One of the first questions we hear from customers is, as the famous phrase goes, “Can I put epoxy over concrete?”.
Epoxy flooring is on average a much better choice than traditional types of concrete coating due to its unique properties and advantages. So before deciding whether or not it’s right for you, let’s take a look at what exactly epoxy is:
Epoxy coatings are chemically formulated polymer systems that consist of two parts. The first part is an epoxide (or ‘epoxy) resin which when combined with a second part known as a hardener creates a chemical reaction resulting in a very durable thermoset plastic material.
The resin and hardener are mixed together just prior to application and can be applied in many variations depending on your project needs.
Some common applications include residential basements, garage floors, warehouses, commercial retail stores, and industrial facilities such as factories, showrooms, or manufacturing plants.
Do I need to seal concrete before epoxy?
You can put epoxy over concrete, but it usually has to be sealed first. If you have a brand new concrete slab that hasn’t been sealed, it will need to be cured for at least 28 days before applying epoxy.
This gives the moisture a chance to evaporate through the concrete.
If your surface is already dry and clean, you can seal it with a clear sealer like our Low VOC Concrete Sealer. The sealer helps prepare the surface and prevents moisture from damaging your epoxy floor coating over time.
Table of Contents
- Do I need to seal concrete before epoxy?
- How do I prepare my concrete for epoxy coating?
- Can you epoxy a concrete patio?
- How long does concrete need to cure before epoxy coating?
- Do you need to grind new concrete for epoxy?
- How do you know if concrete is ready for epoxy?
- Will epoxy stick to smooth concrete?
- How do you apply epoxy to concrete floor?
How do I prepare my concrete for epoxy coating?
To prepare a successful and long-lasting epoxy coating, you’ll need to perform some initial prep work. Here are the steps you need to take prior to applying an epoxy coating:
- Clean the concrete
- Repair cracks and holes
- Prepare the floor
- Make sure the concrete is dry
- Sand the concrete, if necessary
- Apply a primer
Now you are ready to apply your epoxy coating. Remember that there are different kinds of coatings for different applications and purposes. If your space isn’t large enough for rollers, consider using a brush or broom instead.
Can you epoxy a concrete patio?
Yes, you can epoxy over concrete. Concrete epoxy is a great way to cover your patio with a beautiful and durable surface that will last for years to come. You can even opt for a decorative or colored epoxy coating, such as stone or marble.
There are two main types of concrete epoxy: floor coatings and countertop kits. Floor coatings are thinner and are used in garages, commercial buildings, warehouses, basements, and other areas where you’d want an industrial-strength solution for covering the floor.
Countertop kits are thicker and provide more protection against heat (up to 150 degrees F) from hot pots, pans, and appliances placed directly on the surface.
How long does concrete need to cure before epoxy coating?
It’s important that the concrete is properly cured and dried before you begin to install the epoxy coating. There are many variables when it comes to curing time, but as a general rule of thumb, newly poured concrete should be allowed to cure for a minimum of 28 days before applying epoxy.
The CureTime app uses your contact information to check the weather in your area on the day of your pour, then sends alerts and reminders letting you know exactly when it’s time to apply your epoxy coating.
How strong will my concrete be after 28 days?
After 28 days, concrete should reach at least 85% of its full strength. The CureTime app allows for a little bit of wiggle room because there are so many variables that affect drying time: temperature, humidity levels and amount of sunlight can all impact how quickly or slowly your concrete cures.
Do you need to grind new concrete for epoxy?
- Grinding is important to the process of getting epoxy onto your concrete.
You want this to be as easy and effective as possible. The best way to do so is by grinding down the concrete beforehand.
This will give your new epoxy a smooth, even surface to stick to, something that’s not only a breeze but also more aesthetically appealing than a scuffed up floor.
Grinding down your old concrete is even more helpful because it gives you the opportunity to remove any pre-existing stains or fix any divots or cracks that have formed.
That way you won’t have to worry about lifting tiles or scraping paint chips a less attractive option but one that could be necessary if the damage is too severe.
The benefit of grinding old concrete for new epoxy has been explained before, but there are other reasons why this step might be taken into consideration when considering whether or not grinding should take place as part of an installation process:
How do you know if concrete is ready for epoxy?
- Check concrete moisture content
- Ensure the humidity is low
- Check that the surface is clean and free of contaminants
- Test the pH of the concrete (If the pH is above a 10, you will need to acid etch or apply an epoxy primer)
- Make sure concrete temperature is at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit for 48 hours prior to application
- Test for surface profile
Will epoxy stick to smooth concrete?
Yes and no. Epoxy will stick to almost any surface, but if you’re looking for a beautiful smooth surface, then you’ll need to be working with concrete that’s as smooth as possible.
Newly laid concrete needs to cure before it can be polished and epoxied. Concrete is made from a mixture of cement, water, sand, crushed stone, and other materials.
The water in the mix starts a curing process that allows for the chemical bonding of all of the components. Curing needs 28 days or more in order for the process to complete itself properly.
If you put epoxy on new concrete, it likely won’t adhere properly because all of the water hasn’t evaporated yet, which means there are still some parts that haven’t bonded as they should have.
You can grind down and polish your concrete flooring so it’s nice and smooth, which provides an ideal base for your epoxy installation job.
You could also use a sander or other tool meant to smoothen out wood surfaces to get your flooring flat with minimal ridges or crevices.
How do you apply epoxy to concrete floor?
“Epoxy? You’re using epoxy on a concrete floor?” I gawked at him as if he had just told me that he was going to put a window in his bathroom. “Is that safe, man?”
“I have no idea,” he said with a shrug. “But they say it holds up really well.”
When you are dealing with your first cement floor, the last thing you want is to be worried about what kind of finish you will apply over it.
If winter makes it difficult for you to walk around the house, there’s nothing better than having an epoxy floor that doesn’t crumble beneath your feet when you need to get out of bed in the middle of the night.
You can buy any number of top-shelf epoxy products from either hardware stores or home improvement store websites, and if you’re careful and take your time during application process, it will hold up beautifully for years on end.
Concrete that is clean, dry, and free of grease, oil, or other contaminants will be ready for a new layer of epoxy coating after all the steps above are completed.
If you’re not sure whether your concrete is ready to be coated with epoxy, it’s best to consult with a professional before proceeding.
In the meantime, make sure you have everything you need on hand before starting your project. Remember to take some time to research potential contractors who can help you get started on the right foot and stay in touch with us here at HomeAdvisor as well!