What Kind of Floor is This?

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  #1  
Old 09-06-12, 09:01 PM
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What Kind of Floor is This?

My wife and I bought this house a couple of years ago and have decided we want to do some work on the kitchen. Its got what I think is a pretty unique floor/countertop style. It looks like the sort of epoxy flooring you would see in a garage. I wish it was in my garage instead of my kitchen.

So my question is this...is this some sort of epoxy floor? We want to install laminate wood flooring...with a little sanding, can I just install it over the top of this floor? I have read that removing epoxy flooring is not a fun job.

We also want to install new countertops. As you can see the back splash is also made out of this fine material. My thinking here is that our best bet is to cover it up rather than try to remove it. Any input?

There seemed to be a few different forums I could have put this post, so kindly direct me in the right direction if this is wrong.
 
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  #2  
Old 09-07-12, 04:15 AM
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I moved you into one of the Flooring Forums as I think this is mostly a flooring question, although if that's some kind of epoxy surface, the paint pro's might be some help, too. One of the experts should be along with some help.
 
  #3  
Old 09-07-12, 05:28 AM
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I have never seen a floor like that in residential. I'm with the tow guy. It looks like an epoxy system. Just to check I would try some lacquer thinner or MEK on an out of sight spot and see if you can get it to soften or dissolve.

You could probably install a laminate floor over top of it since it appears to be sound. I have no idea how you would treat the edges other than to remove the epoxy and whatever is under it. It looks like they built up with some thin sheet material. Hopefully you can remove it with a pry bar or chisel. I'd start with removing the strip on the wall since that will have to go. I'm sure there will be painting or repair to the sheet rock where you remove it from the wall.

Next I would remove the threshold strips and hopefully be able to see if there was a unerlayment layer for the epoxy. If the epoxy or is underlayment is failing, spongy or soft I would probably use that as an excuse to remove it. Leaving it in place would be easier but with your laminate on top you will have a higher transition to make to the kitchen floor.

Have you tried sliding out your range or dishwasher? Are they also on top of the epoxy floor? Depending on the thickness of your new floor you may need to install the flooring under the appliances so they don't get trapped in a hole. This can be especially problematic for dishwashers which can become trapped by new flooring.
 
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Old 09-07-12, 03:40 PM
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Darn, I wish we had a "puke" smilie! You may want to rethink laminate in a kitchen. It is probably the last thing I would install there. I have not seen this type flooring/countertop in residential either. TG, I think the Tampa airport is similar. My step daughter's grandfather did that one, but I believe it was polished aggregate. He did something similar in his house in Sarasota. All these years and no cracks
I would do as Dane suggested and see if there is a substrate that would allow for complete removal of the flooring. It won't be fun, but it will allow you to put in whatever flooring you want, including nice ceramic or porcelain tile, wink, wink
 
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Old 09-08-12, 04:33 AM
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Larry, you might be thinking of terrazzo, that was my first thought when I saw the pic but terrazzo [as far as I know] is part of the concrete..... and that doesn't explain it going up the wall. It does wear forever.
 
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Old 09-08-12, 04:40 AM
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Almost like what you would expect in a food service place or a hospital. Sure could keep it clean easily.
 
  #7  
Old 09-08-12, 06:16 AM
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What makes this even better is the entire downstairs bathroom is covered in the stuff too. The shower stall is like being wrapped in a cocoon of epoxy.

It is easy to clean but really, really difficult to tell when it is dirty. Drop anything on the floor and it instantly disappears.

I don't believe there is any concrete involved. The room below is our utility room and I can see that the floor above is made of plywood. I've read that epoxy on plywood will eventually show the lines. We see no lines so there must be something on top of the plywood.

The range/dishwasher are both on top of the epoxy. I will try the lacquer thinner and/or MEK approach and see what happens. I quick Google shows some potential other options: http://www.epotek.com/SSCDocs/techti...ed%20Epoxy.pdf
 
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