Epoxy coated concrete flooring is a popular choice when converting a garage into a usable living space. The reason for its popularity is mainly due to the hardy and enduring quality of the finish and the wide range of looks that it offers. If you're considering an epoxy coating for your garage floor, then you may be curious about the process that needs to be undertaken to achieve a high-quality end product.
Even if your garage floor seems to be even and flat, most epoxy floor contractors will recommend that it is ground back using specially designed diamond bits. This will ensure your floor is smooth and level. The grinding is also important for a number of other reasons.
- It cleans the surface of the concrete of any stains or impurities that may detrimentally affect the appearance of the finished product
- It removes the top layer of concrete, exposing the porous layer just beneath. This gives the concrete a surface that will bind more readily with the epoxy coating
- It exposes and polishes the aggregate, or small stones and pebbles, which are within the concrete. Aggregate is what gives the finished floor an attractive and colourful look
The diamond grinding process is a messy one, and the floor will need to be thoroughly cleaned before the epoxy can be applied. Epoxy floor contractors will use an industrial strength vacuum to remove the grit, dirt, and dust from the floor. This is important because any residue can have a negative impact on the epoxy's ability to bind itself to the concrete.
Your concrete may also have stubborn stains, such as oil which has leaked from your car's engine. The contractor may decide to remove these using acid based chemicals which work by dissolving the stain.
Application of the product
The first product applied to your concrete flooring is the under-layer of epoxy. This might be as simple as epoxy mixed with a block colour, or it may be a more elaborate effect, such as 'flake' which is a specific type of effect used in epoxy flooring to recreate the look of natural stone. It's also possible to embed small items within the under-layer, such as coins, shells, photos, or stones. You may want to skip this step entirely if you prefer a raw concrete look.
Once the first layer has dried, the epoxy coating is applied. This seals in the under-layer and creates a tough and shiny finish to your floor. Once the epoxy has set sufficiently, a protective top coat is then applied to offer your floor with a buffer zone to protect the epoxy finish.
One of the attractions of this type of flooring is the short amount of time that it takes to go from bare, dusty concrete to an immaculate and stunning floor. If you're unsure which style of epoxy flooring will best suit your home, then contact your local contractor for some further expert advice.