June 23, 2022 6 min read
Have you considered an Epoxy Flake System to enhance your floor? Decorative Flake System is one of our most popular concrete coating solutions. Not surprising, since it can take on a heavier load and hide imperfections. Colored Epoxies formulated its own proprietary three layer system with an optional super UV-resistant moisture cured urethane finish coat.This Old House featured our 100% solids epoxy kits as their top epoxy solution for the 2022.
If you are on the fence to decide whether this popular solution is for you, please read on. We think that you can bring on a modern look and ensure longevity of your flooring solution when using this particular system. You will learn in detail what is a Decorative Flake System in Part 1 - Guide and how you can install an epoxy resin floor with flake yourself in Part 2 - Installation.
Also called chips, floor chips, decorative flakes, Standard Flakes are composed of acrylic paint/vinyl, organic minerals, additives and pigments that were field tested to work with Colored Epoxies epoxy resin kits.
Flakes give a textured look to epoxy resin floors. They can create a pleasing illusion of stone, granite, wood or even carpet. They can even be installed on vertical surfaces and walls where waterproofing quality is desired or where traditional coatings would fail to deliver durability. In those environments the system can adhere to concrete, plaster, or drywall and Flakes are sprayed on.
Flakes come in a range of colors, sizes, styles and textures providing options for a unique, custom finish. Flakes feature random shaped chips within a standardized range of 1/4” size, 1/8” size, or 1/16”size. The most popular flake size is 1/4” which shows just enough texture without looking chunky. Smallest size gives an effect of a soft perhaps carpet-like finish, while the medium offers something in between. There are also options of several differently sized flakes in one product. All Flakes come boxed to order depending on style or standard in 20 or 40 LB boxes for the Most Popular Flake mixes.
Colored Epoxies Flake System is designed to provide maximum protection for your floor while giving you a clean modern look that is easy to maintain and is inexpensive clean. The system is a multi-layered solution which is smooth, seamless, durable and can be multi-colored. It is significantly thicker than traditional paint, infinitely more durable, and has high capacity to hide imperfections.
1. Solid Color Epoxy Base Layer (Backdrop) - which is one of our 12 standard colors created for your convenience - Monochromatic Palette (Black, White and 2 shades of Gray) or Colors Palette (Green, Red, Yellow, two shades of Blue, and three shades of Beige)
2. Flake Layer - one of the many single colored or blended products to match your space design and desired look - options include colors, sizes, textures so this is the place where you get your creative juices flowing
3. Clear Epoxy Layer - which seamlessly encapsulates the Flakes while showing them off as a main feature. Since your Flake Layer is thicker than the Solid Color Epoxy Base Layer, you will need more clear epoxy resin for the third layer.
4. Optional Moisture Cured Urethane Top Coat Layer - for installations where additional enhancements such as: uniform high-gloss sheen, another super scratch-resistant protective layer or ambering protection is desired. Flakes are UV stable but if, over time, ambering (or yellowing) occurs in exposed areas, the color of the flakes might appear different. MCU Top Coat resists UV damage in full sun, as well as, has additional chemical resistance qualities. Yet another benefit is the option and ease with which you can refinish the surface years later with another coat after light sanding.
First layer of your installed system is for priming purposes and to hold the flakes. In some instances it might be alright to start with the clear epoxy product for your first coat when you are installing a full broadcast but we think that a solid color base coat gives you a peace of mind and an even background to off-set your Flake. If your broadcast is partial you will need the solid color background. There is no need to purchase a separate primer, however. The epoxy resin kits act as a primer whether you choose solid or clear epoxy on your carefully prepared surface. Preparing your surface properly is a separate topic and we do not recommend acid etching the concrete for our epoxy resin application.
Since the first layer holds the Flakes and dries overnight before additional layers are applied, both the solid color layer and the Flakes are applied while the resin is “wet” or, more precisely, before the epoxy resin cures. This is your first and second layer. For light broadcast, you might need to apply two layers of the solid base coat depending on coverage.
After the excess of the flakes is removed/scraped on the second day of the installation process, Clear Epoxy Resin is squeegee applied and then back rolled to fully encase the remaining Flake in the clear epoxy. Back rolling or cross rolling squeegee applied epoxy resin will deliver a perfectly uniform thick epoxy layer without pooling or ridges. Thickness of the epoxy is is a desirable quality of this system which cannot be achieved with hardware store part "epoxy" products.
This process, squeegee and roller technique, delivers 125 mils or 125 SF/GAL of epoxy coating which after being properly cured for 24 hrs for light traffic and 48 hrs for full traffic has the ability to endure heavy loads and withstand other daily abuse with its resistance to chemicals, impact, scratches, and water.
Beside of the variety of options in size, color, pattern or texture Flakes can be applied at a different rate depending on the visual or practical effects that are desired.
Different coverage rates will produce different aesthetic qualities and are generally referred to as full or partial coverage or full or partial broadcast. Coverage ranges from fully covering the floor surface without any background being visible to exposing some of the background color. Flakes can also be used to accent the floor more sporadically. A practical benefit of a full broadcast is its texture/feel and thickness. Both can hide existing surface imperfections or repaired areas. A textured feel can also create a non-slip finish with a full broadcast. It is good to strike a balance with a textured surface that adds on a non-skid quality and not to expose too much Flake which could interfere with the ease of cleaning of the finished surface. If slip-resistance is needed in your application, please consider additives that can enhance this feature when added to the final application coat.
Decorative Flake Systems are versatile. Beside of traditional horizontal/flooring surfaces they can be applied to variety of vertical surfaces, foundation walls, walkways or concrete sills in indoor garages. Other examples of diverse application options are walls in refrigeration rooms or shower room walls where the system is installed directly onto existing surfaces. In these extreme environments where waterproofing is a requirement, Flake Systems outperform other coating options. Decorative Flake System can deliver a cost effective solution while achieving high aesthetic standards. Flake Systems can be installed on concrete pool decks and stairs to make pool areas look sharp and modern, as well as, resist harsh chemicals, mildew and UV damage.
If partial coverage is what you are after please be aware that as with many dry products larger pieces will naturally migrate/shift to the top while smallest will drift to the bottom during shipping. Pay attention to distribute variety of flake sizes all over your surface to create a uniform look.
We use the recommendations below as a rough guideline for Flake coverage rates and advise erring on the side of having more than enough of the product to prevent running out of it mid-application. Accurate calculation based on your preferences will prevent problems where some areas receive a generous distribution while there won't be enough to finish in other areas. Careful project planning prevents unwelcome surprises and spending more time on fixing problems later. We can assist you with your specific questions and needs.
FLAKE COVERAGE RATES GUIDELINES:
Full Coverage 13 SF/LB
Medium Coverage 20 SF/LB
Light Coverage 25+ SF/LB
Do You Have More Questions? Do not hesitate to call!
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