Epoxy is a seamless, tough, and beautiful way to upgrade your client's basement floors, and is a great upgrade from standard floor paints (which tend to chip and peel over time).
This easy-to-use mix-and-apply option is a durable, non-flammable surface that easily adheres to concrete. The surface can easily withstand heavy dropped objects (perfect for basement home gyms), can tolerate the weight of a vehicle, and stands up to spills, making this a kid and husband-friendly option for families.
As a commercial flooring contractor, epoxy floors are a great option to present to customers looking for a low-maintenance option that will last a lifetime—enhanced concrete floorsare a beautiful option.
Types of Epoxy for Basement Floors
Epoxy floor paints are purchased as two separate parts that are mixed together and then applied to a well-cleaned andprepped concrete floor.
There are three types of epoxy, each with its own set of pros and cons:
1. Solid Epoxy
This is the purest form of epoxy, that does not contain solvents. This type of epoxy is expensive, difficult to find, and harden very quickly, and therefore it's recommended that this kind of epoxy only be applied by a commercial flooring contractor.
2. Solvent-Based Epoxy
This epoxy contains 40-60% solids, adheres to concrete well, and is available in a wide range of colors. However, thesolvents are potentially hazardous, and therefore you must wear a respirator when applying, and make sure to ventilate the area as much as possible while keeping kids and pets away.
3. Water-Based Epoxy
This epoxy also contains 40-60% solids, with the benefit of no hazardous solvent fumes. It's sold at most home and hardware stores and is a popular alternative to solvent-based epoxies.
There is also a large range of style options for pre-tinted and metallic epoxy floor coatings, including colored flakes that create a speckled pattern in the surface.
You can easily create a customized look for coating basement floors that match your client's aesthetic and style, and there are many beautiful examples ofepoxy floors done right.
How to Apply Epoxy to Basement Floors
To get started, here are some things to consider when beginning an epoxy project:
1. Time Is of the Essence
When working with epoxy, time is the most critical factor because it quickly begins to harden once mixed and is only workable for about 2 hours.
However, the application is essentially as easy as rolling paint onto a wall—although you also have to consider how you'll paint the surface of the basement so you can paint yourself out of the room
2. Plan for Enough Epoxy
You'll need to apply at least 2 layers of epoxy to the surface, most epoxy kits supply one coat of coverage, but this is obviously dependent on the size of the project area.
3. Prep the Concrete
The concrete should be even, smooth, and very clean. To prep the surface, you may have to use aconcrete grinder.
Once you've made theconcrete surface smoothand even, you'll need to clean the surface of the concrete and remove any dust or debris.
Before getting started, know that curing time for epoxy floors takes about 12 hours, and for optimal curing, the concrete should be completely dry and at least 55 degrees, with ambient air temperatures around 60-90 degrees.
What You'll Need for Prepping Concrete
Before you start, here are some items you need:
Power scrubber with a brush attachment
Stiff bristle brush
Plastic watering can
32% muriatic acid
All projects will be different, and depending on the state of the concrete floor prior to painting, you might not need all the supplies on the list. Read through the steps before purchasing.
Prepping for Coating
Remove any previous flooring,like vinyl, carpet, tile, and more, in order to expose the concrete which the epoxy will be painted on to.
Clean the concrete surface using a scraper or shovel to remove any debris orcarpet glue. Vacuum the floor.
Wet the entire basement surface using a hose, and working in small sections, use the power scrubber to clean the surface of the floor. For edges and corners that the machine can't reach, use a stiff bristle brush. Once the floor is clean, squeegee the water into a central location and vacuum it up with a wet/dry shop vacuum.
Using a vapor respirator, mix muriatic acid in the plastic watering can, mix with a paint stirrer, and sprinkle over the floor. Etch the concrete using a long-handled acid brush, and then rinse the floor at least three times to remove the acid. Let the floor dry overnight.
What You'll Need for Applying Epoxy
To get started on painting the epoxy, get these items:
9-inch roller and pole
The rollers and poles are the most important part of applying the epoxy, it's recommended to purchase some extra rollers, as the epoxy will harden and potentially ruin the rollers.
Applying First Epoxy Coat
Duct tape the edges of your space to create straight lines.
Mix your epoxy following the instructions, use a drilling and the stirring bit to mix.
Using a paintbrush, apply the epoxy to the edges, painting over the inner edge of duct tape.
Plan ahead how you'll cover the floor based on where the exit is—make sure you don't paint yourself into a corner.
Paint the entire space using the 9-inch roller and roller pole. Half-dip your roller into the epoxy, then apply in 4-foot sections using a large "W" pattern, and backroll to fill in space and smooth out roller marks.
The first coat must cure for a minimum of 12 hours. Apply a second coat, and add in any non-skid floor coating. Sprinkle color flakes into wet epoxy.
You can finish your space by painting the bottom 4-inches of your basement wall with the same epoxy applied to the floor.
The Best Epoxy for Basement Floors
There are many epoxy options on the market, but here are some of the best brands on the market:
Rustoleum Epoxy Sheild Basement Floor Kit
Supercoat Stone Epoxy Floor Coating
Colordepoxies Epoxy Resin Coatings
There are a number of products on the market, chat with your local hardware store about what they would recommend.
Upgrade Your Client's Basement With Epoxy
There's a wide range of options to finish your client's basement that doesn't include classic vinyl or carpeted flooring, which makes epoxy a great option for alternative finishings.
Though a big project to undertake, epoxy floors are great for at-home gyms, play areas for kids, workrooms for artists or hobbyists.
If you found this article helpful,check outour other informative guides on flooring finishing, upgrades, and product guides.