Introduction: DIY Designer Epoxy Resin Floor
This stunning High Gloss Resin Floor would make a dramatic statement in any home, office, garage, showroom or in fact just about anywhere!
It's surprisingly simple with good preparation and can be undertaken with minimal tools and equipment
This new Instructable project follows our previous Instructables 'Neon Plank Table', 'DIY Resin River Table' and 'Resin Penny Floor Project'.
We were tasked with laying a new high-end glossy floor in the studio of our sister company Easy Composites Ltd- I'm sure you'll agree it looks amazing! The style and techniques used in this project could easily be applied to creating marbled floors, resin art floors and of course as a clear coating on top of a decorative floor like our Penny Floor. The possibilities are endless and your imagination is the only thing holding you back!
As always we've produced a video tutorial and an eBook for in-depth instructions which you can download free of charge, all links can be found throughout the project.
Hope you enjoy it and please post any questions and comments and we'll be happy to answer them ...
Step 1: What You'll Need: Preparation & Materials
The Products and Materials used in the project:
Step 2: Room Preparation and Calculations
It's really important to ensure that the environment you are working in is a dry, heated space with an ambient temperature of around 20°C throughout the process - this includes the temperature of the floor, and the room may need heating to raise the floor temperature.
The Resin also needs to be at room temperature - so if it's delivered cold or it's been stored somewhere cooler like in a garage you will need to raise the temperature to 20°C before use. Any damp or cold conditions will affect the end result and the room needs to be as dust & dirt free as possible.
The calculation for working out the amount of resin you will need for your project is as follows:
Our room measures 7m by 10m
The depth of our pour was 1.5mm (you may need to pour 2mm-3mm deep but we only required 1.5mm because the floor was very flat and smooth).
70 x 1.5mm = 105kg
So, 3 of our 37.5kg kits of GlassCast 3 will be more than enough for the job, giving us 112.5kg.
To work out the amount of resin required for your project use this useful resin calculator.
Step 3: Preparing the Floor
The next step is to prepare the room for the pour.
Seal the perimeter of the floor to contain the resin and stop any resin seeping under walls and skirting boards. We used builders caulk, alternatively you could use silicone sealant or an acrylic adhesive.
This includes creating a barrier where there are doorways, built in cupboards etc. For this we used a piece of polypropylene sheet to make a barrier across the doorway which we secured with a hot melt glue-gun. Polypropylene is a great material to use as it does not stick to epoxy resin so can be easily removed after the resin has cured.
Fill and cracks, holes or gaps in the floor to create a flat, smooth surface - as near to perfect as you can get it. It's very important to do this due to pouring a relatively thin layer of resin, any imperfections could show in the finished floor.
For this step we used a small amount of the GlassCast 3 mixed with some Fumed Silica to create our own tough epoxy filler - we mixed it into a thick, paste like consistency and applied to the floor using a trowel.
We then left this to fully harden.
Next, sand smooth any rough or high spots and clean the floor thoroughly - it is worth taking time on the cleaning to ensure the floor and room are free from any dirt and debris.
Please be aware that if the surface of your floor is not sealed, or the substrate porous you will need to seal it before the main pour. This can be done with a floor sealer or a thin layer of GlassCast 3.
It is also really important to ensure that the room is not damp at all as moisture will affect epoxy resin.
Step 4: Weighing, Mixing and Pigmenting the Resin
Personal taste will dictate the colour you choose to use or if you will be using multiple colours.
There are a few extra images at the end of the Instructable of alternative floors.
Lots of makers are using metallic pigments to add effects like marbling and we would always recommend thorough testing of a small panel to practise any effect you want to achieve before pouring the whole floor.
For this floor we used a solid grey epoxy pigment as we wanted a high end showroom look for the floor in grey.
This was the process we followed as we were mixing such large batches:
GlassCast 3 mix ratio is 2 parts resin to 1 part hardener - we worked out that if we divided the total amount into the individual kits (3), then divided each kit into 3 we would have 9 batches for the whole project.
The pigment is added at 2.5%.
This is much more manageable and ensures much more accurate measuring and mixing throughout the project.
Each batch will consist of;
8.33kg Resin (Part A) and 4.17kg Hardener (Part B)
Weigh out the resin, hardener and pigment carefully and accurately and mix together.
Mixing in large quantities like this is done most effectively with a powered paddle mixer - make sure that you keep the paddle mixer submerged in the mixture, this will ensure you are not adding air into the mix.
Mix for 3 minutes before pouring into a second bucket and mixing again - this is called 'double potting' and is a really important step to ensure a thorough mix.
These steps need to be repeated for each batch and it is fine to reuse the mixing buckets for each batch.
Step 5: Pouring & Curing the Resin
We found it very helpful to mark out the area for each batch - just using a piece of masking tape on the wall before beginning the pours.
Begin pouring the mixed resin over 1/9th of the floor working towards the door.
A small hand spreader is great for pushing the resin around any obstructions like pipework or a pillar, but for the bulk of the spreading it's best to use a notched squeegee for speed and efficiency.
A notched squeegee with a notch depth approximately twice as deep as the resin depth is advisable - so we used a 4mm notch depth.
The process of measuring, pigmenting, mixing, double potting, pouring and spreading is repeated until the floor is completed.
GlassCast 3 epoxy coating resin has excellent self-levelling properties, so will only require light working to ensure that it has complete coverage and a consistent thickness - then the resin will do the rest of the work.
It's very important to make sure the whole floor is completed in one session and for large floors it's advisable to have a second person available to carry out the mixing - the pouring of this floor took 45 minutes with two people.
Glasscast 3 is also self-degassing so the bubbles will pop on their own, although we noticed a small patch of floor where bubbles didn't seem to be popping - this could be due to a small patch of floor not being pre-sealed - to overcome this we quickly passed over the surface with a propane torch to burst them.
To access the floor after the pour we used spiked overshoes which enabled us to walk over the floor without excessively disturbing the resin.
Once you're happy with the floor it's time to seal the room and leave it to fully cure - this will allow the resin to degas, self-level and cure to an amazing high gloss finish like this!
Remember it is very important to seal the room to ensure that there are no draughts as this could cause dust and debris to land in the resin during the cure.
Step 6: The Finished Floor and After Care
That's how we created our high gloss resin floor!
The whole working process took less than a day - including all the prep. The resin was 'touch dry' and suitable for walking on after 24 hours, however you should leave it a s long as possible before bringing in any heavy furniture or opening up the room to heavy footfall. This will help to avoid unnecessary marking and give the floor a longer life!
The floor looks incredible and would look great in a showroom, exclusive garage or designer living space!
Although this Instructable focuses on the installation of a single colour high gloss resin floor, most of the information and techniques would be exactly the same if you were installing a blended colour floor - often combining metallic effects with one or more colours to achieve a unique appearance.
If you are installing such a floor we recommend watching this video to learn the basics of gloss epoxy floor installation using GlassCast 3 including environment conditions, floor prep, batch mixing, pouring and spreading.
If you would like to attempt your own glossy floor project but need some more advice please get in touch:
You can reach us through the comments section here, or through the GlassCast Resin website.
Step 7: Other Applictaions
There are so many possibilities based on the principles and techniques shared in this Instructable.
Changing the colour, large scale resin art, adding marbling or veins with metallic pigments or contrasting colours, using the resin as a clear coat over a decorative floor like pennies, vinyl records, crushed glass, mosaics and much more are all possibilities.
If you have any questions on this Instructable or the others we mention, don't hesitate to get in touch!