learn about floor epoxies / options




Floor Paint..




epoxy floor application


Industrial Floor Epoxy paint web site - best two part floor coatings

best two part epoxy floor options for garage, deck, slab - BUY EPOXY FLOOR PAINT HERE



Buy Floor Epoxy at our 3rd party storefront --- ("EPOXY PAINTS" section)


floor epoxy

"Paul, you have outstanding products. Every product has out performed the highly advertised units I purchased elsewhere for past projects. Thank you."  (Dick - email 11/10/13)



Before you buy anything from anyone, we HIGHLY SUGGEST you CALL 603 435 7199 OR EMAIL US  (24/7/365 - except for Sunday morning church fellowship). Let's make sure you have the right products for the job, an understanding of how to use them and a feel for what might  go wrong.  And if  you purchase our products feel free to CALL OR EMAIL US again (24/7/365)  before you use them for "tips and tricks" or just some "hand-holding." Perhaps when you're done you'll let us put up some of our pictures on our web site.

We have much more information, customer stories, anecdotes, etc. we can share that are not on this web page but might be helpful to you. Email us with your phone #  (or call us direct) and we will chat on the phone. You should know your vendor and we want to know our customers.


Most people are not sure what product or products they need to use, how much product they need, and what to expect when using those product(s). You cannot get that from just reading a web site and most web sites just want  you to order their product on-line and then go away. We're different. Please call or email us so that your project goes smoothly and it is Win-Win for everyone.

You're talking with:  Paul Oman, MS, MBA -- Member since 1994: NACE (National Assoc. of Corrosion Engineers), SSPC (Soc. of Protective Coatings)  --  Technical Help - not sales talk!

Latest call answered 11 PM on a  Friday night (we strive to earn your business)


5 answered calls over the 4th of July Weekend!

Here is a great example of the benefits of contacting us:

Question:  What is the best approach to coating my very smooth garage floor? I'm looking for a good product for my garage floor it's around 950 sq. ft. The concrete is very smooth, looking for something that could last and protect, the surface in northern Indiana weather.

Answer: I would proceed very slowly, especially with a very smooth surface. contractors would "shotblast" (using a shot blast machine)   or grind your floor to remove the top surface and give it some 'profile.' Other options are acid etching and or high pressure water blasting. The problem is you don't know if you have done enough prep until after the fact.

If it were my floor I would decide what sort of prep I was willing to do - how far would I go? - and then purchase a 48 oz unit of a solvent free floor epoxy (Industrial Floor Epoxy -  www.epoxyusa.com) and apply about a square foot over where the tires are parked.... (tire 'pickup' will lift poorly bonded paints and epoxies. I would then sit back 3 or 4 moths and see how it goes. If problems appear, then time to reconsider - if great results, you can paint floor in the cooler fall weather.


apply floor epoxy coating

Professional contractors apply our Industrial Floor Epoxy (tm).

Now you can too! catalog page or  buy now


Quick Start to Understanding Epoxy Floors

The most simple epoxy floor 'system' has you clean and sweep your floor, roll down the epoxy and perhaps throw down some colored chips on top (or some non-skid grit).  Most box store and internet epoxy floor  web sites fall into this category. The system generally works, but it is not how a professional contractor would do an epoxy floor.

At the other end of the extreme is the following:  renting a floor grinder to grind 'open' the floor and remove old coatings, or a shot-blast machine for the same thing. Other prep methods might include acid etching, high pressure water etc. These do nothing for grease and oil stains which you might never get clean enough for the epoxy to stick over them.

Next in the 'extremely profressional' approach is  an optional concrete internal sealer to help control moisture in the concrete, followed by an optional epoxy primer (either a water based epoxy or a solvent thinned epoxy). Then the working coat of water or solvent free epoxy paint. Colored chips are added into a middle clear coat of either clear epoxy or clear polyurethane. Then a sealing coat of clear polyurethane (The best are 2 part polys with massive uv blockers to keep the epoxy (clear and pigmented) from yellowing in the UV light (these special 2 part polys - like our acrylic poly uv plus - are similar to auto clear coat and have uv blockers). Our acrylic poly UV plus cannot be sold in Calf . 99.9% of clear 1 and 2 part polyurethanes do not have substantial UV blockers.

Issues you have to consider include:

1) how much surface prep you are willing to do.

2) how much money and time (and layers of coatings) you are willing to deal with?

3) which kind of epoxy you want to use - water based, solvent free, (we offer the only epoxy floor coating with non skid grit mixed in). It may be too hot to apply some types in summer.

4) the amount, size, and colors of the colored paint chips if you go this route. (we are the only ones that send you to the 2 paint chip manufacturers to buy direct). How much of the floor do  you want covered in chips? 5%, 25 % 100%??? There are DIY alternatives to the chips such as flicking paint droplets onto the floor.

5) do you put the chips directly upon the colored epoxy or do you put them into a clear epoxy middle coat, or a 2 part poly middle coat? Clear epoxies will yellow so if you put paint chips into a thick clear epoxy middle coat )you need special uv protection on top. Using the clear epoxy puts the chips into a thick middle coat instead of thin middle coat giving a different look and texture.

6) many concrete surfaces are full of air and if you apply the epoxy at the wrong time the epoxy  will be covered with bubbles and popped bubbles with razor sharp edges. (usually only an issue when the cement was poured NOT by a professional concrete vendor who uses special machines to get the air out of the wet concrete).

7) the often used clear top coat is an issue too. Good ones cost too much for use in mass market floor kits and the 'auto clear coat' grade is hard to find and $$. Do you really need one?

8) hard working floors with forklifts and other heavy tools need an epoxy floor fully saturated with sand or aluminum oxide so that the quartz sand grains, and not the much softer epoxy resin, is supporting the load and drag of the heavy equipment. - this is the other extreme from an epoxy floor just to keep dust and dirt down and hide a few cracks.

All these issues, solutions, options, (prep issues, type of epoxies, quartz epoxy floors, where to get the paint chips, clear coat options etc) are all addressed with links to them in our EPOXY FLOOR LINKS PAGE.  Better still, just call us at 603-435-7199 anytime  for immediate answers and suggestions. A suggestion is to order a 48 oz test unit of our solvent free Industrial Floor epoxy (our most popular commercial grade floor epoxy available in light gray or beige) to test and play with in advance of your big project and climb a bit of the learning curve. (order at our simple web store - www.epoxyusa.com).  You may decide to skip then entire paint chip complication and just use the monochrome one color epoxy. Also be sure to see our floor epoxy section of our online epoxy catalog.




You can also use REGULAR EPOXY PAINTS instead of EPOXY FLOOR PAINTS on your floor

REGULAR EPOXY PAINTS are a bit thicker and can also be used on vertical surfaces. Gray Corro Coat FC2100A epoxy paint is kevlar (tm) reinforced. White or Blight Blue Water Gard 300 epoxy paint if often used in sewers and water treatment plants. CM 15 (ivory or black) is an epoxy paint with a long pot life (for hot weather) and a bit of flex. Originally designed for the inside of gasoline storage tanks on the Gulf Coast.




Why You Don't Want, Or Need,

A Cycloaliphatic Epoxy Floor Paint - as

promoted by one epoxy floor vendor





An epoxy floor coating can be a one to seven coat system. It can include colored sands or colored chips incorporated into the floor system for looks and/or anti slip. The introduction of sands or chips into the project greatly increase the options and decisions to be made. There are several different methods for how such systems can be applied which will change the number of layers or coatings applied as well as the use of non epoxy coatings in some of those coating layers. Unless the vendor/applicator/contractor offers a 'cookie cutter' approach to epoxy floors, you'll have lots of decisions to make.

If you decide to add 'grit' for anti slip purposes, this also introduces more options for you to consider. There are different kinds of grits, different sizes of grits, different methods of applying the grit, and different personal opinions regarding how much grit to use.




Water  Based Epoxy Floor coatings - a thin coating that is easy to apply and work with, but hides nothing and is not the 'commercial' epoxy floor most people think of.

Solvent Based Epoxy Floor coatings - Sort of like an oil based enamel, these epoxies contain solvents. These kinds of epoxies are generally not very common any more.

Solvent Free Epoxy  Floor coatings - The classic epoxy floor - thick enough to hide many floor flaws. Short working time per batch. Usually no odor.  THE EXPERT'S PICK - #1 RATED/BEST SOLVENT FREE FLOOR EPOXY PAINT - CLICK HERE .

Order this product by calling 603-435-7199 anytime or order online using this link: EPOXY NOW


In a multi coat system, a combination of the above epoxy types might be used as well as some non epoxy coatings (to provide UV protection to the epoxies, reducing yellowing).


Note that sometimes a thin water based or thin solvent based epoxy can/will be used as a sealer or base coat on concrete/cement under the 'regular' epoxy floor coating.




While the above information sounds daunting, most homeowners successfully get away with minimal surface preparation and one or two coats of epoxy 'slapped' on to the surface.






SOLVENT FREE (or low solvent)


(comparison table)

Water Bond Epoxy  (tm)

med. gray only

(comparison table)

Industrial Floor Epoxy (tm)

light gray or beige only


* actually contains voc solvents plus water (restricted in some locations)

* slight odor

* very long pot life

* water clean-up

* large coverage per gallon

* good color stability

* very thin coating - will not hide flaws (may highlight them)

* somewhat breathable and some penetration into concrete (good adhesion)

* generally less used than solvent free epoxy floor paints

* can be primer /sealer under other epoxy (non epoxy) floor systems




* no solvents or VOC issues (solvent free only)

* generally odorless

* wet thickness equals dry thickness (no shrinking)

* thick coating hides flaws and imperfections

* can trap air bubbles from expanding air in concrete

* shows epoxy yellowing in UV

* coverage about 150 sf per gallon

* creates vapor seal (radon etc)

* can have adhesion issues on damp moisture rich surfaces

* tough and durable

* standard commercial - professional floor solution

* short pot life - working time

* use with colored chips or colored sands

* works with chips - sands - multi-coat systems




ASK PROFESSOR E . POXY (help link)








ASK PROFESSOR E . POXY (help link)








1) epoxies that require a wait time after mixing and before applying are almost always obsolete, low quality products.

2) be wary of companies that don't tell you what kind of epoxies they are using and/or imply that their 'method/product' is the ONLY way to go.

3) be wary of companies that downplay surface preparation and don't mention the issues/problems (like yellowing or air bubbles from the cement/concrete) that might be encountered.

4) professionals use technical product data sheets and government required MSDS (material data safety sheets) to learn about and evaluate products. Be wary of companies that do not easily make these available to you as they are probably hiding something they don't want you to know.

5) Email or call the companies involved before you buy.. If they will not return an email or telephone call before the sale, you can be certain they will not after the sale.


High Quality Commercial Grade DIY Floor Project

"I have been looking for a good Commercial grade garage floor Epoxy system with color flakes and had a hard time till I stumble onto your web site. Most of the product that I find out there are the lower grade product that I’m not interested on, by the way this is for my own personal use in my 550 square foot, standard two car garage, that is the reason I want a good system. I understand I can purchase from you such products. I will need some advise on what you’ll recommend based on my needs. I see you carry two types of epoxy at two different prices. Please I would greatly appreciate if someone could get back to me with the type of product and all the necessary material to do an epoxy flake floor system with a clear top coat finish. Thank you."

 - Franco 1/15

Thank you for the kind email. The simplest system is simply to roll down a coat of epoxy and sprinkle some colored flakes on top of it. You are wise to seek a more commercial/professional system, but still within a DIY budget and skill set.

Here is a suggest system (with a few options included):

1) Surface prep: folks go from simple sweeping to Shot Blasting or Grinding. Each floor is different and some floors are not suitable for coating no matter how you attempt to prepare it. We cannot make official recommendations - it is truly your call, but check out our page on surface prep.

2) Epoxy primer:  epoxy floor primers are optional and most floor epoxy manufacturers do not require or sell them. That said, many (not all) experienced epoxy floor contractors recommend or require it. They claim better results, better bond, etc. Consider it extra insurance for a problem free project. You might prime and wait a few weeks before continuing. If bad stuff happens  (peeling, lifting, bubbles, etc.) it is only the thin coat of primer involved. Recommended primer ESP 155 1/2 gal unit covers about 150 square feet (not for sale in Southern California). Order 4 units for your 2 car garage.

3) Roll down a coat of solvent free Industrial Floor Epoxy. A 1.5 gal unit will cover just under 200 square feet. Colors are light gray or beige. Order 3 units for your 2 car garage. apply with a short roller. Order  2- 4 rollers. Let the epoxy cure for one or more days.

4) Order colored chips direct from the chip manufacture. You pick color and percent of each color. 100% chip coverage requires 1 pound of chips per 7-10 square feet. That said, most 2 car garages use two or three 10 pound bags of chips. Order chips direct from  Chips Unlimited.

5) Next a clear middle coat of epoxy or polyurethane is applied and the chips are sprinkled onto the wet coating and then application roller is rolled over the chips and coating (called back rolling). The roller picks up the chips and re-deposits them. Add more chips as needed, fix mistakes with a paper towel wipe-up.  Epoxy middle coat: thicker, no odor, but all epoxies yellow without special top coating. Two part poly middle coat: thin to start with, but also roll on thin not thick,  smelly, leaves some texture from the chips, not for sale in California, doesn't yellow. If using epoxy - Order 4 units of Low V Floor. If using 2 part poly - Order 2 - 3 units of Acrylic Poly UV Plus 2 part poly.

Note that the added materials for the epoxy middle chip coat add about $400  to the total cost compared to the Acrylic Poly Plus middle coat.

6) The clear topcoat over the chips in step 5 is the same Acrylic Poly UV plus. Two coats rolled on thin if going over an epoxy/chip, middle coat. Order 4 units of Acrylic Poly Plus (2 coats).  One or two coats if going over the same Acrylic Poly UV plus used with the chips in the middle poly/chip layer.


PRODUCT SUMMARY - 2 part poly middle coat with chips: 4 units ESP 155 primer; 3 units Industrial Floor Epoxy;  4 units Acrylic Poly UV Plus; optional short nap rollers (2-4) for the Industrial Floor Epoxy layer.

PRODUCT SUMMARY - Low V Floor clear epoxy middle coat with chips: 4 units of ESP 155 primer; 3 units of Industrial Floor Epoxy; 3 units of Low V Floor Epoxy; 4 units of Acrylic Poly UV Plus; optional short nap rollers (2-4)

PRODUCT SUMMARY - 20-30 pounds of chips ordered directly from Chips Unlimited.

COST ESTIMATES - (either system) - about $3 to $4 per square foot plus Chips (chips are under $150)


Brent L. who ordered our solvent free, commercial grade, Industrial Floor Epoxy emailed: "A few weeks ago I ordered epoxy, color chips and UV Poly top coat for my garage (1700 sqf t). You may or may not remember an order of 15 gal of epoxy to Bismarck, North Dakota....

Anyway, I have half the floor done (half because of moving everything in my garage from one side to the other) and the floor looks awesome. People that have seen it are astounded, they've never seen anything like it because no one around here supplies industrial epoxy.

In high school (Calgary, Alberta) I used to work for a company that specialized in epoxy patching of concrete, so I am somewhat familiar with epoxies. I spent many months researching on the Internet what products are available and their cost. The product you have supplied is top notch and I have passed on your name to anyone that is interested."

"You provide outstanding products, and Fantastic Support. Thank You." Brian S.

"Thanks for all your advice, tips & moral support concerning my project. It turned out beautiful. Quality people backing a quality product is the only way to go!" Joe



epoxyt floor paint

Professional contractors apply our Industrial Floor Epoxy (tm).

Now you can too! catalog page or  buy now



Links to Lots of MUST READ Information Articles About the Best Epoxy Floor Paints, Including Preparation, Alternatives, What Can Go Wrong, etc.

floor related articles, info, links





Clear Top Coats  - FLOOR CLEAR TOP

Best Floor Epoxy - CLICK HERE

Epoxy Quartz Floor - BROADCAST FLOOR

Acid Etching - ACID

Epoxy Paint Chip Floor - CHIPS

Epoxy Paint vs. Floor Epoxy Paint - EPOXY PAINTS

Epoxy Paint - SURFACE PREP

Floor Basics/Options - START HERE

Floor Epoxy - CATALOG PAGE



Comments: Returning customer (9/14)

Paul - You Rock.!! I know your going through some rough times; but your products, your site, has a Big impact on many of us 'little guys' out there. Keep the faith, you are providing a very valuable, service & advice. Your products allow our family to enjoy times in parts of the house that they normally wouldn't - and provide Great bonding time, when the kids decide to hang out with dad, in 'his' area.!!! It is thanks to YOU, and Your products, your support, that we ae able to do this. Thank YOU, Very Much.

We'll send those photos, of our old place, and when this is done, the new one. You provide outstanding products, and Fantastic Support. Thank You.

Brian S.



Epoxy Based Floor Coatings - Sampler Kit

Solvent Free Industrial Floor Epoxy - 48 oz test kit of IFF in beige or light gray. Tired of the low end stuff sold in mass market box stores or hard sell epoxy flooring web sites run by a marketing major and staffed with ex-shoe salesman just interested in your money? Check out our industrial - commercial (you can buy 15 gallon units), solvent free, Industrial Floor Epoxy (even the product name is simple, no frills labeling). Use with or without chips (order separately - picking colors and percentages), and with or without clear epoxy or poly intermediate or topcoats. Shop like a Professional - where you pick and select what you need. This product is featured on the Best Epoxies  website.




Epoxy Essentials (tm)


epoxy thumb

Reasons for coating failures

Preparation problem 70%; application problem 12%; environment problem 6%; wrong paint selection 9%; bad paint 1%; adding thinner 2%

"At least 70% of premature coatings failures are traced back to 'surface preparation' whether referring to wood, concrete, or metal. In a commercial recoating project, the costs (and profit) associated with surface preparation are about 70% of the job. How extensive the surface preparation is will depend on the performance expectation of the owner... Know the A, B, C's of surface preparation - visible contaminants, invisible contaminants, and profile."


Dr. Lydia Frenzel, The ABCs of Surface Preparation, Cleaner Times, April 2001, pg. 42-44.



Epoxy coatings are used because of their outstanding chemical resistance, durability, low porosity and strong bond strength.

Epoxies consist of a ‘base' and a ‘curing' agent. The two components are mixed in a certain ratio. A chemical reaction occurs between the two parts generating heat (exotherm) and hardening the mixture into an inert, hard ‘plastic'.

Epoxies yellow, chalk (or more commonly least lose their gloss), in direct sunlight (UV). The yellowing can be a real problem. For pigmented epoxies select colors that are dark or contain a lot of yellow (such as green). Even clear epoxies will yellow and cloud up. Often epoxies are top coated with latex or urethanes that will retain their color and attractive gloss. This is particularly true if color coding or matching company colors is important.

Epoxies will harden in minutes or hours, but complete cure (hardening) will generally take several days. Most epoxies will be suitably hard within a day or so, but may require more time to harden before the coating can be sanded.

By their nature, epoxies are hard and brittle. Additives can be added to epoxies that make them less brittle, but generally at the loss or reduction of other positive epoxy properties such as chemical resistance.

Other clues of cheap epoxies include ‘induction time' (after mixing the two components the mixture must sit for several minutes to ‘self cook' before being applied).

The best time to recoat epoxy is within about 48 hours after the initial coat. Because epoxies take days to reach full cure, a second coat applied shortly after the first coat will partially fuse to the first coat rather than forming a simple mechanical bond.

End users can thicken epoxy with many things, Tiny glass spheres, known as micro-spheres or micro-balloons are commonly used. Besides thickening, their crushable nature makes sanding the hardened epoxy easier. On the downside, they work like tiny ball bearings, resulting is sagging and slumping. Another thickener is fumed silica (a common brand name is Cabosil (tm)) which looks like fake snow. About 2 parts fumed silica with one part epoxy will produce a mixture similar in texture and thickness to petroleum jelly. Micro-spheres and fumed silica can be combined together.

Fisheyes are areas on a painted surface where the coating literally pulls away for the substrate leaving a coatingless void or fisheye. Often fisheyes are caused by surface contaminants such as a bit of silicon, wax, or oil. I have also seen them on clean plywood where epoxies paints have been used as sealers and the problem might be due to uneven saturation (soaking-in) of the epoxy into the wood. Surface tension plays a big part in fisheyeing. There are some additives that can be mixed into the epoxy that will reduce surface tension. Likewise, on wood, applying several coats of solvent thinned epoxy, instead of one coat of unthinned epoxy, seems to work well. Applying a thick coat of epoxy over a contaminated fisheye surface will bury the fisheye but expect the coating to peel away in the future. As a rule of thumb, always suspect some sort of surface contamination as the primary cause of fisheyeing.

Adding a bit of solvent to a solvent based or solvent-free epoxy is something that most manufacturers would not officially approve of and something that might not work with all epoxies. However, it can be done (unofficially) with the epoxies I deal with. Adding solvent to these epoxies will: 1) thin them out; 2) increase pot life; 3) allows them to flow off the brush/roller a bit more smoothly; and 4) perhaps allows them to ‘soak-in', penetrate, or may be soften, the substrate just a little bit. Not change is visible in the epoxy unless 12% or greater solvent is added. With that amount of solvent, the epoxies no longer cure with a glossy finish.

It is best to use epoxies with a mix ratio close to 1 to 1 as opposed to something 4-1, 5-1, etc. because errors in the mix ratios can be more pronounced with the latter. That said, no matter what the mix ratio is, some epoxies are more forgiving of mix ratio errors than others. One ‘trick' of epoxy vendors with odd or very sensitive mix ratios is to sell calibrated pumps that disperse the epoxy components in exact amounts.

epoxy marine resin

Goto EpoxyProducts.com

How Thick? How thick should your coating be? Economics play a major role in determining how much coating to apply. One U.S. gallon contains 231 cubic inches. That's only 1.6 cubic square feet of surface at one inch thick and that's also assuming a solvent-free product. If the product is 25% VOC (i.e. 25% solvent) then dry thickness/coverage will be 25% less. Again, assuming a 1/4 inch thick coating (250 mils) maximum coverage will still be only 6.4 square feet per gallon. A solvent-free (100% solids) epoxy coating applied at 16 mils will cover 100 square feet per gallon (note: the wall paint in your office is probably 2-4 mils). While thick coatings sound like a good idea, they use so much product that they must be made very cheaply so that coating 1,000 or 10,000 square feet can still be done at a competitive price. A high quality, fairly expensive product with a coverage rate of 100 sq. feet or more per gallon, on the other hand, will have a low enough cost per sq. foot to provide both economy and top quality.


Buy Floor Epoxy at our 3rd party storefront --- ("EPOXY PAINTS" section)





(click here)






need to learn more about epoxies??

--- visit these third party sites ---

Two Part Epoxy Product Groups:

(EVERYTHING-EPOXY.INFO  ---  Intro to basic epoxy resin types)

also visit the EPOXY GURU


Goto page two


Sister site - buy-marine-epoxy-resin

MEMBER:  Internet Epoxy Confederation (IEC - CLICK HERE TO VISIT) -- "Where Professionalism Still Matters"


Industrial Floor Epoxy paint web site - best two part floor coatings

best two part epoxy floor options for garage, deck, slab - BUY EPOXY FLOOR PAINT HERE


Your comments, suggestions, contributions and insights about this web page are appreciated.

Any pictures, product or page feedback and suggestions to help future product users or page readers is win-win for everyone. Please click on the email address below to send us your remarks, and thank you for your response.

email us at: IMPROVE THIS PAGE



web counter
web counter