Epoxy paint for coating concrete floors

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How-to Advice from Durall Experts

Skid resistant epoxy floor coatings

Slippery steps and floors are a real liability for any property owner. This is why many organizations like the US Post Office specify skid resistant surfaces on their steps, stairways, and other areas that can become wet or slippery. To avoid liability and minimize impact from accidental falls. many companies rely on skid resistant epoxy coatings. The aggressiveness of the skid resistant surfaces range from emery paper-like surfaces for patios and pool decks to very aggressive finishes for steps on food-service trucks and for industrial stairways.

Over the years, a variety of materials have been embedded in epoxy coatings. Aluminum oxide is a very small grain, but aggressive, material that can be broadcast onto the top coat of virtually any epoxy. Shark grip is a powder that has the same viscosity as epoxy and once mixed within an epoxy topcoat will disperse evenly throughout the coating surface. Other finishes employed over the years include ground rubber, walnut shells, and flint. 3M companies, with its color quartz, popularized the most common skid resistant additive. Medium-grade and the larger T-grade are often used. The advantage of color quartz is that they are angular grains giving good traction. And the quartz grains come in a variety of colors that can be mixed in blends to provide attractive floor finishes. These color quartz blends have one or more clear coats supplied. Many contractors put silica sand as their skid resistant additive. But silica has round grains, and while inexpensive, does not provide the best traction option.

Skid resistant surfaces are sometimes done where the entire surface area is covered with a skid resistant material. When using color quartz, this is often called the 3M-type floor. Once the epoxy has hardened, the excess color quartz chips are swept off  and a clear or colored topcoat is applied. If a smoother finish is required, additional coats of epoxy might be added. The key advantage of this type of floor is that quartz, being close to diamonds in hardness, provides a highly wear resistant surface.

Another method of providing skid resistance is to broadcast your skid resistant additive evenly over the surface, leaving some space between the grains. This is most easily done by throwing amounts of the aggregate high into the air so that it disperses fairly evenly over a wide area. In both methods, a topcoat is applied to sandwich the skid resistant material between layers of epoxy for a firm bond.

One should note that when textured surfaces are used to provide skid resistance, small amounts of dirt usually pile up on the side of grains that protrude. This usually means that walkways tend to shadow, as dirt builds up. Small grains can usually be cleaned easily with normal sweeping and mopping. Larger grains, however, often create some difficulty with maintaining a clean floor look.

For a detailed quote of materials needed to accomplish these repairs, please visit our free cost analysis page at www.concrete-floor-coatings.com/costanalysis.aspx

For more information, contact Chris Biesanz at chris@durallmfg.com or phone 1-800-466-8910 or 952-888-1488 (24/7).

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