Floors - this is the most exploited surface of the room. This part is subjected to stress and wear more than others. That is why, in the face of increasing demands in the world, a new floor covering has become actively used. Polymer base is used today at industrial enterprises, and at railway stations, at airports, offices and schools, hospitals and restaurants. It is widely distributed in residential premises. Many use polymer floors for a garage, porch or terrace. Today, there are more than a hundred ways to install this material.
If we talk about industrial enterprises, the technological process depends on many factors. One of them is the condition in which the floor covering is located . The polymer base is considered universal today. Given the load experienced by the surface, the material for its decoration should be strong, durable, even. In addition, the coating must be resistant to aggressive environments, mechanical stress. It is also important that the surface is comfortable to clean. All these qualities combined polymer floors. The material is widely used not only in industry, but also in everyday life. Many owners of residential premises carry out the installation of polymer floors in the bathroom, kitchen, hallway. In addition to the qualities listed above, the material has excellent decorative properties. This allows the use of polymer bulk floors in almost any interior. Next, we will understand what this material is.
The coating is based on polymers. They are organic compounds with a very long chain length and molecular weight. The links are certain fragments that are repeated many times. Poly means a lot. The components of the base have certain properties that are determined by their structure. Thanks to its qualities, polymer bulk floors have found their application in the automotive industry, industry and household. The main properties of materials include chemical and mechanical strength in sufficiently thin layers with a relatively low specific gravity. In addition, polymer floors, photos of which can be viewed in the article, may contain various kinds of fillers. As a result, it became possible to create composite materials. They successfully replaced the traditional ones: metal, concrete, wood. The properties of the components of the material in question can be changed endlessly. For this, special additives, plasticizers, fillers, diluents, etc. are used.
Types of main components
Polymer floors may contain different compounds. Typically, three options are used. In particular, methyl methacrylate, polyurethane and epoxy polymers are used. Let us consider in more detail the last two groups.
These materials are distinguished by a spatial branched structure. In them, the stitching of resin and hardener chains is carried out in all directions. It is because of this that such floors have greater compressive strength, chemical resistance and high adhesion (adhesion) to the surface.
In them, crosslinking mainly occurs linearly. In this regard, such floors have greater elasticity, resistance to bending and shock. In addition, the materials are practically not subject to deformation. If we talk about which floor is better: epoxy or polyurethane, then experts recommend focusing on specific surface requirements. It must be said here that there are so-called "hybrid materials." They combine the properties of both those and other elements. As practice shows, epoxy floors are most popular today.
The main advantages of materials
- Monolithic with walls and base, lack of seams.
- High grip.
- Chemical resistance to aggressive compounds of various origins.
- High impact, bending, compression strength. Elastic coatings perfectly compensate for deformation and vibration.
- Water resistance. A polymer coating on the concrete floor will prevent leaks to the neighbors below. The material is considered ideal for rooms in which constantly high humidity, and also uses a machine-based cleaning method.
- Easy styling. Without special knowledge and without using sophisticated equipment, you can mount polymer floors with your own hands. In this case, you can use the base heating. For example, a “warm floor” system is mounted under the cover.
- Application over a wide temperature range (from -40 to +100 degrees).
- Perfect smoothness and evenness of the surface.
- A wide selection of design and technological solutions, the uniqueness of options.
- Fire and explosion safety.
- Perfect clarity of finish coatings.
- Application speed. All layers of polymer coating can be mounted in a day. Moreover, if the decoration is carried out in an industrial building, the production process can not be interrupted for the duration of the work.
- Anti-slip properties.
- Profitability. Duration of operation at a low initial cost favorably distinguishes polymer concrete floors from other materials.
The cost of the coating is calculated in accordance with its thickness. It, in turn, is a determining factor in the duration of the operation of the material. The minimum thickness of thick coatings is one millimeter. As a rule, consumers choose average values - 2-3.5 mm.
There are various design options for polymer floors. These include:
- The use of a particular color or combination, a chaotic mixture of shades under the roller.
- Filling on an uncured layer of "chips" (decorative flocks) of different nature. In particular, particles of acrylic paint of various shades, fluorescent, metallized, medium-sized glitter-glitter and others are used.
- Sticking a photographic image or volumetric type image (3D effect).
- Artistic execution of the pattern.
- The use of colored sands to create a "stone carpet". In this case, you can choose the configuration of the picture, the color of the filler, the size of its particles, the level of surface varnish sealing - from smooth to structural.
- Use of embedded elements. They include dried leaves, pebbles, coins, coffee beans, flowers and more. As a result, you can create magnificent panels.
- Use of venetian plaster. With its help, the effects of volume and depth are created.
Choosing one or another decoration option, you can get a multidimensional three-dimensional pattern on the surface. It should be remembered that the design of the floor directly depends on the style of the environment. In the end, the room should be convenient and comfortable. When choosing a picture or photo, the tastes and preferences of the people present in the room should be taken into account. The picture on the floor should not scare, repel or annoy.
What bases are the materials applied to?
Do-it-yourself polymer floors can be mounted on leveling screeds, thick metal (previously coated with a primer). The base may be a solid sheet material. For example, it can be MDF, plywood, particleboard, hot water and other mineral and wood coatings. It is important that the base is strong and does not bend under loads.
This component is an integral part of the polymer coating. The hardener has a low molecular weight. Thanks to this component, the connection of neighboring structural elements occurs. The hardener is able to interact with the active centers of the resins. In this case, a sufficiently strong chemical bond is formed and pure thermal energy is formed. The connection of molecules is carried out in all polyurethane or epoxy groups in different directions. At the beginning of the process, the reaction occurs rather quickly. As energy is consumed, the process slows down. Finally, the material acquires all its properties after a rather long period.
Polymer floors: application technology
The process of laying material is divided into several stages:
- Foundation preparation.
- Primer application.
- Laying the base layer.
- Surface decoration.
- Sealing with a finishing layer.
Next, we consider the steps separately.
Before you install polymer floors with your own hands, you need to work with the surface. It should be noted that this stage is one of the most important. The final installation result will depend on the quality of preparation of the base. First of all, the surface should be treated. During this process, the leveling of the base is carried out, the elimination of pollution (oily stains, dust, stubborn particles). This can be done using tools such as milling, grinding and shot blasting machines. During the preparatory phase, it is also necessary to eliminate various surface defects. To them, in particular, include cracks, chips, cracks. As practice shows, in approximately 90% of cases of destruction and delamination of the coating, the cause was poor preparation of the base. The surface before applying the primer should be smooth, not have significant slopes.
After laying the concrete screed, the surface must be aged for 28 days. Immediately before finishing, the moisture content of the substrate should be checked with a special tool (moisture meter). It should be no more than 4 wt.%. In addition, the presence of water vapor migration through the structure is checked. It should be minimized when applying moisture-proof material. The strength of concrete to peel and compress. For this, sclerometers are used. The compressive strength of the base is more than 20 N / mm2, and the tensile strength is more than 2 N / mm2. On the surface there should be no oil, grease stains and other compounds that may interfere with the adhesion of the material.
Elimination of defects
This work is carried out using various mixtures (putties, for example). On the concrete base, there may be deformation and temperature-shrink joints and various kinds of cracks. To clean them use a construction vacuum cleaner. Seams are primed and filled with putty compounds. For processing and filling cracks using a polymer mixture. If necessary, they are glued with fiberglass.
The composition is absorbed into the base and improves the adhesion of the polymer to it. To apply the primer, use a metal spatula or roller. You can use a spray. After application, the primer should dry well.
It is possible to lay polymer floors with your own hands in about 15-20 hours after applying the primer. The material must be distributed evenly and quickly across the surface. During the application, temperature differences and drafts are not allowed. Direct sunlight should also be avoided on the surface of the coating. This is important not only during installation, but also during hardening. Since polymer floors are laid in several layers with their own hands, it is necessary to observe the time of interlayer drying.
Temperature and humidity conditions
Of great importance when applying the coating are environmental conditions. The temperature in the room during installation should be at least 15 degrees. Otherwise, a chemical reaction will slow down and polymer spreading over the surface will deteriorate. This, in turn, can provoke an increase in consumption and a deterioration in appearance. At high temperatures, the hardening reaction will occur much faster. As a result, the "lifespan" of the composition will decrease. This, in turn, will not allow you to learn a perfect surface. If the relative humidity is high (more than 80%) in the room along with a low temperature, condensation will form on the coating.
Decorating and Finishing
Laying polymer floors with their own hands, many use "chips" to improve the aesthetic properties of a smooth surface. The materials used as these elements are indicated above. After completing the decoration stage, they begin to apply the finish layer. As it can be used, the polymer of the main composition or varnish. The latter, in turn, is colorless or colored, matte or glossy.
Some features of the preparation of the composition
The properties of the coating depend largely on the correct ratio of the components. For each solution, a certain proportion is established. When mixing, make sure that component B (hardener) is completely poured out of the can. Also, special attention should be paid to the very process of connecting the components. Effective mixing of the components is achieved by choosing the right mixer with a specific power, size and nozzle configuration. When connecting the components, the mixture should be directed from the bottom up, without capturing excess air, since it will subsequently be difficult to remove from the material.