Around 1960, the industrial sector had to deal with a new floor for warehouses and factory buildings, which was easier to keep clean and could bear the heavy weights of products and machines without damaging them. Three layers of, among other things, the plastics polymer and polyurethane are poured over each other to form the so-called epoxy floor. This epoxy floor can last up to 30 years and therefore offers a sustainable solution for companies in the long term. Where other surfaces quickly become stained, scratched or damaged, an epoxy floor is resistant to various external influences.
Installing an epoxy floor
Epoxy floors consist of three layers and are also applied in three layers. The first layer is a scrape layer. This synthetic layer is used to level surfaces such as sand-cement screeds and concrete and ultimately to make it liquid-tight. This prevents moisture from getting between the epoxy floor and the substrate. After a few days to a week, this layer is dry and the second layer can be applied. A casting layer is applied, consisting of polyurethane and epoxy resin. The hue is also added to this layer. In this case, polyurethane is poured and then smoothed to an even floor. Polyurethane is also available as foam piece or spray foam. This layer must cure before the third layer can be added. Polyurethane is also used as a base for artificial leather, sports shoes and room insulation.
To finish the floor neatly, a third layer is applied: the top layer. This is a transparent layer in which polyurethane is processed, but also various oils and acids that must protect the floor. This is also the layer that protects the floor against UV rays and scratches. Together with a matte or glossy finish, the color of the epoxy floor is also determined in this third layer. After applying the third layer, it takes a few weeks before the floor can be used. Part of the process is that the floor forms an extra protective layer to keep the floor as damage-free as possible.
Maintaining an Epoxy Floor
An epoxy floor can last an average of 30 years if it is properly maintained. For example, the advice is to apply a new top layer every 8 to 10 years and not to use strong oils and chemicals when cleaning the floor. The use of strong oils and chemicals can cause the floor to appear dull and more susceptible to scratches and other damage. The top layer is therefore no longer damaged and no longer protects against stains. It is best to clean the floor with a vinegar solution or by simply sweeping and vacuuming. Water is no longer a problem after the drying period and can be used at any time to clean the floor.