The epoxy coating produces strong and attractive floors. Epoxy has primarily been applied on concrete floors. As a result, you might be wondering whether epoxy can be used on wood floors.
You can epoxy a wood floor, but the surface must be prepared for the best results because epoxy coating doesn’t naturally bond well with wood. Apart from giving your wood floor a more beautiful appearance, the epoxy coating can also help reduce your electricity bills.
Although epoxy has long been used in commercial and industrial flooring, it’s gaining rapid popularity as a residential flooring solution. This article explains everything you may want to know about using epoxy on wood floors.
Epoxy Finish for Wood Floors: Benefits, Downsides, and Installation
You can apply epoxy coating on a new wood floor as a finishing solution or as an upgrade on existing floors.
While some people are excited about epoxy flooring on wood, others doubt it.
The resulting confusion has only complicated matters for those considering an epoxy flooring solution.
I’ll discuss epoxy coating benefits, downsides, and installation process on wood floors to clear the confusion, so you can decide if epoxy flooring is worth it.
What Are the Benefits of Epoxy Flooring on Wood Surfaces?
Learning the pros and cons of epoxy flooring is important if you’re trying to decide if this is a suitable finish or upgrade for a wood floor.
Let’s take a look at epoxy flooring pros:
1. Long Lasting Floors
Epoxy coatings on wood floors produce firm surfaces that can last many years and require light maintenance.
An epoxy floor can withstand heavy traffic and last up to 10 to 30 years.
As a result, this flooring solution can extend the lifespan of your timber floor.
2. Beautiful Floors
There’re endless decorative options with epoxy floors.
For instance, if you choose the metallic style, you can design it in multiple ways by simply tweaking the application pattern.
The flake style also has limitless decorative potential.
Apart from varying flake chip colors, you can apply different chip sizes and textures.
3. Cheaper Flooring Option
Epoxy flooring is cheaper to install than many flooring options, including titles and vinyl.
If your budget is tight, epoxy can be a great option for a wood floor upgrade or finish.
You also save money on maintenance because this flooring solution is resistant to many degrading factors.
4. Energy-Efficient Flooring Solution
Epoxy surfaces are glossy and highly reflective.
As a result, an epoxy floor can reflect more light in a room, allowing you to install fewer light bulbs in the space.
The obvious benefit is that you can save money on electricity bills.
Moreover, using less electricity is great for the environment, considering that much of our power comes from fossil fuels.
As a result, applying epoxy coating on your floors can help reduce your home’s carbon footprint.
What Are the Downsides of Epoxy Wood Floors?
Epoxy flooring isn’t all glossy on wood.
If you’re considering epoxy flooring on wood surfaces, it helps to pay attention to the drawbacks of this solution.
Let’s look at the cons of epoxy flooring:
1. Epoxy Flooring Is a Long Process
It can take several days to complete epoxy flooring.
It involves applying multiple products, and each requires many hours to cure.
That can cause inconveniences if you seek to occupy a room quickly.
2. Extensive Preparation Required
Installing epoxy on wood floors requires an extensive, meticulous execution, or you could ruin the project.
Applying this flooring solution on wood involves a longer process than when using it with concrete, which can increase your installation costs.
Apart from cleaning the surface thoroughly, you must mix the epoxy parts at the correct ratios for good results.
3. Slippery Surface Poses Fall Risk
Once installed, epoxy toughens and becomes like plastic.
It doesn’t absorb moisture like wood, which contributes to its durability. However, epoxy’s nonporous nature has a downside.
Unless treated with additives, a basic epoxy floor can be slippery when wet, posing a fall risk in spaces such as bathrooms.
The good news is that there are ways to make epoxy floors non-slip.
4. Inhaling Epoxy Fumes Can Affect Health
The fumes evaporating from epoxy materials during installation can irritate your skin, eyes, nose, and throat.
Long exposure to epoxy fumes can cause allergies and asthma. However, epoxy floors are safe once installed.
How To Install Epoxy on Wood Floors
You can install epoxy yourself to save money on labor. The process is time-consuming, so you’d appreciate professional help. For example, you have limited time to apply an epoxy mixture, or the material would go to waste.
Therefore, working with epoxy can be tricky if you’re working alone and plan to coat a large surface.
Here’s the process of installing epoxy flooring on wood.
1. Prepare the Wood Floor Before Applying Epoxy
You should apply epoxy on a clean, stable surface.
Here’re a few steps to prepare the floor for the epoxy coating:
- Clean the surface to remove unwanted materials, such as dust, dirt, or debris. If these are left on the surface, they can impact the application of the epoxy and lead to poor results.
- Inspect the floor for loose joints or gaps and repair them. You want to apply the coating on a stable floor for the best results. Epoxy flooring can last longer when applied on a firm surface.
- Remove joining objects that pop on the surface, such as nails and screws. A hammer or a drill may be needed to drive down protruding nails and screws. Protruding objects can inhibit the proper spreading of the epoxy coat.
- Rub the floor with sandpaper to create the right texture that improves epoxy adhesion. Epoxy won’t bond well on a smooth wood surface, hence the need to sand it before you install the flooring.
- Dry the floor. Epoxy doesn’t stick properly on wet surfaces. Dry the floor before applying the epoxy coating. You may use a heat gun, such as the Genesis GHG1500A Dual Temperature Heat Gun on Amazon, which has temperature control settings.
2. Fill the Cracks and Gaps on the Floor
Your epoxy flooring kit for wood flooring should include material for filling and other uneven spots on the floor surface.
The crack filler product may come in parts as separate containers that need to be mixed before applying.
Mix as directed by the manufacturer and apply it on gaps and cracks to close them.
Depending on the weather condition, layer thickness, and product type, the cracker filler may require several hours to a few days to cure.
3. Prime the Wood Floor
Since epoxy is primarily designed for concrete surfaces, it can be tricky to work with on wood floors.
You should prime the wood surface to improve epoxy adhesion.
Apply at least two primer coats. The first primer to apply is the flexible type.
This flexible primer coating is ideal for wood floors because it accommodates wood’s natural tendency to expand and contract in different weather conditions.
As a result, it can reduce the risk of cracking and peeling of the epoxy floor.
Once the flexible primer coating is down, you can apply the standard bonding primer coat next.
Let each primer coat cure before you apply the next coat. A prime coating may require several hours to cure.
4. Decide the Epoxy Style You Want
You can choose between metallic or fake epoxy style options for your epoxy floor.
The metallic style gives a shiny surface with a metallic appearance.
The flake style includes decorative chips, which are available in multiple color options.
5. Prepare the Epoxy Coat Mixtures
Epoxy liquids come in two containers: parts A and B. Part A is usually the resin, and part B is a curing agent called the hardener.
The two parts are mixed to create the coating content. You’ll apply a basecoat followed by a topcoat.
How exactly you mix and apply the epoxy coats depends on your preferred floor style or look.
Follow these steps to prepare the epoxy basecoat:
- Pour part A epoxy resin into a container, such as a bucket.
- Add the color pigments to the content. White color pigments in the basecoat can produce a great metallic look.
- Mix the resin and the color pigments properly and let the mixture sit for several hours or overnight.
- Add the hardener, the epoxy part B, into the mixture.
Follow these steps to prepare the topcoat:
- Pour the epoxy resin into a bucket.
- For the metallic style, add the metallic color pigment. The topcoat will be clear without the color pigment for the flake style.
- Pour part B into the bucket and mix the content.
6. Apply the Epoxy Coatings to the Surface
Follow these steps to install epoxy flooring for a metallic look:
- Pour the basecoat content on the wood floor and spread it over. You’ll need a roller and a squeegee to achieve a perfect spread.
- Once the basecoat is properly applied across the floor, follow it up with the topcoat with the metallic pigment. Swirl the roller to mix the two coats.
Follow these steps to install epoxy flooring with the flake look:
You’ll need flake chips for this process. Available in different sizes and shapes, chips go between the basecoat and the topcoat.
If your epoxy flooring package doesn’t include the flakes, I recommend the Rust-Oleum 301359 Decorative Color Chips on Amazon. These flakes are high-gloss and easy to spread.
- Apply the basecoat over the floor and spread it properly
- Apply the flakes while the basecoat is still wet.
- You may toss the flake chips by hand, but I recommend using the Marshalltown Sharpshooter 2.1 Hopper Gun. Its air control feature can make applying flakes easy and quick.
- Apply the clear epoxy topcoat over the flakes.
You may require heat over the epoxy coatings to remove air trapped in the mixture.
You can use a heat gun or blow dryer to drive out the air.
Does Epoxy Flooring Increase Home Value?
Epoxy flooring can increase your home’s resale value with only a little investment. This flooring solution has great features that can excite many potential buyers. For example, epoxy floors don’t require special care, making them easy to maintain. Moreover, epoxy surfaces are beautiful and durable.
Epoxy flooring is also environmentally friendly because of its reflective nature.
Since epoxy surfaces are highly reflective, you’ll need fewer light bulbs in rooms with epoxy flooring.
Therefore, giving your floors an epoxy upgrade or finish can help you sell your home quickly and at a great price.
This can be a great deal considering that you don’t need to break the bank to install epoxy on your floors because this is one of the more affordable flooring solutions.
You can epoxy a wood floor to make it more beautiful and durable.
This flooring solution can also make your home more energy-efficient.
Furthermore, installing epoxy flooring can also boost your home’s resale value.
However, applying epoxy on wood floors can be a long, tedious, and hazardous process.
If installing epoxy flooring feels overwhelming, consider seeking professional assistance.