A basic basement floor is typically concrete that may or may not have been painted and that is where epoxy comes into play. It’s cold. It’s boring. It’s nothing you really want in a nicely finished basement. Options for this flooring area include carpet and wood-laminate. But these can be expensive, they aren’t the best choice for laundry or utility areas, and the insurance company won’t pay to replace them should you get water in your basement from a flood. Another alternative is to choose an epoxy for your home.
What is Epoxy?
Epoxy is a thick coating that is designed to be walked on and enjoyed. It is five times thicker than regular floor paint and is guaranteed to bond to the concrete floor. It consists of a resin and a hardener that work together to provide you with a quality floor covering. Once it goes down the application is permanent. You will not have to repaint the floor once the work is completed.
There are many benefits to choosing epoxy. The finish is seamless and guaranteed to last. If water gets in your basement, the clean-up will be very easy. The water is simply vacuumed away with your trusty shop-vac or other tool leaving the flooring unharmed. The look is beautiful, the finish is easy to clean and the maintenance over the years will be non-existent. The finished epoxy floor will actually be harder than concrete and more durable. Chipping will not be as likely and staining will become a thing of the past.
Installing carpet or laminate flooring can cost thousands of dollars. Vinyl might work, but it could still cost more than a thousand dollars and you will have to worry about tearing. Epoxy products are an affordable choice for the basement that will look great for years to come while requiring no maintenance beyond regular cleaning. You can often just get all you need in one of the many types of basement floor kits.
Epoxy shield coating products have come a long way. They are now safer to use than ever before. They feature low odor along with low VOC emissions, making them perfect for use in an enclosed space like a basement.
Epoxy shield will create a protective layer against moisture and water. It should be applied to the dry concrete floor and allowed to soak in. Moisture will be discouraged from coming up through the concrete floor, helping you to make your home a little more watertight.
There are several brands available for you to choose from. One of the best products is the EpoxyShield offered by Rustoleum. This company has been a leader in the painting industry and the EpoxyShield takes painted floors to the next level. If you watch, you can find good deals for these epoxy coating kits.
It is extremely durable and provides superior adhesion. Application is easy, only requiring one coat. The epoxy is actually a two-part epoxy with your choice of a solvent or water base. Another great feature of this product is that you can tint it, allowing you to customize the colors and your basement. It is also available with or without flakes, allowing you to decide if you want the flat finish or prefer the three-dimensional look. With the ability to tint the base 32 different colors, Rustoleum floor epoxy is a popular choice for many homeowners.
Decorative Floor Flakes
Many people choose to add some flakes to the epoxy. It is the flakes that make this finish look less like a paint job and more like a welcoming floor that compliments the area. The flakes take it from utilitarian to warm household. The flakes are what make it feel like a finished room rather than a garage floor or boring basement floor.
There are several different options with the flakes. They can be purchased in a very fine size that is only one-sixteenth of an inch or in a larger one-quarter inch size. They are available in an incredible rainbow of colors, allowing you to fully personalize your basement floor. Mix red flakes with a tan floor for a look that pops or blend black with gray for something more urban and contemporary.
You can add a few flakes for interest or fill the entire painted floor with them for a look like tile. The only limit is your imagination and how much time you want to spend shaking flakes into the floor. You can also choose flake blends for a three-dimensional look that is easily achieved and always enjoyed. Colors like black, white and brown could be mixed or black, white and blue might be blended together.
Just as you might apply a varnish to recently stained wood to protect it, a finish can be applied to epoxy for added protection. Epoxy can be degraded by the sun, but a finish paint can help prevent this. Many epoxy kits will come with a finishing product that can be applied. Here are some others you might consider.
Latex paints are sometimes used as a floor paint. They will help protect the epoxy from UV damage, but they are not terribly durable.
Alkyd finishes are enamel based and are easy to work with. However, they offer little to no UV protection and are not resistant to abrasions.
Polyurethane finishes are easy applied than other choices. They are also more expensive.
Glaze coats are designed for use over epoxy. They are measured, mixed and poured before being applied to the flooring.
The first step is to thoroughly wash the floor with dish soap and water. The dish soap will remove any grease, helping the epoxy adhere. Stains from oil or paint can be carefully removed from thinner. The floor should be fully rinsed with water and allowed to dry.
Protective clothing, gloves and mask should be donned for the next step. Muriatic acid that is diluted by mixing one cup of muriatic acid with one gallon of water should be scrubbed into the floor. This must be followed by a cold water rinse.
Use masking tape to tape off the walls and any pipes or drains that go into the floor. If you have two-step epoxy it should be mixed and then allowed to sit. Once the mix is ready, you will want to start by painting along the edges of the walls. Other small areas that are hard to find should also be treated. Finally, the floor can be painted with the used of a roller. Allow the floor 24 hours to dry before walking on it. Any desired finish should be applied after the epoxy is fully dried and cured.
Once the epoxy on your floor is dry you can start moving the furniture into the area. You might want to consider adding some fun area rugs to absorb sound and provide some additional warmth. The furniture should have pads under the legs as an added layer of protection. In a matter of a few days and at a cost of only a few hundred dollars, you can enjoy the clean and attractive look of an epoxy floor in your basement.