Helping homeowners better understand the installation of epoxy flooring is important to us. Knowledge is power, so we want to empower our customers with the knowledge of what a professional epoxy coating installation looks like and the potential problems that can be avoided by correct preparation.
We recorded a complete epoxy floor job from start to finish and sped up the footage to create a time-lapse of the install. You can see the footage below:
Step 1 – Grind and Resurface Concrete Substrate
This step involves grinding down the top layer of the concrete to remove any foreign materials or previous coatings. To ensure the best adhesion of the epoxy and a long-lasting flooring, the concrete needs to be freshly surfaced. You can see the industrial diamond-bit grinders we use making short work of removing the top layers of concrete.
Similar to sanding a piece of wood before applying paint, this process provides a clean, smooth surface for the epoxy resin to adhere to. During the grinding, we also remove any nicks, lumps or uneven concrete that might cause problems with the flooring later.
Notice how meticulously we go over every square inch of the floor, even using smaller equipment along edges and within cabinet areas.
Step 2 – Flooring Clean-up and Crack Filling
After grinding, a large amount of concrete dust and loose debris remains on the floor. Our crew takes great care in the cleaning and removal of all loose material on the concrete. As you can see, the surface already looks much smoother and more even. Splotches and discoloration from oils or other chemicals spilled in the garage have mostly been removed.
Once the floor surface is clean, a special concrete “caulking” or crack filler is applied to any remaining cracks that were too large to remove during the grinding phase. Our installation crew goes over the entire floor and manually fills every crack, dip, break, or any area that might cause adhesion problems for the epoxy coating.
As you can see, half (or sometimes more) of our installation process is spent properly preparing the concrete substrate for the epoxy resin. We can’t stress this enough, correct preparation of the concrete is extremely important and can add years to the life of your epoxy flooring. Many handymen or dishonest epoxy companies cut corners here, allowing them to charge lower prices and dupe unsuspecting homeowners. Their flooring may look the same because they hide the improper surface under the epoxy coating, but 1 or 2 years later when the flooring starts coming up the homeowner is left in the position of trying to get the company to come back and fix their work after they have already been paid.
Many times, the company is no longer in business or refuses to fix it and the homeowner has to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for another company to come in and repair the floor. Don’t let this be you. It may cost a little more to install the flooring correctly the first time, but you will save money in the long run.
Step 3 – Priming the Flooring for Installation
Now comes the fun part as it all starts to come together. We install a thick primer layer that coats the whole substrate. This resin-based primer provides high adhesion with the concrete and creates a smooth, unbroken surface across the entire flooring area. All discolorations and crack fills are completely covered, giving a consistent color and solid surface to the floor. Our team manually checks all areas and edges to ensure consistent coverage across the flooring.
Step 4 – Buffing and Micro Abrasion
After the primer has dried, our install crew buffs the surface with fine sandpaper-like pads. This lightly abrades the coating with millions of tiny scratches that creates a better surface for the next layer to adhere to. This is another area where some companies may cut corners, preferring to skip this step for a faster, cheaper install.Read More