When it comes to home renovations, few things can make a statement quite like a metallic floor. Metallic epoxy floors have that undeniable elegance and contemporary flair, but they often come with a pretty hefty price tag.
In this case study, we're diving into a project where a client had a dream—to install a 115 square metre metallic epoxy floor on the lower level of their house.
We'll take a closer look at the initial project scope, a competitor's quote and the valuable lessons we can take away from this experience.
The client's initial project scope
In May, the client approached us with an exciting vision – they wanted to transform the bottom floor of the house using a metallic epoxy floor, adding luxury and a modern touch to their home.
However, our quote, which encompassed materials, labour and specialised techniques, was not accepted by the client. Instead, they chose another contractor who offered to complete the project for $18,000, which was less than our proposal.
Challenges the client faced
The client had a tough time dealing with the other contractor, mainly due to poor communication and quality problems, like streaky 'comets' in the flooring as shown in the photos below.
Even though we weren't part of their conversations, it was clear things didn't go smoothly. The client even reached out to us in tears because the contractor stopped answering their calls.
From the photos they sent us, it was clear the contractor tried to patch things up, but patching a metallic floor isn't the right solution.
The additional costs you don’t think about
Choosing a metallic epoxy floor was a big commitment for the client, not just in terms of money but also in their daily lives. They had to move out for two weeks – the first to get the floor done and the second for it to cure sufficiently for them to return.
To make it work, they had to put their furniture in a storage pod and send their dogs off to a pet facility. The accommodations and storage cost them an extra $3,000 on top of the $18,000 for the floor itself.
Opting for a metallic epoxy floor isn't just a simple makeover. It's a significant investment that calls for professionals who can manage the materials, provide precise craftsmanship and help you navigate the additional expenses involved.
How we would have done it
It all hinges on having a thorough initial consultation process.
We start by talking about the practicalities of how people will move around during the project and what we can do to keep everyone safe. This ensures the health of occupants and reduces disruptions.
We also look at the details of environmental control because it's key to achieving a floor with minimal imperfections. But it’s not all technical – it’s about style too. We dig into the colours and finishes our clients want to make sure their space is a true reflection of their taste. It becomes a talking piece.
It's a thorough process that concludes we're on the same page and gives our clients exactly what they're dreaming of.
Assessing a space for a metallic epoxy floor is a thorough process, and it involves considering a range of aspects to ensure we can deliver the best results for your area. Our approach is designed to prevent the issues that our clients face.
Here's how our process would have helped the client avoid those problems:
- Assess the area's suitability for our metallic epoxy floor system.
- Emphasise the importance of avoiding the application of this system in garages, unless they're underground or house unique show cars. To keep the desired look of what metallic floors are, you don’t add slip resistance. What we recommend is for people to remove their shoes, a generous use of mats, particularly at entrances and regular cleaning.
- Consider floor traffic and factors like age, disabilities, special vehicles, pets and children, keeping safety in mind.
- Discuss the finish the client would like, whether it's a soft blend or a striking look with multiple colours.
- Explore colour choices while considering their susceptibility to UV exposure, reflections and colour characteristics. Epoxy can be affected by UV radiation, which can lead to colour changes and surface deterioration. We also discuss the use of UV-resistant additives and the importance of proper maintenance in UV-exposed environments. As metallic floors are designed for internal floors, we will discuss the possibility of having the windows glazed (if not already) and other areas you can do to minimise UV exposure, particularly for the lighter colours, that are more susceptible to UV damage.
- Take note of the existing floor's undulations and recommend applying metallic coatings primarily to concrete surfaces for stability, durability and a smooth finish. We also suggest self-levelling epoxy to address any natural unevenness in the concrete.
- Discuss the project timeline, considering how long the client would need to vacate the area for, and factoring in aspects like access, preparation, coatings and curing.
- Discuss how different seasons and climate conditions can affect the drying and curing process while keeping the client's comfort in mind. Seasonal shifts can cause the surface underneath to expand and contract, and factors like moisture, wind and dust can affect both the application process and the overall appearance of the floor.
If the client decides that metallic epoxy flooring is the right choice, we provide a project quote. Once accepted, we create multiple sample boards in the chosen colours, exploring various styles and percentages of colours.
We also discuss options such as a more robust polyurethane top coat, the inclusion of a stir-in aggregate and the application of clear epoxy top coats, along with their advantages, disadvantages and associated costs.
Our expertise in installing this type of flooring allows us to minimise issues like the 'comets' experienced by the client, which occur when the powdered pigment in metallic epoxy isn't mixed correctly. Comets may also be a result of other items protruding from your floor and when the resin runs past the protruding object, it will create a ‘comet.’
To prevent this, we thoroughly mix the pigment a week before the project begins, allowing it to sit until we're ready to pour. This ensures a smoother and more consistent finish.
Why use Tough Floors for metallic epoxy flooring projects?
Choosing a professional and trustworthy contractor like Tough Floors for your metallic epoxy flooring projects is all about peace of mind.
You get a team that knows their craft, guaranteeing a flawless finish and a project that stays on schedule. But it's not just expertise. It's also about having a reliable partner who communicates clearly and is committed to turning your vision into a stunning reality.
Here are a few photos of a project we completed using metallic epoxy. You can also check out our other case studies to see how we can transform your space.