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Choosing the Right Industrial Floor
By: Spartan Epoxies -
How to choose the right resinous flooring system
How to choose the right floor for your commercial or industrial area. I'm here to give you insight into making an educated decision that will ultimately lead to a longer lasting floor. I'm about to hit you with alot of important information so please bookmark this page as it contains a lot of valuable content that will result in the perfect floor for your needs. (In my opinion).
Initial questions that our Spartan Experts will ask you:
1. DOES YOUR CONCRETE HAVE ANY VISUAL MOISTURE PROBLEMS?
If you have moisture vapor coming up through your concrete 9 times out of 10 it will be visual to the human eye. The cheapest, and fastest way to determine if you have moisture is to tape a 2ft x 2ft piece of plastic on your concrete, and let it sit overnight. The next morning, if the plastic has moisture on the inside of the plastic then you will need to apply a moisture vapor remediation system. Vapor Pro is our moisture vapor remediation product. If you know you have moisture problems you can purchase a few calcium chloride tests. Do a quick google search to learn more about them. You most likely can find them at your local hardware store or even on amazon! Don't we all love Prime. You can always call us and one of our experts will walk you though the entire process. We're here to help you get professional results.
2. DECIDE IF YOU WANT TO FILL EXPANSION JOINTS OR SAW CUTS, AND CHECK FOR CRACKS, PITS AND SPALLING
The process of preparing your concrete, and applying epoxy to your floor takes time and money. So don't make the mistake of thinking that your epoxy will appropriately fill in your cracks, pits, joints and self level where there's spalling.
You may ask the question: What is Spalling? Spalling is a common problem typically in freeze-thaw climates where part of the surface delaminates, peels up, breaks or chips away. Most cases it's only a portion of your concrete and not throughout.
Why does Spalling happen? Spalling occurs when unsealed concrete is exposed to moisture and then the water in the capillaries of the concrete freezes then thaws causing the concrete to expand and contract. Over time, the repeated cycle causes the top of the concrete (paste / creme) to break off in sheets or pits exposing it's aggregate. Over time de-icing chemicals, and even more water will get deeper into the capillaries, wreaking havoc on the already stressed concrete. The longer this cycle continues the worse your concrete will get over time. Spalling also can be caused from poor finishing techniques, improper curing, or even a bad concrete mix.
Here's the proper products you need to fill your joints, repair cracks and pits, and fix spalling:
3. HOW WILL YOU PREPARE YOUR CONCRETE FOR AN EPOXY COATING?
Typically, you have 2 choices, diamond grinding or acid etching. However, there's a 3rd option which is rarely used, and that's shot blasting. Understanding how the floor will be prepared is important since it will determine how deep your pores will be exposed. Testing your concrete to see if it will allow for etching is the first step. Take a little bit of water and pour it on your concrete. If it beads and stays in a droplet form you have a sealer. If the concrete drinks it up, you don't. If you have a sealer, make it easy on yourself and diamond grind your concrete. However there are chemicals that can remove the sealer if diamond grinding isn't an option for your situation. If you don't have a sealer you have the option to diamond grind or acid etch so just keep that in mind.
We don't recommend using a chemical to remove sealers as they can be dangerous and messy. I love google, do a quick online search for products that remove sealers and educate yourself. Maybe there's a chemical out there these days that makes it safe and easy. Knowledge is power.
Choice 1: Acid Etching: Etching is fine and will get the job done. However, it can delay your project as you are working with water. Water and epoxy are not friends, so you need to ensure your floor is 100% dry before starting your epoxy project. Which means it could be days before it's dry enough to apply epoxy. Putting fans in the corners and moving the fans from time to time can help speed up drying times. Todays acid etch is much safer. If you watch our ocean floor metallic video you will see that we used a safer acid to prepare the concrete and it worked great. I should mention that we weren't happy with the first pass so we etched twice and the results were actually great!
It's critical to determine how effective your acid etching efforts were. Remember, you are just trying to remove the creme from the top layer of your concrete. Understanding how well you opened your concrete is key to understanding what type of epoxy primer system you should apply. Test by first feeling the concrete, it should feel like sand paper. Next, pour a little water on your concrete, if the concrete drinks up the water then you have a properly prepared substrate ready for epoxy! Take note of how fast your concrete absorbed the water. The faster it absorbed the more open your concrete is. Acid etching can be quite effective, so if you had a fast absorbshin of water, it's safe to say you should apply our high solids epoxy system HDPRO as your primer. If the water remained on top and was absorbed slowly then you have the option of etching again. You're safe to just use HDWB as a primer, or if you are applying HDPRO at 12 mils and broadcasting flakes you will be golden. I can't stress this enough, if your concrete didn't absorb the water after etching 2 or 3 times then go to the local hardware store and rent a diamond grinder along with a professional vacuum. Checkout the etching video button below. I've attached it to this blog for your convenience.
CHOOSE YOUR PRIMER
Choice 2: Diamond Grinding: The softer your concrete, the harder diamonds you need. The harder the concrete the softer the diamonds. Typically choosing 60 grit diamonds gets the job done with professional results. You should have a equipment rental facility like united around you. We used to work with them and possibly if you tell them that you are have or plan on purchasing epoxy with Spartan Epoxies, you should get a very nice 10 to 15% discount. They most likely will need to see your receipt. It's worth a try because it could save you some money and these days with prices on the rage every penny counts. I would rent the shop vac that connects to their diamond grinder so that it keeps the dust down. You will still have dust, but not as bad. Silica is nasty stuff so please protect your eyes and lungs when diamond grinding. Just follow their safety guides to perfection and you will be safe. I did the same with our diamond grinding video, click the button below to open a modal window and watch our diamond grinding video.
CHOOSE YOUR PRIMER
3. RULES OF EPOXY - Choosing the Right Resinous Flooring System for your use will directly impact the life of your floor.
WHAT WILL THE FLOOR / AREA BE USED FOR? Once you understand the rules of resinous flooring, then you have the knowledge to select a system that will look amazing and last a lifetime.
Rule #1: White Epoxy Floors: If you want a bright white floor, and you want to keep it white without yellowing over time then apply a non yellowing aliphatic - pigmented urethane. It's so important to know that if you are wanting a bright white floor, apply HPU - Pigmented White.
Rule #2: You can apply 1 coat of urethane, however 2 coats always looks more finished. The 2nd coat allows you to repair any debris or bugs that may have stuck in your 1st coat. Also, know that when you apply your second coat you want to apply in the opposite direction. This ensures no spots are missed, and that you are NOT putting roller marks in your floor.
Rule #3: Know when it's right to apply a topcoat. You're thinking wait a second, you just said to apply 1 coat or at best 2 coats of urethane... However, if you apply a urethane on a floor that is getting pounded by heavy equipment or skid loaders with solid rubber tires are being driven on the floor, then you DO NOT apply a topcoat. If you do, and you have a skid loader with solid rubber tires, then say goodbye to the urethane top coat because those solid rubber tires are going to rip up your floor faster than anything you've ever seen before. It will literally come up in sheets. See rule #4 for more information.
Rule #4: We do offer speciality urethane topcoats than can withstand the abuse of skid loaders, however if you can get away with not applying a urethane topcoat then I would just apply a double broadcasted system with sand as your aggregate broadcasting into at least 2 coats of epoxy. Spartan Epoxies Experts can build a solution for you so don't worry. If it's a white floor, choosing a polyaspartic thats pigmented will be the best solution for your needs (PC66 or PC85 are superior). We also offer a high solids - high wear urethane called TC92, which only 1 coat can be applied. TC92 is a 3 part system, and you can yield part c if you want a glossy floor, or add Part C if you wish to add the high wear feature and a satin finish to your floor. Also, please note that TC92 is a great option for metallic epoxy.
So many times we get customers calling in that have an auto service center and they feel like they need a novolac system or something over the top. With Spartan Epoxies, all of our coatings are industrial grade. Even our waterborne coatings. Which enables customers like you to have a choice. Otherwise your flooring options would be limited, and more expensive. With Spartan Epoxies you have choices, and when you call in and speak to one of our experts they will guide you through the entire process. Our high performance neat system is highly chemical resistant and is a great choice for a high impact, long lasting flooring solution. However, let's break down your choices. As a consumer I love options and educating myself so that I've gained the knowledge necessary to make the best possible choice for my flooring needs.
4. CHOOSE THE RIGHT SYSTEM FOR YOUR APPLICATION. This Section can be answered easily over a call or chat. If you need help, please use one of those options. You'll be glad you did. We can make a cart for you, explain your options, give you application instructions, be here over the phone right before or during your application! Either way, we are here to make the process as easy as possible.
Here's a breakdown of our high performance, industrial grade resinous flooring choices.
1. Neat System:
Sounds like it is, it's a simple solution. It's a solid color option that can be customized depending on your needs. Here's the simple way to figure out what you need. What type of traffic will be on your floor? Foot traffic? If you answered yes then you can go with a 2 coat system. HDPRO at 12 mils, then finish with a urethane top coat. I always recommend a colored top coat for neat systems for long term color stability, however it's not necessary if you go with darker colors. If you want to add a non slip component to your floor, get our HWS system. Add a pint for every 1.5 gallons. We also have quarts for 3 gallon kits.
2. Decorative Flake: I'm going to try to be less wordy here. A flake system when you perform a full broadcast will last pretty much the rest of your remaining life. Especially if you apply 2 coats of polyaspartic urethane. Auto service centers, schools, cafeterias, food service facilities, and pretty much anywhere a highly durable flooring system is needed. The great thing is when you choose a full broadcast option, the floor has a completely new layer of material. That layer is super impact resistant and will last a very long time. It's also versatile in design and has so many color options it can make your head spin. If you need help choosing give us a call. We have over 3000 color combinations and never ending if you make your own flake system. It can be overwhelming so please let us help you.
3. Metallic Epoxy: Our Metallic Epoxy system is a beautiful unique floor! They can be subtle, or outrageous. Its the most fun floor you can purchase from Spartan Epoxies. There's no wrong way either! In real time you can customize a floor. There is no other solution out there like it! What can I say, this is my favorite system just because it's so exciting and if you are creative like me, then this system is for you. It's a great choice for pretty much anything. We've sold to customers applying as an entire whole home flooring solution, customers like the US Military that plans to apply metallic epoxy in their basketball court. We've also sold to many many contractors applying metallic epoxy in a variety of places like retail space, showrooms for car dealers or other product areas, and so many other places. There's really no wrong area to apply metallic epoxy as long as you apply the proper top coat. We have several top coats to choose from, and calling us will be the best way to figure out your solution.
4. High Build System: A high build epoxy system can be confused at times. Technically speaking, anything over 6 mils is really considered a high build system. However, our high build system can be customized to be as thick as you want it. Typically thats about 50 to 60 mils, which includes a primer at 12 mils (HDPRO), a thick 30 mil coating of PRO100 / midcoat (50 sq ft per gallon). You can then choose to apply a clear or pigmented urethane. Your first coat will be 5 mils, and the finishing urethane coat is 3 mils. You must understand after your first coat of urethane at 5 mils, the 2nd coat of urethane just glides on and applying it over 3 mils is a waste. With urethanes the thinner the stronger. I've heard the cheesy saying, thin to win. I don't use that but I like it because it's true. So, a quick recap of our high build system reveals HDPRO @ 12 mils, PRO100 @ 30 mils (customize as needed 13 to 30 mils), and 2 coats of a pigmented urethane. HPU would be our urethane in this example. However, we do have other urethane products available depending on your need, and what your space enables you to apply. (Meaning VOC). We have low VOC urethanes available for those of you that live in the state of California, or if the space has little to no ventilation (ex: a grocery store or basement). Our high build system is also great for cannabis cultivation facilities, breweries, food and drug manufacturing, auto showrooms, and anywhere a high impact, chemical resistant flooring solution is needed.
5. Shop Floor: Our shop floor system provides a superior, long lasting and durable floor for many heavy demanding industrial areas. Applying a urethane top coat is possible to add more performance. Our Shop Floor system consists of multiple layers of epoxy along with 00 sand, topped with a finishing coat of just epoxy.
To be specific here's our exact shop floor system.
Layer 1: HDPRO @12 mils and 00 sand broadcasted until rejection.
Layer 2: PRO100 @ 13 mils and 00 sand broadcasted until rejection.
Layer 3. Finished with a coat of PRO100 at 13 mils without sand.
This system makes for a super versatile floor. It can be used in a shop where ultra high impact resistance is necessary, or an area that requires hot water rinses like a restaurant or commercial kitchen.
6: Urethane Slurry System: WBSL in combination with WBSL-TC or our Novolac Epoxy Top Coat is our available options for a urethane slurry system. Which can be customized just like our epoxy systems. If you're need of thermal shock resistance, chemical resistance, high impact resistance, or you are looking for one of the strongest flooring systems in the world then our Urethane Slurry System is the answer. Our urethane slurry system is a bio-based 3 or 4 component system. It's recommended for industrial bakeries, food or beverage facilities, locker rooms, restrooms, welding shops, breweries, commercial kitchens, meat and dairy processing plants and anywhere a high impact, durable, and shock resistant surface is needed. We offer 4 color options: Unpigmented, gray, red, and tan. You can apply an epoxy top coat if a specific color is needed. To learn more about our Urethane Slurry System, consult with one of our Spartan Epoxies resinous flooring experts. You can start a chat, give us a call, or shoot us an email. We're here to make this process as simple and as awesome as possible. Hey what can I say, we love talking about our products. We do in fact have the best high performance resinous coatings in the world. Sorry I just had to stick a promo in there for us. Just give us a call, you'll be glad you did.
7. Quartz Broadcast System: Used for decorative purposes in light and medium duty traffic areas. A colored quartz aggregate is broadcasted into a clear high solids epoxy binder to create a decorative floor finish that is suitable for most industrial or commercial applications. The floor can be customized to create a variety of textures ranging from rough and slip resistant to smooth.
We have many color choices available and some may not be listed on our website. If you would like to request a color chart of Quartz, or any of our systems please let your Spartan Epoxies Expert know that you would like to receive a complimentary sample pack. This package contains fan decks for decorative flake, metallic epoxy, a polymer color chart, system data sheets, and a variety of booklets with printed color charts. Request yours today.