Epoxy flake flooring has gained significant popularity over the years for its durability, aesthetics, and versatility. However, it can be quite an investment for homeowners or business owners looking for a cost-effective flooring solution especially when the core materials have increased so dramatically in costs over the last two years.
Fortunately, there are alternatives available in the market that offer similar benefits at a lower cost. In this blog, we will explore some of the cost-effective alternatives to epoxy flake flooring and delve into their unique features and advantages.
Vinyl flooring is a popular choice for those seeking a budget-friendly alternative to epoxy flake flooring. This type of flooring is made from synthetic materials, such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and offers a wide range of designs and patterns to suit various aesthetic preferences.
One of the significant advantages of vinyl flooring is its low cost compared to epoxy flake flooring. The materials and installation costs can be lower, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious individuals. Additionally, vinyl flooring is known for its durability, resistance to stains and scratches, and ease of maintenance. It is also water-resistant, making it suitable for high-moisture areas like kitchens and bathrooms.
However, this may not be the best solution for a garage floor or other area where an epoxy flake floor or alternative is a better fit for purpose.
Laminate flooring is another cost-effective alternative that mimics the appearance of natural materials, such as hardwood or stone, at a more affordable price point. It consists of multiple layers of synthetic materials that are fused together using a lamination process.
One of the key advantages of laminate flooring is its affordability. It is typically less expensive than epoxy flake flooring, especially when considering both materials and installation costs. Additionally, laminate flooring is known for its durability and scratch-resistant properties, making it suitable for high-traffic areas. It is also relatively easy to install, often utilizing a click-and-lock system that eliminates the need for adhesives.
Again, in the context of concrete coatings for garage floors, this os not usually the best choice.
For those seeking a cost-effective and unique flooring solution, concrete staining can be an excellent choice. This technique involves applying a specialized stain to the concrete surface, resulting in a rich, marbled appearance that can mimic the look of expensive materials like granite or marble.
Concrete staining offers several advantages as a cost-effective alternative to epoxy flake flooring. Firstly, it utilizes the existing concrete substrate, eliminating the need for additional materials or extensive floor preparation. Secondly, it provides a highly customizable option, allowing homeowners or business owners to choose from a variety of stain colours and patterns to achieve their desired look. Furthermore, concrete staining is known for its longevity and low maintenance requirements, making it a cost-effective long-term flooring solution.
This solution needs to be applied by an experienced professional and again, not the best solution for a garage floor.
Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) Flooring
Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) flooring is an increasingly popular choice for those seeking an affordable alternative to epoxy flake flooring that replicates the appearance of hardwood floors. LVP is made from multiple layers of vinyl and features a realistic wood grain texture, providing an authentic look and feel.
One of the main advantages of LVP flooring is its cost-effectiveness. It is typically less expensive than traditional hardwood flooring, both in terms of materials and installation costs. LVP is also highly durable and resistant to moisture, making it suitable for areas prone to spills or humidity. Additionally, it offers easy maintenance, as it can be easily cleaned with regular sweeping and occasional mopping.
Again, in the context of the services Barefoot Concrete provides, this is not something we would offer as an alternative to an epoxy flake floor in a garage.
Therefore, this brings us to the main point of this blog to introduce Concreshield Flake, which is a cost-effective alternative to an epoxy flake floor and an ideal solution for a garage floor.
Concreshield Flake is the latest innovation in flooring systems and offers a more affordable solution compared to traditional two-pac epoxy systems and urethane clear coatings, which have become quite expensive. With materials costs, including the flakes, Concreshield Flake can cost a lot less than two-Pac epoxies, however, consideration of the cost of labour needs to be factored into each offering.
Concreshield Flake is a single-pack option that provides a simpler and more economical choice.
That’s not all, not only does Concreshield Flake offer cost savings, but it also ensures excellent adhesion and durability. In fact, its performance matches, if not surpasses, that of two-pac epoxies, particularly in terms of crack and chalking resistance.
One notable advantage of Concreshield Flake is its resistance to yellowing and powdering when exposed to sunlight, as its UV resistant, ensuring a long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing flooring surface.
Lastly, what may come as a surprise but one of the most annoying things with an epoxy flake floor is the toxicity of the final urethane coating, and its really smelly! This smell can infiltrate your house when an epoxy flake floor is being applied to a garage and you, your family and pets may feel unwell due to the toxic odour which can be noticeable for a few days after application.
This is not the case with Concreshield, it is not solvent-based and is low odour and better for health concerns especially if you have respiratory issues or allergies or are generally unwell or have a low immune system. Its also better for the environment!
The application process
If you are an applicator, the process is quite simple: (Note that these are guidelines, make sure you read the product labels, documents and all associated conditions and adapt process/technique accordingly)
- Apply a primer, Shieldseal X, using a roller. Alternatively, use Coloured Concreshield thinned by 20% with Xylene
- Roll on one coat of Coloured Concreshield
- Sprinkle paint flakes onto the wet Coloured Coating
- Once dry, sweep up any excess flakes and sand the adhered flakes as needed
- Apply two coats of Concreshield Clear
- Achieve a P4 or P5 anti-slip rating
The materials cost per square meter, excluding flakes, is lower than an epoxy flake floor system for trade customers. Please note that a double garage typically requires three 5kg cartons of flakes, a little more than you would use on an epoxy flake floor. While novelty flakes may be more expensive, they require lesser quantities.
Epoxy flake flooring is undeniably an excellent choice for its durability and aesthetic appeal. However, for those seeking a cost-effective alternative, there are several options to consider. Vinyl flooring, laminate flooring, concrete staining, and luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring all provide unique benefits at a fraction of the cost of epoxy flake flooring.
If you have any questions, please feel contact us.