Not so long ago in the market of building technologies there was a unique technique of fast and qualitative repair of a engineered floor in an apartment. The new method is based on the use of polymer materials, which allow solving various technical and design problems. Let’s talk about what liquid flooring is, and its varieties – we’ll discuss their advantageous characteristics and installation features.
What is liquid flooring?
What is a liquid floor? This is a decorative polyurethane coating, which looks similar to usual linoleum, and the quality and texture – to ceramic tiles. The new material makes it possible to create a smooth, seamless surface that is well adhered to the concrete flooring base. The optimum thickness of the layer is 1.5 mm, and the strength is several times greater than that of traditional materials. Manufacturers give a ten-year guarantee of quality, but in practice liquid floors serve much longer.
The basis of the liquid floor can be different – it all depends on the materials that make up its composition. In most cases, these are polyurethane and epoxy flooring mixtures. How do they differ from each other? Let’s talk about this in more detail.
Polyurethane and epoxy flooring specifications
Polyurethane floors are characterized by high strength, as well as resistance to any kind of loads and chemical influences. They are elastic, immune to pinpoint impacts, deformations and sudden temperature changes. They are one-component and two-component.
Specialists recommend using them wherever a strong floor surface is needed, resistant to vibrations, high abrasive and shock loads. It can be food processing facilities, production halls, warehouses, shopping and exhibition halls, product storage.
Epoxy floors are more vulnerable. They do not tolerate mechanical loads so well, but they have a firmer base, which is not afraid of the effects of alkalis, acids, salts, gasoline and other chemicals. In view of this technical feature, epoxy liquid floor is used where there is a large chemical load.
Specialists recommend choosing epoxy compositions for finishing the floor in pharmaceutical and food industry facilities, in auxiliary rooms and laboratories, in cafes and restaurants, kindergartens and hospitals.
How to choose the right cast composition?
Before buying a mixture, you need to consider several important points:
- Purpose of the room.
- Condition and quality of the basis of the floor.
- Loads that fall on it every day.
- Risk of chemical attack on the substrate.
Note! It is also useful at the purchase stage to decide what technical qualities the future liquid flooring should possess. There are liquid floors with anti-slip effect, and some have anti-static properties.
Advantages and disadvantages of liquid flooring
Getting acquainted with new repair technologies, consumers want to be aware of their advantages and disadvantages. Liquid floors have both pluses and minuses.
The most important characteristics are:
- Ease of installation, the ability to quickly repair a very large surface area. In addition, self-leveling floors can be easily restored if necessary.
- Care for the liquid floor is extremely simple – it can be wiped with a damp cloth, using ordinary household chemicals. Such coatings never see dust, they do not glide, they do not burn, their composition has no smell, which is very important for allergy sufferers.
- The described finishing of a floor raises its durability, allows to achieve ideally smooth and smooth base without seams and docking connections. Choosing a liquid floor, each receives a durable, heat-resistant, impact-resistant and elastic coating.
- Modern technology of the liquid flooring solution additionally provides good insulation of the base. And with the help of this material, you can create any design compositions, “painting” the real pictures on the floor with precise detail.
Such engineered floors are not afraid of any vibrations of working equipment, nor aggressive substances. The surface is hygienic, safe, harmless, fireproof and very attractive from an aesthetic point of view.
The disadvantage of the liquid floor is one – you can not remove the trim yourself. The dismantling process is rather complicated and time-consuming. Therefore, when choosing a material, it is necessary to take this into account and weigh everything in advance.
DIY Liquid Flooring Solutions
Do it yourself is not too difficult to fill. Everybody can make a liquid floor with his own hands – the instruction will follow. The technology consists of several stages.
First you need to prepare the base:
- We get rid of the old coating, we examine the concrete foundation, if necessary we repair it – we repair cracks and potholes. First, they are primed, then filled with fiberglass and plastered with gypsum mortar or special sealant.
- Further, the surface is thoroughly cleaned, we get rid of construction debris, and then we go through it with a vacuum cleaner.
- The next step is priming the base. Primer is diluted with a solvent and roller is applied to the entire surface. If the floor is very loose, add quartz sand to the primer – a fraction of 0.3 mm. The mixture is prepared from the calculation of 1 × 1 and applied with a spatula. Such a solution helps to simultaneously level the surface and increase the service life of the concrete base.
Note! Using a mixture of quartz sand and primer, only a slight difference in height can be eliminated, not exceeding 0.5 mm.
After the primer is completely dry (as a rule, it takes a day), you can proceed to distribute decorative details or sand. Without sand, the coating will be slippery. Therefore, experts recommend sprinkling it on fresh polymer. Its particles will drown in the polymer, and the one that remains on top, after drying the finish layer, can simply be swept out.
As a finishing coat we use special varnishes or the polymer itself. Before him on the base lay out the necessary drawings. As the solidification grows, the layer expands, so it fills the entire surface. After the finish coat, the substrate dries within a week.
Basic requirements for filling
- Fill liquid floors is possible only on a concrete base, the brand of which must be at least M200.
- The moisture content of concrete should not be more than 4%.
- It is important to thoroughly clean the surface.
- During installation, sharp elevation changes should be avoided, since condensation should not be allowed.
- Be sure to perform the repair of the foundation in advance.
- Porous surfaces are additionally treated with concrete mastic.
- Before self-styling, carefully study the training video – it will help to make a plan of work and stock up the necessary tool.
Conclusion on the topic
As you can see, the technology of laying a liquid floor is quite simple. The most important thing is to strictly adhere to the listed recommendations, not to experiment and not allow yourself to deviate from the proposed plan.
The most important and responsible moment is the preparation of the ground. On the quality of these works depends on how the liquid floor will look. The new coating dries up quite quickly, but it will be able to withstand all the loads only in a week.