When your house is ready to be remodeled, one of the things to consider is redoing the floors. Many people will recommend and start thinking about using epoxy to ensure that the floor is as smooth as possible, but what are the pros, cons, and costs of having epoxy?
Epoxy floors are worth the money; they:
- can last for about ten years
- have a smooth finish that can handle much more damage than other floors
- are low maintenance
The cons of having epoxy floors are that they:
- are slippery when wet and
- can be a lot of work if replacement is needed
Before you start pouring you will need to know a lot about using epoxy on floors and be aware of the limitations. Knowing the pros and cons of using epoxy for your floor will mean you are not surprised when the epoxy behaves in a way you do not expect.
Is Epoxy Floors Worth It?
In the greater scheme of things, epoxy is worth it if you have a larger floor area to cover and know the area will be used for several things. Perfect spots to have epoxy flooring are:
- dance floors
- shop floors
- garage floors
However, epoxy floors are just temporary solutions in locations such as:
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- dining rooms
- any other normal room in a house
They can be extremely cold, but many people are more comfortable when walking with bare feet on:
We always recommend that you try different types of epoxies, with many people filling their garages with epoxy floors that are thicker specifically to help with weight and working. However, the epoxy floors used in most modern homes are also much thinner than some older floors, making them vulnerable.
How Long Do Epoxy Floors Last?
When used in a workshop or warehouse, epoxy floors last between five to seven years. Epoxy floors used in garages and other residential areas easily last over ten years. In residential properties, it is not damage done to the floor that hurts the epoxy, it is the shifting of the floor underneath.
Larger areas that are epoxied that have vehicles and people constantly moving on it will wear through the flooring much faster. Further, when the epoxy does start being damaged, most companies just pour on more epoxy to create a fresh layer over the old epoxy.
However, in residential properties where only one car is stored in the garage, or the only traffic on the floor is human feet, the epoxy lasts. The natural shifting of concrete and wood causes the epoxy to crack rather than the epoxy failing on its own.
Do Epoxy Floors Scratch Easily?
Since epoxy is a chemically hardened resin covering the entire floor, it does not scratch easily, and can’t be broken with a hammer. Further, if the mixture is made right, the epoxy flooring will be slightly flexible, helping it last longer.
We recommend doing the research for the area you are living in to see if an epoxy floor would work or not. Many people quickly find out that epoxy won’t work because small tremors can cause them to crack over time.
However, there are also instances where a thick layer of epoxy flooring can help to seal cracked concrete floors and keep everything nice and flat. In these instances, you can rest assured that it won’t simply get scratched even if you drop a sword on the floor because it is much too hard.
How Much Does Epoxy Cost When Compared To Other Floorings?
When working with epoxy, there are several things to learn, with the most important thing being the total cost of using it. We’ve broken it down into three different areas where epoxy is used, to ensure that you have all the information.
When epoxying warehouses or larger shops, you will have to rely on the total costs that the contractors are giving you. Applying epoxy to these larger areas on your own will be too expensive and time-consuming, as you would need to buy special tools that you are only going to use once.
#1: Epoxying Garage Floors
The most common space that homeowners epoxy without the help of a professional is the garage. Many people have double garages that need a thin layer of epoxy to protect them and look much cleaner than before.
This will cost around $5.50 per square foot, with the costs going down the larger the garage is. We usually recommend applying the epoxy to the entire garage floor, saving money by not wasting epoxy in the bucket.
Read my article about 9 reasons garage floor coatings are worth it!
#2: Epoxying Home Floors
Home floors are the smallest spaces inside that usually get epoxied. Many people start in the bathrooms to give them an easy-to-clean surface.
NOTE: Customized epoxy floors have become popular with many homeowners.
The average cost of applying epoxy to the inside of a home is around $8 per square foot, as the chances are high that you won’t go through the entire supply. There will likely be leftover epoxy that may go bad.
#3: Epoxying Outside
Applying epoxy to outside surfaces has become a quick and easy way to get the outside looking as good and clean as possible. With an average cost of only around $4 per square foot, the larger the area you apply epoxy to, the lower the price per square foot.
We always recommend that you consider the sun’s effect on the epoxy when applying it outside. Many clear epoxies turn yellow as they become sun-bleached, requiring the removal of the previous layer of epoxy before applying a new one.
What Are The Pros Of Epoxy Flooring?
Now that we know the costs of applying epoxy, we can start looking at all of the benefits of using epoxy flooring. Many people specifically use epoxy because of their positive past experiences.
We always recommend having everything ready and knowing exactly what it is you are getting into. The pros and cons of using epoxy are usually the same length, which means that you need to know what you will be getting before simply starting the process.
#1: Epoxy Appearance
The biggest thing that epoxy allows people to do is completely customize the appearance of their floors, and create a unique and custom mix. Unlike most other floor types, you can make massive changes to epoxy floors without spending a significant amount of money.
The appearance can be influenced by:
- paint chips
- plastic chips
- mixing colors
- adding more epoxy
- spreading everything around
- layering things properly
Epoxy is one of the easiest to customize flooring on the market, with many people preferring to use it when they want to be creative.
#2: Resistance of Epoxy Flooring
Almost every type of epoxy flooring on the market is amazingly durable, with many allowing you to put machines on them that weigh several tons. One of the advantages of using epoxy is that it can handle a lot of weight while also being resistant to most damage.
With this, you can use epoxy to protect almost any type of floor, and it will ensure that your garage or workshop floor stays good for much longer. We always recommend that you consider this when getting your floor redone, whether you are choosing epoxy or something else.
#3: Epoxy is Protective
When the epoxy is poured over normal cement, it creates a protective layer from anything that can damage it. With most people specifically applying epoxy on workshop floors, they know they cannot simply damage or scratch in fear of not getting a deposit back.
When layered thick enough, the epoxy will protect the floor underneath it from the:
- any other problems
HOT TIP: We recommend using epoxy when you know you will be working with things that will damage the floor.
#4: Longevity of Epoxy
Many people mistakenly think that concrete floors will last almost forever. This is not true, and usually, the concrete will start cracking as machines are used on top. Adding a layer of epoxy will help the floor stay perfectly fine for much longer than without it.
With proper maintenance, most epoxy floors are easy to repair. All you have to do is lightly sand the top layer and then reapply fresh epoxy. This means that the floor can stay nearly perfect for as long as you are willing to take care of the epoxy and replace it.
#5: Variety of Epoxy Designs and Colors
Because epoxy is what it is, the sheer variety of designs and colors to choose from is nearly endless. If you have the required patience, you can use colored epoxy to create custom floors that look like they are painted, or you can create randomized flow patterns that spread across the floor.
What makes epoxy unique is that the cost of this variety is no more than the cost of using clear coats of epoxy. This is not the same as other custom floorings, which can be exorbitantly expensive as the design becomes more and more unique.
#6: Safety of Epoxy
The biggest pro of having epoxy floors is that they can be a lot safer than other floorings because the epoxy allows you to create shapes and surfaces that are perfect for each purpose. Many people that are running machine shops prefer epoxy because of its strength and easy-to-clean nature.
Having a smooth and flat floor makes the entire workshop significantly safer than uneven cement floors. We recommend that you make the epoxy as flat as possible for a surface that is easy to walk on.
What Are The Cons Of Epoxy Flooring?
Now that we know all the pros of having an epoxy floor, we need to look at all the cons of having them, including the negatives of the application process. Some may rely too much on epoxy floors, creating negatives for a flooring solution that is usually perfect.
We recommend understanding some of the basic negatives of using epoxy floors to be prepared for everything. Allowing you to plan in a way that prevents disappointment and pain when you need to have a project done and over with, but the floor is seemingly staying wet forever.
#1: Fumes When Applying
This is often the most overlooked thing when applying epoxy, usually because the epoxy is being applied in large and open workshops with lots of flowing air. However, epoxy is a chemical reaction between two different chemicals. It heats up, releasing many deadly fumes.
If you are applying epoxy in a closed space, you need constant fresh air moving through the space. It is preferable to wear a mask like this one from Amazon, to prevent lung damage that can cause permanent breathing problems.
#2: Epoxy Curing Times
Another problem with epoxy is that it has quite a long curing time, with even a thin layer of epoxy requiring around 12 or more hours to harden. During this process, anything that lands in the epoxy will forever be a part of it; this could be:
- literally anything
The most unfortunate stories of epoxy taking too long to cure usually involve some part of the roof or wall coming loose while the epoxy was curing. It causes a lot of headaches to have to:
- remove anything that falls on the epoxy
- sand down that part of the floor
- reapply the epoxy
#3: Slippery Epoxy Surfaces
A perfectly applied layer of epoxy on any surface will be flat and smooth, with many people agreeing that epoxy is too smooth. As soon as you walk with wet shoes or feet, epoxy can become a slippery surface that can be dangerous.
When walking on epoxied floors, be careful not to slip, especially if you are cleaning the floor. A wet epoxy floor is probably one of the slipperiest surfaces inside any building, aside from ice!
#4: Epoxy Floors are Temporary
All epoxy floors are temporary, eventually requiring a new layer to be applied, or to be removed and replaced with something else. This is something that many people mistakenly think is optional, waiting for more than ten years before doing anything to fix their floors.
However, if you regularly sand down and apply a thin layer of new epoxy, the floor will last much longer than most other floors. Many old workshops with epoxy floors are still being used because the epoxy kept everything pristine.
#5: Required Preparation for Epoxy
Despite what many think, it is faster to install a wood floor or tile floor than to apply a brand-new epoxy floor. It might be tempting to skip several of the required steps to install epoxy properly since preparation work on the floor can take over a week.
The preparation steps are to:
- block off the floor entirely
- seal the room so animals can’t get to the floor
Any dust or pockets of dust on the floor can cause a weak adhesion to the floor, so the epoxy will sit on top of the floor instead of bonding with it.
Applying epoxy to your floor can be greatly beneficial, even if you are unsure what the current floor is or how old it is. When there are cracks in your floor, epoxy will help cover them while also providing a perfectly level floor to walk on without tripping.
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