To avoid a wipeout, it’s smart to take a few epoxy precautions during and after installation. If you’re careful, you can count on an epoxy floor to be a safe and durable addition to your home or business.
Are Dry Epoxy Floors Slippery?
On its own, epoxy isn’t likely to cause you to slip and slide. If your floor will stay dry, then you probably don’t need to worry much about the skid resistance of the material. In general, you should be able to stay upright just fine.
Are Epoxy Floors Slippery When Wet?
Water and other liquids can add a whole new element to walking on epoxy flooring, though. Epoxy surfaces are typically quite glossy. When high-gloss surfaces get wet, they can cause slips and falls. If your epoxy is going in a garage, a kitchen or another area that might be prone to splashes, puddles or floods, then you should think about ways to increase the traction.
Are There Ways to Make Epoxy Less Slippery?
Fortunately, you don’t have to scrap your plans to install an epoxy floor just because the area might get wet. Instead, there are steps you can take to make the flooring safer, even under damp conditions.
The best time to think about epoxy flooring safety is before installation. If you consider the need for skid resistance ahead of time, then you’ll be able to lay the epoxy with a traction booster included. That usually involves mixing another material in with the epoxy. Once the epoxy cures, it will have a rougher texture that’s better able to grip feet.
Options that might work for you include silica sand or quartz. There are gritty polymer materials that can be used, too. One of the most robust options is aluminum oxide.
These additives come with caveats, though. First of all, your epoxy won’t look as smooth and glossy as it would on its own. Plus, rough mix-ins may cause small cracks to form in your epoxy over time.
Also, the more textured the surface is, the harder it can be to keep it clean. Dirt and grime might hide among the bumps.
Finally, bare feet may find textured surfaces uncomfortable. Aluminum oxide can be particularly unpleasant to walk on barefoot.
If you don’t consider slip resistance until after your floor has been laid — or you want something a little easier on the feet — then a non-slip topcoat might be the right choice for you. These products are spread over the flooring to create a grippier surface. They often go on like paint and dry with a semi-gloss finish.
Topcoats won’t last forever, so you should include reapplication in your flooring maintenance plans. In general, you might be able to go about five years between coats. High-traffic floors may need more frequent treatments.
Rugs and Mats
Finally, you can make your epoxy floors safer by laying down rugs and mats.
Throw rugs and carpet runners can be placed nearly anywhere. They come in a variety of colors and sizes to coordinate with the look of your room. Just make sure that your rugs have nonslip grips on the bottom so that they stay in place. If so, they should do a good job of helping you stay on your feet, even when the epoxy gets wet.
Containment mats are useful for reducing the amount of moisture on the floor. These items help keep the floor dry by soaking up liquid. They can collect not only water but also oil, mud and solvents. You’ll need to invest in two sets, though, so that you can swap them out when one becomes saturated.
For additional assistance in making your epoxy floor as slip-free as possible, turn to a professional flooring installer. A professional can help you balance comfort, appearance and safety for your epoxy floor.