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Metallic Coating Creates Flowing Decorative Effects
Lava Flow, in Arctic Pearl, adds a glimmery sheen to the bathroom floors in Lido’s Restaurant, Hillsboro, Ore.
Make your floors come alive with a reflective sheen that seems to shift and move in undulating waves using Lava Flow from Versatile Building Products. Available in 11 pearlescent colors, the 100%-solids epoxy coating allows installers to modify the color movement using different application techniques, permitting a variety of decorative effects. Although the 3D-like shimmer produced by Lava Flow looks impressive, installation is quite simple.
“With Lava Flow metallics, an installer can achieve consistent results time after time, unlike concrete stains, which can be unpredictable. Of all the flooring systems we manufacture, Lava Flow is the simplest and easiest to apply. There’s a quicker turnaround time with less labor involved,” says Matthew Newman, president of Versatile Building Products.
In addition to being user-friendly, Lava Floor offers many other attributes. “Our higher-grade metallic system results in better dispersement, creating a deeper 3D look,” says Newman. “Epoxies flow more proficiently, even self-level, and they don’t have as many VOCs as urethanes of the past. They are also clearer and less likely to amber. The potlife has been extended and the drying time is faster without compromising the integrity of the coating.”
Lava Flow offers the added convenience of allowing you to purchase your choice of color separately and add it to the epoxy base right before application. “We’ve recently switched from premixing pigment into the epoxy to offering it as a color pack. It gives the product a longer shelf life,” says Newman.
How to applyAlthough Lava Flow requires application of a primer, no topcoat is needed. You simply spread the self-leveling metallic coating with a trowel, roller, or squeegee in a random back and forth motion. “At this point, you could be done, or you could go onto the floor wearing spiked shoes and trowel, squeegee, roll, spritz with denatured alcohol, or even blow the epoxy around the floor to redistribute the pigments that create the metallic look,” says Newman. He recommends using a looped paint roller or a notched trowel when first applying the product to produce a more uniform appearance, and a pool trowel or metal squeegee to produce a mottled, flowing look.
After the coating has begun to set, spraying the surface with denatured alcohol will disperse the metallic even more. After the coating has cured, an additional topcoat may be applied, if desired, to achieve greater scuff resistance, build, or gloss.
Where to useNewman says that Lava Flow is most often used on floors where durable surfaces are needed and a contemporary look is desired. Applications include everything from nightclubs, restaurants and car dealerships to doctors’ offices, hair salons and high-end retail stores. Lava Flow can also be a cheaper and viable alternative to overlays for floors in need of renovation.
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