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There are many different types of flooring that are made from epoxy, ranging from industrial floor-coating to tiles made from epoxy-based materials. Epoxy is a thermosetting polymer that produces a hard plastic when a liquid polymer resin and a liquid hardening chemical are combined. These two liquids are mixed and the epoxy poured over a base material or existing flooring to create a thick coat of plastic. Generally, epoxy flooring can be split into two categories: a durable protective coating for existing floors such as wood or concrete and a flooring material made entirely of epoxy.
Epoxy flooring is a popular choice for industrial applications because it creates a surface that is impervious to many chemical spills and other industrial flooring wear. Materials such as sand, color chips, or other hard plastic can be mixed with the liquid epoxy so that the flooring has traction. Quartz sand is most often mixed with the epoxy to create a nonslip floor for food processing industries. There are also epoxy floors with anti-static properties for use in industrial areas like laboratories or electronics manufacturing where sensitive electronic equipment can be damaged by electrical charge.
While many people think of epoxy as a clear coating, many types of flooring made from epoxy are opaque. In both industrial and home applications, pigments can be mixed with epoxy flooring to create a solid opaque color. Chips or large particles of plastic in contrasting colors can also be mixed with the epoxy to create a marble look. These types of colored epoxies are often used in high-end garages in private homes or to create logos on floors in industrial applications. This type of epoxy flooring is called mortar epoxy, graveled epoxy, or epoxy terrazzo.
While it may be most commonly used in public buildings and industry, epoxy flooring is becoming popular with homeowners. There is an epoxy application for every room in the home. Tiles made from epoxy can be laid in the kitchen, entryway or other areas of the home that see heavy traffic, and a clear epoxy coating can be poured over tiles or prepared hardwood floors. Usually, epoxy flooring is most commonly applied in garages as a sealant for concrete. If a homeowner is interested in applying an epoxy floor coating in a home, he or she can contact a flooring company or buy epoxy flooring kits from home improvement stores. Do-it-yourself epoxy flooring kits can be inexpensive and relatively easy to apply.