Learn About Our products, process, and common epoxy flooring topics

The Proper Way To Install An Epoxy Flake Floor

Mike B
Feb 14, 2023
5 min read

Why Do Epoxy Floors Fail

The biggest reason why epoxy flake floors fail is due to improper preparation of the concrete substrate.  An inherent characteristic of epoxy is that it doesn’t bond well to any surface that is either contaminated, to smooth, non porous, or painted and that’s pretty much every garage floor you park on.  


Installation of an epoxy flake floor starts with proper concrete preparation. Even if your vehicle doesn’t leak oil, it doesn’t take very long for a brand new concrete floor to start getting shady or spotty areas that get worse with time.  Those are road tars, oils, and grease that transfer from the roads you drive on, to your tires, and then to the floor you park on and they are all contaminants.  Maybe a pressure washer can wash away those contaminants. But pressure washing alone does not properly prepare a concrete garage floor for an epoxy finish. Even if you could wash away those contaminants you must still open up the pores of the concrete because the epoxy needs to soak in and grab hold of or “bite” something to form a strong bond.

Too Smooth, Too Shiny, or Non Porous

If the concrete is bare you can run your fingers over it and feel that it’s pretty smooth. Whether your concrete floor is brand new or 30 years old you can see and feel that it’s smooth and maybe even still shiny.  That’s because when a concrete floor is poured it is troweled smooth and then curing compound is added to seal the pores.  Those really poor quality DIY epoxy floor kits sold at the big box stores instruct you to “acid etch” the concrete so the epoxy will bond to the concrete.  They tell you to put muriatic acid in a sprinkling can, sprinkle it on your garage floor, let it sit for a period of time, and then hose it off.  I don’t think I even need to explain the health and environmental hazards of that dog and pony show.  I’ll just say it’s no wonder why all DIY epoxy kits fail.

Diamond Grinding The Concrete

Grinding gets rid of all those surface contaminants and opens up the pores of the concrete so the epoxy can soak in and bond to it. We open up those pores by using a concrete diamond grinding machine to grind off about 1/16th of an inch of the top concrete surface profile. As per all commercial grade epoxy manufacturers you must diamond grind to achieve a proper bond.

It always makes me laugh when these  handymen or painters that are in way over their heads with an epoxy floor installation try to convince somebody that you only need to pressure wash, or acid etch the floor and that’s “good enough”.  That’s simply not the case.  What they’re really saying to you is “I don’t have the proper equipment to install your epoxy floor.  So I’m going to lie to you and tell you diamond grinding equipment is not necessary.”

Let me ask you this.  Would you hire a carpenter without a saw?  Would you hire a mechanic without a wrench?  Would you hire a roofer without a ladder?  I don’t think you would.  So why would you hire an Epoxy Installation Technician without a diamond grinding machine?  

Crack In Floor
Crack Being Repaired
Crack After Repair

Repair The Concrete

Once the concrete has been diamond grinded we’ll go through and Clean and fill all visible chips, divots, cracks, expansion joints, or contraction joints.

Apply The Pigmented Basecoat To The Floor

We then apply the pigmented basecoat.  Epoxy basecoats and a polyaspartic basecoats both have their time and place in a garage epoxy flake floor application.  We install both.  The reasons why are lengthy and an entirely separate post in itself.

Add Decorative Color Flakes

Next we apply the flakes at a 100% coverage rate.  We call it flaking till rejection.

Seal The Floor With A UV Stable Glossy Polyaspartic Topcoat

Apply Polyaspartic Finish.

Related Blog Articles

What Are Epoxy Flakes and What Are Epoxy Flakes Used For

Mike from AmerEpoxy explains all you need to know about Epoxy Flakes in this comprehensive article.

Continue Reading

The Proper Way To Install An Epoxy Flake Floor

The biggest reason why epoxy flake floors fail is due to improper preparation of the concrete substrate.

Continue Reading

Expansion Joints or Contraction Joints? That Is The Question

Orlando's go to Epoxy Flooring Company. Learn how we make great floors for your garage and commercial business.

Continue Reading

Speak to A Professional about Your Epoxy Floor

Industrial Strength, Chemical Resistant, Easy to Clean and Fast Installs!