Epoxy Floor Coatings: 10 Tips for New Construction of Concrete Floors
Planning ahead can save a lot of time, money and frustration. Frustration that usually is tied to money wasted. When pouring a new concrete floor, a little planning can save a lot of time, hassle and money when applying decorative and protective epoxy coatings.
Do not apply Cure-N-Seal to the new concrete. No type of sealers should be used. If using a curing agent, be sure it does not have a sealer component.
Do not burnish, blacken or over trowel the surface. Just a smooth, steel trowel finish is suggested. If a power-trowel is not necessary to get a good finish, do not use it.
Use plastic zip strips or saw cuts for control joints. No metal strips or expansion joints on the main slab, unless absolutely necessary.
- Concrete steps and wood steps can be coated (wood should be plain, not pressure-treated).
- A normal concrete mix must cure for at least 28 days before coating. We highly suggest 45 or more days of curing (depending upon weather conditions). Faster curing concrete can be used, but discuss it with STRONGHOLD FLOORS staff first.
- Radiant floor heat is NOT an issue for coatings. The surface preparation and coatings application process will not harm the heating system. Just install the radiant floor tubing as specified by the manufacturer.
- Blacktop/driveway does NOT need to be poured/installed prior to coatings. If adding a blacktop driveway later, just lay cardboard on the coatings prior to allowing the rollers to touch the floors.
- Install base board/trim/cove base after coatings are installed. That way any future changes to the trim will not change the finish line of the coatings.
- Any painting to be installed prior to the coatings should be completed at least 72 hours prior to our arrival. Painting after coatings installation is not an issue. Paints can rarely ever form any real bond to the cured epoxy, urethane or Polyaspartic coatings - most clean off with just water, if still tacky, or pop off when dried.
- Don't worry about scrubbing the concrete clean before the arrival of a Stronghold Floors coating crew. Just remove all items and debris prior to the crew's arrival. Our crews will be preparing the surface with mechanical diamond grinders, so spots of dry wall mud, paint over-spay and mud will be removed during the normal process.
While failing to heed any of the items above will not stop us from installing coatings, you may incur additional and unnecessary charges. This is especially true of item #1. Don't seal your residential concrete floor if you plan to have a professional epoxy floor installed.
If you expect there to be several years between initial placement of the concrete floor and the purchase of a professionally installed epoxy coating, call us. We can provide guidance on the best course of action.
If your slabs are already poured, don't fret. Again, we can get past most issues. Even heavily damaged slabs can often be repaired and then have a floor coating system applied.
What About Outdoor Concrete?
Outdoor concrete, whether broom finished, exposed aggregate or integral color, should be protected from the elements. Salt, acidic water and other errosive substances will quickly degrade the surface of sidewalks, porches and pool decks.
The easiest sealers to apply (and rejuvenate) are penetrating, silane/siloxane sealers. We have used and highly recommend these types of sealers. We wrote an entire blog about using these around pool decks.
The staff of Stronghold Floors can also assist with commercial projects. We work with architects, project managers and designers to design the coatings solution that best fits your requirements.