Several companies have added metallic pigment products to their lineup in the last year or so.
Just last April, HP Spartacote Inc. launched AlpenGlow, a metallic pigment consisting of synthetically produced aluminum platelets coated with metal oxides. Available in 12 brilliant colors, the pigments are designed to be added directly to the company’s polyaspartic coatings as well as a number of commercial and decorative concrete coating systems. Ideal applications include showrooms, retail spaces and other high-end commercial floors that are subject daily to heavy traffic.
Other recent newcomers include Increte Systems, which added Metal FX to its lineup in January. The metallic-effect epoxy flooring system, which contains mica pigments, not metals, comes in nine distinct colors that can be mixed to form even more.
“Mica, unlike a metallic pigment, does not conduct electricity or contribute to potential static electricity,” says marketing manager Bernie McGuire. He says this makes Metal FX a good choice for areas such as clean rooms and places with sensitive electronics. The coating is also viable for a wide variety of commercial and residential applications.
Pigments are premeasured and mixed with clear epoxy to produce an easy-to-apply, durable surface, McGuire says. For dramatic and unique results, he adds, applicators can apply two or more colors or spray the surface with denatured alcohol.
Also in January, FLOORChef LLC introduced products to the American market that feature 16 different flooring looks made with just one resin. Eight of these styles are marketed as the decorative Dessert line. The “Desserts” can be customized with shimmering metallic colors ranging from the bold patina-toned Envy to the more subtle color-changing Pearl. There are six core colors from which 36 blended colors can be created.
“One of the distinguishable advantages of the FLOORChef systems is that they are reproducible decorative designs, not just someone’s interpretation,” says Daniel Cherrie, head FLOORChef for the United States. “When you specify Wicked Mousse on the East Coast, you can get the same design on the West Coast.” The FLOORChef system may be an ideal choice for chains or companies that want to project the same look at multiple locations.
At the same time, at least one manufacturer has quietly withdrawn from the market.
“We don’t sell metallics anymore,” says George Reedy, national sales director for the Miracote division of Crossfield Products Corp. “It was more cost-effective for us and our installers to let those be outsourced and acquired elsewhere.”
Back in early 2006, Miracote launched Chameleon Symphony, a product line that featured MiraFlor CQ Clear epoxy pigmented with metallics and other additives. “We manufactured the epoxy,” Reedy says, “but purchased and resold the metallic pigments.”
As the popularity of metallic floors blossomed, Reedy says more and more installers began buying the metallic pigments directly from other sources to save some money but continued to buy MiraFlor CQ.
So about two years ago, he says, it made good business sense to stop being the metallic middleman and simply concentrate on promoting the company’s epoxy. “The most crucial component of any metallic floor coating isn’t the metallic itself, but the quality and clarity of the epoxy resin used,” Reedy says “As the epoxy component accounts for roughly 97 percent of what is being applied to the floor, this is far more manageable and cost-effective for us as well.”