Metallic Epoxy Systems are becoming a staple of decorative concrete and a huge modern design trend. Metallic epoxy designs are amazingly customizable and durable; however, they are not always easy to do. Some flooring contractors have opted away from them because they are difficult to replicate. The major pros of metallic epoxy are that they are beautiful and long-lasting. As a con, they are challenging to install.
However, these metallic epoxy floors are beautiful and bring out the entire feeling of a business, so many times it’s worth the extra money and effort. They are commonly found in tattoo parlours, and even car dealership showrooms, man caves and garages. They are also very versatile and durable, which makes them not limited to floors but useful for countertops and other surfaces and their application is not limited to just floors.
According to a Sarasota epoxy flooring contractor, Paradigm Concrete Finishes, Metallic epoxy floors are extremely durable, hardwearing and even better, they are beautiful. However, if you are working in a highly industrial environment, there are better flooring options like polished concrete or urethane cement.
Metallic epoxy floor problems
These floors are downright hard to install. Like the picture below, the floors can bubble and have all sorts of issues. It’s also complicated to get the colours right. You have to mix clear epoxy with pigment in the right proportions, pour the coloured metallic epoxy in ribbons and then blend it, hoping it will work well. Here some of the reasons metallic epoxy can be difficult to get a good colour:
- Epoxy coatings are self-levelling, so they constantly shift, taking a few hours to settle and find the final product.
- Some metallic colours may weigh more, so they stay in place longer compared to lighter shades.
- Colours will react with each other, so it is reasonable to assume that the final result is not predictable or easy to replicate. If you want your floor to look EXACTLY like another floor you saw, think again.
- The way you spread the coating determines the outcome.
- The floor will never be symmetrical. Metallic floors at the end of the day are a piece of art, and you know what they say about art, the “mistakes are what make it.”
Follow these instructions for metallic floor application to get the best results, unlike the picture above.
Mixing the epoxy:
The mixture ratios set by the manufacturer mechanically mix the resin with the hardener, typically part A and part B. Mix for two to three minutes being careful to avoid pulling air down into the mixture. Coat the floor using a squeegee. Wearing spiked shoes and using a 3/8” or mohair roller, back roll the entire surface to ensure the product’s distribution. This is the solid colour base coat, so it doesn’t need to be perfect. If you don’t wear spiked shoes, your treads will stick into the floor.
Pour the metallic coat onto the base coat in ribbons, put spiked shoes back on and use a Magic Trowel or foam roller to spread. Different techniques can be employed to manipulate the metallic epoxy and give the installer the desired effect.
How to choose your metallic epoxy floor
You can have multiple different colours in a metallic floor. Typically between 2 and 4 colours. However, you can add all types of things to these floors from fluorescent lights inside the floor to glitter flakes to enhance the metallic.
Metallic floor installation process:
Concrete Surface Prep
Prep is 80% of the job when it comes to installation, so you have to have an experienced contractor. It is imperative to prepare the concrete surface properly. By profiling the concrete, you are putting tiny ridges that allow the epoxy to “sink its teeth” into. This ensures a good bond between the epoxy and the concrete surface. A good prep will make the result relatively flawless. Keep in mind it is nearly impossible to get the floor 100% bump and debris free.
Moisture barrier before Applying the metallic epoxy:
Epoxy coatings are not breathable, any dampness that can relocate up and through the surface can make the epoxy fizzle. The epoxy can knock, air pocket or strip. Dampness boundaries come in various plans on the number of pounds of hydrostatic weight they can withstand. Most are in the eight to ten pound go yet some publicize that they can withstand 25 pounds. If there is any uncertainty or worry of dampness in the solid, it is prescribed to lead dampness readings in various solid zones.
Final Clear Coat
This is the final step in an epoxy floor and one of the most important. This seals the floor and makes it last and be extremely durable. Apply the clear coat only after the last coat has fully dried.
Benefits of metallic epoxy floors
Metallic epoxy floors are beautiful and durable. It’s as simple as that. No one else will have a floor that looks like yours, and they are really stunning and attractive, plus they have the staying power of epoxy. We love metallic epoxy floors, but you better learn how to do them, take the time or get a contractor to help you with serious experience.
So should you get a Metallic Epoxy Floor?
Your floor is now a work of art and one of a kind. You will be the envy of all of your neighbours. For more information about concrete surface preparation, you can see our guide.