Metallic Epoxy Flooring 3D Appearance
Metallic epoxy flooring is currently one of the hottest trends in decorative concrete floors. With metallic flooring, you can achieve a wide range of visual effects and different colors. Others enable you to achieve a stunning 3D appearance, which produces an appearance of ripples, swirling rivers and craters of metallic looking plasma.
Metallic epoxy also creates movement and depth in the floor, thus replicating molten metal. If you have been considering metallic epoxy flooring for your surfaces, here is everything you need to know, to determine whether it is a viable option for you.
What Is Metallic Epoxy?
This flooring material is obtained when a 2-compoent epoxy solids, is combined with metallic pigments. The result is a self-leveling epoxy coating, which is easy to manipulate to create or produce different visual effects.
When it is applied to the floor, various solvents like denatured alcohol, are then applied. These solvents diffuse and move the metallic pigments around in the epoxy. This creates the look of a flowing river, as well as spots of fractured-looking molten metal, sitting on the surface of the coating.
As you might have noticed, this process cannot be carried out by anyone. You need to hire professional contractors, who have specifically handled such projects successfully. The application method used determines the result. For example, some products can be worked with a leaf blower or an air nozzle, giving effects that look like rolling waves, puddling, ripples and moon craters. You can also create two-tone effects if you introduce a second color during application.
Are They Durable?
Durability is one of the most important considerations when choosing a flooring material. Looks can be deceiving, but these beautiful metallic flooring solutions, are a high-performance coating, with the ability to last many years.
An epoxy primer should be installed when applying the first coat. The actual metallic epoxy coating is the applied during the second coating. This is then followed by a third clear coat on the surface. Some contractors install the 4th coat if the top coat is polyurethane. The result is a very thick coating, because of a number of coats involved.
These metallic coatings are equally resistant to salts, oils, acids, chemicals, water, and wear, just like other high-performance epoxy flooring materials. Their ability to reflect light is outstanding because of their glossy surface. This results in considerable cost savings in energy bills. Furthermore, metallic flooring is easy to maintain. Similar to other epoxy coatings, these can also be slippery when wet, especially if you fail to apply anti-slip additive on the final top coat.
Metallic Epoxy Installation
Metallic epoxy installation is similar to other multi-coat systems. The only difference is the manipulation of the pigment used in the metallic coating or addition of metallic solvents. If you are planning to install this floor coat on your own, you require at least 2 people, when you consider the time limitations involved during the steps.
Most of these coats are applied using a squeegee or a notched trowel. It is then back-rolled using a 3/8-inch roller, to produce a thicker film. This process allows the metallic pigments to move throughout the proxy easily. Due to the thickness of the coat, a gallon of the mixture will only cover around 50 feet. Therefore, one person should be mixing the extra batches while the other one is applying the metallic epoxy.
You should start manipulating the metallic coat in around 15 minutes after application. The person mixing the additional batches will also do this. This process is achieved by blowing air straight on the epoxy. This moves it around, thus creating ripples, waves or craters. As you do this, depressions will form. However, it levels itself after 10 minutes, resulting in the desired effect.
Metallic Epoxy Floor DIY
There are certain metallic epoxy products, which require an addition of metallic solvents to the base coat, as an alternative for manipulating it with air. These are applied after the base coat, thus inducing puddles of molten metal, as well as giving the surface a river effect. These require at least 20 minutes to set. When working with solvents, it is always advisable to use a sample first. Since solvents take some time to react with the epoxy, you will get an estimate of the durations needed to produce the desired effect.
You need to note that metallic epoxy flooring is quite cost-intensive. However, the extra cost of materials will soon be forgotten when once your floor is done. If you are looking for a flooring option with an exotic and beautiful showroom look, then metallic epoxy coating should be among your top considerations.