Hints for Installing Troweled Decorative Epoxy Floors

1. Prime the floor and broadcast with silica sand the night before applying the mortar.
2. Terrazzo strips can be used for color delineation, thickness guides, and make good termination edges. The strips can be placed after surface prep or after priming. Throughout the entire process keep strips clean.
3. Premix sides A & B of the epoxy mortar resin.
4. Precisely measure the amount of A & B for each batch. If the mix is too wet, not only is the material difficult to trowel, but there will be a color difference.
5. Use a spatula to empty the entire contents of each component into the mixing vessel.
6. Thoroughly mix A & B before adding any aggregate to make sure the pigment and final color is consistent throughout the job.
7. Premix the aggregate in the mortar mixer (or in a separate clean dry mixer) before adding the resin.
8. Use a good mortar mixer with blades.
9. Mix the aggregate and matrix thoroughly in the mortar mixer, keeping the mix time the same for all the batches.
10. Throw the first batch away (or use it to make samples or sanding blocks), it's used to wet out the mixer, and will be a shade off other batches and will appear as a drier looking floor.
11. All mixing equipment should always be scraped of excess material. If material is allowed to build up in the equipment, mixes will become wetter resulting is color shading.
12. Prior to applying the cove mortar, apply fresh primer on the cove base.
13. Use a vertical cove base resin to mix the cove mortar. If the cove is set-off using terrazzo strips, trowel the cove prior to troweling the floor.
14. The mixed material should be immediately spread onto the floor and not allowed to remain in a pile or mound. Use a screed box whenever possible, especially in long hallways. The mortar trowels better at 3/16" than at 1/4" thickness.
15. Do not overwork the mortar, the less troweling the better - especially cove base. Finish trowel the floor with flexible pool trowels (rounded corners). If using a power trowel, plastic blades are mandatory. Steel blades or over hand troweling will burnish the system causing dark areas.
16. Trowel the floor with floor lights (mandatory), if it looks good with floor lights (overhead lights off) it will look good finished with clear topcoats (place the lights behind the trowel guys).
17. Have overhead lighting available to check for possible color differences in batches.
18. During the troweling process, any build up that accumulates on the side of the trowel should not be added back into the mix. This material is frequently a build up of fines that if returned to the mix will appear as a “worm” or flaw in the color pattern.
19. Keep everyone off the cured mortar until a grout coat is applied; dirt, coffee, plaster, etc. will not be easily removed if spilled before a grout is applied.
20. Apply the grout with a spring steel trowel that pushes the grout into the mortar, and roll the area with a short nap roller cover, this removes any tails.
21. Do not apply excess grout material, just enough to fill the voids, excess will give a cloudy appearance (this may take several coats depending upon the degree to which the mortar is closed during troweling).
22. After troweling the grout up the cove base, roll from the top down with the short nap roller cover, do not allow excess grout material to fall down the cove and puddle.
23. The cured mortar may be lightly sanded after the first grout is cured; don't try to grind out mistakes as heavy sanding can remove the color from colored aggregate.
24. Apply the satin topcoat at 4-5 mils with a short nap roller; if it's applied thicker it may look cloudy, cross roll the material for consistent coverage.
25. Allow all decorative epoxy topcoats to cure for 5-7 days prior to applying water or exposing to chemicals.