Epoxy flooring is an excellent choice for your home or commercial space. It has several benefits over other flooring options, including stain resistance and durability. However, many factors influence the lifespan of an epoxy floor, and one common question that arises is, "How long does an epoxy floor last?"
Epoxy floors can last many years. The lifespan comes down to the quality of preparation, products used and installation process initially then how well you maintain your asset thereafter.
If you are tempted to save a few dollars and install the floor yourself instead of using an epoxy flooring specialist, it will likely cost you more in the long run.
Factor 1 - Surface Preparation
The way your substrate is prepared before finishing with the epoxy coating will have a significant impact on the floor's quality and longevity.
At Tough Floors, our installers have extensive experience with preparing concrete and other suitable substrates using the following process:
- Assess the state of the floor and ensure it is structurally sound
- Patch holes and cracks with appropriate products. Make recommendations on other possible problematic areas that need to be addressed
- Use the correct type of preparation, mostly diamond grinding, a process that is just far superior to the environmentally harsh acid etching. Concrete has a layer on top called laitance. It’s the same ‘crust’ that you’ll see when thickened cream gets left out for long enough. The goal of preparation is to remove this layer so that the resin has something to adhere to, which in our case, is mostly pure concrete.
However, when acid etching is adopted as a preparation method, the acids you use can be very different in their ability to do the work. The acid can also ‘miss’ getting to crucial areas. For example, an important area in your garage where the tyres sit when parked. Miss this area and your coating will likely de-bond over time and leave you an issue. Diamond grinding, particularly, takes the guesswork out of proper preparation.
- Meticulously clean the floor of dust to ensure the epoxy adheres as strongly as it can
Factor 2 - Exposure to Sunlight
Exposure to UV light can cause discolouration in some instances.
The most susceptible colours to UV discolouration are white and light grey. To put this simply, although you may have a UV ‘stable’ protective top coat, it’s the epoxy base coat that is most prone to damage, breaking down and weathering.
To date, there is no UV stabilising component to epoxy resins. The ‘poly’ group of products including polyurethane, polyaspartic and polyurea all offer forms of UV protection. These are typically your top protective coats that offer greater resilience and durability.
However, epoxy can be put down quite thick. The poly range cannot be put down thick as it will bubble and react poorly. This is part of the reason the two resins combine to create an ideal flooring system.
The top coat is like a sunscreen for your skin and depending on the colour or shade underneath, the ‘sun burning’ effect will be the greatest with ‘fairer’ shades.
Blacks and dark grey base coats are deemed pretty good with UV penetration but there are no colours like the browns, fawns, beiges etc that are almost pre-yellowed.
At this stage, it is to be highlighted the term that I have used above which is ‘UV stable’ and what it means. It applies to the analogy of the sunscreen. The whole market uses this term like it is the solution but, in outdoor areas, there is much more detail to work through.
All coatings break down, weather and degrade. The degree to how they weather depends on numerous variables including conditions, how much exposure, climate and the deeply secretive and sometimes undisclosed products within the products. It also depends on the product used.
Some may bubble, and some may turn a whitish colour so they all have their characteristics.
Factor 3 - Thickness and Quality of the Epoxy Coating
Epoxies are not created equal. The thickness of various styles of epoxy will have a vastly different outcome with wearability. Keep in mind that when an epoxy system is recommended for your area, it is done so with the term ‘fit for purpose’ in mind.
One area might be okay with a water-based coating because it is for foot traffic only. Other areas may require something more robust and commercial heavily used areas may require a thicker ‘wear’ coat, such as a butcher or commercial kitchen.
The thickness will impact how long it will take to dry after application and to a reasonable extent, the life of the floor. To achieve a thicker and stronger finish, we mostly use a 100% solid epoxy product that doesn’t include any water or solvents, just resin and hardener. Our solid epoxy product provides a thicker and stronger finish than other products. What this means to you is that what is put on the floor stays on the floor. No evaporation, same thickness when dry as it is when installed.
Factor 4 - Maintaining your Epoxy Floor
How you care for your epoxy floor will have an impact on its lifespan. Determining how often you should clean your epoxy floor, and the best method for cleaning it will depend on its location (residential or commercial), traffic levels, equipment usage and spills.
We recommend a quick sweep daily and a deeper clean every week with a soft mop with warm soapy detergent. Avoid harsh chemicals, bleaches, rough pads, or brushes that can create abrasions and wear away topcoats or sealers over time. Once we have installed your floor, we will provide you with recommendations for products and processes to maintain your floor properly.
Hiring a professional
Engaging with a professional is the only way to ensure your floor is completed correctly and with high-quality products that are also safe for the environment.
We have years of experience delivering exceptional epoxy flooring through proven and tested processes. In addition, our supplier partnership and flooring network ensure we are using only the best products. As we manage our business using the principles of continuous improvement and innovation, we keep all our installers trained and up to date with the latest product developments and innovations.
Interested in having an epoxy floor installed at your place?
If you're ready to find out more about having us create a beautiful and durable epoxy flooring solution, get in touch now for friendly and prompt service and a no-surprises quote.
At Tough Floors, we have the experience and expertise needed to ensure perfect floor preparation, so you enjoy your new epoxy flooring and its qualities as long as possible. Our service areas include Noosa North Shore, Tewantin, Eumundi, Yandina, Palmwoods, Sippy Downs, then through Brisbane to as far as Gatton, Beaudesert, Burleigh Heads, Kingscliff, Brunswick Heads Byron Bay.
Give us a call today on 1300 882 875 and tell us how we can help!