Are Epoxy Basement Floors Cold: The Pros & Cons

Applying epoxy on your basement floors offers lots of benefits - it gives your floors a durable, waterproof, and visually appealing coating. But cold floors can be a real concern. Not only do they make your feet uncomfortable, they can also make your basement less appealing. So you may wonder whether epoxy makes your feet cold. We've found the answer to your query.

Yes, epoxy basement floors can be cold especially during the winter. Unlike carpet or wood flooring, they don't provide warmth in cold seasons. However, epoxy floors are not as cold as ceramic tile or natural stone flooring. They can also be heated with an underfloor heating system.

While epoxy may not be the warmest flooring option available, there are many advantages to installing it. Read on to discover the benefits and drawbacks of installing epoxy on your basement floors. We'll also elaborate on how to keep your epoxy floors warm, how much they cost, and how long they'll last.

A worker applies gray epoxy resin to the new floor, Are Epoxy Basement Floors Cold: The Pros & Cons

Is it a good idea to epoxy a basement floor?

Before we get into further details on the maintenance of epoxy floors, you might wonder if you should epoxy your basement floors in the first place. This will depend on your needs and preferences, as well as your assessment of whether the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

Here's a quick breakdown of the pros and cons of this issue:

Pros of Epoxy Flooring For Your Basement

1. Tough exterior and durable coating

Epoxy is well-known for its incredible durability. Not only does it provide great protection against cracks and stains for the concrete floor underneath, but it also resists signs of wear and tear even after years of use. No matter how much foot traffic it gets, you can be certain that your epoxy floors won't peel away or wear out.

2. Protection from mold and moisture

Basement floors get exposed to a lot of moisture, which can lead to mold, mildew, and several other types of health hazards. Since epoxy is waterproof, it acts as a barrier that blocks any leaks or buildup of moisture from seeping through to the concrete floor. This will protect your family from potential health risks and prevent water damage to the structure as well.

3. Hassle-free cleaning

The smooth surface of epoxy floors makes it easier to clean. Any spills or stains won't get into the floor below - you can simply wipe or mop them off. Epoxy floors are also highly resistant to dirt or dust, so you can clean them easily with a broom or a vacuum.

4. Easy installation

Anyone with some experience in DIY can easily install epoxy flooring by themselves. Most of the tools you'll need to finish this project can be found in hardware stores or are probably already in your toolbox and backyard. Better yet, it'll only take a few hours of your time.

Check out this informative guide on how to epoxy your basement floors.

5. Sleek appearance

Epoxy floors can enhance the look and feel of your basement with their dazzling finish. It also comes in different colors and styles that you can choose from to match your unique tastes. This way, your floor doesn't clash with the style of your home.

Worker applying a yellow epoxy resin bucket on floor for the final coat

Cons of Epoxy Flooring For Your Basement

1. Slippery surface

The surface of epoxy floors is smooth and nonporous, making it quite slippery. This is especially true when it's wet from cleaning or from leaks or spills. Its slippery surface can be hazardous for the elderly, children, and pets. You can remedy this by using a skid-resistant additive or opting for silica sand on the final coating during installation.

2. Toxic fumes during installation

Epoxy floors emit toxic fumes during curing that pose a health risk to anyone, particularly people with asthma or other medical conditions that affect the lungs. After curing, this will no longer be a problem.

3. Lengthy application

There's a lot of steps involved in preparing your floors for application, as well as the application itself. Whether you install the epoxy doors yourself or have it done by a professional, it will take up a lot of your time since you'll have to clean the floor surfaces extensively and make sure they're free of moisture. The full curing process also takes up to seven days.

4. Expensive upkeep

Maintaining your epoxy floors requires the use of specific chemicals and cleaning acids. This can be quite pricey. Cracks also need repairing as soon as they appear, though the price of the repair job will depend on the level of damage.

If you need to remove the epoxy flooring at some point, it will also cost you a few bucks. Be prepared to shell out $1 to $2.50 per square foot for removal.

5. Cold surface

Epoxy floors can get quite cold under your feet. This may cause discomfort for most people, especially when you want to get warm in your basement.

Looking for other flooring options for your basement? Take a look at this article on using Drylock for basement floors.

How do I heat up my epoxy basement floors?

Worker applying epoxy and polyurethane flooring system

While there are plenty of reasons to get epoxy basement floors, the downside is that they may get cold in colder seasons. But the good news is you can easily remedy this problem. The solution is underfloor heating!

You may have heard that epoxy floors are not suitable for underfloor heating. This is a complete myth. With the right heating protocol, your epoxy floor won't crack even with the high temperature of your underfloor heating.

Here are a few heating protocol guidelines for epoxy floors:

  • Wait for the epoxy floors to cure completely before switching on the underfloor heating. This may take up to seven days.
  • Make sure the sub-flooring is dry before installing your epoxy floor.
  • Turn off the underfloor heating four days before installation.
  • Keep the underfloor heating off during installation.
  • Once the heating system is on, increase the temperature gradually. An increase of around 9°F every day until it reaches room temperature is ideal.
  • Keep the underfloor heating at 82.4°F or lower.

What happens if the epoxy is too cold?

The ideal temperature for installing epoxy is 50°F to 80°F. Applying epoxy in freezing temperatures is a difficult job. This will also prevent it from leveling properly, leading to cracks, air bubbles, uneven coating, and unstable bonding. Additionally, doing this will make the epoxy too thick and lengthen its curing time.

However, you can still install epoxy flooring in cold weather with the right strategy! Here are a few tips for doing this successfully:

  1. Heat up the epoxy by storing it in a heated area or a hotbox.
  2. Keep the surroundings warm by turning on a heater or turning up the thermostat.
  3. Use a fast hardener.
  4. Warm up the floor surface.
  5. Check the container to make sure the ratio of epoxy to hardener is correct.

How much does it cost to epoxy a basement?

Installing an epoxy floor will cost anywhere from $3 to $12 per square foot. The total cost depends on a number of factors, including:

  • Whether it's DIY or professionally done
  • The size of your basement
  • Purchase of materials needed including acid etching kits, concrete cleaners, flakes, and flake guns
  • Number of coats for your floor
  • Repair for floor damage

Epoxy resin applied to the floor

How long does epoxy floor last in a basement?

Epoxy floor coatings can last up to 30 years in a basement! The average lifespan of epoxy floors is 10 to 20 years, depending on the level of maintenance and foot traffic it gets.

Another factor that affects its longevity is the strength and structural soundness of the concrete floor under it. Not applying it properly and not preparing the surface for application beforehand can also wear down your epoxy floors faster.

Once your epoxy floor starts to show cracks or dents, make sure to have it checked by a professional and repaired right away to extend its life.

In Closing

Epoxy flooring offers a lot of benefits for homeowners who want to get high-quality flooring for their basement. They're durable, waterproof, easy to clean, and pleasing to the eye. However, they do tend to get cold. If you're intent on getting epoxy flooring, you can solve this issue with underfloor heating. Make sure to follow the right heating protocol to avoid mistakes.

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