Epoxy is one of the most versatile and powerful tools in any construction or DIY project. Most of the time it’s used for adhesion, or when you need to add a protective coating. So, you’re probably wondering if you can use epoxy’s signature durability on your wooden floors. Wooden flooring can be sensitive, and it can get pretty pricey, too. We have thoroughly researched if you can epoxy a wooden floor.
As long as you properly prepare your wood flooring, it is possible to use an epoxy coating. However, there is an equal share of benefits and disadvantages. Using epoxy on wood floors can be divisive because the epoxy can be weak to sunlight. This isn’t ideal for a living room floor that will be subjected to multiple windows. Also, wooden floors may build up too much moisture, which must break through the epoxy.
Epoxy comes in so many forms that it’s tough to tell how to use it. And if you have genuine wooden floors, then it’s important to take care of them properly. Keep reading to learn how epoxy will work with wood and flooring, including how to correctly apply the epoxy.
Will epoxy stick to wood?
Before you begin applying a brand new substance to your valuable floors, you should know exactly what epoxy is and how it’ll work with your wood.
Pure epoxy is usually made up of two different parts, including a resin and a hardener. When these two things are mixed together, you end up with an unusually strong adhesive. In fact, epoxy is known to harden far more quickly than alternative products. Pros like Tough Floors agree that epoxy typically cures in about seven days, though you can walk on it after twelve hours.
Overall, these advantages make epoxy perfect for sticking to any material. Epoxy is even able to stick on concrete, which makes epoxy very popular in the garage. As such, epoxy will definitely stick to wood. There are epoxy products specifically designed for tabletops and general wood repair. You can read this post to learn if epoxy will soak into the wood.
Can you put epoxy on a plywood floor?
Generally speaking, plywood is coated with polyurethane varnish. This applies when plywood is used for furniture and similar projects. For example, plywood is often used for countertops. But specialists like Countertop Epoxy suggest that epoxy is suitable for plywood countertops. It simply requires a few extra steps of preparing the plywood before any application.
When plywood is used for flooring, it’s usually placed beneath the actual floor covering. This is considered an underlay, which should be coated with a waterproof layer. Epoxy can serve as this layer. The plywood still needs to be treated properly beforehand, like any other wood.
But there are some problems that you should consider. Remember that wooden floors will expand, contract, and develop moisture. Wood always needs room to breathe, and polyurethane is very flexible. Meanwhile, epoxy is so stiff and powerful that it probably won’t allow the wood to have that breathing room.
Also, it’s possible that you’re using plywood flooring on the surface level. In this case, bear in mind that epoxy is known to be susceptible to powerful sunlight over time.
True, you can add a protective UV layer on top of the epoxy. But that protective layer would be enough on its own. This is why many epoxy products do their best to add built-in UV protection, which isn’t always reliable.
How do you apply epoxy to wood floors?
Overall, it isn’t considered ideal to coat wooden floors with epoxy to begin with. Experts like Florock agree that wood floors should not be epoxy coated.
However, epoxy is also famously durable and glossy. As long as you have considered the risks of adding epoxy to your wood floors, then you can still apply epoxy for its benefits. There are a number of steps to follow when you decide to use epoxy on wood flooring.
What do you seal wood with before epoxy?
Firstly, you should consider how you’re going to seal the wood. As long as the wood sealer has had enough time to dry, epoxy will probably stick to it. Most brands of sealer, even if they are oil-based, will bond with the epoxy.
But that can be a problem. You don’t really want your epoxy to bond with a surface layer. It would be more beneficial to let the epoxy bond with the actual wood. Otherwise, epoxy can potentially peel away with a wood stain beneath it, given enough time.
Because this is so divisive, the best sealer for your wood is actually just a thin layer of the epoxy resin itself. Then, let this thin layer dry completely.
You can now feel absolutely certain the wood will be sealed, and interact properly when you complete the epoxy process. What matters most is that the wood is totally clean and smooth for the epoxy coats. However, you may also want to apply a coating of latex primer to improve adhesion.
What kind of epoxy should I use on wood flooring?
There are actually many different types of epoxy, and countless modifications have been made.
First of all, you should use tabletop epoxy instead of deep pour epoxy. Deep pour epoxy is also known as “river table” epoxy, or “casting resin.” This is because deep pour epoxy takes a lot longer to cure. This allows for molding and production, so deep pour epoxy is not intended for flooring.
Deep pour epoxy is thinner, softer, and takes an unusual amount of time to cure. You are more likely to disrupt deep pour epoxy while you wait for it to harden.
Instead, you should use tabletop epoxy, which is specifically designed to be used as a coating layer. You can then select a brand of tabletop epoxy that will cure a little slower if you want. This can make the epoxy layer stronger, and give you more time to apply the epoxy. But don’t let epoxy sit too long, or it’ll probably be interrupted by foreign particles.
You should also consider the viscosity of the epoxy. With liquids, viscosity basically refers to the thickness. Carefully read the manufacturer’s viscosity rating, which will determine whether or not their epoxy is ideal for coating. Specialists like Brew Floors advise using low viscosity epoxy on flooring, for better adhesion.
Applying the selected epoxy
Now that you have chosen the proper epoxy for your flooring, it’s time to actually apply the product.
First, you should wash and clean the wood surface. This way there will be no grease or other substances that will prevent total adhesion. The flooring for an entire home can demand a lot of surface area to cover. For a job like that, you may want to rent or purchase a pressure washer. This will remove unwanted materials like dirt and mildew.
Next, it is absolutely crucial that you sand down the flooring. This can be achieved by renting or purchasing a floor buffer. Sanding down the flooring will even it out and remove any troublesome imperfections. You can read this post to learn if a floor buffer removes scratches. A floor buffer can also remove any unwanted coatings that should not sit underneath the epoxy.
Now you can apply a layer of latex primer in order to improve the bonding between the epoxy and wood. Like any paint job, you should use brushes for the edges and rollers for the wide surface areas. Using a roller for the edges will not result in even strokes.
Now you can stir the epoxy together, which begins the hardening process. It may take a few minutes to properly mix the resin and the hardener or catalyst. It is often best to use a transparent epoxy that will allow the natural color of your wood to come through.
There are also multiple levels of gloss from which you can choose. The gloss is how much your floor will shine. This variety can suit any personal preference.
Epoxy can be used for just about anything because its adhesion is so powerful. But using epoxy on wood can get a little tricky. There are some risks involved when applying epoxy to any wooden floor, more so than typical projects like dining tables or countertops. Now you know both the benefits and drawbacks of using epoxy on your wooden floors. All you need to do is weigh your options and decide what’s best for you.