To keep the concrete floor in your home or commercial building clean, sturdy and visually appealing, there are a handful of solutions. In some cases, people opt for laying tile over the concrete, paint over the surface or even just cover it with rugs or carpeting. Another option is to use concrete floor covering products to create a protective coating over concrete, as well as adding new coloring or texture. The aesthetics and durability make these products a smart choice for your indoor space.
Why Cover Concrete?
First, the question comes up: why do you need to cover concrete? Most indoor spaces don’t have much to gain from a bare concrete floor in terms of style, but there are other reasons besides appearance. Despite looking solid, concrete is very porous, making it prone to absorbing moisture or spills. This can stain the concrete, but it also presents a primary source of wear: absorbed moisture can contract and expand with temperature changes, forming cracks or removing chunks of concrete in a process called spalling. High-traffic areas also can damage the surface by abrasion.
How Concrete Coatings Work
Concrete floor covering products come in the form of polymer solutions, commonly epoxy plus a hardener co-reactant. Alternatively, the epoxy resin may come separately from the co-reactant prior to application. When applied to a concrete surface that is not polished or sealed, the resin and hardener react, causing the epoxy to form cross-linked polymer chains. This creates a seamless coating that bonds to the porous surface. Epoxy usually appears glossy, but the resin may have pigments or other additives to alter the appearance.
Benefits of Concrete Floor Covering
The primary advantage that an epoxy covering has over other concrete floor options is the polymer structure, which bonds especially well to porous concrete and creates a solid, durable and impermeable barrier. This repels water and stains, resists chemical and physical damage and covers existing imperfections. The layer also won’t peel away, unlike paint or tiling. Additionally, the moisture-repellent properties make epoxy surfaces easy to clean, so little maintenance is needed. Some products feature additives that change the coating’s properties; acrylic or mineral flakes can enhance the look of the epoxy, while slip-resistant aggregates improve friction underfoot, especially when wet.
Resilient and stylish, concrete floor covering products see use in homes, commercial buildings and industrial settings alike, particularly anywhere with high foot traffic or heavy equipment. To protect your concrete floor and add some visual appeal, see what epoxy coatings your local home improvement retailer has in stock.