The concrete floors of your garage are chipped, scuffed, and missing chunks of asphalt. You’ve long waited to replace them, mostly because you’re not sure which flooring material to use. A few friends have recommended epoxy, but you have some questions. For instance, does epoxy flooring become slippery when it gets wet?
Epoxy flooring is designed to prevent skidding and slipping, especially epoxy mortar and flake epoxy floors. That said, if epoxy gets coated in oil or water, the surface of the floors become slippery. This could lead to falls and potential injuries.
What are flake epoxy and epoxy mortar floors? Does the potential slipperiness of epoxy make it a good flooring choice for your garage? Keep reading, as we’ll answer all those questions and more in this article. You won’t want to miss it!
What Is Epoxy?
First, let’s begin by talking more about epoxy floors and the various types, as there are many of these.
Epoxy flooring is intended for outdoor and industrial use. It’s often found in garages, both commercial and residential. Another name for epoxy flooring is resinous flooring.
The base of epoxy flooring is a hardener and resin, both made of polymers. The two ingredients combined create a chemical bond that results in a hard material, very similar to plastic.
You can either opt to replace the current flooring in your garage with epoxy or coat the preexisting flooring. The epoxy must have a thickness of two millimeters at the very least.
You have your pick among several types of epoxy floors. Let’s talk about these more now.
What Are the Types of Epoxy Flooring?
Flake Epoxy Floors
When most people think epoxy floors, they imagine single-colored, shiny flooring. Luckily, that’s far from your only option. Just look at flake epoxy floors. These have flake-like materials throughout the epoxy that introduce dimension and color.
The flakes are not solely for aesthetic purposes. They also add anti-slip grooves that make flaky epoxy floors a common addition to commercial kitchens, clinics, showrooms, sports venues, and locker rooms.
Anti-Static Epoxy Floors
Anti-static epoxy floors go by another name: electro-static charge resistant (ESD) floors. Electric discharge from computers or other electrical equipment can pose workplace dangers, which necessitated the introduction of anti-static epoxy flooring.
The conductive compound in the flooring reduces the rate of electrical discharge. This can keep both commercial and residential users safer. Chemical plants, pharmaceutical clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities use anti-static epoxy flooring most often.
Epoxy Quartz Floors
As the name may have hinted, epoxy quartz floors combine quartz with a durable polymer resin. Beloved for being anti-slip, this type of epoxy flooring can also stand up to large amounts of foot traffic.
Showrooms, schools, locker rooms, cafeterias, offices, lobbies, and bathrooms most utilize epoxy quartz floors.
Epoxy Mortar Floors
One of the best anti-slip epoxy flooring types, epoxy mortar floors are made with quartz or graded sand, mixed with pure epoxy. The result is a floor that can handle impacts and even chemicals without wearing down. From home and professional garages to restaurants, manufacturing plants, warehouses, and mechanical spaces, all use epoxy mortar floors.
Here’s an interesting fact about this type of epoxy flooring: if your current floor has cracks, epoxy mortar can patch those up.
Self-Leveling Epoxy Floors
In that same vein are self-leveling epoxy floors. These level out concrete floors that are damaged, cracked, or just old. The floors then become even across for a safer experience. With many epoxy styles and designs, self-leveled flooring can blend in seamlessly with your old flooring.
Is Epoxy Flooring Slippery When Wet?
Now that we’ve discussed epoxy flooring and its types in more detail, let’s circle back around to the main question. That is, does epoxy flooring become slippery when wet?
As the last section should tell you, most types of epoxy flooring are anti-slip resistant. The ones that resist slipping the most are epoxy mortar and flake epoxy floors. If you keep the floor reasonably dry, then you can expect to walk back and forth safely all day, without losing your balance and slipping.
Wetting epoxy floors does make the anti-slip properties negligible. For example, if you trail in some water from outside on a particularly rainy day, the floor around the door is now a hazard. The same is true of any liquid leaks elsewhere.
Oil spills, such as car oil in your garage, are also especially dangerous. Taking a step near the spilled oil can knock you off your feet fast. The oil will eventually dry, and then it’s not as threatening.
How Can You Make Epoxy Floors Less Slippery?
If your epoxy garage floors are a slipping hazard just waiting to happen, you’re not without options. Here are some tips for lessening how slippery your epoxy floors can be, to mitigate the risks.
Use an Anti-Slip Coating
Your epoxy lacks flakes or quartz for better grip, so it’s an anti-slip coating to the rescue. Some anti-slip coating products go straight on your floor without the need for a primer beforehand. Others will need a primer, so always read the instructions on your particular product before starting.
Abrasive materials like aluminum oxide within the anti-slip coating give your feet something to grip, even in wet conditions. Make sure to adhere the anti-slip coating across the whole floor for best results.
Add Synthetic Rubber Mats and Runners
Here’s a quick fix for wet, slippery epoxy floors: buy a few synthetic rubber mats. PVC vinyl mats work just as well. Place the mats in those areas where water accumulates, such as a leak in the ceiling you keep meaning to fix.
The mats soak up the water, so it won’t spread all over your epoxy floor. Anti-slip backings on the underside of the mat keep it from skidding or moving when you step on it so you can walk about safely.
Synthetic or vinyl runners can border the edges of your garage, especially around the door where the most of the water may pool. Use them in conjunction with rubber mats or on its own.
Try a Containment Mat
If you live in a colder environment with consistent snowfall, a containment mat is recommended over synthetic runners. These sizable mats will catch excess water as the snow melts, so it doesn’t leak and make a big mess.
You can even park a car atop a containment mat if you’re worried about oil leaks in your garage. Yes, these mats are that big. Sizes range from seven feet, nine inches by 16 feet; seven feet, nine inches by 18 feet; nine feet by 20 feet; and nine feet by 22 feet.
Clean Messes as They Happen
You should also be conscious of liquid messes, going out of your way to avoid these. Mats and runners can contain most spills, but if you spot a mess on the epoxy, don’t hesitate to mop it up so no one slips on it.
Should You Get Epoxy Floors or Choose Another Material?
You were seriously considering epoxy flooring for your garage, but you don’t want anyone to slip and hurt themselves. Should you still stick with epoxy or choose another flooring option?
With careful use of the floors following the measures above, your garage should be a safe place to be, even with epoxy floors. Keep in mind that epoxy has many benefits, too. Here’s an overview of these.
- Durability: Epoxy coating can last for upwards of 30 years, although heavy foot traffic may reduce that lifespan somewhat.
- Chemical resistance: You might not work in a scientific lab, but it’s still good to know that if you ever spill a chemical in your garage, the epoxy floor can withstand it.
- Heat resistance: Some epoxy flooring types can handle temperatures of 200 degrees Fahrenheit without melting or degrading, yet again making them a safe choice.
- Color freedom: Epoxy comes in all sorts of colors and patterns, plus you can mix paints with the epoxy to hide cracks and chips in your flooring.
- Shininess: The shiny surface of an epoxy floor is timelessly appealing. You can’t get that kind of look with anything but epoxy.
Epoxy is a type of flooring popular in garages and other outdoor applications. Many types of epoxy floors are anti-slip, but it’s still possible to fall if these floors are wet with water or oil. By strategically placing synthetic mats and runners or buying a large containment mat, you can safely walk on your epoxy floors any day.