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Epoxy Floor Over Tiles (Types & Application Guide)

Here we share our epoxy floor over tiles guide including what is, what to consider, types of coatings, and how to apply it on tiled shower floors.
Basement with marble epoxy floor Tile flooring options are rich with beautiful designs of varying textures, patterns, and colors. Yet despite their versatility, some tiles are more fragile and susceptible to collecting dirt. They also need constant resealing for grouts. 

Enter, epoxy floor. If you are planning for a makeover, then you might consider switching to an epoxy floor. An epoxy floor is a seamless, durable, and inexpensive flooring system that allows you to have any design you can think of. 

Read on to understand how this can be your best flooring option.

What Is an Epoxy Floor?

Priming tile floor for epoxy An epoxy floor is a flooring system that integrates an epoxy resin-based mixture. More commonly applied on concrete, the epoxy floor is popular for its durability.

Epoxy floors are stain-resistant, scratch-proof, and easy to maintain. You may have seen glossy concrete in garages and other industrial facilities.

These concrete floors are prone to heavy wear and tear and are therefore fortified with an epoxy coating.  While it is a go-to flooring option for commercial facilities, the epoxy floor is finding its way to more homes.

And it’s not surprising why. Epoxy coating is versatile and long-lasting. You can apply it on any surface like wood, concrete, laminate, and metal and expect it to last for at least 10 years. 

The maintenance is easy as epoxy floors only need daily sweeping, spot cleaning, and light brushing when stained. On average, homeowners may expect to spend $3 to $7 per square foot for materials and installation. Read more about our guide on epoxy floors vs polished concrete here.

Can You Apply Epoxy Over Tile?

Vinyl composite tile flooring ss When changing your floor, it is best to take out the old material completely. Doing so gives you a cleaner blank canvas to work with. But this process can be messy and laborious.

The jury is still out on whether it is best to apply epoxy over tiles. That said, it is possible. It primarily depends on the type and condition of the surface. Read more about our guide on the different tile shapes here.

When you do consider applying it on tiles, thorough surface preparation is required.

Check Tiles for Damages

Tiler laying the ceramic tile on the floor The constant traffic that floors endure makes them susceptible to damages, which is why it’s crucial to check the condition of your tiles before applying the epoxy. Cover holes, cracks, and fix any water damages before proceeding with the application.

Moisture is your enemy, especially in damp and humid places. Trapped moisture underneath the tiles will cause them to rise and break. That is a bad look on your smooth epoxy floor.

If your tiles are too old and weathered to fix, then opt to remove them instead. Remember to consult with an expert to assess whether placing an epoxy floor over tiles is possible.

Clean and Sand the Tiles

Washing tiles and grout Make sure to clean your floor tiles from oil and grease. This is especially important for floor tiles located in the garage and the kitchen. Applying epoxy on an oily floor will result in a patchy application. 

Sand the tiles and remove the topcoat. Tiles contain a lot of chemicals for aesthetics and protection. Some have a glossy finish, which makes it challenging for the epoxy to bond.

Level the Surface

Person with gloves cleaning tile and grout Tiles are put together through grouting. Unfortunately, these tile grouts present a challenge when creating a smooth and flat base for the epoxy.

In such cases, fill the grouts with an epoxy-based filler coat. Applying epoxy on an uneven and cracked surface will only magnify its flaws.

Apply Primer on the Floor

Priming concrete tile floors for epoxy coating Depending on how big the floor you need to work on, priming may take hours. But doing so before an epoxy coating helps prolong the floor’s lifespan. It prevents the epoxy coat from breaking or chipping over time, too.

The primer penetrates the base allowing the epoxy to coat the floor with ease. When choosing your primer, use a low-viscosity epoxy primer as it blocks moisture from seeping in.

Types of Epoxy Coatings to Use Over Tiles

Applying epoxy over floor tiles After preparing your base, you are now ready to apply an epoxy coating. While there are many options out there, here is a rundown of epoxy coatings that you can apply over your tiles at home.

Metallic Epoxy

Living room with gold metallic epoxy floor This type of epoxy is a combination of clear epoxy and metallic additives. Unlike plain epoxy, metallic epoxy comes in beautiful swirls and unique designs. These designs can even mimic rare marbles and other natural stones. 

Bring out your creative side and choose from hundreds of pigments to combine. The three-dimensional effect provides for a mesmerizing floor design. Metallic epoxy coating can cost between $4.50 and $15 per square foot.

Epoxy Terrazzo

Terrazzo is a cement-based luxurious material used for centuries. Epoxy terrazzo, an alternative to cement terrazzo, made its way to the market in the 1970s. Since then, it has gained popularity due to its aesthetic appeal and durability at a fraction of the price.

Epoxy terrazzo is available in vibrant color options and aggregates. Unlike cement terrazzo, epoxy terrazzo cannot tolerate UV rays as it is thin-set. This makes it an ideal coat for indoors.

Epoxy terrazzo gives a sophisticated look to your home without breaking the bank, costing about $15 per square foot to install.

Epoxy-Flake Coating

Flake epoxy floor over tiles As the name suggests, epoxy-flake coating combines decorative flakes and clear epoxy. This combination results in colorful patterns, textures, and designs that resemble granite and quartz. Aside from its appealing look, the epoxy-flake coating provides a non-slip solution.

You can purchase epoxy flakes to be mixed with the epoxy for $6 to $16 per pound. Read more about our guide on epoxy floors here.

Can You Epoxy Over Shower Floor Tiles?

Large travertine shower with rainfall showerhead and subway floor tile An epoxy floor is a great option when looking for a water-resistant material. It does well in humid and damp places like restrooms. But, since it is also non-porous, one main concern is how slippery the surface can get when wet.

The good news is that an epoxy floor is customizable to fit your needs. One method to avoid accidents is to mix anti-slip additives.

You can buy additives like fine silica sand and aluminum oxide, although you should take caution when you use these as they can be harsh on bare skin. Mixing polymer grit with the epoxy coating is your best option for the bathroom.    

Not all shower floor tiles are compatible with epoxy coating. Again, it depends on the type and condition of your floor.

Since shower floors get wet all the time, moisture may form underneath the tiles. Ultimately, it’s best to let a flooring specialist inspect your floor first and decide if an epoxy floor would be the way to go. See more related content at our article about mosaic tiles for shower floor on this page.

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