Although the epoxy floors provide a durable and safe setup, the wet epoxy surface may get slippery and give an unpleasant scent. It is important to know the disadvantages of epoxy flooring before installing it on any residential or commercial space.
This epoxy finish might be a good flooring option for your living space or give an aesthetic look to your kitchen. However, many householders still prefer concrete surface structures over epoxy flooring.
Let’s try to figure out the genuine reasons why most folks ignore this option for their flooring setup.
Strong Toxic Fumes
While installing an epoxy floor in the garage or anywhere, it stinks when wet. Sometimes, its smell is like ammonia. It is the smell of toxic fumes in it.
These fumes can cause a bad reaction to anyone near it. In case of inhaling these fumes, it can cause inflammation in the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs.
There are many epoxy floor problems. It can cause breathing problems in people who have asthma. The strong toxic fumes also result in skin cancer if continuously exposed to them.
Oshwiki has given some recommendations to reduce exposure to these fumes.
- Base resin
- Average molecular weight less than 700
- Reactive diluents as low as possible
- High possible molecular weights and boiling points
- None of the following R-phrases: R23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 39, 40, 42, 45, 46, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 68.
- Curing agent
- Components that contain “amine—epoxy adducts” or polyamine amides as the curing compound
- High possible molecular weight and boiling points
- None of the following R-phrases: R23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 39, 40, 45, 46, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 68.
- Amine curing compounds that are not alerting.
Epoxy Takes a Long to Harden Completely
The next point in the list of disadvantages of epoxy flooring is its time taking installation.
After epoxy installation, several days are required to cure it completely. Usually, the floor is left to dry in a warm environment and given a long time.
You can achieve a durable result with a slow curing process. A quicker epoxy curing method is used to achieve the best curing flooring.
Sometimes the curing process takes a month to dry completely after installation. It results in problems for the homeowners.
Temporary Flooring Solution
You cannot install epoxy flooring without any subfloor like steel or concrete. You can also install epoxy over the wood floor.
Epoxy coating is not a floor, but rather, it is a temporary flooring solution. When the coat of epoxy breaks, you will have to install a new coat. High traffic, furniture, or vehicles wear out epoxy floors.
Cracks and Damages on High Impact Areas
Be prepared to do frequent replacements if you will install an epoxy floor. Epoxy flooring is not resistant to cracks with high traffic and heavy furniture. You will pay extra charges to fix and repair the damaged areas.
Very Slippery When Wet
Epoxy flooring becomes very slippery when wet. This is because it is a non-porous material. So, it makes a smooth surface and becomes unsafe when the floor is wet, or oil falls on it.
- You can pay extra cost to apply some easing measures to make flooring less slippery.
- While installing, use silica sand on the final coating to create resistance.
- Aluminum oxide can be added to the epoxy material to achieve grip.
- The final coat can be textured by adding Shark Grip.
- Buying control mats
Tedious Installation Process
Before installing epoxy coating, the preparation of the existing floor is very tedious. The concrete floor must be cleaned from grease or oils before installing epoxy coatings.
You have to follow the installation instructions exactly. For example, epoxy floor installation requires low humidity levels. If you do it at a high humidity level, the moisture can damage your floor.
If any moisture is trapped inside the coating during installation, it will cause damage as it dries. For example, the trapped moisture can cause deforming, buckling, and swelling on the surface after drying.
Difficult Removal Procedure
Removing epoxy from the concrete floor is a difficult procedure. It requires grinding, and it is a costly procedure.
It would help to protect the underlying concrete from damage; otherwise, you will install a new floor. Luckily, an epoxy floor installed by a professional last a lifetime.
Special cleaning acids and other chemicals are required to maintain the epoxy flooring properly. During installation, you will need protective gear. You will also need them when cleaning with chemicals.
Epoxy without a heating system is cold as compared to hardwood floors. It feels like floors made of tiles. You can fix this issue by installing an underfloor heating system on your floor.
The improper mixing of epoxy makes the coating of the floor look off. There may be color differences due to different batches while using multiple kits during installation.
Exposure to ultraviolet rays also fades epoxy flooring. In case one batch is exposed to the sun and not the other, it will result in color variations.
Table of Contents
Epoxy Flooring Benefits
- Epoxy floors withstand different chemicals like solvents and acids.
- These floors can be decorated to look attractive. Many different colors and designs are available, and you can create an epoxy floor wood look or concrete look. You can also use flakes to sprinkle the floor.
- There is a minimal work break because of the fast application.
- Epoxy floors are smooth and watertight and thus easy to clean. These are very easy to maintain.
- Underfloor heating can be easily installed in epoxy flooring. It is very sustainable. You can save your space and energy by combining it with underfloor heating. It blends into the space because it has no seams.
- Epoxy floors are robust. They are best for heavy and mechanical use like workshops, warehouses, and industries.
What is Epoxy Flooring?
If the layer of the epoxy is at least two millimeters thick, it is known as epoxy flooring, while if the layer of the epoxy is less than two millimeters, it is called epoxy coating.
Types of Epoxy Flooring
This epoxy is used over old and damaged concrete.
It is applied to the floor, which is damaged by chemicals and heavy use.
Quartz-filled epoxy is used to get a slip-resistant surface by using decorative spaces.
In case flammable materials are in use and static electricity is dominant, anti-static epoxy is used.
Epoxy Flakes and Chips
Epoxy flakes and chips are used to achieve an elegant and decorative look by creating unique patterns in the floors.
Commercial and Industrial-Grade Epoxy
Commercial and industrial grade epoxies are made to protect the drive areas and garages.
Cost of Epoxy Flooring
- Epoxy products for existing concrete floor $2,156
- The epoxy garage flooring cost will be around $750 to $3,000 if it is 250-square-foot. If it goes above 400 to 500-square-foot, it’ll cost you $1,200 and $6,000.
- Per-square-foot epoxy flooring $3 – $12
- Epoxy coating materials $2 – $5
- Labor to do the job per square foot $1 – $7
- Water-based epoxy is more expensive than solid epoxy. So, choose solid-based epoxy.
- 250-square foot single garage flooring $750 – $3,000
- In case its double garage floor $1,200 – $6,000
- Epoxy kitchen floor or epoxy basement floor cost per foot without decorative chips $3 – $12
- Using a DIY route for this $2 – $5
- DIY kits without sealant, cleaner, degreaser, and tools $50 – $600
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some questions related to disadvantages of epoxy flooring that DIYers usually ask:
What Are the Disadvantages of Epoxy Flooring?
The major disadvantage of epoxy flooring is that it is temporary. It needs to be replaced.
How Long Do Epoxy Floors Last?
In case of heavy traffic, epoxy floors last 2 to 3 years. Normally, they last much longer.
Are Epoxy Floors a Good Idea?
Epoxy floors are a good idea. They withstand heavy traffic and furniture because they are five times thicker than normal paint. Epoxy flooring is strong, sturdy, waterproof, and resistant to chemicals and breakage.
Do Epoxy Floors Scratch Easily?
Epoxy floors do not scratch easily because they have a hard resin coating. A Scratch may appear if something sharp scratches the surface.
Is Epoxy Flooring Cheaper than Tile?
Epoxy flooring is more inexpensive than tile. However, the price depends on the finishes and qualities.
Which is Better, Epoxy or Tiles?
Epoxy is a good option for a garage due to its shiny and smooth surface. However, tiles give your surface a beautiful, durable, stylish, and modern appearance.
Can You Remove Epoxy Flooring?
Epoxy flooring can be removed using tools like a putty knife, chisel, or hammer. A plastic scraper is better to use because it does not damage the surface.
The disadvantages of epoxy flooring will give you information that you make the right decision. The cons do not make the floor ugly or useless, but you should know them due to their adverse effects on your health.
You can make any unique style and design with epoxy floors. It is a major benefit of epoxy floors. Before deciding to install epoxy flooring, you should consult a professional to examine your floor.
Professionals will estimate the tolerance of humidity of the floor, so the chances of chipping will be minimized.