The Pros and Cons of Epoxy Floors
ArmourFlo specialists enjoy helping our customers make informed decisions about their flooring solutions, and this post offers the essential pros and cons of epoxy floors for residential and commercial use. No flooring system is perfect, but the advantages of epoxy resin for industrial and commercial facilities and residential use outnumber those of other flooring types. Epoxy floor coatings are a leading floor solution for contractors, architects, facility managers, and residential property owners.
Pro: A Cost-Saving Flooring System
When you consider the pros and cons of epoxy floors, epoxy floor coatings have a low cost per square foot compared to many other forms of flooring. The epoxy system can be installed directly over existing concrete without installing a separate floor system. While the initial cost of epoxy is higher than some alternatives like concrete polishing, epoxy flooring has a low lifecycle cost compared to other solutions. The replacement cost is lower because the concrete substrate does not need to be prepared, and when the epoxy topcoat eventually wears out, there is a minimal cost to apply a new topcoat.
Pro: Excellent Damage Resistance
Commercial epoxy floor coatings are customized to meet high industry safety standards, and be highly resistant to most hazards, including cleaners, gas, oil, transmission fluid, impact, weight, and even most industrial chemicals. Along with resisting damage from chemicals, an epoxy coating is water-resistant and heat-resistant. It won’t crack, peel, or erode like laminate, wood, or other flooring types.
Additionally, epoxy flooring has many options for added top coatings (such as urethane) that increase its strength and durability. As a result, an epoxy floor is an excellent choice for residential areas and high-demand environments like auto shops, factories, labs, medical facilities, and retail stores.
Pro: Fire Resistance
Epoxy can withstand temperatures below 0° and over 140° Fahrenheit and is resistant to fire damage, making epoxy an excellent choice for indoor and outdoor use.
Pro: Long Durability
Epoxy’s resilience is a big selling point for facility managers, business owners, and homeowners who want a low-cost and sustained flooring solution. Epoxy basement floor coatings can easily last decades, while professional commercial epoxy floor coatings can last for 7 to 20+ years, depending on how they are customized. Unfortunately, industrial epoxy flooring is often exposed to frequent vehicle traffic, chemicals, and heavy loads, making it more susceptible to having the lowest lifespan. Still, these factors can be offset with unique customizations in the flooring solution.
You can achieve the precise look you want with epoxy floor coatings. Epoxy flooring can include unique and beautiful effects like flake flooring, geometric patterns, logos, metallic epoxy flooring, and almost limitless color options. You can customize epoxy flooring with the design or pattern of your choice, which makes it an ideal solution for home basements, garages, retail stores, and shopping centers. Epoxy striping and warnings also improve safety and foot traffic in commercial and industrial properties.
Con: Difficulty Adhering in Moist Environments
An epoxy basement floor is an economical solution for home flooring because it’s seamless, easy to clean, attractive, and resists moisture. The basement concrete slab needs to be appropriately dried and prepared so the epoxy should adhere correctly. Unfortunately, basements with moisture problems provide difficulty. The epoxy may lift off the floor in basements with chronic moisture issues.
Con: Slippery Without Non-Slip Additive
Epoxy flooring isn’t as slippery as it looks. The texture can be easily customized by including a skid-resistant additive to the topcoat that makes the floor very safe, even wet. However, epoxy flooring can become very slippery when wet without a nonslip additive, especially with oil spills.
Con: Temporary Application Fumes
During the epoxy application process, wet epoxy gives off an odor similar to wet paint for the first eight hours. Still, any smell disappears once the epoxy fully cures after 5-8 days. Thoroughly ventilate the area receiving an epoxy application to protect any persons near the space from fumes.
Con: Curing Time
Epoxy floor applications usually take 8-24 hours to dry after installation, and we complete most flake and solid color epoxy installations within the same day. Installation of epoxy flooring systems takes 3-7 days to cure completely, depending on the type of epoxy coating and the intensity of the project. However, after eight hours, foot traffic can occur from applying epoxy in smaller residential areas such as garages and basements. Handcrafted metallic epoxy can take 3-5 days to install. The curing time can be an inconvenience if applying the epoxy flooring inside the home or business where there may typically be much foot traffic or if you are located in a humid climate, as this will increase drying time.
What questions do you have after reading the pros and cons of epoxy floors? Contact us today to discuss your needs.
A Basement Epoxy Floor for Better Living
A water-resilient, anti-bacterial basement epoxy floor prevents and protects your basement and contributes to making it a brighter, better living place that is easy to clean and improves wellness. Basements are notorious for being cold, damp, dark, and prone to flooding. These conditions lead to mold, bacteria, health hazards, and potentially significant property damage that can be costly.
You can install different types of epoxy floors, and they all meet the highest health and safety requirements, remain easy to clean, and will last a lifetime. ArmourFlo Flooring in Louisville will install a custom basement epoxy floor according to your specifications. As a specialized floor contractor in Louisville, we help you select a custom floor according to:
- Abrasion- and impact-resistance
- Speed of installation
- Style and color
- Fade resistance
- Light reflectivity
Other flooring types, such as vinyl tile, ceramic tile, and carpet, fall short compared to basement epoxy floors. Tile and carpet deteriorate with time, and house mold, mildew, and bacteria, which are difficult to clean. Our customers often request that we remove old tile and carpet from properties and install epoxy flooring because it is resilient, looks fantastic, and provides a seamless surface that water and bacteria cannot penetrate.
There are three main types of epoxy flooring.
Metallic epoxy can increase the design opportunity of your basement area because it is handcrafted and specially customized to create finishes that mimic the appearance of clouds, waves, lava, and marble. A metallic epoxy coating is beautiful and not very common as it requires professional expertise. However, your guests will be impressed. Installation time depends on the space size, but generally, installation takes 3-5 days, and the cost per square foot for professional installation is $7-12. Learn more about metallic epoxy.
In flake epoxy floors, colored vinyl chips are blended with epoxy, creating a random, cheery design. Customers choose their flake colors to achieve the look they want. ArmourFlo specialists install epoxy flake flooring in one day, which our customers enjoy, and the cost per square foot is $6-8. Flake flooring is also an ideal choice for pet owners as the texture can be customized, and it is incredibly hygienic. We have installed many epoxy flake floors for animal shelters and hospitals.
Solid Color Epoxy
ArmourFlo solid color epoxy flooring offers superior performance and durability versus epoxy coating kits found in retail stores. Our professional-grade materials and installation (1-2 days) assure your floor will last decades with minimal long-term maintenance. The result is a very cost-saving floor in the long run, as the installation cost averages $5 per square foot, and it only requires refinishing the topcoat, which can last ten years.
Cleaning Your Basement Epoxy Floor is Easy
One of the top features of epoxy floor systems is the simplistic and almost carefree maintenance they offer. Basement epoxy is easier to maintain than traditional flooring. First, remove dirt and debris from the epoxy’s surface with a soft bristle broom or a dust mop. After sweeping or dust mopping the epoxy floor, use a wet mop with a PH neutral cleaner. That’s it!
Use Gentle Cleaners on Your Epoxy Flooring
- Do not use dry, abrasive cleaners
- Never use acidic cleaners
- Wipe minor spills with paper towels or rags
- Use TSP to remove tough stains
Many customers call us to redo their concrete floor coating because the previous contractor or the customer did not install it the first time correctly. ArmourFlo specialists correctly repair and prepare your concrete slab before installing our highest-quality epoxy. A basement epoxy floor by ArmourFlo comes with two guarantees:
- We guarantee you will be satisfied with your installation.
- Your floor comes with a lifetime guarantee where we will fix any unexpected cracks or issues at no charge.
If you are a determined DIYer and want to install your floor yourself, contact us for our superior, professional-grade materials that you will not find at a big box or retail store. AmourFlo’s industry-leading materials and guidance will help you install a floor that lasts a lifetime with simple maintenance. Call us today, and we will walk you through the process of everything you need to purchase and do to install a beautiful custom floor.
The Best Commercial Kitchen Flooring
Commercial Kitchen Flooring That Lasts
Commercial kitchen flooring takes a daily beating from spills, impacts, heavy loads, and harsh chemicals. In addition, porous flooring, such as grout and tile flooring, can allow liquids to seep through to the substrate, which causes damage and is a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and mildew.
Seamless commercial kitchen flooring such as ArmourFlo epoxy or urethane cement flooring eliminates the opportunity for bacteria, mold, and mildew to grow while staying incredibly durable and easy to sanitize.
ArmourFlo has installed many commercial kitchen floors for restaurants and other facilities that must adhere to strict USDA, OSHA and FDA guidelines. As a result, our flooring is a go-to choice for meeting the highest health and safety standards and saves companies money due to minimal maintenance needed in the long term. ArmourFlo flooring is ideal for food and beverage areas such as:
- Commercial kitchens
- Freezers and cold storage
- Processing areas
- Warehouses and food storage
- Breweries and Wineries
- Packaging facilities
Here’s Why businesses choose ArmourFlo commercial kitchen flooring:
- Certified ArmourFlo flooring specialists use industry-leading commercial flooring materials. Our experts have the experience and knowledge to correctly use the best materials for installing kitchen flooring.
- ArmourFlo floor experts in Louisville ensure you maintain a sanitary, hygienic kitchen environment for your business and industry. Now, more than ever, restaurants and food processing environments have to achieve the highest levels of safety and wellness. Flooring includes proper slope and coving to be easily cleaned and quickly sanitized with minimal interference or downtime.
- Louisville foodservice businesses know that food preparation and processing exposes their kitchen flooring to thorough washing, hot spills, and harsh cleaners. Our epoxy and urethane cement floors can withstand heat up to 200 degrees F., making them the best choice for maximum thermal shock resistance.
- Harsh chemical cleaners and degreasers will not affect the excellent chemical resistance of ArmourFlo floors. Our protective coatings last years and can be conveniently reapplied when necessary to keep your commercial kitchen floor in top condition.
- Slip-resistance, a top safety concern for our commercial customers, keeps employees safe. Choices include light to aggressive texture, customized according to each business’s needs. Waitstaff, cooks, and other employees can move quickly in and out of the kitchen, while the seamless surface allows for easy sanitizing.
- ArmourFlo commercial kitchen floors in Louisville provide heavy-duty durability to withstand heavy foot traffic, abuse from dollies, carts, equipment, hot oil exposure, and spills. Our epoxy and urethane cement flooring offers superior impact and abrasion resistance.
- Low Odor Application of epoxy and urethane cement flooring avoids strong solvent odors creating issues for customers and staff in operational areas. ArmourFlo flooring provides low odor and quick application solutions.
- ArmourFlo floors are a custom, attractive solution. A restaurant floor needs to be visually appealing as well, and our custom solutions offer a variety of colors and blends to create a more aesthetically appealing commercial kitchen floor.
- ArmourFlo epoxy and urethane cement floors provide exceptional moisture resistance. In commercial kitchens, moisture comes from sources within the kitchen itself and moisture vapor transmission from the concrete below.
- ArmourFlo specialists install the correct floor sloping and water drainage for commercial kitchens. Trowel applied Water Based Cement Urethane Mortar formulations are available for use when there is a need to pitch the kitchen floor toward a drain. Sloped flooring can help prevent pooling water and allow easier cleaning in commercial kitchen areas.
- Easy repair with zero to minimal shutdown time. Quick repairs are sometimes necessary on restaurant and commercial kitchen floors, which can be conveniently installed without disrupting operations.
- ArmourFlo urethane cement systems can be installed in wet and cold environments. Due to the lack of temperature restrictions for urethane cement, we provide this flooring for walk-in coolers and freezers with zero to minimal inconvenience to your operations.
Are you looking to install a commercial kitchen floor? Contact ArmourFlo today to discuss your needs and schedule an in-person quote.
Guide To Polished Concrete Floors
Polished Concrete Flooring Process
Heavy-duty polishing machines equipped with diamond-impregnated disks create polished concrete floors through a multistep process. Polishing machines gradually grind down concrete surfaces with increasingly minor cuts to the desired shine and smoothness. ArmourFlo expert floor installers offer options to choose the desired level of sheen – from satin to high-gloss — that meets your maintenance and aesthetic requirements. You have limitless possibilities with a polished concrete floor due to the combination of color varieties, patterns, and styles.
Before polishing a floor, ArmourFlo specialists will remove old floor coatings, properly seal cracks and joints, and repair any damage to the existing floor. ArmourFlo specialists can install a new concrete floor if specified. Then, we treat the floor with a chemical densifier. Our concrete floor densifier fills any gaps or natural holes in the material. The densifier chemically reacts with the surface, simultaneously penetrating any open areas while hardening the surface. Once the chemical densifier has been applied and dry, ArmourFlo installers begin the polishing and vacuuming process, similar to sanding wood. One starts with a lower grit and progresses to a higher grit for smoothness. In the end, applying a polish guard can increase the stain and chemical resistance to nearly 100%.
Polished Concrete Environmental Advantages
Polished concrete floors will improve your house’s air quality and increase your health in general. Indoor air pollution is among the top five environmental dangers experienced by people due to an average of ninety percent of our time spent indoors. Polished concrete helps eliminate allergens, dust, and more.
Many flooring products can give off harsh chemical odors and dramatically affect people sensitive to chemicals. Some flooring, such as synthetic carpeting, contains VOCs, also known as volatile organic compounds. These dangerous materials often are accompanied by the adhesives or padding used in the carpet installation process. Even if you do not have carpet, some of the adhesives used under linoleum or vinyl sheets can also house volatile organic compounds.
Polished concrete is a natural green flooring alternative that uses material fundamental to every construction project and that gives off no VOCs, and any chemicals used in the process are VOC compliant. Adding extra flooring material to a project results in more significant expenditures and environmental concerns. Polishing existing concrete reduces the environmental impact and costs associated with flooring.
Polished concrete also lowers energy costs long-term. Reflective concrete brightens interior spaces, which reduces the need for artificial lighting. The thermal mass of concrete also stays cooler, reducing energy use. In addition, easy maintenance eliminates the need for costly cleaning, repair, or replacement, further decreasing the environmental footprint.
Types of Concrete Floor Polishes
Polishing can expose more or less aggregate in the concrete, enhancing its natural beauty. The term aggregate refers to a “broad category of coarse to medium-grained particulate material used in construction, including sand, gravel, crushed stone, slag, recycled concrete, and geosynthetic aggregates.” For example, a Cream Polish affects the topmost layer of the concrete. As a result, it is the smoothest and most reliable concrete polish finish as it readily accepts dyes and stains with higher consistency than other polishes to produce the best coloring. A Salt and Pepper Polish further exposes sand or fine aggregates in the concrete, presenting more variation in the floor’s appearance. Finally, an Aggregate Polish goes further and exposes larger aggregates in the concrete for a more dramatic design effect.
Staining Polished Concrete
Stained concrete offers a visual impact in any space. So often, businesses and institutions choose to color stain a concrete floor to demarcate an area and have it stand out. Professionally installed stains can produce antiqued or varied effects or resemble the look of earthy elements like tanned leather and natural stone. Stains never peel, fade, or chip once the chemical reaction is complete. Stained concrete is a long-lasting color solution that is also low maintenance, safe, hygienic, cost-saving, and beautiful.
Polished Concrete that is Scored
Scored polished concrete floors display distinctive designs and patterns made by cutting a series of grooves into the concrete. Scoring concrete is done on a structurally stable slab indoors or outdoors and new or old concrete.
Scoring options include radial lines, diamonds, stars, borders, rectangles, and other shapes. Once the scoring is complete, the floor can be stained with different colors. Our most common design in scored concrete is a grid pattern, but custom designs like company logos or intricate, hand-scored configurations are growing in popularity.
Benefits of Polishing Your Concrete Floor
1. Cost savings: Using the slab on grade as the finished floor surface is more cost-effective, maintenance costs are lower
2. More resistant to high foot traffic: Polished concrete surfaces are tightly compacted, eliminating the labor to maintain sheen.
3. Increased slip resistance: Polished concrete, though very shiny, does not create a slippery floor. The coefficient of friction increases compared to ordinary concrete by the mechanical grinding and flattening on the floor.
4. Meet or exceed OSHA standards for floors
5. Less maintenance and longer service life: Polished floors are easy to clean, requiring only occasional damp mopping. They also eliminate the need for messy waxes or coatings and the associated labor, time, and expense to apply them. The glossy surface of polished concrete resists the marks of forklift truck tires and staining from oil and chemical spills.
6. Resistant to moisture transmission issues: Polished concrete allows the floor to breathe and eliminates issues that arise with other flooring materials that seal off the concrete, such as tile, etc.
7. High light reflectivity: Important for office building floors, hotels, restaurants, and other public facilities that want to project a bright, clean, professional image. It also saves energy by reducing artificial lighting requirements
8. A sustainable flooring alternative: Polished concrete does not require hazardous coatings, cleaners, or adhesives and typically contains no VOCs, making it friendly for USBG LEED projects.
9. Reduced tire wear: Natural concrete’s uneven, abrasive texture causes tires to wear. ArmourFlo polished concrete floors make the entire surface smooth without abrasion.
10. Minimal production shutdown: Dry-mechanically polished concrete can be used immediately after the process is complete. It is a clean process without toxic or hazardous chemicals, and floors can often be serviced while a plant is in full production.
11. No dusting: Unpolished concrete experiences particles of dust pushed to the surface through hydrostatic pressure, which can cause high maintenance costs. Polished concrete flooring eliminates maintenance costs.
Ready for a polished concrete floor in your home, business, or institution?
Give us a call to speak with an ArmourFlo Specialist at (502) 208-4067.
Metallic Epoxy Flooring Essential Guide
Metallic Epoxy Floors for Homes and Businesses
Metallic epoxy flooring provides a pearlescent, seamless, and glass-like finish and can contain any color combination to complement your interior design. It is excellent for hiding concrete blemishes, can be installed to be slip-resistant, and includes industrial-grade protection, making it one of the most resilient cosmetic epoxy concrete flooring options on the market. Metallic epoxy floors are growing in popularity, and their distinctive, one-of-a-kind designs will last a lifetime if installed correctly by experienced flooring experts.
What Is Metallic Epoxy Flooring?
Due to its complexity, a metallic epoxy floor installation requires a creative flooring specialist to turn your dream floor into a reality. Metallic epoxy flooring is a unique combination of different light-reflective aggregate blends swirled together during application. Aggregate powder blends consist of nanoparticles that have been coated with organic or inorganic pigments to produce an iridescent appearance. An epoxy flooring specialist should work with you in advance to plan the project details to minimize disruption to your daily routine.
A flooring expert will manipulate the pigments before the epoxy fully cures, forming reflective patterns that scatter light in beautiful ways according to the look you want. It is also sprayed with alcohol to give your floor a unique, shiny, 3D appearance. Metallic epoxy flooring is a popular decorative option within residential spaces, showrooms, retail establishments, and lobbies in commercial and institutional enterprises.
Metallic Epoxy Floor Installation
Proper metallic epoxy floor installation consists of numerous steps and usually takes 1-7 days, depending on your project’s size. Decorative floor designs, such as a metallic finish, are applied by hand and have a longer completion time. A flooring expert should first correctly prepare the concrete surface, which includes a series of steps. They test it for previous applications, sand the surface with equipment such as a CPS machine with 25 grit metal diamonds, fill all joints and cracks, and clean it thoroughly. These steps ensure optimum adherence of coatings to the concrete surface, even application, and long-lasting performance.
Your flooring specialist first applies the base coat during the application process, which is usually a dark, solid color that exaggerates the metallic effect. Once the base coat is complete, the metallic epoxy is hand-crafted according to design specifications. The final texture and application method becomes an art form, and an experienced, creative metallic epoxy installer will produce a long-lasting quality result.
The epoxy will cure for a minimum of 24 hours. Once cured, epoxy flooring produces polymer structures that give it tremendous strength and resistance to spills and abrasion. The result is a seamless, exceptionally hygienic, easy-to-clean, and odorless floor that is incredibly wear-resistant while meeting the highest safety standards.
Metallic Epoxy Floor Cost
A metallic epoxy floor is the most labor-intensive epoxy floor and requires a high level of technical experience to achieve the right aesthetic look. It is the most time-consuming due to its hand-crafted result and the most expensive per square foot. An average range of cost per square foot will fall between $8-$12 for a metallic epoxy floor.
There are a series of factors to consider to calculate the cost of your metallic epoxy floor project. Calculating floor area size is the first task. Measure the length of the floor space, and multiply it times the width of the floor space to get the square footage. Often, property owners will want to have a contractor measure their room which isn’t necessary.
A professional epoxy floor installation can require heavy equipment, and reaching a more challenging space can require more labor and expense. Easy access to a floor area is ideal, but often this isn’t possible in older properties. Usually, a basement epoxy floor in an older property will increase your cost slightly. Older houses tend to have longer and narrower staircases that lead to a basement, requiring extra labor (and cost) to carry the equipment and materials to avoid accidental damage and complete the project on time.
Before applying an epoxy floor coating, professional flooring specialists should assess the existing surface thoroughly. If the concrete surface is in poor condition, installers will need more time to fix all damage to ensure the proper installation of an epoxy floor. More time for preparation means a higher cost for you. For example, if the concrete is old, they should test the surface for previous epoxy layers or other products applied over the years, patch and repair all cracks and chips, and remove all grease. Correctly preparing the concrete surface before applying the coatings ensures the new metallic epoxy floor will last a lifetime.
Metallic Epoxy Floor Benefits
Metallic epoxy flooring provides superior functionality with an impressive look.
- It is conveniently easy to clean and stays hygienic because it doesn’t have seams to harbor bacteria.
- Design possibilities are limitless. There is an infinite amount of color and design combinations available to create an attention-grabbing floor.
- It is very safe due to its non-slip surface. A metallic epoxy floor may appear slippery, but its slip-resistant features make it an ideal choice for spaces with consistent foot traffic.
- It is incredibly durable with little maintenance. If an object would happen to fall and damage the floor, an experienced epoxy floor professional can most often repair it for a nominal cost.
- It makes an unforgettable first impression. Each metallic epoxy floor is custom, and its light-reflectivity noticeably brightens up an interior.
Metallic Epoxy Floor Professionals
Are you interested in transforming your existing floor to be better for guests, entertaining, and maintenance?
Contact an ArmourFlo flooring specialist for a free quote. We discuss your requirements in detail and then explain the benefits and drawbacks of multiple products and manufacturers.
We work with industry-leading products, have technical expertise, and substantial knowledge in all of the required steps to produce a fantastic metallic epoxy floor solution that endures.