January 14, 2022 by Brent Phillips
While choosing on the style of flooring for your new home or renovation, you may have been sold on the many benefits of epoxy floors. The next step to research is the important components that determine the epoxy type. Depending on the building and its function, certain types of epoxy will be better suited to the situation compared to another type. There are three common types of epoxy floor coatings: Water-based, Solvent-based, and 100% Solids. Each type of epoxy coatings have their own characteristics which favor different conditions and offer different levels of benefits.
Due to the benefits of solvent based epoxy, it was commonly used for many years. It had greater durability and glossier finish while remaining unaffected by petroleum stains compared to water based epoxy. Although the level of performance is high, solvent-based epoxy creates harmful, toxic fumes from the chemical reactions during installation. Due to the industry and government regulations, solvent based epoxies are quickly becoming rare and for specific uses.
Instead of solvent based epoxy, consumers have found an environmentally friendly alternative with water based epoxy. These coatings have very little to no solvent substance, which means no toxic fumes, while still prolonging the pot life to allow the material to be manipulated for a longer period of time. Also due to the regulations of solvent based epoxy, there have been several developments of water based epoxy to strengthen its durability and chemical resistance. Despite these improvements, the nature of water based epoxy still is lacking for commercial and industrial applications.
The last type of epoxy is 100% solids, which means the epoxy elements cure when mixed together instead of evaporating the water or solvents out as it dries. This chemical reaction produces a thicker mixture than water based or solvent based epoxy products. 100% solids based epoxy creates high quality floors with outstanding durability as well as impact and chemical resistance. The end result is a floor that is very thick and durable that will last for many years to come. Due to the nature of 100% solids based epoxy, installation is more expensive compared to the other types of epoxy. Skilled hands are needed as 100% solid epoxy has a very short pot life and has to be applied quickly before it becomes too solidified to work with. Professional quality work together with a high caliber product makes the investment in your floors worth the cost.
While there are several DIY tips and epoxy project ideas, it is recommended to seek out a professional depending on the style and type of epoxy. If you need help to discover the right type of epoxy for your floors, reach out to us at Cunningham Coatings! We can help find which epoxy coating type will fulfill your individual needs. Contact Cunningham Coatings to learn more about our epoxy options so you can be sure that your finished project results in a long lasting, resilient floor.