Always underfoot...

Often taken for granted, what goes on the floor?

The grooming area is a rugged environment for the floor; frequently wet, high traffic, always in need of cleaning.  So what do you put on it?  Some kind of durable, continuous, waterproof covering...

Our first thought was a commercial vinyl product typically found in hospitals.  This sheet material is frequently referred to as "hot seamed" vinyl, since the process uses a heated filler material at all seams/joints to maintain its continuous seal.  This material is frequently installed running up adjacent walls to form an integrated cove base.  The problem installers saw with this material in our truck was the inability to get a good seal at the edges of the floor, owing to the way aluminum trim is used at the base of the walls. ffWe thought about a material like truck bed liners, applied as a coating, but the texture and lack of color selection ruled this out. 

We ended up with an epoxy coating.  This process is used in high-end garages, and is typically applied to concrete.  I got a lot of good information from the folks at UCoat It, and purchased the material there.

The installation was straightforward, just pay attention to the directions; which come in printed and video format.  The process involves a minimum of two applications.  The first, the bond coat, is a mixture of three ( A, B and C) components applied to a wet floor.  The coating is absorbed into the floor with the moisture.  This is a tinted coat, but does not produce a good covering.  A second coat used the same materials (only the A and B components.)  This yields a solid color coating.  We had enough material for a third application, so we used a third coat.  You need to know ahead of time how much material to mix, since it is only good for 30 - 60 minutes to apply; depending on temperature and humidity.

If you want traction, sprinkle a quartz "grit" into the base coat.  We used a light coating of grit.  This went on top of the first or bond coat.  This could be a complete floor, in a solid color.  We also used a "flek" for appearance.  You can see it on their website.  It emulates a terrazzo appearance.  These colored flakes go on top of the last colored base coat and are then covered with a clear overcoat.

The base coat is water-based and has no significant odor.  The clear top coat is available in a water-based version and AF, automotive finish, which is solvent based and resistant to more materials.  We used the AF material, again a two part mix.  This stuff has wicked fumes.  Ventilation is critical.