As the leading independent provider of high-quality garage floor epoxy in Pennsylvania, our technicians at Epoxy Floor Experts answer hundreds of questions from curious business owners and residents about their design options for a brand-new epoxy garage floor coating. Garages are high-traffic areas, and epoxy flooring protects porous concrete from chemical spills, oil droplets, and mold formation. However, it is an industrial solution that artistic flourishes like decorative flakes, dyes, and geometric patterns can enhance.
Below, our licensed technicians at Epoxy Floor Experts explain whether you can add decorative flakes directly on a one-part epoxy solution to add an aesthetic flair to your concrete floor. Customers usually create overlays with polyaspartic coatings or an epoxy polyurea combination to protect design elements, but applying decorative flakes over a single epoxy coat is also feasible. We also mention a few tips and tricks to preserve the life of your concrete coating and protect it from dents, scuffs, and other damage like hot tire pickup and burns.
What Is One-Part Epoxy?
Before we explain the role of decorative flakes in enhancing your concrete floor, learning about the features that make one-part epoxy different is essential. Manufacturers make traditional epoxy coatings from a polyamine hardener, a chemical catalyst that enables faster curing, and a plant-derived synthetic resin. Concrete is naturally porous, containing billions of near-microscopic holes that moisture, oils, and chemicals can exploit and damage.
Manufacturers design products like a one-part garage floor epoxy coating to meet demanding specifications, formulating them into film, paste, and liquid forms that allow contractors to use them in a broader range of industrial, commercial, and residential applications.
One-part epoxy accelerates productivity by enabling more versatile curing techniques, eliminates waste by downsizing chemical byproducts, and optimizes usability with a long shelf and working life. They come prepackaged, minimizing errors in mix ratios and weighing, which are prevalent among DIYers and amateur crews operating without professional equipment. Professional contractors can apply them with high- and low-temperature curing options and use UV-light technologies that produce little to no outgassing.
Can You Install Decorative Flakes on One-Part Epoxy?
Yes, however, since one-part epoxy adheres and cures much faster than its traditional counterparts, you have little to no room for error when applying decorative flakes.
We entertain many customers requesting additional polyaspartic coatings for a topcoat to help their decorative flakes last longer. We often recommend hiring experienced professionals when exploring your design options with one-part epoxy coatings.
Epoxy coatings have exceptional temperature resistance, making them an excellent option for walk-in fridges and freezers. One-part products leave a transparent and glossy finish with high bond strength on dissimilar and similar substrates. When you install decorative flakes, paints, dyes, and other design elements onto your epoxy floors, the results will be permanent, and most changes will require removal or reapplication.
Installing Decorative Flakes on Epoxy Floors
At Epoxy Floor Experts, we offer a near-limitless range of blending, size, and texture options for decorative flakes in different color styles. We combine them with garage floor epoxy coatings for numerous industrial, commercial, and residential properties across Pennsylvania. Many contractors also install them on urethane-based and other resinous floor coatings.
The Design Process
Most decorative flake products are plastic hybrids. Manufacturers make them from resinous polymer aggregates like vinyl and acrylic, helping them fit into a broad range of protective flooring systems. Most of them feature paint additives, organic minerals, and synthetic pigments that could give them the impression of stone, sand, and crushed carbon.
Applying decorative flakes requires a primer, usually an epoxy or urethane-based substrate. A technician will apply a broadcast layer, following your design instructions, and use a polyurea or epoxy-based topcoat to protect it from abrasions. A traditional resinous flooring system will feature five layers:
- The concrete substrate
- A primer
- A base coat
- Decorative layer with vinyl color flakes
- A transparent topcoat
A one-part epoxy coating is self-priming. It could serve as the traditional primer and base coat.
A double-broadcast system requires a moisture control layer between the concrete and the self-priming basecoat, which sits under a color flake broadcast layer, another base coat, an additional color flake broadcast layer, and a transparent urethane coat.
A technician from Epoxy Floor Experts can use computer-aided visualization methods to help you imagine what your fleet, factory, or residential garage floor epoxy will look like after curing.
Your Color Flake Options
Decorative vinyl flakes are available in six standardized sizes:
- One inch
- 1/4 inch
- 1/8 inch
- 1/16 inch
- 1/32 inch
Custom and fabricated sizes are available upon request. One- and half-inch flakes accommodate more dimensions, shapes, and visually striking design choices.
Smaller flakes offer visual consistency as their size and shape differences become immaterial from a distance.
Your coverage rate determines how much vinyl an area requires for full coverage. Partial coverage offers the appearance of random flakes strewn across the surface, while heavy partial coverage will offer a more uniform appearance from a distance. Full double-broadcast eliminates visual imperfections from the concrete substrate, base coat colors, and flake inconsistencies, as it will crowd your entire floor with decorative flakes.
Learn More About Decorative Flakes and One-Part Epoxy Floors
Decorative flakes on one-part garage floor epoxy mixes offer higher abrasion and chemical resistance than pre-engineered floors. Learn more about them by calling our team at Epoxy Floor Experts at (844) 815-8793 and requesting a free consultation.