Is Epoxy Oil or Water Based?
Being aware that there are different types of epoxy coatings and that epoxy garage floor coatings are not like other regular floor paints, is essential before starting your home improvement project or managing a construction project. So, what is epoxy garage flooring like? Is epoxy oil or water based? These are some common questions homeowners have when they plan to get a garage flooring epoxy coating, and we are about to answer them in this article.
To get started, let’s begin with its composition. Is epoxy oil or water based? Commonly, epoxy floor coatings are two-part solids based, solvent-based or water-based. These coatings feature a Resin component and a Hardener component, similar to epoxy glue. So, when it comes to epoxy floor paints, is epoxy oil or water based? While ordinary garage floor paints are one-part oil or water-based, first-class epoxy floor paints are neither one part oil-based nor water-based. Furthermore, all epoxies are different, which plays an important role in its use.
Epoxy Flooring Important Facts
Despite all of them are paints, epoxy flooring is definitely different from the rest of the conventional garage floor paints. First of all, the adhesion of an epoxy floor coating is remarkably better than any regular oil based, water or enamel paint, and your floor will have a more stunning look with a top-notch gloss finish like no other paint. Furthermore, epoxy flooring is waterproof, as well as mold, and mildew proof; and when cured, a top-grade epoxy floor coating is stain proof as well.
Garage Flooring Epoxy Types
Top-grade floor epoxies are 100% solids, which means no percent of the paint will evaporate while it dries. However, if an epoxy is lower than 100% such as 50% for instance, it means that 50% of the coating will evaporate away as it dries. Therefore, the lower the percentage of solids is, the lower the quality is as well. Nevertheless, for primers and topcoats this is not a rule. Primer’s percentages of solids are lower because they need to be thinner in order to soak into the concrete pores, while topcoats incorporate urethane, which displaces a percentage of solids. In a few words, it is okay for primers and topcoats to be lower in solids, but stay away from high percentage solid epoxies (they are still not 100%), and water-based products to obtain the best, high-quality results.
One Part Epoxy Coatings & No Floor-Prep Coatings
These type of epoxy coatings are difficult to work with because they are thin, and when flakes are used, they displace the epoxy underneath them, leaving a thinner coating of epoxy paint for concrete. When it comes to concrete epoxy floor coatings that do not need any floor prep, the truth is that your expectations should not be high. Prepping your floor is crucial before adding any coating. Also, “high solid epoxy” is nothing but a primer, so make sure not to fall for it. Keep in mind that epoxy can stick to tile but it is not recommended.
Despite primers are not strictly needed, they are highly recommended. Just as epoxy and topcoats, primers have their particular function, which is sealing the floor while adding another layer of epoxy. Make sure not to fall for those products that claim to be a primer, epoxy and topcoat all at once and get each one separately, especially if you have heavy duty traffic.
Moreover, a primer is great when you need to extend the coverage of the epoxy layer, as it provides the epoxy a sealed surface instead of the porous concrete. Whatever type your floor is, ask professionals for the best primer option for you.
Garage Epoxy vs Garage Paint
Learning about the differences between garage paints and garage floor epoxies is vital to obtain high-quality results. For example, conventional garage floor paints are single component products made in either oil or water-based formats, and they are only suited for ceiling and wall applications. On the other hand, epoxy flooring is designed to resist many tons over it and its components are two: the resin/pigment part and the hardener part.
Epoxy Floor Coating: Pot Life
The time you have to work with the epoxy after it has been mixed is named “pot life.” High-quality epoxy floor coatings will have less than an hour pot life at 70 degrees, while poor quality products will offer a longer time. A properly mixed batch of epoxy floor coating will provide you with 40 to 45 minutes to apply. Afterwards, high-quality epoxies will reactivate the curing process when applying the following batch to the wet edge, and it will blend as a rock hard, monolithic sheet without any seams, and with exceptional gloss. On the other hand, poor quality epoxies will leave seam lines and cure to a soft finish that will deteriorate soon.
While epoxies provide thickness and adhesion, topcoats are made to be chemically harder than the epoxy coat they cover, and they will provide your flooring with durability. When topcoat is not used, your hot turning tires will quickly wear the gloss finish off. Thus, while planning your garage interior design, do not forget to consider a topcoat.
Epoxy Coating’s Ratings
To know if your floor epoxy or topcoat will be able to resist the hot twisting tires in your garage, you need to know what the Abrasion Loss Rating is. This rating measures the mgs that came off the coating after hot tires, foot traffic, etc. Therefore, the lower the mgs, the better. However, these levels change depending on the coating application. For instance, a 20mgs rating is okay for a garage floor epoxy, while under a 5mg rating offers the highest level of protection and is necessary for commercial/heavy duty applications.
Other floor epoxy ratings to keep in mind are a 350-psi adhesion at least and an impact rating of 125-inch pounds or more to protect your flooring from cracks or chips if you accidentally drop a tool or any home gym equipment on your epoxy flooring.