Installing A New Commercial Floor? What You Should Know About Epoxy Floor Coating
When you lease a new commercial space, one of the first things that you should do is address the flooring. If you're leasing in a new building with concrete flooring, consider the advantage of an epoxy coating on the floor. Not only can you customize the look of the floor with epoxy of all colors, it protects the concrete and creates a slip-resistant surface. Here's a look at how to prep the floor and apply the epoxy in your commercial space.
Clean the Surface of the Concrete
In order for the epoxy to adhere to the concrete, you'll need to pretreat the floor to open the pores and clean the surface. Start with a thorough sweeping or vacuuming to get rid of any surface dirt and dust. Then, apply a degreaser to any oil stains to get rid of them. This may require more than one application. Rinse the floor thoroughly to get rid of any residue.
Apply the Acid Etching
Mix the acid etching product of your choice according to the package directions. Then, dampen the surface of the floor with water. Don't leave any puddles, though – just enough to moisten the concrete. Apply the acid etching solution evenly across the floor, then scrub the surface with a stiff, acid-resistant broom. Work the acid etching into the surface of the floor for several minutes. The effective time of the solution will vary by brand, so check the package instructions for the product you select.
Rinse the floor thoroughly after the acid treatment. Rinsing it twice will ensure that there's no acid residue left behind. This will help to ensure that that the epoxy adheres. Let the floor dry completely before moving forward. Set up a large fan in the room if necessary to encourage air flow.
Check the floor for any dust or residue once it's dry. You can wipe the floor with tack cloth to pick up any dust or dirt that's left behind. You need a clean surface for the epoxy to stick.
Coat the Floors with Epoxy
Mix your epoxy flooring according to the instructions just before you are ready to apply it. Once you mix it, you'll need to let it sit for a few minutes to ensure that it has come together into a complete solution. Once mixed, you'll have to apply the coating within a few hours.
Start in the corner that's furthest from the door to apply the epoxy. Pour a small amount of the solution on the floor, then use a roller to spread it out until it is even. If you need to work it into the corner, an edger can help you fill in the space. Once you get a small square coated, scatter texture chips across that section. The texture chips will settle into the epoxy, curing into the flooring and providing some texture to the surface.
Scattering Texture Chips
For the best possible results with the texture chips, you'll want to work in small handfuls. Approach it as you would when grabbing handfuls of animal feed – a little bit at a time. Toss the chips straight up into the air over the flooring space you want to cover, then let the pieces fall naturally. This provides the most even distribution possible.
Gradually work your way out from the corner, applying epoxy in consistent-sized squares throughout the space. Apply the texture chips on each section as you finish the epoxy application. Allow the flooring to cure for a couple of days before you restore standard foot traffic in the space.
By installing epoxy coating, you extend the life of the floor, protecting your investment. If you are not comfortable doing the installation on your own, a commercial flooring installation contractor can help you coat the floors properly.