– Epoxy Coatings –
Epoxy coatings for flooring are made from a mixture of resin and hardener that hardens and becomes firm once fully cured. In general epoxies come in three major types: water based, solvent based, and solid epoxies. Solid epoxy floor coatings cure (the technical term for the process of drying and hardening over time) faster but prove difficult to handle and typically require professional installation. Most metallic epoxies are 100% solids. Water based epoxy floor coatings, on the other hand, cure at slower speeds but eliminate most or all of the harmful fumes contained in the epoxy compound. Water based epoxies are the least durable of the epoxy coatings. Solvent based epoxy coatings are highly popular due to the variety of colors available and the highly adhesive nature of the product. Solvent based epoxies release harmful fumes which can cause health problems if inhaled.
Epoxy coatings are made from a mixture of a resin known as epoxide and a hardening agent known as polyamine, thus giving it the name “epoxy”. The first commercial attempts to create epoxy resins from epichlorohydrin were made in 1927 in the United States. Thermosetting is the heat created from mixing the resin and hardener together which causes the hardening action. The durability and smooth, decorative appearance created with colored epoxy coatings makes it a popular choice for concrete floors such as those found in garages and warehouses. Clear epoxies are best when applied over a stained concrete surfaces. Solid epoxy coatings (metallic epoxies) are the best choice if you are looking for the most durable finish but are usually used with urethane topcoats. Sweet Concrete or a contractor in your area can help you with these decisions and find the best fit for a homeowner’s current floor restoration project.