If you are in the middle of a home renovation and would like to change your flooring, you might want to save yourself some time and wonder whether epoxy can go over a tiled floor. You might be asking yourself, how exactly is it done? Will it change the durability of the floors, and can it go over any type of tile? We're also curious about these questions, so we've done the research to find out!
Yes, epoxy coating can go over tiles, but only if your tiles are not worn and can serve as a reliable base. You will need to make sure that it can be stable throughout the entire process and that tiles do not sound hollow when you knock on them. If the tiled floors prove to be faulty, epoxy will lift, crack, and ruin your space.
There are many factors to consider when changing your flooring. Of course, we understand that you want the most time-efficient and cost-effective process. That’s why we have gathered expert opinions and some of the best ways you can transform your floors, so keep reading to learn more.
What is epoxy flooring?
Epoxy flooring is a type of synthetic resin that is often placed above concrete or another compatible flooring. It has several layers of thermosetting resin that are all lathered on and coated onto another flooring.
The two floor systems form a strong bond that can withstand high-impact pressure and high-volume traffic, which is why it is often used in industrial and commercial plants.
How do you make epoxy bond with tiles?
First, you need to ensure proper adhesion. Epoxy might not stick properly to a tile’s glazing coat; therefore, you need to sand the tiling first to remove the glaze. After grinding the surface until it is scratched, lather an epoxy primer over it to penetrate the tile surface.
Filling the tile joints
You should not layer epoxy over tiles without first patching its joints. You can grout them one by one, but it is not time-efficient on top of having a large margin of error with smaller tiles. To make things easier, you can pour an epoxy filler coat over the entire area.
Types of Epoxy Flooring
There are many varieties of epoxy flooring that will blend with any interior and style, making it suitable for industrial, commercial, or residential locations. Its decorative options can also give an artistic flair that you can use to beautify your space.
Epoxy terrazzo is crafted with mixes of other aggregates such as granite, marble, or mother of pearl. It is a decorative flooring that creates a textured surface, effectively reflecting light and giving off an elegant finish.
This flooring is often found in office buildings and commercial venues since it can have an impressive lifespan of 40 years with proper care and maintenance.
Epoxy Flake Coating
Epoxy flakes are created by scattering flakes over a colored epoxy base and finishing with a tough and clear sealer. The flakes have a decorative appeal that can brighten up a room, and its flooring system has a protective layer that can accommodate heavy-traffic and high-activity areas.
These floors are often seen in schools, shopping areas, museums, and other places that expect high levels of foot traffic.
Epoxy Floor Coating
This type of flooring can be found on medium-traffic and industrial surface areas. The finish comes in a single color, with several texture options such as matte, satin, or gloss.
The resin-rich formulation of self-leveling epoxy allows it to settle itself into a smooth and level surface. It is poured over a slab of concrete and spreads across the floor, making the installation quick and efficient. After curing, it has a seamless finish, a strong floor system, and durable layers that can withstand heavy pressure and traffic.
Antistatic Epoxy Flooring
Antistatic epoxy is often used in laboratories and science facilities as part of an electrostatic discharge prevention system that protects against sensitive equipment and explosive content. The coating prevents electrostatic charge from gathering on the floor, making it the safest flooring option for high-risk areas.
Can epoxy go over all types of tiles?
Although epoxy can generally be put over tiles after sanding, ceramic tile floors cannot support an epoxy coating. Even if you thoroughly sand ceramic, it will not have enough adhesion to make epoxy stick, and its weak durability will compromise the entire floor system.
If you want to switch to epoxy flooring, you will need to remove the entire ceramic flooring first.
Benefits of Epoxy flooring
If you’re intrigued about epoxy flooring, we can explore its features and see if it will suit your area and lifestyle.
Epoxy flooring is popular for its general ability to withstand varying foot traffic and activity—from abrasions, manufacturing processes, chemical material, and equipment pressure. This feature makes it ideal to use in commercial buildings and manufacturing plants, as well as busy residential locations.
Epoxy has a non-slip profile since the wet coating is sanded during application. Manufacturers and workers will benefit from this quality as they walk briskly around the area since their safety is always a priority.
Epoxy is a seamless surface that reflects light with its elegant finish. It has a wide variety of designs that are mixed with aggregates, microchips, and textured additives. This makes epoxy flooring a flexible choice—it can suit offices, buildings, schools, and even homes.
This flooring does not pose risks in polluting the environment, and the installation leaves less carbon footprint compared with other flooring materials. Since it is not a porous material, there is no need for harsh cleaning materials that can be toxic to the environment.
Most epoxy floors are three times stronger than concrete, making it reliable and resistant to heavy impact, huge equipment, and extreme temperatures. It will be able to protect the flooring underneath as well as the surface from wear and tear.
Disadvantages of Epoxy Flooring
Here are some factors that you will need to prepare for if you are considering changing your flooring to epoxy.
Epoxy can be slippery after you clean it, and it can take longer to dry since its surface is non-porous. This is why malls and restaurants often need signage to avoid certain wet areas, especially if their floor is coated with epoxy—it is a high risk for accidents.
Temporary flooring solution
Epoxy flooring always needs something installed underneath to support it fully, making it a temporary flooring solution. It is often layered with steel, concrete, wood, or tiles to create a strong floor system.
Cold under your feet
Compared to other flooring materials such as hardwood, it does not contain insulating properties. You will need to invest in heating since it is bound to be cold under your feet with epoxy flooring alone.
Improper mixing of epoxy can ruin its coating. If you separate the mixture and leave some of it under the sun, ultraviolet rays can alter the color composition which will make the coat unevenly-tinted when you finish curing the epoxy.
Takes longer to dry compared to other flooring
Epoxy flooring can take longer than 72 hours for the surface to be fully cured and usable, compared to other flooring materials, which generally take only 24-72 hours.
Tedious installation process
The preparation alone will take a long time as you remove grease, oil, and debris. You will also need to wait until weather conditions are favorable before you install epoxy flooring. For example, humidity needs to be low enough to avoid moisture from gathering and damaging your floor, which can compromise its durability.
Strong toxic fumes
Epoxy has the same smell as ammonia, especially when it is newly-coated on the floor. These fumes are toxic, so you will need to wear protective equipment to avoid health risks such as inflammation in the nose, eyes, throat, and lungs. However, rest assured that there will be no more health risks as soon as the floor is cured.
How much does epoxy flooring cost?
Compared to other flooring materials, epoxy is considered to be the most cost-effective because of its low price point. It ranges from $3-$12 dollars per square foot and has an even lower installation cost of less than $1 per square foot. Businesses can save more with this cost, and residential areas can have beautiful flooring for a lower price.
How long do epoxy floors last?
Epoxy flooring generally has a lifespan of 10-20 years with proper tune-ups and maintenance. Some types of epoxy flooring can even last up to 40 years when mixed with stronger aggregates. Be sure to immediately fix any known damage to prevent it from spreading across the surface so it can last you a long time.
Epoxy is a durable and sustainable flooring system that beautifies the space for a lower cost. You can save more time by layering it over tiled floors to have a sturdier flooring that can benefit you for years.
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