Seamless Epoxy Flooring Systems Explained

August 15, 2016

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. When choosing epoxy as a flooring system choose 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. Chip Flooring is 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 many floors with very tight schedules. One 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 we went in with the flooring installation crew.  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.


Patching Vinyl Ester Floors With Novolac

July 28, 2016

A customer writes:

“We have a dairy processing and packaging facility that was built circa 1994.  At the time of construction we chose to install a flooring system which was vinyl ester based with fiberglass mat.  The floor has held up quite well in areas where it had a good bond.  The failures we have seen are in areas that covered either an expansion joint or control joint in the concrete.  In these areas the flooring has delaminated from the concrete.  Where possible we have made a clean cut through the flooring to an area where we had a good bond and left the concrete exposed.  Other failure areas are around floor drains.  We have made repairs with quick curing epoxies in the past but these don’t seem to bond well to the existing vinyl ester flooring. 

“Having a manufacturing facility with only one down day limits our ability to make substantive repairs.  During a search for low or no VOC  flooring systems I you folks.”

I have personally made many thousands of square feet of floor repairs that sounds exactly like the issues and conditions that you are describing.

Here is what I did to permanently resolve the issue, at least in the patched areas.

  1. Cut back the edges of the delaminated areas back to a point where the vinyl ester is well attached.
  2. Prep the concrete under the failed area and the edges of the old material – epoxy.com/surfaceprep.aspx.
  3. Prime with Epoxy.com Product #12 – epoxy.com/12.aspx
  4. Install a trowel coat of Epoxy.com Product #630 – epoxy.com/633.aspx and
    1. Epoxy Mortar Blend aggregate #82 Mortar Blend Aggregate
    2. Allow to cure hard to the touch and cool.
  5. Glaze with a neat coat of Epoxy.com Product #633 with optional Anti-skid – http://epoxy.com/non-skid-additive-polycarbonate-aggregate.aspx

Please email your additional questions to norm@epoxy.com or visit http://www.epoxy.com .


Choosing Stone for Epoxy Stone

May 5, 2016

Epoxy_Stone_OverlaysBonding stone together with Product #17 – Epoxy Stone Adhesive is attractive and functional. It allows you to have the look of natural rock. This “natural rock” will let water pass through it just like its non-epoxied counterparts. It is however a good choice when you don’t want that stone to be moved, accidentally or on purpose.

This function is so nice that I am seeing projects where larger and larger stone is being utilized for the same reasons (above) as the small stone. There are a few shortcomings that should be avoided when bonding larger stones.

You want to make sure when selecting your stone that it is not too round. Round stone reduces the square inches of surfaces touching each other that are bonded together. That reduces the strength of the material, by reducing the square inches of bonding surface. If angular stone is used (as in the picture above) you increase the surface area touching each other and increase the strength.

If you want larger stones in the mix, I suggest you use a variety of smaller stone to fill in the large gaps between the bigger stone. If you combine a mixed gradation of stone that is also angular (not round) you can get an excellent compromise of strength and large stone beauty.


Epoxy Table Top Resin (Part 2) Installation

February 5, 2016
Pictures of an epoxy table top made from Product #214

Product #214 Epoxy Table Top Resin

This the second part of a 2 part article. In the first writing we dealt with some of the uses of Epoxy.com Product #214  Epoxy Table Top Resin. This article will deal with the installation of the material.

Quick Review

In my last writing I discussed that Product #214 Water Clear Epoxy Casting – Tabletop Resin – Bar Top Resin is an all-purpose, low viscosity epoxy resin system for coating wood and concrete counter tops, tabletops, bar tops and similar applications. It has excellent clarity and color retention. Our clear casting resin and tabletop resin / bar top Epoxy has zero (0) VOC making it essentially odorless and can therefore be used in occupied areas. It de-bubbles and flattens a lot easier than similar materials.

Considerations

The Product #214 epoxy resin is low viscosity. It is typically applied thicker than 1/16 inch thick. Because the Product #214 Table Top epoxy has such a low viscosity (thin) it needs some kind of boarder around the outside edge to create a dam for your main pour. The picture above shows you one way to make that trim decorative. It is easiest and most effective when the piece that will act as the dam will remain in place after the installation. If your application is less than 1/16 inch thick contact our Technical Support Department at 352-533-2167.

Before You Start

Be sure that you have the proper job supplies.

  • Paint stir sticks
  • 3 (5 G) plastic pails
  • Roll of Duct Tape
  • 4 Window Squeegees in various widths
  • Paper 6oz Dixie cups
  • 2 (2 blade) mixing paddles – should be at least 5 inches in diameter and capable of being used in a heavy duty drill
  • Heavy Duty Drill for mixing paddles above
  • 6 (2 inch) paint brushes *check bristles to be certain they CAN NOT be pulled out*
  • Latex (or non latex) rubber gloves
  • Vacuum (Shop Vacuum Quality)
  • Roller Pans (for trim)
  • Roller Pan Liners (for trim)
  • Roller Frame (for trim)
  • Roller Covers (shed resistant – for trim)
  • Roll of plastic to keep buckets on to avoid drips onto floor
  • *Note – Epoxy does NOT come out of fabrics*
  • Go Jo Hand cleaner or fast orange for hands and skin
  • Xylene, MEK, or Acetone for cleaning up hard tools and hard surfaces
  • Electric Hair Dryer or Heat Gun
  • Spray bottle
  • Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol as high a content as possible (90% or higher)

Preparation

Be sure that your tabletop is level. The epoxy table top resin is going to go water flat. If your table is not flat when you pour it, then the surface of the epoxy will be level to gravity and not with your table.

Put plastic under the table that you are about to coat. This plastic is to catch the resin that drips off the table during installation. I like putting some cardboard on top of the plastic to absorb the resin that drips off so it doesn’t get tracked around the room.

Vacuum the surface to receive the tabletop epoxy to remove any dust, or dirt. Mask all surfaces that need protecting.

Be sure that the trim that you have around the table to hold your resin is tight fitting and securely fastened. Mix a small batch of Epoxy Table Top Resin or Epoxy.com Product #15. Coat the trim piece on the outside of the table and use the resin to seal the joint between the table and the trim piece.

The first coat should be installed thin. The first coat is acting as a primer. Additional coats can be applied thicker but be sure not to apply it so thick that you get puddles or runs. Be sure to wipe any resin that gets on the bottom of the table off. This will save a lot of sanding later. Apply as many coats as you feel you need to get the look that you want on the trim pieces. Be sure each coat of epoxy is applied within 24 hours of the previous coat.

Pouring the Epoxy Table Top

Mix your epoxy in batches small enough so you can pour them quickly and all at once. If you leave a large mass of epoxy in the bucket it produces heat quickly. That dramatically reduces the published potlife. Follow all good mixing practices when mixing the material, at a minimum proper measuring of A and B, mix for 3 minutes, being sure to scrape the sides and bottom as you go.

Individual pours should not be less than about 1/16 or more than 3/8 to ½ deep. If the pours are too thin you may experience fisheyes. If the pour is too thick it might produce too much heat. Two much heat can hurt the aesthetics of your table.

If you need the epoxy to be more than 3/8 to ½ inch deep it should be done in multiple pours. Simply wait for the previous pour to harden and cool and then make your next pour. Be sure to make the next pour not longer than 24 hours in between the coats. If you wait much longer than that you may experience inter-coat adhesion issues

 

Many table top resin manufacturers recommend the use of torches to make their materials lay flat. You do not need to do that with Product #214 table top and casting resin. Our material is thinner than those other materials and will lay flat when applied at the right thicknesses all by themselves.

Make your final pour so that it is full up to the top of your trim pieces and carry it over the edge. That way it appears like all the resin on the top and edges of your trim were from a single pour.

Much of the time Product #214 Table Top Resin tends to de-bubble on its own without a lot of effort to remove the bubbles. The bubbles that you do have can typically be easily removed with a high concentration Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and/or your hair dryer or heat gun.

Any bubbles you see should be broken as soon as possible. That means that you will need to watch your tabletop as it sets up and break the bubbles as soon as you see them. You should continue to watch until the resin gets stiff enough that no more bubbles can be formed.

The electric heat gun or hair dryer can be used to blow at the areas to make the bubbles break. The heat helps to thin the resin and the force of the air helps to break them.

The isopropyl alcohol can be misted over the surface. Never spay it directly the isopropyl alcohol directly at the surface but rather mist above the surface at about a 90 degree angle allowing the droplets to hit the surface. Never spay enough to wet the surface. The droplets of isopropyl alcohol help to mechanically break the bubbles while the isopropyl acts as a solvent that evaporates almost immediately after the bubble breaking action.

Summary

Epoxy.com Product #214 Table Top Epoxy Resin is a versatile product that is easy to use. It is designed to be poured where a thicker casting of epoxy resin is required. This epoxy table top resin pours to a water flat shinny surface. It easily releases its bubbles with a little assistance, and cures water clear.

Please keep your questions coming to me.

Norm Lambert
352-533-2167 (Voice)
norm@epoxy.com

http://www.epoxy.com

Additional Resources


Epoxy Table Top Resin

February 2, 2016

This article is written in two parts. This section will deal with all the uses of Epoxy.com Product #214 Table Top Resin. The second article will deal with the installation of the material.

So many of you are now scratching your head, trying to figure out how I can devote an entire article to what to use our epoxy table top resin for. Well, the table top resin isn’t just for table tops. Product #214 is used for a wide variety of uses

Characteristics

Product #214 Water Clear Epoxy Casting – Tabletop Resin – Bar Top Resin is an all-purpose, low viscosity epoxy resin system for coating wood and concrete counter tops, tabletops, bar tops and similar applications. It has excellent clarity and color retention. Our clear casting resin and tabletop resin / bar top Epoxy has zero (0) VOC making it essentially odorless and can therefore be used in occupied areas. It de-bubbles and flattens a lot easier than similar materials.

Casting Resin

Our epoxy table top resin is frequently used as “casting resin”. It is poured into forms typically made out of silicone. The material is allowed to harden and then forms removed. This can be for very small parts or it can be used for very large parts.

Table Top Resin as Flooring

Product #214 Epoxy Table Top Resin can be used when a super flat floor is required. It is possible to get a floor as flat as water. This is important under certain types of machinery such as MRI machines and equipment used to product high precision parts for use in items like space satellites.

Advantages of Clear Table Top Resin #214

  • Low odor for use in occupied areas
  • Low viscosity – good wetting properties
  • Meets USDA standards for use in food handling applications
  • Glossy finish
  • Stain resistant
  • Zero (0) VOC – No VOC means it meets the toughest low VOC standards.

The epoxy table top resin that we sell has also been used for dance floors, stages, theme parks and homes to produce a floor to simulate water. Often times this is done with rocks and other objects in the epoxy to give the appearance of steam, a river, a lake, or the ocean. At the same time it allows a super flat finish that allows dancing, and all the things normally associated with a flat floor.

Multi-Aggregate Tiles and Flooring

Product #214 Clear Casting-Tabletop-Bar Top Resin is used as a clear adhesive matrix for specialty colored glass and colored aggregate flooring and tiles. Product #214 Clear Casting-Clear Tabletop Resin – Clear Bar Top Resin forms a glossy, hard surface, which is resistant to stains. It is also used extensively as a water clear casting resin.

Please send your questions to me at norm@epoxy.com or visit our website at www.epoxy.com.


Applying New Epoxy over Old Epoxy

February 13, 2015

I frequently get calls and emails from folks who want to install our epoxy over an existing epoxy floor or coating that they have. They want to know if it is okay to go over it and what they have to do to properly prepare the surface.

If the existing epoxy is a good hard solid one that is well bonded to a well prepared substrate it is possible. On the other hand if you are replacing it, what is wrong with the existing epoxy? Has the existing epoxy been badly abused by heavy sharp objects being dragged on it? Was the exiting epoxy damaged by chemicals beyond the chemical resistance of the existing epoxy? Are you just trying to upgrade the look of the existing epoxy?

You should be concerned about going over epoxy that is coming loose from the substrate. That may mean that there was poor surface preparation. It may also mean that the quality of the epoxy might not be what it should be. You need to be concerned about epoxy that is wearing out. If it is wearing out you want to know why. My company and I personally started out as installers of epoxy. I have never seen or been made aware of any of Epoxy.com coatings and/or flooring systems that have worn out have come loose from the concrete. I have seen concrete so pounded by traffic that it came loose, but our epoxy was still attached and still doing its job. That is based on over 30 years of field experience with the products.

Back to the question, “can I put epoxy over epoxy?” I always assume that the reason that the epoxy is wearing out or coming loose is that the epoxy is low quality or the installation was poorly done or both until I can prove otherwise. The way that I do that is to attempt to grind or shot blast off the existing epoxy. If after a substantial effort the epoxy cannot be removed and I cannot hear a hollow sound under the existing epoxy, I feel I have proven that the existing material is solid and well bonded.

Let’s take a moment to discuss that dreaded hollow sound above. If the flooring system or coating is very poorly bonded you will get a sound from your grinder like you are dragging a piece of paper or a piece of stone under the grinder, or rubbing stone. When you tap it with a hammer you get a hollow higher pitch noise than you get when you tap solid concrete or a solid floor over concrete.

You must be sure that the substrate is free of all types of contamination, including but not limited to oil, grease, food fats, curing compounds, sealers, laitance, dirt, wax etc. The existing epoxy left behind must be well bonded, and sanded until it has no shine. See Epoxy Surface Preparation Procedures for more information on this subject.

The beauty of trying to get it off is you are removing all the shine and getting it ready to accept another layer of epoxy. Just before I install the new layer of epoxy I solvent wipe with xylene, let it dry. Then I recommend a coat either Epoxy.com Product #899 Primer or Epoxy.com Product #12 Chemical Resistant Primer. Then install epoxy as usual. For more surface preparation and installation tips please visit or “Where to Start” page at: http://www.epoxy.com/start/default.aspx

Related Resources on Epoxy

Where to Start” page may be the best way to get you off to a quick start.

Epoxy Coatings

Epoxy Primers and Sealers

Chemical Resistant Epoxy

Epoxy Chemical Resistance Chart

www.epoxy.com

Epoxy.com Technical Support
Norm Lambert, President – Technical Support Director
352-533-2167
info@epoxy.com

 

 

 


Epoxy Cold Temperature

January 29, 2015

Installing Epoxy in Coolers and Cold Temperature

Extend Epoxy Installation Season into Winter

I have spoken on this subject here before but this time of year I get a lot of calls and emails about installing epoxy in cold temperatures. Our company started out as an installation company in Vermont. Summers are very short and winters are very long in Vermont. To stay a viable company, we had to figure ways of working through the winter.

Tenting and heating areas during the winter is time consuming and expensive. The solution is found in resin products that will set in low temperatures. The most durable and cost effective options of installation at cold temperatures is Epoxy and Methyl Methacrylate.

Cold Temperature Cure Resins can also be used as a super-fast setting Resinous Mortar or Coating at normal temperatures. Our Cold Temperature Cure Resins used at normal temperature give you quick turnaround time for small jobs, or larger jobs that require a short turn-around time.

Cold Temperatures Epoxies

Cold Temperature Cure Epoxy Resins allow installation to be done at low temperatures as low as 35°F., expanding your epoxy coating and epoxy flooring installation season. Epoxy.com Cold Temperature Cure Epoxy Resins can also be used in cold storage areas like food processing areas, where the temperature cannot be raised higher than 35° F or so. Normal cured epoxy typically requires 50°F or more.

Depending on how you mix the aggregate into the products below, they can be used as a mortar for overlays, or a grout for sealing between other hardened construction materials.

Commonly Used Cold Temperature epoxies

Product #1 Cold Temperature Cure Epoxy Coating is 100% solids and specially formulated coatings for cold temperature applications. Cold Temperature Epoxy Coating #1 is able to cure at temperatures as low as 35°F. It is has Zero (0) VOCs. Since it has no VOCs, it has no solvent so it meets the strictest possible standard for a low VOC coating. It is often used in coolers and food preparation areas that require constant low temperatures. Product #1 Cold Temperature Cure Epoxy Coating is also frequently used in room temperature applications to meet super-fast cure, limited shutdown needs.

Product #10 Cold Temperature Curing Epoxy Mortar Resin – This product has a low modulus of elasticity (flexibility) and is Low Viscosity. The low viscosity allows heavy loading of the right fillers. The heavy filler loading helps not only to save money, but helps to maintain better thermal coefficient with respect to concrete and steel. The low modulus of elasticity prevents it from being brittle making it less vulnerable to thermal coefficient differences. It also gives it better impact resistance.

You can find more information on cold temperature cured epoxy at: http://www.epoxy.com/EpoxyColdCured.aspx.


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