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Metallic Epoxy Coating Makes Concrete Floors Come to Life
The floor of an office lobby coated with Metal Fusion in Sterling. (Applicator: James Johnson, Las Vegas)
One of the hottest trends in decorative concrete floors are metallic coatings that allow you to "gild" your concrete in an array of glistening patinas (see Adding Dazzle with Metallic Coatings). One of the newest metallic epoxy systems on the market, Ultra Surface Metal Fusion from Concrete Solutions, allows contractors to heighten the effects and make floors look three-dimensional.
A two-component 100%-solids epoxy blended with metallic pigments, Metal Fusion is self-leveling, permitting easy application and seamless floor surfaces. “The application method is what really makes Metal Fusion take life,” says Bart Sadleir Concrete Solutions’ general manager. “Denatured alcohol and other solvents can be used to disperse and drag the metal pigments throughout the epoxy. You can also use air to create a more dynamic metallic effect. Ten to fifteen minutes after spreading Metal Fusion with a notched squeegee, a leaf blower can be used to ripple, crater, and impel the metallic pigment. You can also get extra creative by drizzling, splotching, or blending one or more colors over the top of the Metal Fusion base color.”
Other attractive properties of the floor coating include a low viscosity, no VOCs (Metal Fusion is solvent-free), low odor, moisture insensitivity, and excellent bonding to properly prepared concrete surfaces.
Typical usesMetal Fusion is ideal for residential or commercial applications where you want to make your floors a focal point. The most common applications are retail stores, lobby areas, salons, living rooms, hotels, restaurants, and offices. “Metal Fusion is available in 11 standard colors, so architects and designers can choose from both vibrant and subtle metallic effects for pretty much any interior project,” says Sadleir. “Concrete Solutions' acetone based dyes applied over the top of the wet Metal Fusion also make for an impressive finish.”
Sadleir does not recommend using Metal Fusion on outdoor concrete because the 100%-solids epoxy formulation will discolor after time when exposed to direct sunlight. However, it can be used on high-traffic interior concrete floors because it offers excellent impact and wear resistance. “For better scratch and abrasion resistance, we recommend a topcoat of Concrete Solutions' HP (high-performance) urethane. “This system will provide many years of wear under heavy foot traffic, while maintaining a magnificent finish,” says Sadleir. To eliminate the need to reseal down the road, a floor finish or hard wax can be applied every few months.
Training availableConcrete Solutions does not require applicators be certified to purchase or apply Metal Fusion. “For anyone that has applied epoxy or urethane-type coatings, it is straightforward and easy to achieve great results with Metal Fusion,” says Sadleir. However, for contractors without any coating experience, Concrete Solutions offers hand-on training classes every month at a facility in Las Vegas. They also demonstrate the system at supply store deminars.