When building a basement, finding a floor solution with high resistance against moisture and damage takes time. Epoxy is a popular option, but can it be used for basement floors? Can it be applied on top of painted floors? We did the research to bring you the answer.
Yes, you can epoxy basement floors, including those that were already previously painted. Applying epoxy doesn't require you to remove paint before coating the floor as long as the surface is solid. An epoxy floor also comes with several benefits that counter common basement problems, including moisture and bacteria.
An epoxy floor comes with benefits and drawbacks that affect overall basement floor quality. Other concerns about epoxy basement floors include application, costs, and recommended options. In this post, we'll discuss the topic in greater detail. Without further ado, let's get into it.
Are Epoxy Floors Good For Basements?
Epoxy floors work well in basements for many reasons affecting maintenance and long-term quality. Basement owners usually deal with moisture and dirt buildup. And so, it requires regular cleaning and finding the proper materials.
While epoxy flooring can withstand common basement issues and reduce damage to the property, it also has its benefits and drawbacks.
Benefits Of Epoxy Floors
Epoxy floors are well-known for their longevity and resistance to dirt and scratches. For a basement floor, they provide the following advantages:
Mold and mildew often breed in basements due to the levels of humidity in the space. The growth of these harmful bacteria comes from moisture. Thus, protection from moisture is essential to keep a basement fresh.
Epoxy floors are usually waterproof, which helps protect the basement from moisture buildup and leakages or spills. In connection to this, it is resistant to bacteria and eliminates the possible spread of mold and mildew.
Epoxy floor finishes tend to smoothen out surfaces, making it easier and faster to clean and recoat. Its high resistance allows you to dust and wipe off dirt and stains with ease.
Floor durability is crucial in basements because they are exposed to high humidity levels that could cause damage. Epoxy offers enough coverage to prevent peeling, allowing it to last for several years.
Its long-lasting qualities make it a good base for different basement flooring. If you're not looking to change it soon, it comes in various styles and colors too.
Adding epoxy to your basement floor won't require you much work. Although you can apply it yourself, hiring a professional saves you time and money.
Drawbacks Of Epoxy Floors
Despite the advantages of epoxy flooring, there are a few other things you will have to consider. The downsides of epoxy basement floors are usually the following:
While most epoxy flooring is slip-resistant, it can get slippery when exposed to oil and water. This doesn't necessarily damage the coating, but it can become dangerous for homeowners.
The main drawback with epoxy floors is that it is a temporary solution. Even when they are durable and long-lasting, the condition of the floor gets affected daily, unlike other solutions. It leads to frequent recoating to ensure consistency.
Can I Epoxy My Basement Floor Myself?
Coating your basement floor with epoxy is a job you can get done yourself. Keep in mind that following the proper instructions affects the final outcome.
To start, you will need to prepare these materials:
- Masking tape
- Plastic sheeting
- Sandpaper (at least 80-grit)
- Clean water
- Clean cloth or rag
- Protective gear (gloves, eyewear, boots)
- Paint tray
- Paintbrush or roller
- Epoxy paint
How To Epoxy A Basement Floor
Follow these steps in applying epoxy to a basement floor:
- Test to see if the floor is compatible with epoxy beforehand by taping plastic sheeting and leaving it for a day. If it's dry when removed, you can put epoxy over it.
- Wear the protective equipment after preparing the tools and materials.
- Cover surfaces and objects that you won't be painting, to include vents and electrical outlets.
- Use sandpaper to sand the paint enough to de-gloss and smoothen the surface. Wipe down the dust with a cloth or rag.
- Clean the surface with a broom or mop and cleaner. Rinse any soap residue and leave it to dry for a minimum of 4 hours.
- Shut off gas and electrical appliances in the room.
- Stir the epoxy paint well and add the hardener to the mixture. After mixing, leave it for 30 minutes covered with the lid.
- Pour the mix into a paint tray.
- Spread the paint evenly with a brush or roller until you smooth out any patches.
- Let it dry for 24 hours, and then apply the second coat following steps 6 to 9.
- Leave the floor to dry for 24 to 72 hours.
For more on basement maintenance, check out this post: Can You Drylock A Basement Floor?
Do You Need To Remove Paint Before Epoxy?
If you're applying epoxy to an already painted floor, there's no need to remove the paint. Keeping previous paint makes the application simpler since it only requires a smooth surface.
Epoxy is compatible with different types of floor paint. You can either use it to cover the old paint or as a topcoat.
To be sure, test if your painted floor is compatible with epoxy by taping a plastic sheeting on the floor and sealing it, then leave it for about 24 hours. Then remove the sheet and check if there is moisture on the underside. If it is dry, it means epoxy will bond well with your floor.
However, if the floor paint shows extreme signs of wear and damage, you will have to prepare the surface before applying epoxy to avoid further harm. In this case, you need to remove the paint and sand down the surface as much as necessary.
How Much Does It Cost To Epoxy The Basement Floor?
Professionals usually charge $3 to $7 per square foot to epoxy a basement floor. Some companies do not include the cost of materials, starting at an average of $0.37 per square foot and higher depending on the type of epoxy.
The overall cost to hire someone to get the job done starts at $500 and may increase with other services and bigger spaces. They often charge per square foot but include preparation, coating, and sealing to the labor charge.
What Is The Best Epoxy For A Basement Floor?
Choosing the right paint plays a role in the effectiveness of the coating. Epoxy is available in options designed for basement floors. The recommended epoxy paints for basements include:
Rust-Oleum Concrete Floor Paint
This option is affordable and provides great value for the cost. It's durable for both interior and exterior concrete floors. It comes in a smooth finish, and its self-priming feature makes a single coating enough to resist chipping, fading and stains.
KILZ Basement And Masonry Waterproofing Paint
Depending on how many coats you need to make, this can cover 75 to 125 square feet. Its formula allows it to provide a waterproof barrier and seal porous concrete indoors and outdoors.
Coloredepoxies Epoxy Resin Coating
Unlike other variants, this option comes in clear color with a slight tone. Although it is not water-based, it is odorless and free from harmful compounds. A gallon can cover 125 to 175 square feet with a waterproof feature.
If you want to improve your basement ambiance through colors, check out this post: How Can I Brighten Up My Basement Family Room?
How Long Does An Epoxy Basement Floor Last?
Epoxy floors tend to last for several years but may vary with the amount of foot traffic in the area. If there is heavy foot traffic, it can last 2 to 3 years without any issues. Home locations are likely to stay clean for even longer and can go for 10 years long.
With proper care and maintenance, the quality of epoxy flooring will remain fresh even without constant touch-ups.
Besides epoxy paint's long-lasting features, it works well for basement floors because of water resistance options that help reduce moisture levels. It's also easy to apply and can go over painted floors without having to remove the previous paint.
The quality and condition of epoxy flooring vary with application. While you can apply it yourself, getting professional help ensures a great end result.