Will epoxy stick to smooth concrete?

Epoxy is a glue made from hexamethylenetetramine (or sometimes called “HMT”) and phenol (also known as anisole). For the most part, epoxy forms when these two chemicals are combined. This can be done in a few different ways:

  • The epoxy can be injected into a mold made out of plaster, resin or fiberglass, which will create the shape of whatever you want to make.  This type of epoxy won’t work for cementitious materials that need to be cured for days or even weeks—but you can use it on a toner board to create molds in plaster or fiberglass before inserting them into your project.
  • You might also mix up some cast epoxies at home by mixing together high-solids HMT with a low-solids resin such as polyester resin or polyurethane resin. These types of epoxies would not be ideal for cementitious materials that need long curing periods; however, they’re pretty cheap and easy to apply and offer great durability (what we’re after here).
  • Epoxies come in powder form, which means that you mix them with water or other liquids until they become adhesive paste so that they’ll stick to whatever you want them attached to. Again this type of product would not work on cementitious materials, but if you have smooth surfaces like glass then this would probably work fine because the added filaments won’t clump together like in regular glue right away which happens when using mortar.

So no matter how you want to apply it, there are plenty of options available when it comes time to get your hands on some good adhesive powder.

Do you have to grind concrete before epoxy?

Now that your concrete is clean, you can start prepping it for the garage floor epoxy. But before we do that, let’s talk about whether you need to grind the concrete beforehand.

The truth is:

In most cases, no. Epoxy is just like paint in that it sits on top of the substrate (the surface of your floor). So if your floor has a smooth finish and no cracks or blemishes, then you don’t need to grind it before applying epoxy.

Does epoxy stick to concrete?

If you’re asking whether or not epoxy will stick to concrete, the answer is yes, it will. However, there are a few conditions that need to be met in order for this to happen. For starters, the concrete itself needs to be clean and dry.

It can’t have dirt or oil on it. If it does, then you’ll need to wash the surface first before applying any epoxy. This process is known as concrete surface preparation and involves using a power washer in combination with some sort of detergent or degreaser.

Once the surface has been thoroughly cleaned and dried it can then be coated with an epoxy coating solution that has been mixed according to the manufacturer’s instructions (i.e., mixed with resin).

Can you epoxy an uneven surface?

If you have a smooth concrete surface and are wondering whether or not epoxy will adhere to it, you’re in luck. Adhesives like epoxy can be applied to rough surfaces with ease.

The opposite is actually true; if the surface is too rough (especially if it’s uneven), the epoxy won’t last as long because it won’t be able to form a strong bond with the floor.

As such, these types of surfaces will require an additional step or two in order to properly prepare them for their new epoxy coating.

But what if your concrete floor is so smooth that you’re afraid no adhesive will work?

Fear not: Epoxy can adhere well even on surfaces that are perfectly level. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do in this situation to ensure your coating sticks well and lasts for years.

How do I prepare my concrete for epoxy coating?

We had already experienced the challenges of working with epoxy, but this was a new one. We’d been inspired by the industrial interior design we admired in the many long-term RV parks we’d stayed in, and while they were usually nondescript, clean-looking places, every single one of them came with an expanse of shiny concrete that needed to be coated.

Not only that, but these were often underfoot areas like walkways or showers. The last thing you want is for your epoxy to turn into a slurry on your shoes; it’s hard on your feet and could easily get up into your nose.

So how do you prep concrete for epoxy? Here’s what we did: 1) Make sure there’s no dirt or muck on it (we picked out all the leaf litter), 2) Use some degreaser and water (don’t use solvent-based cleaners as they’ll dissolve any existing coatings) to remove any contaminants and make sure it’s clean enough to work with 3) Protect your clothing by wearing latex gloves 4) Choose one spot where you can keep a wet cloth handy 5) Apply 2 coats of primer 6) Apply 2 coats of epoxy 7) Let dry at least 8 hrs 8) Scrape off residue 9) Sand 10) Seal

How do you smooth rough concrete?

You can smooth rough concrete by first grinding it with a diamond cup wheel. A diamond cup wheel is a circular steel disc embedded with industrial-grade diamonds that are connected to a handheld rotary tool.

Once you’ve finished grinding the surface, run a floor buffer over the concrete to further polish and smooth the surface. Concrete polishers are similar to floor buffers but produce a smoother finish.

Can you put epoxy over self leveling concrete?

Self-leveling compounds are suitable for creating a level surface, and they can be used as a base for epoxy. It’s worth noting that some self-leveling compounds are cement-based, and these are not suitable as a finish. Self-leveling compounds shouldn’t be confused with epoxy coatings, which are also self-level. Epoxies also can stick to smooth concrete.

If you have a smooth concrete floor, such as in your garage or basement, you may wonder if it is safe to apply an epoxy coating over the concrete surface.

The answer is yes; there is no reason why you cannot use an epoxy coating on top of a smooth concrete floor. There are several steps you should take in order to ensure that your project goes smoothly and results in professional-looking floors.

Can you use epoxy on outdoor concrete?

I would highly recommend using a primer first.

It’s not that it won’t stick to the concrete, but you’re going to have problems like checking (cracking) and delamination. That is if you don’t have any kind of substrate for the epoxy to bond to.

Best thing about epoxy is that it does not absorb water, so if you use a UV-resistant product, it will last quite well outside in most applications.

The only way I can see an issue with the cracking (checking) is if the garage floor has serious movement from temperature changes or whatever. Epoxy only flexes so much before it starts breaking bonds and cracking at those points. But with constant contact with water, it should be fine as long as no cracks exist now and enough material was used initially when applying.

In general, I’d say yes, but prime first with a good primer coat made for concrete and make sure it’s allowed to dry properly before applying your second coat of epoxy which usually goes over some kind of aggregate which gives even more strength to the product and acts as an anti-slip agent too!

Then topcoat everything with a UV-resistant clear coat in order to protect your work from damaging sun rays!

Can you mix epoxy and concrete?

You can apply epoxy to smooth concrete, but only if the concrete is clean and free of dust or other contaminants. Regular epoxy adhesives are designed to bond well with porous surfaces, not smooth ones like you find on most concrete. If you want your epoxy to stick well to smooth concrete, you’ll need to use an epoxy primer first.

If for some reason you still want to mix the two materials together directly, that’s okay—you can mix epoxy with cement powder.

You would just end up with a different type of glue than regular epoxy adhesive: more like concrete than either material alone, but still a strong and flexible glue.

However, since this isn’t exactly what people usually think of when they talk about “epoxy,” it’s important to remember that this mixture has its own unique characteristics compared with traditional epoxy glue.


You can use epoxy on concrete if you know to prepare the surface for a successful application. Grinding off the top layer of concrete is necessary because of its smooth texture, which doesn’t provide enough tooth for the epoxy to adhere properly. You can also add a primer before applying the epoxy, but it’s not required.

This method applies to any smooth surface that you want to put epoxy over, including self-leveling concrete. As long as the top layer is ground off and the floor is clean and dry when you apply it, you should have no trouble with your new epoxy flooring!

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Martin Flood

Martin Flood has been working in the construction industry for over 20 years as a general contractor with expertise in remodeling projects that are large or small. He has furthered his career by specializing in epoxy resin flooring, providing excellent service to both commercial and residential clients. Martin’s experience enables him to offer professional advice on how to choose the right type of project based on your needs and budget.

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