True epoxy is a product comprising two components: resin and an activator. Unlike paints, epoxies don’t dry through evaporation of the water-based or oil-based solvent. They cure and harden via a chemical reaction that takes place between the resin and the activator (or hardener).
Two-Part Epoxy Floor Coating – 100% Solids
Two-part epoxy floor coatings are called 100% solids because they’re not made up of any conventional solvents. They harden into a thick, attractive, hard surface over concrete and are often sprinkled with chips over the surface when drying to provide a much more aesthetic look and texture. The surface of 100% solid epoxy floor coating hardens within 24 hours of applying.
While two-part epoxy floor coating is more expensive than other types and also harder to install, it is also very long-lasting. The process releases strong fumes when the hardening reaction is taking place and requires ventilation.
Two-Part Water-Based Epoxy Floor Coating
Many home improvement and hardware stores offer a DIY epoxy floor coating that’s two-part as well – but there’s a significant difference. This type of epoxy contains the two components present in true epoxy (resin and an activator/hardener) but also contains water as a solvent.
This hybrid product is usually advertised as low-odor or low-VOC which is an attractive prospect because it requires less ventilation compared to true epoxies. It can also be recognized by its ability to be easily cleaned up with soap and water when wet.
Hybrid epoxies take longer to dry than true epoxies because the solvent needs to be evaporated completely – this may take 3 days or even more. Hybrid epoxies are also much easier to work with because they’re water-solvent but they provide a thinner coating which doesn’t last as long as true epoxies. Some types accommodate vinyl chips over the surface while others don’t. Reapplication every few years may be necessary because hybrid epoxies are not as long-lasting as true epoxies.
One-Part Floor Coating
While true epoxy is a floor coating that contains two components (resin and hardener) which are mixed together just before application, some mixtures called “epoxies” are sold premixed in containers. These are not true epoxies and can be viewed as a form of paint – although their performance on floors is better than that of paint.
They’re marketed as one-part epoxies or epoxy acrylics and require reapplication every few years. They also dry in about an hour and are easy to clean up with soap and water when wet.
Floor coatings are very important in the overall look of the area and how heavily the surface will be used. Some surfaces may do fine with one-part coatings because they’re less used while others such as garages or carport slabs where cars are parked would require a true epoxy floor coating.
If you’re thinking, “I want to shop flooring epoxy near me,” then you need to look no further. We will help you choose the best floor coating for your requirements and usage – give us a call today!