Grinding or etching for Preparation of epoxy Flooring
Epoxy flooring is a floor sealing technique fast finding its way into many home garages, room floors, and other floor areas within the house. Epoxy is made up of a mixture of epoxide resin and a polyamine hardener. The resin is tough, water resistant, easy to clean, and can be applied in a variety of colors and patterns that will leave these surfaces artistically aesthetic if done properly. As with many concrete preparation procedures, the success of the application is often determined by the surface preparation techniques. Epoxy flooring requires preparation of the concrete surface to restore porosity and ensure firm bonding between the epoxy and the exposed surface. The main question, therefore, is what method of surface preparation is most suitable for concrete profiling during epoxy flooring? Two main techniques are usually employed. Based on your current abilities and situation, you may choose from either of the following:
Grinding is often considered the best way to profile concrete before applying epoxy. Grinding should be applied to both new and old floors irrespective. With grinding, the desirable texture can be correctly and uniformly achieved by controlling the grinding process. It also removes the undesirable substances on the floor before epoxy flooring is done resulting in the best smooth floors. Good epoxy flooring contractors will always grind the floor as opposed to etching. Many home DIYers often find the hurdles of acquiring grinding machinery, operating it, and dealing with dust, irregular surfaces, or cost as some of the reasons why they would rather opt for etching. Otherwise, grinding, if all factors involved are well controlled, is the best option for concrete profiling before epoxy flooring.
Acid etching profile
Acid etching is merely the use of acids such as muriatic acid to corrode the finish off the concrete and expose the pores. Acid etching is popular in homes due to the relative ease of the process and possibly lower costs. With etching, however, you have to ensure that the concrete has achieved the best capable porosity. A good way to confirm porosity is by pouring water on the concrete after etching, and observing whether it rolls into beads or is immediately absorbed by the concrete. You also have to ensure that uniform porosity and texture is achieved throughout the surface. A cautionary point is that if you have a sealer or your concrete floor is coated, acid etching may not work effectively. Here, grinding must be done to remove the layer.