation is needed prior to the installation of the floor coating for a newly poured slab. However, concrete is prone to cracking over time, meaning that future damage is possible if a slab hasn't had time to settle prior to the addition of an epoxy covering. Damaged slabs may require repair work prior to the addition of an epoxy topcoat. A primer should be used to fill cracks and address chipped areas first. Once these areas are filled, they must be ground and smoothed to achieve a level surface.
In some cases, epoxy products can be used directly on top of the existing slab. However, using a product that is part of a system may involve additional materials and costs. It is important to follow the manufacturer directions carefully to achieve the desired results.
Using the Right Equipment
While a personal epoxy project may be a one-time effort, it is important to invest in the right tools to ensure that the expected results are achieved. For example, trowels and brooms may be important in achieving the right marbling or texturing effects. Shoe protection is helpful for protecting work boots worn during the application of the products. If a spray-on approach is used, rental of a paint sprayer may be helpful for ensuring an even application of the material. It's important to test such equipment prior to filling it with the material to ensure that the product isn't wasted in an inoperative or inconsistent machine.
Consider Professional Assistance
Although hiring a contractor may be more expensive than doing one's own epoxy flooring, this is a project that can lead to messy and undesirable results if understanding of the process is inadequate. A contractor can work quickly and efficiently with materials that are familiar, providing excellent decorative value without the need to redo steps.
Last updated on May 29, 2014
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