A marketing slogan for Home Depot’s chain of EXPO Design Centers promises “Everything you need for a stunning living space.” So when the chain’s San Diego showroom needed an upgrade at the front of the store, the parent company went for a stunning look, right down to the concrete floor coated with a high-gloss metallic and pearl-finish epoxy coating.
Home Depot chose Life Deck Specialty Coatings, based in San Diego, to repair and coat the floor because they thought Life Deck could handle a job with some tight parameters — coat 3,000 square feet in 72 hours, working only at night while the store remained open during regular hours. They were also attracted to the durable epoxy products supplied by Life Deck’s sister company, Westcoat Specialty Coating Systems.
Project manager Gil Koury began the project with lots of legwork before the three-day countdown began. Most important were compatibility and color matches with the part of the floor that was not being remodeled, Koury says. Samples of a custom blend of pewter and black received enthusiastic approval from store management and Home Depot’s corporate offices. “We did a lot of lab work to get the right color,” he says.
Then the nocturnal work began. First Koury’s team bead-blasted the concrete floor to get what he calls “the ultimate profile” for proper adhesion. Then they patched cracks with Westcoat’s EC-72 Epoxy Patch Gel. This two-component, 100 percent solids gel had the advantage of being quick-drying. Next the floor was primed with penetrating EC-11 Water-Based Epoxy, which is also quick-drying.
Finally, the custom color blend of EC-34 Epoxy Topcoat was applied with a squeegee and back-rolled with an 18-inch mohair-covered roller. Each night’s work was completed by about 1 a.m. and people would begin walking on the floor by 9 a.m. Typical cure time takes up to 24 hours, but Koury monitored the building’s ambient temperature and the coating cure rate to be sure the finish could stand up to foot traffic. Product consistency and cure performance were critical here. “The products were very dependable,” Koury says. “They dried when they were supposed to dry. They performed perfectly.”
Epoxy is more than just a pretty face, Koury explains. “Epoxy tends to be more resilient to heavy traffic. It is very durable. An interior floor coating not exposed to the sun can last 15 to 20 years.” He recommends regular maintenance every five to eight years for such a floor. This includes inspecting it, sanding it, cleaning with denatured alcohol, repairing any damaged spots and then resealing it with EC-31 Epoxy Clear Topcoat to bring the floor back to its original appearance.
Gil Koury credits teamwork and cooperation with the customer as the key to the success of this project. Westcoat president Paul Koury says he is also enthusiastic about the outcome. “With our EC-34 system, Life Deck was able to create a distinctive, eye-catching floor that was user-friendly and kept the job within a tight three-day time frame.”