What is Epoxy Flooring, Benefits, Pros and Cons
Those looking for the most durable floor available are usually led to epoxy flooring first. If new here, you’re probably just now looking to install a floor in a garage or industrial setting. These are the most typical environments where you’ve likely seen epoxy flooring over the years.
These floors have a unique aesthetic, mostly because it’s made of polymer resins and hardeners. As such, it looks like a hard plastic floor, yet still comfortable to walk on.
At the same time, the chemical bond created is one of the most durable around. Take a look at the benefits of these floors (plus the pros and cons) to using them in places with excessive floor and car traffic.
What Are the Immediate Benefits to Your Business or Home?
Thanks to these floors being two millimeters thick, the immediate benefit is it lasts for many years. No matter how much foot traffic you receive, or how heavy the equipment set on it, the floor won’t damage easily.
More than that, it has a specialized aesthetic, allowing you to use different colors while bringing an overall brightness to specific spaces.
For instance, if opening a car repair garage with little or no natural light available inside, an epoxy floor will make the space feel brighter. The floor is also resistant to oil and water stains, which is essential for a repair center.
It’s even easy to clean and maintain, saving time when compared to putting in any other type of flooring.
More pros exist. Taking a look at the cons is also important to help you make the right decision based on flooring needs.
The Aesthetic Pros of Epoxy Flooring
One great thing about this flooring is that when any cracks or chips occur from punctures, you can easily use paint to mask them off. This saves a lot of time having to deal with lengthy floor repairs when time is limited.
Different patterns are additionally available, making it possible to create a unique floor design not found anywhere else. For branding purposes, this is ideal. At home, it helps personalize a driveway or outdoor walkways.
The high-gloss surface always stands out at first sight, making it usable just about anywhere. While not common to use in a house, no one says you can’t. Should you do a lot of entertaining in your home, epoxy would look beautiful in certain parts of your house. However, a garage is the most typical place for epoxy floors.
With little maintenance needed and generally simple cleaning, the pros far outweigh any cons. Not that you shouldn’t look at a few downsides for a more astute buying experience.
A Few Cons to Consider
When installing epoxy floors, it takes a few days for the resins to cure. Humidity levels could affect how long it takes for the floor to harden. Any moisture getting into the epoxy could cause eventual damage, including warping.
Also keep in mind you need a subfloor below epoxy flooring since latter isn’t a floor itself. Epoxy is always considered temporary, outside of lasting for many years with a quality product.
Sometimes epoxy floors can become slippery when wet, so always consider some safeguards. Adding mats to prevent slipping may not be your ultimate goal since the point of epoxy flooring is to show off its beauty.
One way to prevent a slippery floor is to buy Shark Grip, an additive you can throw in to the epoxy mix to add resistance and texture.
It Can Handle Most Trauma
Above all, knowing your epoxy floor can handle the toughest spills, stains, and general environmental wear offers a chance to enjoy the floor for years to come.
If exposed to water, using cured epoxy can often help the floor become moisture-resistant as well.
Different coatings even offer scratch-resistance, adding more years of life without having to shut things down to put in a replacement floor.
How Much Does Epoxy Flooring Cost?
Installation can sometimes take more time with epoxy flooring, if ultimately worth all effort once it’s done. It falls under either installing it on your own or having it installed professionally.
You have to factor this into the overall cost of epoxy flooring. How much you pay goes by the quality of the epoxy coating you’re using.
Of course, installing DIY epoxy flooring kits are the most affordable of all. If wanting epoxy flooring for professional purposes, though, it’s really a good idea to hire a professional to get it done right.
To get a better handle on the costs you might incur, look at some pricing details of what general epoxy flooring is going for and installation fees.
How Much Does Epoxy Cost Alone?
Just to buy the epoxy mix to create your floor might cost you anywhere from $30-$50 per gallon, according to most official sources. This is just for the water-based type. Solvent-based epoxy usually goes for double.
Some discount sources often sell epoxy for slightly cheaper prices. However, top names like Armstrong offer larger supplies to cover as much as 250-350 sq. ft. One gallon of this from Armstrong costs $147.
The larger the floor space, the more epoxy is going to cost. Car repair garages are typically the largest spaces needing to pay more to cover the area.
Also, some people use epoxy throughout their homes. You may decide you want epoxy in your garage, in your driveway, or on your outdoor walkways.
What is the Cost of Installing Epoxy On Your Own?
As the cheapest alternative, a DIY system can run as low as $50. For a larger kit, it could go as high as $600.
As you might guess, this all depends on how many layers of epoxy you need and the amount of space covered. This Old House once covered how to install epoxy on your own. They estimated it at a cost of $120 to $160 per day. The whole process can also take nine hours, spread out over three days.
Putting this in perspective, also consider the cost of the supplies needed to do everything else. You need materials like push brooms, paint trays, paint rollers, and watering cans as just starters. Don’t forget about protective wear as well, like goggles and gloves.
Considering you have to prepare and clean your subfloor before the epoxy even gets created, you can expect more time and cost needed for cleaning supplies.
Plus, since two people are usually needed to get the epoxy mixed and applied, you might have to pay someone for their time.
What Does it Cost to Have a Professional Epoxy Floor Install?
Cost will obviously be more having a professional installing the floor for you. Nevertheless, you’ll save money in the long run since making a mistake on your own could mean having to tear up the old epoxy (not an easy job) and having it redone.
The cost of that alone could be a couple thousand dollars. Hiring someone who knows what they’re doing will more than pay back. Besides, you already know the epoxy floor will last for many years.
A 250-square foot garage might cost up to $3,000 for high-end epoxy coatings. You can double that for a two-car garage.
Most sources say the average cost for a professional installation will be approximately $1,700, not including any extra work required. If you’ve never prepared your subfloor before, this might require a separate charge.
Don’t forget to apply tips into the professional install cost. A knowledgeable and friendly installer may do some extra tasks like moving items or subfloor prep, requiring your kindness in offering tips when not usually required.
Is Epoxy Floor Slippery?
If you’ve decided that epoxy flooring is the right choice for your home garage or car repair business, you probably want to know how safe it is to walk on.
One thing to note about epoxy floors is that too much moisture on epoxy can frequently lead to damage. While there are some epoxy coatings offering waterproof qualities, a wet floor is potentially dangerous.
It’s true epoxy can get slippery when wet. However, it pays to look at how you can prevent this and whether you can find ways to include additives to eliminate the problem.
What Makes Epoxy Floors So Slippery?
The coatings of epoxy floors are non-porous, creating a smooth and sometimes slick surface. When it’s dry, there isn’t a problem and always safe, even when running on it. When water gets there, though, more than a few people have stories about occasionally slipping and falling.
When reading some of those experiences, it proves not everyone does their homework about epoxy flooring before they buy. This is why you should always consult with reliable flooring dealers who can tell you the pros and cons of epoxy.
While some people might suggest buying mats to cover slippery areas, it defeats the aesthetic purpose of these floors. After all, the reason so many choose to use epoxy is how beautiful it looks and the ability to customize for branding.
Even if buying a mat is a more affordable solution, there really aren’t any immediate sprays or other chemicals you can place on the existing floor. The only real way to make it less slippery is to add a new coating on top.
Or, you can already be aware of the slippery aspect and take care of the problem when your epoxy floor first goes in.
Dispelling Some Myths About Just How Slippery Epoxy Floors Are
No one can deny epoxy becomes slippery when wet, albeit only if you use elements like quartz. Many describe the surface of epoxy almost like glass once it dries after several days.
Before thinking this is overly common, though, keep in mind tiny scratches can develop on epoxy over time, offering some better foot grip. In reality, the worst slip risks come in the early days of a brand new epoxy floor.
Also, static charge could be a problem in the first few days after curing, attracting dust particles that create more slipping risk.
Keeping these aspects in mind will give you peace of mind as your epoxy floor begins to age. Plus, considering these floors generally last from a few years to a decade, it gives a better look ahead on safety.
Regardless, various methods and products are available to take care of this when installing the floor, or when putting in a new coated layer.
What Should You Add to the Epoxy Coating?
The most common things to add to the coating is polymer grit or aluminum oxide. These are known for creating small bumps on the floor you can’t see to the naked eye. Yet, they provide enough grip to prevent any slips when the floor gets wet.
Polymer grit is usually the most popular. It’s sometimes known as Shark Grip based on the name of a product with this name. If creating the epoxy coating yourself, you can buy Shark Grip easily on Amazon, or through any home goods store.
Aluminum oxide is also fairly common in use as an additive. When you need a little extra grit on the floor, this is known for being stronger.
This, plus silica sand, create rougher textures to epoxy floors, something not everyone wants when floor cleaning. No wonder polymer grit is usually considered the best compromise.
How Long Does Garage Floor Epoxy Last?
Garages are being made into more than just a place to store cars in nowadays. While most people keep their garages traditional, they can also be made into living areas. And, of course, professional repair garages are still being built for car repair centers.
Out of those garage designs, flooring plays an important part. Epoxy flooring continues being used in garages, but newbies to these floors are never sure how long they last.
If you already know what the basic benefits are to epoxy flooring and the overall costs, what are the specifics on how long they last?
What is the General Time Frame On Epoxy’s Life?
Most flooring experts agree epoxy can last from five to ten years, something more possible in a residential garage. More and more people are starting to use this flooring in their home garages to have something with little maintenance.
This isn’t a recent trend either. Epoxy flooring started becoming more common in home garages back in the 1980s already.
While many garages still have concrete floors, the good news is epoxy can go over a concrete subfloor very easily. The hard part is prepping the concrete floor before the epoxy goes in.
It’s still worth reiterating the extra time it takes to put in an epoxy floor more than pays back over time. A few days of inconvenience is nothing when you can enjoy your floor for close to a decade without issues.
What About Busy Repair Garages?
Evidence is sound that epoxy can last at minimum a few to five years. For a residential garage not getting quite as much foot traffic, the lifespan of the floor is obviously going to be longer.
In a professional repair garage, things might be a little different. Even with excessive foot traffic and vehicle weight, though, epoxy floors will hold up solidly for a few years.
While floor traffic magnitude will make a big difference in how long the floor lasts, maintenance also plays a big part. Don’t think you’re completely free of maintaining your epoxy floor.
Yes, it does require a lot less maintenance than other types. Nevertheless, you still have to give it some basic care, as in keeping it clean. General sweeping once per week and using mild cleaner products can keep it from degrading so fast.
Does Floor Life Matter Based on How it’s Installed?
The answer is a resounding “yes” to this question. Even though DIY epoxy flooring kits are widely available (and usually cheaper), doing it on your own isn’t always advisable.
Unless you’ve installed epoxy floors before, you could end up making a major mistake that ends up costing more money to get it fixed. A good example of this is allowing too much moisture in the room, hence causing the warping effect.
Humidity’s effect on epoxy is notable when looking at it from a scientific perspective. At a 95 percent humidity rate, epoxy always swells and plasticizes, proving high humidity environments aren’t the best places for these floors.
Hiring a professional installer means they’ll be taking this and many other factors into account. These are things you might not have known installing an epoxy floor on your own, hence major mistakes that have future repercussions.
Never be too proud to hire a professional installer get the job done the right way. Doing so will ensure your epoxy floor lasts as long as you expect it to. With specialized epoxy materials, it can be made even more durable to stand up to moisture and scratches.
Once choosing epoxy floors, you’ll want to keep using them when they need replacing—whether taking a beating after a year or after a decade.
How to Make Epoxy Floors Shine
With the lifespan of epoxy floors sometimes being as much as a decade, you can’t always expect the floor to look like new in high-traffic areas. An epoxy floor in a business with customers walking around daily can expect to look worn within a year.
The same goes in a busy car repair business, or even in a private garage if using it often for various tasks.
Don’t ignore that worn looking epoxy. Letting it go will almost ensure replacement sooner than you planned.
Various things can be done to keep the epoxy looking shiny. It involves more than just relying on products promising to make epoxy look new.
Keep a Weekly Routine of Regular Cleaning
All floors need cleaning maintenance at least once or twice per week, depending on how much foot traffic there is. It’s a sure bet that if you have epoxy flooring, it’s because you have high-traffic areas.
Simply doing routine cleaning by vacuuming or sweeping to pick up dirt and dust will prevent the epoxy from losing its shine within months. While some epoxy floors are waterproof, it’s a good idea to pick up any spilled liquids as quickly as you can. A simple paper towel will take care of this in a few minutes.
Some epoxy textures are made to hide dirt and dust, yet don’t stop cleaning just because you can’t see the dirt to the naked eye. Even a commercial dust mop will make cleaning a little easier if you don’t like sweeping or using vacuum cleaners.
Considering this is just a basic way to keep your epoxy floor shining, you may have to do a little more work to deal with stains. Also, you might want to do a more thorough clean once per year if the epoxy shine disappears faster than expected.
Dealing With Stains
Once stains start building up on your epoxy floor, the shine can start to wither away in a short time. In a chaotic place like an industrial plant or car repair business, you probably already know what this is like.
Never let stains build, and always make an attempt to treat them not long after they occur. You can do this fairly easily by mixing up ammonia with water.
No doubt you’ve heard about this easy solution for cleaning floors. It creates a mild soap to easily clean epoxy without doing damage.
What you need to stay away from are commercial epoxy floor cleaners with acid in them. Using acidic compounds can ruin your epoxy floor, not including eliminating the shiny quality it had when new.
Also, be careful scrubbing with anything harsh like steel wool since it often scratches epoxy surfaces.
A More Thorough Clean With Hot Water Also Helps
As an annual clean, using hot water and a squeegee can help pick up a lot of dirt to give a new shine to the epoxy coating. If you have your epoxy floor in your garage or in an outdoor setting, using an outdoor hose on the epoxy is perfectly acceptable.
When indoors, just use containers of hot water to prevent excessive water from getting on things inside. Shining and polishing your epoxy floor may need doing, however, which is something only professionals should do.
They always have the right cleaning solutions available to bring the shine back. Although it’s possible to use surface cleaners like Clean Brite if you don’t need a major professional clean at the moment.
You May Need a Recoating
In situations where the epoxy is beyond a professional clean, you may need a new coating, requiring a lot of floor prep beforehand.
This requires buying epoxy patching compound and a paint roller as just starters. You’ll need to buff the floor beforehand with a floor buffer, plus sand the surface as a form of etching. Using 80-grit sandpaper is essential here.
Adding new paint and epoxy coating requires cure times of 24 hours each to ensure no mistakes are made. It’s worth the wait to see your floor look almost like the surface of a mirror again.
Is Epoxy Flooring Fire Resistant?
Those who’ve always wondered why industrial workplaces use the same style of floor should know it’s because they’re likely using epoxy flooring.
Most people think of garages when they think of epoxy flooring, but it’s also used in industrial settings. Since epoxy is resistant to many different abrasive chemicals, it’s long been the smartest choice.
Some might be wondering whether it’s also fire-resistant. The answer to that is a positive one.
Every reason why offers a little science lesson in what makes epoxy so non-flammable.
Reasons Why Epoxy Has Been Used for Years
Go back in time to the 1930s, and you’ll find the origin of epoxy and its use in situations where industrial durability was needed.
The inventor of epoxy resin was Swiss scientist Dr. Pierre Castan. Thanks to the United States’ great relationship with Switzerland, we helped develop epoxy for use here in America not long after.
While it wasn’t used during WWII, Howard Hughes happened to recognize its durable qualities later in 1947. He used it in the design of his unique Spruce Goose plane.
Another good reason he knew it was quality was because of its non-flammable properties along with the durability. Nothing can be more important in aircraft design, especially since Hughes was badly injured in a plane crash years before.
Later, epoxy became the standard in industrial floors, all because it helps prevent fires if flammable chemicals spill.
Places That Use Epoxy to Prevent Fires
It’s not just in industrial plants where you’re most apt to see epoxy flooring nowadays. Go into a firehouse, and you’ll likely recognize epoxy flooring there immediately. Firehouses have used this type of floor for decades since they clearly want non-flammable materials in their own quarters.
Police stations often use this type of flooring as well for the same reasons. Let’s be glad law enforcement and our most essential city services like firehouses planned right in their floors.
Don’t think the above locations are the only reason to use epoxy for fire prevention. More residential homes use epoxy flooring, particularly in their garages. Then again, it’s easily applicable in any room of a house as a safety measure if fire hazards exist.
In many cases, the above places use slip-resistance additives so one can run on these floors without slipping and falling. Although the fire resistance aspect is all thanks to the compounds used in the layers of epoxy.
Can You Buy Protective Coatings to Prevent Fires?
It’s possible to find and buy various types of fire-resistant coatings to add to the epoxy mix when creating your floor.
Many of these coatings can also be used outdoors since epoxy is sometimes used on driveways or walkways. You can use the coating as a primer when applying the coating, with variances depending on how thick you want it.
Adding more coatings offers up to several hours of fire protection, though all depends on personal preferences.
No matter what type of epoxy paint you want to use, you’ll be able to gain non-flammable qualities in the resin of each. With solid epoxy, you get the purest form of the material, even if it requires a professional installer to get it installed correctly.
Using solvent-based epoxy will offer the same fire resistance, albeit requiring wearing masks while installing due to possibly hazardous fumes.
Then there’s water-based epoxy, which has no noxious fumes. This is also non-flammable and easier to find in typical home goods stores.
Pigment Expansion in Epoxy Coatings
No matter what type of epoxy coating you use, most provide a scientific reaction when flames hit the floor. Expansion of pigments in the coating helps prevent flames from growing larger.
Of course, this is the point of using epoxy flooring to prevent fires. The above reaction gives more time for firefighters to arrive and put the flames out before growing out of control.
How to Prep a Garage Floor for Epoxy Installation
Since epoxy flooring is often used in garage spaces, it’s worth every effort to learn about how to prep that floor before installing epoxy on your own. Not that it’s recommendable to install on your own if you’ve never done it before.
While DIY kits are available, they’re overly cheap and may not last as long as a stronger resin from a professional installer.
One thing you can do on your own, though, is prep the garage subfloor. This needs some extensive work done before the epoxy goes in place.
Doing this yourself will save you some money having someone else doing it for you.
Getting the Floor as Clean as Possible
Cleaning subfloors is always an essential job before laying down any flooring. Before epoxy goes down, the garage floor needs a thorough cleaning. It should also be degreased.
Simply sweeping the garage floor first is essential to pick up as much dirt and debris as you can. Use a wet-dry vacuum to pick up things you didn’t readily see while sweeping.
Since this is likely a concrete subfloor, there may be grease there from prior car oil leaks. You definitely can’t have any grease under the epoxy, or it could end up getting into the coating and causing problems.
To degrease, just use a degreaser product (like Rust-Oleum) using a brush. Then rinse off the residue and let dry for several hours (or overnight) before more work begins.
How Do You Etch Your Concrete Floor?
Etching kits sometimes come with the epoxy you buy in home good stores. If you’re new to etching, it involves mixing up a solution you spread over the concrete as part of the prep for epoxy coating.
Some might find this a daunting task since it often requires using acid to make the epoxy coating properly adhere. While safer alternatives are available for acid etching, you’ll always want to wear protective gear when doing this.
Hydrochloric acid is the most typical type of acid used. It’s powerful stuff, so be sure to wear gloves when working. Wearing a mask is also essential since this acid has a vapor that can potentially harm your lungs.
Before you start applying the etching solution, dampen your concrete since if it’s overly dry, the acid could cause permanent damage.
Properly Following the Directions With Your Etching Solution
When obtaining the etching solution with your epoxy coating, be sure to read the directions carefully since mistakes can easily be made.
The etching typically gets spread on the concrete with a long-handled brush, though brooms are also used. Because of the acid, the solution usually fizzes on the concrete, something the application directions should mention.
Once spreading the solution, let it sit for about 15 minutes. If using a gallon of etching solution, it should cover up to 70 sq. ft. within your garage space.
You may have to add more of the solution if you didn’t thoroughly cover every area. It’s a little more complicated covering edges of walls, which may require removing the wall base if you use it in your garage.
Time is of the Essence When Applying the Epoxy
A two-hour window exists to get the epoxy spread on your garage floor before it begins to cure. All the more reason that when you mix the epoxy solution together, you have to start application immediately.
Make sure you won’t have interruptions, or it could end up being a costly mistake. A long-handled roller is what you’ll need for the bulk of the application. To apply along tricky edges, a small paintbrush will work.
Keep in mind you should make this a two-person job to get the epoxy spread faster. It’s up to you whether you want to pay them for the effort.
How to install Epoxy Flooring in a Garage Floor, Basement, Kitchen
The three most common places where epoxy flooring usually goes are in garages, basements, and kitchens, if not limited to those. Most people place epoxy in the above spaces because they know it’ll hold up well to foot traffic.
Maybe some might think basements don’t receive much foot traffic, but they do if made into a living area. Garages do as well if made into a living space, or a car repair center.
A kitchen is self-explanatory since we probably spend more time there than in the bathroom.
Keep reading to learn how to install epoxy flooring in each of the above three rooms.
Installing in a Garage
Before doing any epoxy installing here, you have some work ahead in prepping the garage floor. First, you have to remove your old floor, whatever that might be. Or, maybe it was just concrete all along.
First, do a major clean on the concrete, whether sweeping or vacuuming. The subfloor for epoxy needs to be clean of all debris to avoid any errors when it cures. Make sure no moisture is on the floor since that can also affect curing.
Check for cracks or chips in the concrete as well and repair those. A degreasing needs to be done on the floor next to cleaning up oil or gas stains.
Applying concrete etch is the last step. It helps prep the floor for the epoxy to better adhere. Finish this off with a pressure wash and let dry overnight.
Spreading the Epoxy Onto the Garage Floor
Before you apply the epoxy, make sure you have a long handled-roller. One with handle extensions is the most useful.
Keep in mind that when you mix your epoxy coating together, you have to start applying it within minutes. It starts to harden if you wait too long, possibly leading to an expensive do-over.
Start spreading the epoxy first around the edges of the garage walls. You can use a small paintbrush for that.
For the full curing effect, it could take up to a week. Take some time to leave your garage floor alone for five to seven days before walking on it.
Install in a Basement
Many people use epoxy in their basements because it helps work as a waterproof sealant. Some people prefer to place other types of flooring over the epoxy in basements, with the epoxy just acting as a way to prevent water damage.
Not that many don’t just leave the epoxy in place. The same subfloor steps apply here as with garage floor concrete. Most likely, you’ll have concrete as your basement subfloor.
You may have to use a sander to level any uneven spots on the concrete before the epoxy goes down. Leveling compounds might also need using to avoid any low spots.
Applying the Epoxy On the Basement Floor
Use the same epoxy application principles as used in the garage. However, because epoxy can emit fumes during application, you need proper ventilation. This could be a problem in a basement if you have no windows there.
Any ventilation in your basement should be used to get the fumes out. If not, be sure to wear protective gear when applying the epoxy. This includes a mask, gloves, and safety goggles. You’ll want to wear these even when using the sander above due to flying debris.
Mix in some aggregate to your epoxy to bring a unique surface. Doing so will also provide better traction to avoid any potential slipping.
Epoxy In Your Kitchen
One good reason to install epoxy in your kitchen is it has anti-microbial properties, making it easy to withstand germs. In a restaurant kitchen, that’s an essential aspect when doing sanitizing.
Since you might experience high temperatures in kitchen areas as well, epoxy is a great choice to prevent any damage.
Prepping your kitchen floor is much the same as garages and basements, except your subfloor might not be concrete. You might have to have concrete applied since placing epoxy over something like plywood doesn’t make the coating adhere very well.
Placing more additives in your epoxy is more important for a kitchen to customize and make sure it never becomes slippery when wet.
How to Remove Epoxy Flooring
After years of enjoying an epoxy floor in your garage, driveway, or industrial center, it may be time to remove it due to excess wear. Keep in mind that two different types of epoxy may need removing here: Epoxy paint or epoxy flooring.
Both have different removal methods, yet both are complex in the removal process. Since epoxy flooring binds with concrete, it’s going to need some serious tools to remove.
Now you know why it was so durable for so long, even if making removal for a replacement all the more challenging.
Keep in mind epoxy paint is a little easier to remove.
Removing Epoxy Paint if Necessary
The best thing to do with epoxy paint is hire a contractor to properly remove it since it’s not an easy job to do on your own. You could do it, but since you have to use paint strippers/solvents to make it work, it could prove hazardous without proper protective gear.
A contractor uses the paint remover solvent on the floor and spreads it with a mop. Epoxy paint usually begins to puddle at this point while dissolving.
After this is done, the hard part begins. Scraping the paint off can be a back-breaking task if never doing it before. A long-handled scraper is the most common tool used, despite sometimes taking a full day to remove all the paint.
Cold water is used to remove any remaining paint residue. Once dried, the concrete can be further cleaned for new flooring, presumably regular epoxy flooring as an update.
Who Should You Hire to Remove Your Epoxy Flooring?
If the same person or team that installed your epoxy floor is still available, hire them for the removal. Procedures are slightly different for removing epoxy floors from paint.
Before making any decisions, you’ll want to know whether the epoxy originally installed was water-based or solvent. This determines what kind of epoxy stripper product gets used.
Paint removers are often pungent and potentially dangerous to breathe, so it’s a good idea to find one that’s better for the environment if you can.
While applying stripper solution is identical with removing epoxy paint, how the epoxy is removed requires a tougher tool. Because the epoxy was made to be durable, a professional should be the one getting this done so you don’t cause injury to yourself.
Preparing the Room Before the Paint Stripper Goes Down
As with preparing subfloors before other flooring goes in, you’ll want to prep the concrete before the epoxy remover professional arrives. You can do this by cleaning the surface with a vacuum to remove dirt and dust.
Be sure to remove any furnishings out of the way since you don’t want debris flying onto them, or exposure to fumes. Wall hangings also need to be removed since removing epoxy can make debris fly everywhere.
Ventilating the room is also a must for the safety of the professional and yourself. If you’re intending to help a little with the professional remover, be sure to wear safety goggles, gloves, and a mask for protection.
Using a Metal Scraper to Remove the Epoxy
Here is where the toughest work begins. One thing different with removing epoxy flooring is the stripper solution needs to sit overnight once applied.
Your professional floor remover will need to come back the next morning to take on the task of scraping the epoxy off the floor. They’ll likely use a long-handled metal scraper. If you watch, you’ll notice they usually do the scraping in rows.
A shovel is used to pick up the debris and into garbage bags. Sometimes more stripper solution needs using if some of the epoxy simply won’t come up after all the scraping.