When choosing facility flooring systems, your professional installer may ask if you’d like to have a clear epoxy resin floor coating applied on top of your chosen system. Your installer can explain the benefits afforded by this additional finish coat, as well as the different types of clear epoxy and other resin based top coatings available.
Epoxy floor systems can be used by almost every facility possessing concrete floor substrates, including locations with unique performance requirements, such as the need for slab moisture mitigation, resistance to chemicals and acids, varying levels of slip resistance, puncture and abrasion resistance, and heavy foot or cart traffic. Clear, monolithic and multi-colored resinous flooring solutions are used in a number of different environments, including healthcare and educational facilities, restaurants and hospitality providers, warehouses, detention facilities, chemical and waste treatment plants, and manufacturing/packaging facilities.
Clear epoxy resin flooring topcoats can provide extra protection and durability to nearly any resinous floor surface, and depending upon formulation, can impart additional high performance traits.
As you learn more about different types of clear epoxy resin floor coatings and topcoats, it’s important to know that not all epoxies are the same. As a general rule, epoxy resin has a tendency to amber (turn yellow) over time. However, there are some epoxy products that can retain their transparent, “water clear”, look almost indefinitely, while others can amber relatively quickly as part of their natural aging process.
Reputable resinous flooring manufacturers and their approved installers understand which clear epoxy products are appropriate for base coats and which are ideal, non-ambering top coats. They can offer you a satin or gloss sheen clear coat, or a high traffic clear coat for busy employee or visitor areas. For instance, a clear epoxy resin coating is nearly always used over a decorative colored or aggregate broadcast, as it helps encapsulate the colored flakes or chips. In other words, it helps seal in the custom aesthetic and ensures a long lifespan for the floor system.
Because concrete substrates are often cracked or damaged, the great majority of commercial floors are by tinting the clear epoxy in the field. An attractive pigmented floor coating can camouflage the repairs and patched areas in the floor surface, whereas application of only a clear floor finish can tend to emphasize the imperfections. An alternative is to incorporate decorative elements with clear and pigmented resinous floor coatings to create stunning floor designs. Those elements can include colored chip blends, natural mica flakes, colored quartz blends, or metallic shimmer slurries. Frequently, however, a clear epoxy resin floor coating will be applied over the colored mixture for added durability.
Today’s professional grade clear epoxy resin flooring products – especially those used in high profile areas such as entry ways and reception area decorative designs — are available in amber-resistant formulations. And today’s cycloaliphatic epoxies are much less likely to yellow over their lifespan. However, it can be useful to understand that, as a general rule, the faster an epoxy cures, the higher its likelihood of ambering. The most reliably non-yellowing products have standard cure times, For example, Floropoxy 4805 is a “water clear” epoxy that is one of the most colorfast products of its kind on the market.
Other products that have excellent color retention and are resistant to yellowing, including Floropoxy Novolac, which is a pure, undiluted Bisphenol F epoxy with superior acid and alkali resistance that demonstrates good color retention for a Novolac type coating.
Clear epoxy resin floor coatings can be used to provide additional slip resistance by either mixing in appropriate fine aggregate or broadcasting and backrolling the medium into the wet finish. Satin sheen, high traffic clear coats with unique ingredients can provide unprecedented abrasion resistance, improving wear and durability and scratch resistance. A clear topcoat can also act as a sacrificial layer, protecting the colored or decorative floor system underneath.
Depending on the sheen, using a clear epoxy resin floor coating as a finish coat can create a glossier looking surface to increase reflectivity and illumination within a room or impart a matte surface to prevent glare for the benefit of visually or otherwise impaired individuals.
Florock is proud to supply many industries with high quality, durable epoxy floor coatings that meet a range of requirements. To get more information about our clear epoxy resin floor coatings or any of our other products, contact us anytime.