We know that epoxy is an attractive and durable flooring option for residential and commercial spaces, but does it have the potential to be slippery? The short answer…it depends. The fact is all smooth surfaces have the potential to be slippery, especially when wet or when oil is present. However, there are solutions to make sure that your floor has the right amount of traction in order to find the proper balance between safety and ease of cleaning. In this blog, we will discuss the various options available to make sure we are tailoring your flooring to your specific needs and demands.
At a minimum, we recommend an epoxy flake floor to combat slipping, as it has a slightly textured profile. A flake system consists of three layers: Epoxy Base Coat, Decorative Flake Broadcast, and Polyaspartic clear top coat. Check out a video of our epoxy flake installation process here. The benefits of adding the flake are as follows:
- They greatly increase the overall tensile strength of the coating. Think of them as reinforcement similar to the fibers in fiberglass
- The hills and valleys prevent scratches
- The texture improves slip resistance
- They look amazing! Color options can be viewed here
The pitfall, in some applications, is that the clearcoat applied on top of the flakes tends to smooth out the surface. The smoothness of the finished floor is highly dependent on the thickness of the final topcoat. If slip resistance is important to you, make sure you discuss this with your contractor, as it can be adjusted during the installation process. You did hire a contractor that specialized in installing epoxy flooring, right? Great! Let’s look at some other options to increase the traction of your epoxy floor.
Aluminum Oxide Additive
If you want to further increase the slip resistance of your epoxy floor, a powder-like aggregate can be added to your clear top coat. We recommend using aluminum oxide because it is much stronger than some of the plastic-based additives found at your local paint store. You know, it rhymes with Shark Grip. Oops.. that’s the actual name. Anyways, aluminum oxide is available in various grits, similar to sandpaper that increases the traction as the particles increase in size. As you may have already guessed, aluminum oxide is made from tiny metal balls, so it leads to a much stronger floor. The benefits of adding aluminum oxide are as follows:
- Further increases slip resistance
- Protects against scratches
- Lowest cost option to reduce slipping
- Doesn’t increase installation time greatly
- Can be installed on a flake system and solid-color epoxy flooring
One pitfall of the aluminum oxide is that it may slightly reduce the sheen of the epoxy flooring depending on how much and what grit is added. Another challenge is the coarser grits can make cleaning more difficult. Think of mopping a floor and how it may or may not glide over the floor as the coarseness increase. Again, have a conversation with your contractor to see which option is best.
Sounds fancy, right? You may have already heard of ceramic coating in the car and boat detailing industry. Well, now we have a similar technology available for epoxy flooring. If you are looking for the most slip resistance without changing the appearance of your epoxy floor, then the Nano-Protective Coating is your best bet. It is applied on top of your clear coat once it has cured and creates a chemical bond. The real magic is what this nano-coating does to protect your floor:
- An added layer of protection that increased epoxy floor lifespan
- Resists damaging chemicals, including battery acid
- Prevents scratching
- Not slippery even when wet without sacrificing the appearance of your epoxy floor
- It can be added to many other surfaces, such as tile, polished concrete, and stone
While this option clearly adds the most value to your epoxy flooring project, it is worth mentioning that since the nano-coating can not be applied on the same day of epoxy installation, there is a higher upfront investment required.
We hope this article has been helpful to you in making your decision on which slip-resistant option is right for you. If you have a question feel free to contact us anytime.