Tagged: epoxy coatings

System Series Part 6: The Magic of Metallics

Sundek SunCanvas

Wow!! If you have not yet checked out one of the most incredible processes in decorative concrete flooring – have I got the scoop!!!There’s a whole new magic show available for adding mega “bling’ to your concrete floors — metallic epoxy coatings allow you to “guild” your concrete – simulating the timeless looks of copper, silver, old world bronze, nickel, and other metallic patinas.

 

I’m talking about metallics – and no it’s not a heavy metal rock band. Metallic floors have been around for the past 6-7 years, but are really starting to take off as the materials have been fine-tuned and decorative concrete contractors have grown more confident using these really cool materials.

 

Some of these coatings contain real metallic powders, while others use special reflective pigments. They are especially popular for retail floors, office, and restaurant settings, where a modern, upscale look is desired. To see some of the unique effects possible with metallic coatings, take a look at these stunning projects.

 

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You may recall fro20130521_164029m an earlier blog post, I wrote about stained floors and some of the nuances of working with these types of materials – one of them being that, with stains, their colors are unpredictable. You never know what you are going to get at the end.

 

Really Cool – Metallics give you the randomness and color use of stains but with much more color control.  http://www.sundek.com/products/epoxy-floors/sunmetal-fx

 

You may recall from another one of my earlier blog posts, I wrote about epoxy type floors and the advantages and disadvantages of the various materials. Metallics utilize those very materials as a carrier for the very fine metallic like “dust” particles which are applied to the floor using some very basic tools. Here is an overview of the process:

  1. The concrete floor is cleaned and given a surface profile similar to a fine sand paper finish and then primered with a color tinted epoxy.Why epoxy? Other resin type materials can be used but epoxy has an awesome tenacity for bonding to concrete. Real grippy stuff!!
  2. The colored primer coat will serve also as the background color for the metallic coat. For example we may want to create a very cool and steely look by using a light gray primer coat overlayed with silver and charcoal metallic colors swirled together.
  3. The color primer is allowed to dry and then the floor is coated with another coat of epoxy but this time it is mixed with a colored metallic material that is spread with a trowel or squeegee.
  4. Additional colors can swirled together to form some incredible looks. As the material is still wet and fluid it can be manipulated into some very fluid looks.
  5. Added effects can also be achieved by broadcasting denatured alcohol or acetone which creates a fish-eye effect in the finish. The metallic look is also very compatible with other textures and materials such as stains or textured micro-toppings.
  6. The epoxy metallics also look really sharp with custom saw-cut tile patterns.

What started out as a commercial floor application for warehouses and manufacturing facilities, metallic epoxy floor coatings are the hot new trend that is winding its way into homes as a high-end and exotic looking floor.  Metallics are glamorous and “hip” looking.

 

The next question you might be asking is “Are metallic epoxy floors durable?”

Yes, these floors are considered a high performance floor coatings and designed to last for years. These metallic coatings are just as resistant to oil, salt, chemicals, acids, water, and wear as any other high performance epoxy floor.  Maintenance is easy and the amount of light they reflect is outstanding due to the glossy nature of the surface.  Like any other epoxy coating, they can be a little slippery when wet if you don’t use an anti-slip additive in the final top coat.

 

Besides the glamorous decorative effects, the seamless epoxy floor is chemical resistant and easy to clean, making it ideal for concrete floors in medical facilities, restaurants, showrooms, and retail environments.

 

The Bottom Line: If you have an interior floor project that has been begging for something really different and everyday tile, carpet or laminate is just not going to cut it -check out metallic floors with your local Sundek Dealer. I like ‘em!!

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System Series: All About Epoxy Floors!

Garage Floor Slippery

In our last blog we looked at the Sundek SunCanvas (known in the decorative flooring industry as a micro-topping). Lets take a deeper look at another great set of interior flooring options – Epoxy Coatings!

The Early Days….

Did you know? Epoxy coatings were some of the first materials used for interior concrete floor use?

Yes, that’s right! Most of the initial trial and error for epoxy coating systems came from applications on warehouse floors and other commercial spaces starting way back in the late 1940s and 1950s!

 

These floors were vEpoxy Floor Sampleery plain looking with added safety stripes and warnings markers being the only “decorative”elements. Most of these epoxy floor applications were restricted to large manufacturing facilities that needed a clean, dust free environment that also gave off a high gloss for better light refraction. The end results were to ultimately create an improved work environment, safety and improved production.

Jumping forward a few decades…

During the 1960’s 70’s and 80’s, the industry saw an explosion of new materials come onto the commercial flooring market as well as many improvements in the chemistry and performance of the epoxies. We saw the use of urethanes, acrylics and, more recently, the appearance of the polyaspartics. These materials have been around a long time but were restricted to use in large commercial areas or applications such as warehouse floors, assembly lines and light manufacturing. They were never thought of as anything decorative to say the least. My how times change!!!

 

Today….Epoxy use constrained only by the designer’s imagination and contractor’s capabilities!

Today, we see the use of various color combinations, color metallic, colored mineral aggregates, and vinyl chips which can be designed with amazing patterns and graphics!

It is incredible!!! That ugly yet practical warehouse floor just got cool and sexy!! Metallic photo

Now the question is which material or system do I chose for my floor. This goes back the series of questions we have to ask our-selves anytime we are planning a decorative concrete floor.

 

  • How is the floor going to be used – night club dance floor, dining area, auto mechanic’s floor, industrial plant?
  • What are the owners expectations i.e. budget-looks-maintenance
  • Application Conditions –includes installer experience.
  • What kind of shape is the substrate – wood – concrete – another material existing?

The actual material we select will come from using the criteria above. Let’s take a closer look at the top two system types:

EPOXY COATINGS: These materials are very tenuous when it comes to bonding to the surface prepared concrete and make great bond coats for other materials as final top coats.

Pros                                           Cons

  • Bondability                          •  Reactive to UV rays and can amber
  • Versatile applications      •  Scratch easily
  • Good price point                •  Breathability

POLYASPARTICS:  This high tech material that can be used in about any situation and cold weather conditions.

Pros

  • Durable – great for high traffic areas and mechanic’s shops
  • Very fast cure times allowing area to be returned to use in short time

Cons

  • Not real user friendly to install
  • Can be expensive for buyer

URETHANES:  great material for final top coats and provide a lot of gloss.

Pros                                         Cons

  • Scratch resistant              • Can get a little pricey
  • Some slip resistance       • Non-Breathable
  • UV resistant                     • Difficult to strip if needed
  • Very durable

ACRYLICS: another great material for top coating that is very user friendly and a versatile material.

Pros                                  Cons

  • Breathable                  • Not as durable as the others
  • Cost effective              • Requires reapplication under moderate to heavy use
  • UV resistant
  • Strippable

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The Bottom Line: All of these epoxy & polyaspartic materials can be used in a decorative floor situation combining color techniques, patterns, even some textures – depending on our material selection process discussed earlier. The decorative concrete market today is becoming more and more specialized so be careful when selecting your decorative concrete contractor. Just because he or she is great at doing stamped concrete doesn’t mean he is going to do a great job on your metallic finish for your kitchen floor. I always recommend that you look at a few jobs they have done with the products you are considering.

My next blog will get into the details regarding some of the most popular interior epoxy floors on the market today.

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Increase the Durability of your Garage Floor with an Epoxy Coating

Garage Floor Treatment

There can be no doubt about it; your garage floor is going to see a never-ending stream of abuse. Naturally, your automobiles are going to be traveling over it each and every day, and whatever fluids drip out of them while they’re parked overnight are only going to go one place – onto your garage floor. While concrete is itself quite durable, it’s not infallible. Over time, the constant abuse it’s subject to is going to take its toll.      


Epoxy Coatings Great for Garage Floors

Sundek Garage Floors

Transform your garage flooring from the typical dull gray concrete slab to a beautiful, durable and low maintenance epoxy garage floor. With Sundek’s SunEpoxy system, creating a custom colored garage floor is a simple process that will give you a beautiful surface that will last for years to come.

SunEpoxy is installed over the existing concrete surface, creating an extremely durable, low maintenance surface that’s resistant to oils, chemicals, stains and everyday wear and tear. SunEpoxy is also available in a wide variety of color choices, and additional custom colored media like quartz chips can be added to enhance the aesthetic appeal.

Make your garage more inviting and functional today with Sundek’s SunEpoxy epoxy coating system.