To avoid mistakes in your DIY resin floor installation, you’ll need a smart plan.
Resinous floor installation can sometimes be done by home improvement enthusiasts. Installing without a certified professional can save you on labor costs. But, you should weigh the risks and hefty costs of amateur errors. Your plan must include the right team and materials for a successful installation.
The decision to install own resin floor should not come lightly. Resins can be very temperamental and prone to flaws prone to flaws from small mistakes.
Proper planning is essential to any resin installation, even for seasoned contractors. Replacing a ruined resin floor will cost you big on time and money. So, it’s important to get it right the first time.
If you’re set on a DIY approach, we will unpack the essentials of resin floor installation.
We’ll answer all your biggest questions.
- What are resin flooring systems?
- Should I perform my own resin floor installation?
- What are the step to install a resinous floor system?
- What tools and materials do I need to install a resin floor?
- How do create a decorative resinous floor?
We’ll break down the essential steps once we’ve reviewed the basics.
Disclaimer: You should consult with your product manufacturer for their intended installation process. This guide will present common practices with resin floor application. But your situation or products may require different methods. When in doubt, hire a professional flooring installer.
The Basics of Resin Flooring Systems
What is resinous flooring?
Resin flooring is a system of liquid layers that chemically harden. The result is a durable, sanitary, protective surface. Each layer has a unique purpose to build your completed floor. These floors are ideal for heavy activity, long-term wear, and visually stunning design.
Resin floors begin as a substance similar to glue. They harden for an extended-life flooring system. These floors can endure intense wear while providing safety and easy cleaning.
Multiple parts in the form of layers may be needed to compose a resin floor system. From base to surface, every section plays an important role in your completed floor.
Full customization is available for your resin floor. This includes its visual and practical benefits. You should optimize each layer based on its purpose and your use cases.
Check out our full Resinous Flooring Guide for more info.
Should You DIY Your Resin Floor?
If you consider installing your own resin floor, you should keep some things in mind.
First, we highly encourage you to work with professionals. Resin flooring contractors with certifications can save you time and money fixing your own mistakes.
Warranties can also be voided if you do not prepare your space properly. Moisture, substrate defects, and improper curing can all render your warranty invalid.
Professionals have years of experience in navigating common mishaps. Many have learned to be swift with confident solutions on-the-fly or risk ruining entire projects.
If you have little experience with resin installation, online wisdom may suffice for simple jobs. But many resin floor projects need adaptive insight that an online guide simply cannot provide.
By proceeding with a DIY installation, you must be prepared to pay the costs of a botched floor. If your contractor ruins your floor, it is their fault. If you ruin your new floor, you have no one to blame but yourself.
Still, doing it yourself is possible.
Just be sure to take extra precaution before you begin.
How To Install Resin Flooring
Your DIY resin floor installation begins with a step-by-step plan from start to finish.
Disclaimer: Your manufacturer’s specific guidelines should always be referenced before starting the installation. The process we detail here will explain many common floor application methods. Your needs and requirements may vary.
Resin flooring requires preparation and diligent action for proper installation. Every step, tool, and material is critical to getting an attractive, durable result.
Be mindful that every resin has widely varied traits, such as viscosity and bonding strength. You should only proceed once you’ve chosen the right resins for your floor.
Also, be aware that some resin floor systems need a modified installation process. These can include most decorative resin flooring systems, which we’ll cover later.
For most resin installations, you can break it down into seven steps:
- Prep your space and surface.
- Prime your substrate.
- Seal your substrate.
- Patch your floor.
- Mix resin components.
- Apply the base coats.
- Finish with the topcoat and cure.
Step 0: Before Starting
Planning your resin floor installation is your top priority before doing any work. The success of your install is defined by how effectively you use the curing time window. Carefully plan the steps, tools, and team size needed to install your selected type of resinous floor. Preparing before you start will reduce costly errors.
Take a moment to run through this checklist before you begin installing your resin floor.
You’ll thank yourself (and your wallet) for being cautious before the process.
- Start your install plan based on your available work time. This is defined by your resin’s cure time, the steps needed to apply the flooring, and your team size.
- Determine the team size you’ll need to apply the resin floor effectively. Solo work is possible with smaller spaces and single coat flooring systems. Larger teams are highly recommended for larger spaces and more complex multi-layer systems.
- Delegate tasks across your team for better time management. Dividing tasks means your installers are likely to finish before the floor fully cures into an unworkable state.
- Application materials will need to be pre-selected and arranged for ease of use. Installation is time-sensitive, so all tools must be easily accessible.
- Be aware of your resin’s curing temperature range. The temperature of your room and all materials will need to be in the temperature range to avoid premature curing.
- Plan the look of your finished floor. Note any changes or special installing methods needed for your desired finish.
- Proper protection should be worn throughout the entire resin work process. Eye goggles, long gloves, and safety clothing will protect you from the chemicals. Spiked shoes or cleats will prevent air pockets as you walk to install.
At any point that you feel unsure, we advise you to consult with a certified contractor. Second or even third opinions may save you from expensive errors later.
Once you feel you’ve prepared thoroughly, proceed with your floor installation.
Step 1: Prep Your Space and Surface
Before doing work, you’ll want to cover all the baseboards or surrounding walls.
Painter’s tape can be used to protect the walls from undesired splash of your resin.
Surface preparation of your substrate comes next. First, replace any heavily damaged substrate. Then, repair any cracks or holes.
To repair your substrate, you’ll fill cracks or holes with a resin patching gel and scrape away the excess. We’ll come back to this as you may discover more imperfections to patch later.
Abrading the substrate’s surface will improve the adhesion bond of your resin floor. Use multiple passes of a grinding tool with a gradient of descending grit levels.
Moisture emissions from your floor must also be checked. Use a test kit to discover if your floor is at risk of improper curing or loosened bonds due to water vapor.
Finalize your surface prep by cleaning the surface of any dust, residues, or oils. This step helps your floor bond better and avoids any muddy aesthetic in your resin floor.
Step 2: Prime Your Substrate
Priming your substrate is an optional single coat treatment for a stronger resin bond.
Primer is a resin liquid that improves compatibility between your resin and substrate.
Resin floor primers can eliminate any remaining micro-particles for adhesion and better finish. Dust and grinding residues are the main issues eliminated via a primer.
Your primer can help you identify and treat your substrate for any old contaminants before a full resin floor application. This will further help you get stronger adhesion.
Holes and other existing wear may be revealed during your primer application. You should use this opportunity to grout any of these with a patching compound.
Priming reduces your chance of air bubbles as well. Thicker resin flooring coats may trap air in your concrete slabs.
You should note that the primer may not always be needed. Primer helps in cases of slow resin absorption, like using non-porous substrates or high viscosity resin coats.
Skipping the priming step can reduce your install time, material, and labor costs. But, you may reduce the longevity if your resin needs an adherence boost to stick well.
Always weigh the pros and cons of primer before using it in your flooring system.
Step 3: Seal Your Substrate
Substrate sealant is another optional multi-coat treatment for minimizing defects. Sealing the surface of your substrate can create a more consistent floor appearance.
Sealant is used mostly to avoid pinholes and improve the look of the final finish. However, it also helps avoid low-viscosity resin base coats from absorbing too quickly.
Multiple coats of sealant are used if the first application appears spotty across your substrate. A proper seal on your substrate will give a glossy look versus dry or matte.
Skip the sealant if it will reduce the adhesion of your resin floor. You may find that some situations may be actually worse if you use a sealing treatment on your floor.
Again, it is essential to account for the drawbacks of sealant before installing it.
Step 4: Patch Your Floor
Patching pre-existing wear and joints will level out your substrate for a more reliable resin floor bond.
It also reduces air pockets that can ruin your finished floor.
The patch phase fixes the problems you discovered during your primer application. This includes imperfections like holes and long-term wear in the flooring.
Patching your substrate usually involves a resin-based patch gel and/or concrete repair sand to fill the voids. Epoxy solutions tend to be popular for their highly-adhesive traits.
For heavier repair like cracks, you may need to chisel the weaker concrete away before applying the gel. The weak substrate will not adhere well for long-term repair.
After patching, you may need to cycle back to grinding and bring the repair flush with your surface. It may be advised to redo your prep, primer, and/or sealant.
Step 5: Mix Resin Components
Once your substrate is prepared, you can finally mix your resin parts for installation.
This is where you’ll combine your resin polymers with your hardening materials.
The resin polymer solution is usually referred to as the “A Component.” This is your base material which contains the pigment and core of your resinous flooring.
The hardening materials are known as the “B Component.” This half of your resin floor mix causes the floor to harden and bond to the substrate.
First, you’ll check that the mix materials are within the designated temperature range. Be sure to have all tools and materials readily accessible this point forward.
You’ll pre-mix the A Component for the designated time with an electric hand mixer. Then, you’ll complete the mix by adding the B Component to the resin polymers.
Your allotted work time starts here, as the chemical reaction begins to cure the mix.
Working swiftly will be essential to get the best results in your resin flooring system.
Step 6: Apply the Base Coats
Each layer of resinous flooring will follow a similar process of application.
Depending on your end goal, you may find yourself applying multiple coats to prep for heavier wear.
Step 6a: The First Pour
The initial pour of your resin mix will be done in bands or ribbons across the substrate. You’ll pour the solution in a steady, gradual stream along the workspace.
Distributing the material will leave a few bare spots at first, but that’s okay. Your next step will be to spread the material to cover the whole floor.
Step 6b: Spreading the Resin
You will use a flat rubber squeegee tool to pull material side-to-side with no pressure on the material.
Meanwhile, a second installer will use a small porcupine roller to push the material into the areas around walls and corners.
Step 6c: Rolling the Resin
Rolling the full resin-covered area follows after spreading it.
Once you’ve allowed the resin to settle for a while, you’ll use a large porcupine roller to even out the material.
As you roll, this will cover any bare spots on the floor and push out any air bubbles. Pigments may appear monotone as you roll, but this will settle and reveal your intended design as the flooring cures.
Spiked shoes are essential here since they create smaller holes in the resin floor. As you walk across it, the holes will be easy to cover as you use the roller.
Step 6d: Rolling the Resin for a Second Time
Rolling a second time will continue to push out air bubbles and level the material. A short wait after you complete your first roll, you will repeat the process again.
Repeating the rolling process may be done a few more times as the flooring cures. Take careful steps while traveling around the space as the floor will be slippery.
Step 7: Finish with the Topcoat and Cure
The topcoat will cover your resin floor and apply the desired finish to your area.
This is the layer that will receive the most contact, so be mindful of how you’ll interact with it when selecting your resin type.
Application of the topcoat is done just like the base coats that preceded it. You’ll, of course, need to allow the completed floor to cure for it’s entire hardening time.
During curing, the floor will be unsuitable for use as it will still be wet and tacky. Your resin of choice will decide how long you must wait before resuming normal activities.
For most floors, these steps will give you a full install. But some floors, like decorative resin solutions, need more work to get your ideal finished result.
Decorative Resin Floor Application Methods
Decorative resin floors require extra steps due to the addition additives.
To get your desired surface finish and look for your floor, your additives are key. You’ll need to be attentive to the size, application method, and the timing of applying your additives.
Popular resinous flooring additives include:
If you’re installing a textured or visually robust resin flooring system, you’ll likely use one of the methods below.
The broadcast method is a process in which you manually toss small aggregate onto a floor coated with the wet resin mix. This gives a bumpier texture to your surface.
The textured surface gives more slip-resistance. Broadcasting leaves the sand granules more exposed, creating more abrasion.
After primer and resin base coats are applied, your sand additive will be tossed atop. Allowing it to dry overnight, you’ll then remove any excess with broom and vacuum.
Second applications are optional but may enhance your final look and feel. Whether you “double-broadcast” or not, be sure to follow-up with another cleanup phase.
The process is finished by applying one or more sealant topcoats over the aggregate. Thicker sealer coats will create a smoother surface if you want to reduce the texture.
The end result has more physical texture and monotonality than other resin floors.
The trowel method spreads an aggregate-resin mix by hand with a trowel tool. Larger sand aggregate is more covered by the resin for a smoother speckled floor.
The flatter surface is more durable and faster to install but requires more care to apply. Keeping it level across large spaces may need a power trowel to avoid flaws.
Resin-aggregate blends serve as the base coat and finished like a normal resin floor. You’ll have a thicker material with the consistency of heavy, saturated sand.
Designing your floor is generally easier as a result of the thickness of the resin mix. Since it uses a larger aggregate, your work is more visible and attention-grabbing.
You’ll have a mosaic aesthetic with all the practical benefits of a basic resin floor.
Slurry coats carry traits of both trowel and broadcast application. The fine sand used gives you a choice of a subtle or smooth texture with a very uni-color appearance.
Slurry filler is added to the resin mix similar to troweling. The filler is usually a powder or some form of graded silica sand. Application is done just like normal resin flooring.
You may opt to broadcast more silica sand onto the wet resin floor. Additional sand can give more consistency to the look of your floor with a light texture to the surface.
Before you finish with a topcoat, you can allow the base coat to cure and grind the surface smooth. This will remove the extra texture from your broadcasting process.
Takeaways on DIY Resinous Floor Installation
In summary, you should plan with care if you choose to install your own resin floor.
Let’s cover the main points you’ve learned:
- Certified professionals should always be considered for any resin floor project.
- Consulting with a pro for follow-up opinions is important if you need input on your unique situation.
- Plan your team, tools, and materials before doing any work for your new floor.
- Be mindful of your expected downtime, and do not rush the installation.
- Maximize your floor lifespan by selecting compatible resin types for each layer.
- Decorative resin floors require extra steps to complete your desired look.
Ultimately, you should always consider a certified pro resin floor contractor. If you proceed, you will be assuming all the risks and costs of DIY installation.
If you need more assistance, contact a resin floor system professional for advice on your specific needs.
Final Disclaimer: You should follow your product manufacturer’s guidelines over any external advice. Our guide covers most standard practices used by professional contractors. But, some may vary greatly for your products.
Know someone who is considering installing a resinous floor themselves? Please share this post with them. Or, if you have questions or comments, you can leave them below. And of course, if you want a truly brilliant resinous floor, be sure to check out our selection of flooring aggregates.