Finding the right epoxy flooring contractor
A guide for hiring epoxy coating contractors, a standard for service
Hiring an epoxy flooring contractor can be a daunting task. Many people have the same type of concerns when searching for the right contractor.
- How do I find a company that uses quality and commercial grade epoxy resins?
- How do I know if they know how to properly install these products?
- How do I not get scammed?
- How do I get the best value and price for an epoxy floor?
All these questions are answered in our ‘Buyers guide for choosing the right epoxy flooring contractor’.
One unique thing about epoxy flooring contractors is that there are very little barriers to entry. Virtually anyone can run an ad online or in a directory as an epoxy flooring contractor, pick up some DIY ‘epoxy” locally and incorrectly install it.
This leads to many headaches for the owner of the project. Many times, the failure of these floors happen when the contractor is long gone.
What sets apart a professional from someone that decided yesterday to become an epoxy flooring contractor?
- Does the contractor have online reviews?
- Is there a disproportionate amount of negative reviews?
- Is the contractor a member of the BBB?
- Is the contractor a member of industry groups?
- Will the contractor provide customer references?
- Is the contractor a manufacture approved installer?
- Does the contractor hold a 2-million-dollar General liability policy and workers compensation?
- Does the contractor specialize on concrete flooring finishes or are they a bag of unrelated construction services?
The key to finding the right installer is finding someone that has a history or record of accountability to their customers.
Ultimately you risk putting yourself in the position of paying twice for your floor. Once after it fails or the unaccountable takes off and then twice to fix it.
I see it every week and am not thrilled to see people get taken advantage of.
To illustrate my point here’s two fictional story’s that are based on real life.
Bob and Johnny are neighbors. Both spend a lot of time in their garage watching football and generally avoiding their wives constant honey-do lists.
Bob and Johnny were talking one night after watching the game that getting an epoxy floor coating system would be nice.
The next day both went looking to find some pricing and invited some epoxy flooring contractors over for some bids.
Johnny used the ‘buyers guide for hiring an epoxy flooring contractor’ and settled on a company that met all the criteria in the guide.
Bob a retired engineer just used his own judgment and figured he could figure out if someone knew if they knew what they were doing.
Bobby was determined to get the absolute best price. Bobby settled on a team known as the Nantucket Bros.
Nantucket Bros Epoxy experience:
The Nantucket Bros sold themselves as general contractors that have business cards that say “we-do-it-all” surely an epoxy floor on a small garage was no match for them.
And the price was $300 less than Johnny’s contractor. They didn’t bother to do any paperwork as a handshake seemed genuine.
The next day Bobby gets a call from Richie Nantucket.
“Hey Bobby, Richie Nantucket here, hey I need to pick up some cash, I need to go pick up the material, so we can start.”
“Sure Richie, how much do you need?” said Bobby.
“I need 75% of the amount,” said Richie.
“Wow, that sounds like a large deposit Richie” “well ok Richie, I trust you” exclaimed Bobby.
Richie shows up with a $150 an epoxy kit he got at a big box store. Bobby questions him but Richie explains he’s done this before and it will be fine. Bobby wonders why he needed so much money.
Richie also picked up some pool acid for $7 and mixes it with water and mops it on the concrete floor. It fizzes, and Richie explains he is prepping the surface.
Richie brings the hose in the garage and squirts the floor clean. During the process, Richie accidentally hoses the drywall pretty good.
Bobby is getting increasingly concerned but doesn’t want to cause a scene so doesn’t say anything. In the meantime, Bobby goes online and checks out the product and learns that the surface should be dry for application.
He also learns that it’s closer to being a paint than epoxy resin. He tells Richie that the product cannot be applied wet and Richie goes home and agrees to apply it tomorrow.
The next day Bobby waits around wondering when Richie will be back to apply the “epoxy” on his floor. Finally, at 1 pm Bobby calls Richie.
Richie is just waking up after a hard night of celebrating with the other Nantucket brothers.
Richie tells bobby he will be there in twenty minutes. Two hours later Richie shows up (bloodshot eyes)
Richie realizes he doesn’t have everything he needs to install the product. He leaves and returns an hour later. Richie starts to mix the product on the driveway and spills it on the driveway.
Richie grabs some acetone out of Bobby garage and pours it on the driveway and wipes it up with a rag. Oh no, Richie just de-glossed and removed the stain from Bobby’s beautiful driveway.
Hopefully, Bobby doesn’t notice.
Richie pours the product on the floor and starts to roll it. (why is it so sticky, why are the hairs of the roller sticking to the surface) Richie wonders why he can’t get the coverage to finish the floor.
Richie stops and tells Bobby he needs to go get another kit of the product. Richie tells Bobby he needs $400 more to get some more material.
Bobby asks him about what happened to all the money he gave him yesterday. Richie says it’s gone. Bobby figures well, I’m not giving him any more, this is it.
Richie gets another kit and finishes the rest of the floor. He throws a handful of flake over the surface. He cleans up and goes.
The next day Bobby starts researching epoxy and wonders why there wasn’t a top coat installed. He calls Richie at the Nantucket Bros. but no one will answer.
Three days later Bobby parks his car in the garage and realizes that where his tires sit the coating is starting to peel. He calls the Nantucket Bros and no answer.
Bobby must now hire someone to fix this and do it right.
Epoxy the right way
Johnny’s experience after using the ‘Buyers guide for choosing the right epoxy flooring contractor’.
After doing pre-research on the company, Johnny invites XYZ contractor to bid his project. The contractor provides Johnny with a written and detailed proposal.
It includes the square footage; the commercial flooring material being used, color, and flake broadcast coverage with a chemically resistant topcoat.
It lays out a clear progress payment schedule based on the progress of the small job. The estimator is dressed nice, has a nice truck and is knowledgeable about all questions asked.
The paperwork lays out the clear terms and conditions of the flooring system and products and service.
XYZ is an epoxy floor systems specialist that has a track record of reviews and happy clients. They only install epoxies and urethane cement coatings.
Johnny asks XYZ contractor to send over some references and product data sheets on the later. XYZ agrees and follows up.
Johnny asks for an insurance certificate to be emailed to him as well. XYZ complies.
The price of XYZ is a few hundred more than the next quote but everything feels right.
Johnny hires XYZ and finds a scheduled date with the estimator that is available. Johnny pays a reasonable deposit to cover some of the custom material order and to hold the place in the schedule for this busy company.
The crew shows up and mechanically grinds the concrete floor.
They achieve a surface profile of a 3 which is recommended on the product data-sheet.
They are done with the prep very quickly as their machines were designed for this, and the crew does the same thing every day, and it shows.
They mix the material on the surface or a piece of cardboard to avoid spills. They squeegee the syrupy commercial grade epoxy resin then back roll it with a specialty roller made for industrial floors epoxy application. This product is chemically resistant epoxy and easy to clean.
They throw the flake and clean up are in their truck most before Johnny can get out the door. The crew tells Johnny they will be back to scrape the floor and apply a highly chemically resistant and slip resistant polyspartic in the morning.
The crew returns and finishes fast. Johnny is able to pay his invoice the next day online. Johnny loves the floor and expresses it to the estimator who calls him after the work is done to confirm everything is good.
Johnny thinks he could have done it himself because XYZ made it look so easy.
Don’t get stuck with the Nantucket Bros. I hope this helps.