Epoxy coatings on floors make for floors with high impact and scratch resistance, slip-resistance and an appealing seamless finish that is easy to clean. Self-leveling epoxy creates a level surface on its own and can be applied over old cracked and damaged concrete floors. The epoxy spreads out and fills in chipped and cracked floors during its application. This article based on my experience when I was in New York as I have experienced their Durable Floors made by Epoxy Company new York City.
This epoxy can be used in showrooms, warehouses, manufacturing facilities, garages, hospitals, commercial kitchens, hangars, and places where sports events take place. This flooring solution can turn dull concrete floors into attractive surfaces that are very durable. These floors are called self-leveling because they are resin coatings that are applied on floors without using roller, squeegees, or brushes.
The thickness of this self-leveling resin is more than the thickness of standard coatings and will be a minimum of 2mm, though most floors use a thickness of at least 3mm. Heavy-duty industries where there is a significant moment of heavy loads across floors may opt for thicknesses that can even reach 10mm. Thicker floors may have multiple layers that can include screeds with epoxy, other aggregates, and final topcoats.
The thicker the epoxy coat is, it requires greater attention to surface preparation. The coat needs not only to float above the top of the floor but also remain anchored to it. The minimum thickness of a self-leveling epoxy can depend on the accuracy of the level of the floor on which it is applied. So even if you are applying a coat of 2mm, the actual depth in places can be as low as 1mm and as high as 4mm.
Care has to be taken to see that the substrate over which these epoxies are applied does not have too much of surface unevenness. If the unevenness is more than the thickness of the coating you are planning to apply, you may find that you have to apply larger amounts of epoxy to cover the entire floor. It is best if this product is applied over floors that are flat and level. Unevennesses in floors can be reduced by using self-leveling cement screeds and compounds. This will lead to an increase in the height of floors that can cause problems at doors and other places. It is far more sensible to go in for grinding of the floor to remove all the ups and downs and to bring the entire surface down to the required level.
Epoxy required in a self-leveling system of flooring is much more than what would be required in an epoxy coating applied with rollers or brushes. This makes this flooring much more expensive, adding to the already high cost of these epoxies as they have different formulations.
This epoxy must be applied on floors by workers qualified and trained to use these products. This can add to the costs of labor. Special notched trowels and spiked footwear that ensures that the applied epoxy does not have bubbles in it add to the costs. The correct mixing of the components of resin and hardener play an important part in the final result. The mixed resin has to be applied before it starts setting.