Epoxy flake floors are a very popular decorative floor finish that are ideal for anybody wanting to give dull, dirty or damaged concrete in their home or business a new lease of life.
Because of their popularity, you can find many different types that span a wide range of looks and prices, including DIY kits from Bunnings and other major hardware outlets.
But which one should you choose? What’s the difference between the epoxy flake floors you do yourself and specialist epoxy flooring products? Will these types of floors have the impact you’re looking for?
We answer all these questions and more in our epoxy flake flooring tips below.
Before you commit to any floor, it’s always good idea to step back and make sure it ticks all the boxes, so to speak.
Getting a new epoxy flake floor will:
Specialist epoxy flake floors use high-quality epoxy floor coatings and urethane topcoats to encapsulate the flake and bond strongly to the concrete underneath. In contrast to generic floor paints, these harder, stronger floor coatings can withstand some nasty treatment and are often used in ugly industrial environments with heavy vehicle traffic and aggressive chemical exposure.
These types of products are sourced from specialist coating manufacturers and suppliers, or through epoxy flake flooring installers that
will supply and apply. While some contain solvent, the best overall combination of safety and performance comes from solventless technology.
Being solvent-free means they can be safely used in confined spaces like a garage without risk or disruption to nearby people.
In summary, if you’re after a long-term epoxy flake flooring that you won’t have to think about for years, high-quality, solvent-free epoxy floor coatings are the way to go.
After choosing the right type of products, the second piece of the puzzle to get a quality epoxy flake floor is professional installation. As a coating manufacturer, we regularly hear from homeowners looking to fix their garage floor because they typed “how to do epoxy flake flooring” or “garage floor epoxy DIY” into YouTube and watched someone make it look oh-so-easy. Please don’t fall into the same trap!
The truth is, installing any type of floor is never that easy and those videos gloss over all the hard work that happens before you even touch a brush or roller.
Like any type of floor covering, the surface underneath needs to be prepared properly for the result to look as good and last as long as it should. For specialist epoxy flake floors, that means grinding the concrete with a dustless diamond grinder. While these types of machines are available for hire, getting one and figuring out how to use it is only one part of proper concrete preparation. You also must take care of other issues like concrete contamination, cracks, porosity and flatness, as well as transitions to other surfaces and fixtures.
There are not-so-obvious challenges when it comes time to apply too. Not many of those YouTube videos will ever talk about proper mixing practices, working times, pot lives, dust control, weather conditions, or even the most important thing of all: proper personal protective equipment.
Wanting to go down the DIY path to save a few bucks is understandable, but the saving only happens if you get a good result. The moment you have a problem with your DIY epoxy flake floor, you’re losing money and it could end up costing even more to fix.
As with any type of broadcast flooring, the finished floor will tend to reflect the surface underneath. If the concrete is porous, you will get dry areas and patchiness; if you have a divot, there will be a low spot; if there are hills and valleys, the floor will look “wavy”. Getting the surface smooth, flat and sealed (if required) will give you a much better result when it comes to epoxy flake floors.
There are a few questions you need to ask to help find a rollcoat that works for epoxy flake flooring. These include:
Most installers are used to broadcasting the traditional flakes (6mm and over), but what we’re seeing with the new style of granite or stone-look epoxy flake flooring is that a different technique might be more effective.
Because these blends consist of flake from 6mm down to dust, broadcasting with a “chook feeding” motion like you do with 6mm flake can end up with the dust landing first and the larger flakes landing on top. This can create an uneven appearance that looks nothing like the stone you’re trying to replicate.
Also, the smaller dust particles tend to sink into thicker sections of the floor more readily, e.g. drips and cut-in areas. This not only highlights bumps in the floor, but also reveals more of the basecoat and makes the floor look patchy from a combination of uneven colour and gloss.
When you’re broadcasting granite or stone-look flake, drop the flake between your fingers from waist height instead and gradually build up the coverage in this manner to ensure a more consistent distribution across your epoxy flake floor.
Real World Epoxies has formulated, manufactured and supplied high-quality epoxy flake flooring systems and products for more than two decades. We stand behind our products because we only use proven, high-quality materials that we know will perform as expected. You can trust our epoxy flake flooring systems for your epoxy flooring project.
Let us help you with your epoxy flake flooring needs when you fill out one of our contact forms or call us on 1300 EPOXIES (1300 376 943).
To help build a strong resin flooring industry that sits alongside timber, carpet, tiles and vinyl as a mainstream flooring option.
To eliminate preventable failures
that hurt the resin flooring industry
and prevent it from reaching its full potential.