Understanding the Different Types of Epoxy Floor Coating in Chicago

When contemplating on the use of epoxy floor coating, it is only natural for Chicago homeowners to consider the cheaper alternatives. However, those who do must have awareness that for this advanced flooring system to cost less, the most likely trade-off for reducing the cost is by using the type of epoxy floor coating that is of a lesser grade. Actually, there are three types of epoxy paint used as floor coating: the 100% solids, the water-based and the solvent-based.

The 100% Solids Epoxy Floor Coating – This is the most durable type of epoxy material in a flooring system, which professional installers use and recommend. This type of floor coating can last up to 20 years, even when subjected to heavy human traffic or in surfaces that require protection against hot tire marks, possible abrasions and from chemical reactions of chemically potent substances. Professional installers make use of hardeners that will allow the epoxy floor coating to dry up into solid form, as it bonds with the concrete substrate.

A 100% solid epoxy floor coating can achieve a layer as thick as two millimeters but is sensitive to temperature. Thus, expert installers make it a point to ascertain if there is vapor-migration in the inner concrete, before this type of epoxy floor coating is applied. In Chicago, its complete application requires preparation of the inner concrete slab and the application of a topcoat finishing to seal-in the bond between the substrate and the first layer of epoxy material. Professional Chicago installers call the entire process as epoxy flooring system.

The Water-Based Epoxy Floor Coating – is more of a primer and a sealer, since it spreads out thinly and does not possess the same degree of durability and resistance as the 100% solids used in a complete flooring system. This is the type of epoxy floor coating included in a do-it-yourself kit touted as more user-friendly than that of the 100% solids. Due to its ability to penetrate into porous surfaces, its use as a primer or sealer over degreased concrete surface, works well enough. As such, it gives a concrete surface a smooth and glossy finish with protective capabilities against stains, abrasion and chemical reactions.

However, there is no guarantee that all these qualities will last long enough to furnish such benefits within the same duration as that of the 100% solids epoxy flooring system. The only advantage of a water-based epoxy floor coating over the latter is its lower cost, which allows homeowners to apply another layer of epoxy floor paint as frequently as needed.

The Solvent-Based Epoxy Floor Coating – As its name implies, this type of epoxy floor coating makes use of solvents when used as floor sealer and primer, similar to the water-based type. Solvent-based epoxy contains solids ranging from 30 to 70 percent; thus achieving only a thin layer. Moreover, its very nature as a solvent-based epoxy floor coating makes it a less favorable choice, as the amount and/or type of solvent used are often non-compliant with the Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) regulations. Of the three types of epoxy floor coating, Chicago installers and DIY users, rarely include the solvent-based type even as a primer or sealer in an epoxy flooring system.