Epoxy rock floors come in an endless variety of colors.

How to Apply Epoxy Rock Flooring

by Emily Beach

Epoxy rock flooring combines the beauty of natural stone with the durability and low maintenance needs of epoxy resin. While installing this flooring yourself can save you money, a poor installation can ruin your results and leave you shelling out big bucks for help from a professional. Maximize your chance of a successful epoxy rock floor installation by taking the time to properly prepare the subfloor and following all manufacturer's instructions provided with your new floor covering.

Subfloor Preparation

Use acid etching, shot blasting or diamond grinding to roughen the surface of a concrete subfloor. Properly prepared concrete has a texture similar to 30-grit to 50-grit sandpaper.

Cover existing wood floors with exterior grade plywood. Use 1/2 inch plywood over sound floor finishes, leaving the existing finish intact, or remove the floor covering and cover the subfloor with 3/4 inch plywood.

Fill all cracks, holes and joints in wood or concrete floors with an epoxy filler. Check the instructions on your epoxy rock flooring products to determine which filler to use.

Prime the floor. Not all epoxy rock flooring products require priming. Generally, priming is required if concrete is freshly poured or has a high moisture content. Wood floors typically require priming to allow the epoxy to successfully bond to the subfloor. Check the installation instructions on your epoxy flooring product to determine whether to apply primer. Apply primer using a standard paint roller and allow to dry before proceeding.

Apply Epoxy Rock Flooring

Mix the epoxy and hardener together in a large bucket according to the instructions on the package. Only mix as much epoxy as you can apply in about 20 minutes.

Add the rocks or pebbles to your epoxy mixture. Stir these components using a shovel in a large bucket or wheelbarrow, or use a cement mixer for thorough mixing. Check the instructions on the epoxy to determine the proper ratio of rocks to epoxy. Westcoat suggests using 200 pounds of rock per 1-1/2 gallons of epoxy mixture.

Pour out the epoxy rock mixture over the floor. Use a rake to spread the mixture evenly across the surface.

Level the flooring using a 14-by-4 inch concrete trowel so that the mixture measures 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick, or 3 to 4 pebbles thick. Smooth the surface using your trowel as you work your way across the floor.

Broadcast 30 silica sand over the floor by hand as desired to add traction and prevent the finished floor from being too slippery.

Wait for the epoxy to dry, and then apply a topcoat using a 3/4 nap roller. Allow this topcoat to dry completely before walking on the floor.

Items you will need

  • Diamond grinder, etching or shot blasting equipment
  • Safety glasses and other protective gear
  • Exterior grade plywood
  • Stainless steel screws
  • Drill
  • Epoxy filler
  • Primer
  • Paint roller
  • Epoxy mix
  • Bucket or wheelbarrow
  • Shovel
  • Cement mixer
  • Rake
  • Trowel
  • Silica sand
  • Topcoat

Warning

  • Use extreme caution when preparing a concrete floor for epoxy. Follow all instructions on shot blasting, grinding or acid-etching equipment and supplies. Provide proper ventilation and wear safety glasses and other personal protective gear to avoid injury while you work.

About the Author

Emily Beach works in the commercial construction industry in Maryland. She received her LEED accreditation from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2008 and is in the process of working towards an Architectural Hardware Consultant certification from the Door and Hardware Institute. She received a bachelor's degree in economics and management from Goucher College in Towson, Maryland.

Photo Credits

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