Everlast® Epoxy vs Neverlast Flooring Episode 10 :
Why Floors Fail: An In-Depth Look Into Common Reasons Many Commercial Flooring Systems Fail After Only A Few Years
Why are there so many neverlast floors out their? And by neverlast, I mean floors that will only last you a few years at best before they need heavy maintenance or even replacement. Why floors fail is a subject of much discussion in my industry. Many manufacturers claim that it’s because of poor installation, and many installers claim it’s because the material isn’t up to the task.
Here is a list of common flooring material that doesn’t last long in commercial settings;
- Rubber Sheet
- Cementitious Urethane
- Epoxy Floors With A Low Epoxy Resin Amount In The Mix
Here at Everlast® Epoxy, we encourage our customers to educate themselves in order to make the right decision for your flooring needs.
But it’s not easy if you’re an outsider looking in.
You see, all floors are good floors in the beginning. The issue is that after a while, they start to degrade. And this degradation can start to happen within a year of installation.
In fact, safety rubber sheet floors are so bad that the manufacturer actually advises you to call them up to do regular patching work. They will come after closing hours, cut out the damaged section, and replace it with a new seam-welded piece.
The fact that the manufacturer knows that this will happen says a lot. They know their floors don’t last, so they add a section into their warranty to cover these issues. But any disturbance and overtime cost fall onto the company that bought the floor.
The same with tile floors. There are companies out there whose whole business model is centered around the task of replacing grout in busy traffic areas.
Floors Fail Because Of Many Reasons And Most Of Them Are Predictable Due To Common Flaws
Why Rubber Sheet Floors Fail
Rubber sheet flooring material tends to want to warp upwards. So it’s only natural for rubber sheet floor failure to happen. The seams will open up and allow all kinds of dirt, oil, and water to go underneath the floor. This creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and the nasty smell that comes with it.
Another big problem with rubber floor failure is around drains. Because its a cut out, the cut needs to be exact in order to prevent water from going underneath the flooring material. However, once the rubber starts to warp, it will slowly pull itself away from the drain and create an easy opening for a lot of water to make its way under the flooring material.
The water will start to attack the adhesive, soften it up, and make the rubber sheet flooring become even more loose… creating an even larger breeding ground for more bacteria.
It can become so bad that eventually your entire rubber sheet floor isn’t even attached to the substrate anymore. It’s just laying on top of it.
To “rub” salt into the wound… some rubber floor manufacturers only have the installer glue down the mats around drains and where the floor meets a wall. The rest of the floor is just sitting on top of the substrate. Once a seam opens up around a drain or elsewhere, the water will just flow freely under the entire floor. And don’t forget, bacteria create a nasty smell… in this case, it can stretch the entire floor of your kitchen or other places you’ve put down rubber sheet floors.
Ask any installer of floors if they’ve had a good experience removing rubber sheet flooring. Many describe the smells they find underneath these mats as being as bad as a rotting corpse!
Anything organic, like animal grease, is just sitting there and starting to deteriorate. It’s a wet, hot environment. Just nasty!
Why Tile Floors Fail
Quarry and Porcelain Tile is inherently porous. It absorbs water into and through it. This can be good if you’ve got a lot of moisture that comes up through the substrate because it allows the moisture to evaporate. But it also damages the thin set used to glue the tile down. Eventually, you’ll see floor tile coming up.
To prevent tile from absorbing liquids and lifting floor tile, installers often put sealants on top of the tile. But this is usually a thin coat rolled onto the surface. It will deteriorate quickly and once it does, the tile is open for business (i.e. water absorption).
The grout line is almost always missing some portions of it. When you’re washing the floor, the water or chemicals you use to clean the floor will start to break down the grout material and wash it up from between the tile.
And, although there are many great tile setters out there, we’ve also got many beginners and tile setters that are not worried about the quality of their work. The result is that tile floors are often uneven. It’s got jagged edges that allow water to pool up in small areas, breaking down the grout even further.
To top off tile floor problems, the surface of a tile is certainly not sanitary. Because a tile is porous, it will absorb oils and grease along with any dirt and grime that falls onto the surface. Sometimes, you’ll find tiles that are caked in dirt!
As you can see, in a commercial environment, there are many tile problems to deal with, with some of the worst issues being tile popping off the floor.
Why Cementitious Urethane Floors Fail
Cementitious Urethane looks similar to a tile except without any grout joints. It doesn’t meet sanitary requirements for healthcare facilities, but it’s more common in the restaurant industry.
This type of flooring allows water and liquids to go through it. Which is good if you want moisture to escape from underneath. But it also allows grease and other liquids to leak through the material and get underneath the flooring.
Some manufacturers, claim that they can place this material over the top of the tile, but it doesn’t stick properly to the tile underneath. The cementitious urethane starts to break up into chunks.
Basically, it is concrete with a thin layer of urethane on top.
Essentially, a small layer of paint is protecting your floor from nasty bacteria buildup.
Across the industry, everyone agrees that urethane does not adhere as well as epoxy does to a floor. To prove my point, when installers are fixing cracks in an existing floor, they pump in epoxy, not urethane.
Cementitious Urethane is also not flexible. So it cannot be used over a wood subfloor.
Why Many Epoxy Floors Fail
Be aware of epoxy floor coating. Not all are created equally or have the same strength and durability.
The standard epoxy flooring company industry practice is to use a large amount of dry quartz with a small amount of epoxy to hold it all together. On top, they do a heavy glaze coat to seal it up. However, once that glaze wears off, you’ve got problems.
We are different.
Everlast® Floors uses about a gallon of epoxy resin for every 25 pounds of aggregate. Our competitors use, maybe if you are lucky, about ¼ of that epoxy resin amount in their systems.
The reason why this matters is that the aggregate stone is the “dumb” part of the product.
The real magic is in the epoxy resin.
- It seals up the floor,
- Prevents moisture from going through,
- It adheres the flooring material to the substrate, obviously.
Another epoxy floor problem with low epoxy resin floors is that they require a lot of expensive prep work beforehand. You need to factor in those costs as well when calculating the true cost of a flooring system.
I challenge you to do your own research. It’s quite simple. Just compare the specs on one epoxy flooring to another. Compare how much resin is needed per 25 pounds of aggregate.
The higher the resin amount, the better the flooring system. It will also help you answer the question “how long does an epoxy floor last?”.
The Higher The Resin Amount, The Better The Flooring System
Remember to check out epoxy flooring reviews when you are factoring in an epoxy flooring cost into your budget. The cost of having to redo your floor every couple of years will add up fast.
We here at Everlast® Epoxy firmly believe that we have the right solution for your needs. We can confidently say this because many of our past clients have been commercial kitchens, swimming pool facilities, and hospitals, i.e. businesses that require their floors to meet strict regulatory standards.
However, we understand you have many questions before making your decision. Why not give us a call and talk to one of our friendly floor experts today?
“Are you searching for a flooring solution for your business? Give us a call and have one of our floor experts recommend what options are available for you and your budget.
Visit 17 Questions To Ask Before Choosing Commercial Flooring for more information…
… or call 800-708-9870 now.