Every type of flooring has its disadvantages. Choosing the right flooring option for your needs and home will determine how well they fare over time. Epoxy floor coatings are usually used for industrial and commercial flooring. In homes, epoxy coatings are mostly used for garage floors over concrete. This is because they are durable and highly resistant to most impurities you throw at them.
If you’re looking to try epoxy flooring, its advantages outweigh its disadvantages. However, to be on the safe side and help you make an informed decision, we’ll discuss the disadvantages of epoxy flooring below.
1. Demanding Installation
The major disadvantage of epoxy coating flooring is the demanding installation procedure. If done perfectly, your epoxy flooring can serve you for decades. However, the process itself must follow the rules exactly. This takes a lot of time, and any error can degrade the quality of your epoxy flooring.
Before it is applied to your floor, there is a lengthy procedure and preparation process. The floor is cleaned to remove dirt, dust, and loose debris. The floor also needs to be leveled and tested for moisture. Once everything is ok, then can we think of pouring epoxy flooring. However, before pouring epoxy, the humidity levels must also be checked. The humidity level must be just perfect. High humidity levels when pouring out epoxy will result in damaged flooring that will also age more quickly.
These are just some of the processes for installing new epoxy flooring. Everything matters and all rules should be followed, failure to which you’ll be stuck with defective epoxy flooring.
2. Strong Application Fumes
During application, wet epoxy gives off unpleasant and strong fumes that can affect a person. Epoxy flooring solutions include epoxy resins and hardeners. Epoxy flooring poses a health risk when it is still wet. As the liquid epoxy solidifies and evaporates, the fumes released can be inhaled and affect the lungs, throat, and nose.
Some symptoms to check out after epoxy application include inflammation and, thus, irritation of the nose, throat, and lungs. High exposure to these fumes can lead to sensitization and, worse, asthma.
However, once it is fully cured and there are no more fumes, epoxy flooring does not pose any health risk. If you sand epoxy flooring and inhale the dust, fully cured epoxy flooring is very safe.
3. Long Curing Time
After applying epoxy flooring, it usually takes around seven days to dry or fully cure. However, different factors can affect the time it takes for epoxy to cure fully. The type of epoxy application, thickness, and weather conditions will increase or reduce the curing time. After around three days, you can start walking on epoxy. However, avoid heavier traffic, furniture, or chemicals until the epoxy flooring is fully cured.
I usually discourage homeowners from installing epoxy flooring in the wintertime. This is because the conditions can affect the viscosity, adhesion, and curing time. When the humidity levels are over 85%, you should also hold off on installing epoxy flooring.
If you’re planning to install epoxy flooring, plan ahead.
4. Slippery When Wet
Epoxy flooring is non-porous, which makes it very slippery when wet. If you’re installing epoxy at home, particularly in the garage, watch out for oil and water spills. It can also be dangerous when installed where the elderly and small children will use it. However, if you keep your epoxy flooring always dry, you should walk back and forth all day without any problem.
In the garage, where liquid spills are waiting to happen, you can add an anti-slip coating, synthetic rubber mats, and runners, or clean a mess as it happens.
When installing epoxy flooring, you can opt to add non-slip additives such as aluminum oxide or silica sand. An easy way is to add a non-slip-resistant like H & C Shark Grip Slip-Resistant Additive. Consult with your professional epoxy installer to decide which non-slip additive is best.
Add the shark grip slip-resistant additive when applying your top epoxy coating. The product is powder granules that remain suspended even after the epoxy has cured. It leaves a slightly textured surface and reduces the sheen, but not enough to be a problem.
5. Challenging to Remove
Once installed and fully cured, removing epoxy flooring is very challenging. It will cost you, and you’ll have to hire a professional to handle the work. However, when installed correctly, you should not worry about this for many years to come.
Instead of removing epoxy, you can also install other floorings over it. Ceramic, porcelain, laminate, vinyl, and other types of flooring can easily go over epoxy flooring without any problem.