Can I Install Epoxy over Ceramic Tile?

September 21, 2015

I have seen tiles that have been prepared in the lab environment that have epoxy well bonded to it. Doing it in under laboratory conditions and doing it in the field is two different things. In all the over 35 years I have been in the business I cannot point you at a single success story where epoxy was installed over tile.

My company started off as an installation company about 35 years ago.  When we were a young installation company we made build a sizable business by going around behind all of our competitors that were installing epoxy over tile, and redoing their failed work. That is why I typically I recommend against going over ceramic tile with epoxy.

Surface Preparation Requirements

Bonding to tile requires either intense physical abrasion like sandblasting or etching with phosphoric acid to remove the glaze.  If you etch with acid it usually eats up the grout.  Acid may, and more likely than not will, get under the tile and loosen it.

The heat and vibration of the sandblasting tends to loosen tile. Sandblasting will damage the grout. Best case situation the tile will require regrouting.

After all that, a single tile comes loose, or a single piece of old grout comes loose, and you have failed your objective.

Alternatives

Many people like the looks of tile. They don’t like the way tile grout leaks and is hard to maintain. For them I recommend that you remove the grout and regrout it with Epoxy.com Product #225 – www.epoxy.com/225.aspx. Product #225 is a 100% solids water cleanable epoxy that is waterproof grout. This eliminates most leaks and grout maintenance issues.

Thos of you that don’t like the looks of the tile, I recommend removing the tile.  Get down to a sound substrate.  And then proceed. – www.epoxy.com/surfaceprep.htm.

Apply Epoxy.com Product #1W – www.epoxy.com/1W.aspx to the walls. Product #1W is a 100% solids waterproof coating that leaves a ceramic like finish. Product #1W applies much easier than most 100% solids epoxy. It has superior durability and abrasion resistance.

For floors (after the tile is removed) I would level with Epoxy.com Product #12 mortar – www.epoxy.com/12.aspx and then install Epoxy.com Chip Flooring – www.epoxy.com/chips.aspx. Heavy traffic on floors often makes the use of decorative flooring products impossible. Product #315 Seamless Polymeric Multi-Colored Flake Chip Floor Resurfacing System makes this possible. The #315 Chip System creates a beautiful, durable, and affordable floor that is easy to apply by both professionals and do-it-yourself enthusiasts.

For more information on this subject please visit our website at www.epoxy.com or contact Epoxy.com Technical Support at 352-533-2167 or email me – norm@epoxy.com


Seamless Epoxy Flooring Systems Explained

August 25, 2014

Epoxy.com offers many different types of seamless flooring. We offer so many kinds that sometimes it confuses people. The purpose of this article is to explain the differences, and to help you choose the right epoxy seamless flooring system for your application. In some cases the right seamless flooring system will not even be an epoxy. It may be polyurethane or Methyl Methacrylate (MMA).

Epoxy.com Epoxy Chip Flooring in VT rest area.

Epoxy.com Epoxy Chip Flooring on a VT Interstate Rest Area – Taken over 15 years after installation.


Epoxy Floor Coatings

Epoxy coatings can be effective flooring systems. Using Epoxy as a flooring system you need a 100% solids, zero voc, hard durable coating. You also want a coating that is available in multiple colors. These floor coatings can last for decades, so you want to pick a color that you like. Properly installed you will be looking at this floor coating for a very long time. This kind of flooring system is available in the following options:

  1. Epoxy.com Product #1 – www.epoxy.com/1.htm – meets all the criteria above. It has good chemical resistance, and excellent cost to benefit ratio. Great for warehouses, in areas with high traffic and only modest chemical exposure.
  2. Epoxy.com Product #1ESD – www.epoxy.com/1esd.aspx. This is the same as product #1 above but has conductive filler in it. Depending on the primer you use under this system it can be conductive (100,000 – 1,000,000) ohms of resistance or Electro-Static Dissipative (ESD) which is 1,000,000 to 1, 000,000,000 ohms. Used in plants that produce explosive materials like ammunition, fireworks, flairs, or explosive solvents, and used in areas of sensitive electronics, like computer server buildings, avionics, electronics assembly and electronic production areas.
  3. Epoxy.com Product #2 – www.epoxy.com/2.aspx. This is similar to product #1 but with a much higher chemical resistance. This major increase in chemical resistance is offset by only a small increase in the cost of the #2 over the Product #1. The product #2 is well suited for applications like garages, machine shops, sewer tank floors, battery rooms, cooling towers, grooming shops, dog kennels and all areas where an economical chemical resistant coating is required.
  4. Epoxy.com Product #633 – www.epoxy.com/633.aspx – is a highly chemically resistant epoxy floor coating and flooring system. Like Product #1 and Product #2 is extremely durable. Product #633 is typically used in areas where containment of aggressive chemical is imperative. For example Product #633 will hold up to continuous exposure of 98% Sulfuric acid for a period of at least 6 months without loss of structural integrity. Great for secondary containment for a large number of chemicals.

     

All the systems above can go over many different types of substrates with the proper surface preparation. All of the products above are available in 17 colors and can be color matched for an additional cost. The systems above can be combined with various anti-skid materials or broadcast with silica broadcast aggregate to produce a thicker floor

 

Chip Floor

Epoxy.com Chip Flooring – www.epoxy.com/chips.aspx – is the perfect blend of economy, durability, low maintenance, and gorgeous appearance. It uses a 100% solids pigmented epoxy base coat, a full broadcast of plastic chips, and two coats of chemical resistant clear glaze. The chemical resistant glaze also makes this easily the most non-yellow epoxy top coat available today. This easy to clean chip flooring system is best for high traffic areas where appearance, durability and low cost of ownership is a must. Great for commercial and residential kitchens, bathrooms, showers, grooming shops, kennels, veterinary clinics, garage floors, show rooms, rest areas, and much more. This product can be installed with an integral cove base. Epoxy.com Chip Flooring can be installed by a contractor but easy enough to be installed by a home owner. Epoxy.com Chip Flooring can be installed in a residence but is rugged enough to be used in the most demanding commercial applications.

Quartz Flooring

Quartz Flooring Product #15 – www.epoxy.com/15.aspx has a long history of being durable, attractive and non-yellowing. I personally installed this product on high school bathroom floors in the mid 70s. These floors have held up to the test of time with little or no wear, little or no loss of shine and little to no yellowing even under the urinals. This is also available with an integral cove base

Solid Colored Flooring

These solid colored floors are based around self leveling, trowelable or double broadcast application techniques. These floors are sometimes called shop floor. They are made to be thick and extra durable under extremely harsh environments. They can be top coated with any of the systems above under coatings. This kind of flooring is available in 3 speeds of cure: normal, fast, and cold cure. Solid colored flooring is also available with an integral cove base.

Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) Flooring

The big advantage of MMA is speed of curing. Each coat of MMA will cure hard to the touch in 1-2 hours. This allows the next layer to be applied quickly and traffic to be returned to it quickly. You can even build a fast setting integral cove out of MMA resin.

I personally installed MMA on one kitchen floor with a very tight schedule. The restaurant was only closed for breakfast. The project started with rotten plywood floors. At 10 PM the carpenters came in to work. They removed rotten floor and floor joists. They replaced the floor joists and the plywood. At 5 AM I went in with my crew and we primed the floor and sealed up the joints in the wood and the screw holes. At 6:30 AM we laid the floor. At 8 we put a glaze coating on the floor and by 10:30 the restaurant workers were on the floor prepping for lunch. The floor installation from start to traffic took just 5.5 hours.

Polyurethane Decking Systems

Polyurethane Decking – http://www.epoxy.com/elastomeric.aspx – is the system best used in areas where maximum flexibility is necessary. This is typically outdoors, waterproof applications like balconies.

Specialized Flooring

We have a number of systems that are specialized flooring like conductive and ESD (Electrostatic Dissipative) flooring – www.epoxy.com/conductive.aspx – and various hybrid systems. If your project does not seem to fit in the categories above email me at norm@epoxy.com or call us at 352-533-2167.

 

In conclusion we offer many types of seamless flooring systems, they can be used for commercial and residential applications. These systems are durable, economical, and easy to install even by homeowners. These seamless flooring systems may be made out of epoxy, polyurethane, or methyl Methacrylate (MMA). Seamless flooring systems are available in multicolored or solid colored. They range in chemical resistance from very good to resistant to aggressive chemicals. When in doubt what is right for your project send me an email at norm@epoxy.com or give me a call at 352-533-2167.


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