Epoxy is one of the most common materials for different types of flooring including garage floors. So when you decide to install a new floor on your property, you might also want to know at least approximately how long it might take for your epoxy floor to dry.
In this article, we will provide you with the epoxy drying and curing time. Also, you will find out what factors can influence the drying time for this flooring material.
Finally, we will share a few useful tips with you thanks to which you will know how to treat your epoxy floor after it has been poured so that you won’t damage it.
How Long Does It Take For Epoxy Floor to Dry?
Epoxy is a great material because it needs very little time to be poured. Typically, if you decide to get new epoxy flooring, you should expect it to be finished in one day already! Besides, the process of epoxy application is rather simple itself.
However, what about epoxy floor paint drying time, you may be wondering?
It mostly depends on the type of epoxy you are using, as well as on how heavy the traffic will be in the area where this kind of floor is installed. For example, with a two-part, 100% solids epoxy, you will have to wait 24 hours for it to dry before you can start applying the second coat.
But even after 24 hours of waiting, it’s not the end! After that, you will have to additionally wait since it takes from 1 to 3 days for the freshly poured epoxy floor to fully cure. Once it’s cured, you can’t walk on it for about 7 days.
This is the reason why it is recommended that people put their cars in the garage at least three weeks before they start working on the floor. This way, your floor can reach maximum hardness and durability while no one is driving or walking on it!
What Is Epoxy Floor Curing Time?
You might now be wondering what epoxy floor cure time is. But first, let’s remind you of the difference between the curing time and drying time. See, drying time is the amount of time needed for the epoxy coating to get dry to the touch.
However, to become strong enough to withstand traffic and use, it has to cure. It means that the material (epoxy) must harden properly not only from the outside but also from the inside.
Cure time for epoxy flooring will vary from project to project. A number of factors will play a big role in the exact time your freshly installed floor will take to dry and then fully cure. And one of these factors is the type of epoxy application you have selected.
Also, the solids content of the products being used will have an impact on the amount of time needed for the floor to cure before it can be walked on. For instance, if you are using 100% solids epoxy, your floor will be cured and walkable in about 12 – 18 hours. After about 36 – 72 hours, you will already be able to return to full heavy traffic.
However, you should keep in mind that it’s not going to be that fast all the time! Most epoxies reach their full chemical cure within 7 days of application.
For example, when using poly aspartic, the cure times will be increased – especially with 100% solids products. Most poly aspartics are walkable after 6 hours and can be returned to normal service after 24 hours.
How Long Does 5 Minute Epoxy Take To Cure?
Even though epoxy is a durable, long-lasting flooring that can be applied to most concrete floors, you still need some time and patience. As we have already said above, epoxy resin will harden in about 24 hours.
However, it will take about 7-10 days for the resin to fully cure! Note that you can walk on it once the resin is completely cured, but even then walking is only recommended with soft-soled shoes.
If you’re using QuickSet Epoxy, it will take you around 72 hours before you can drive on the floor or add heavy objects if you are using Superfast Plus epoxy.
Now you know how much time you might have to wait before you can start using your freshly poured epoxy flooring. As you are aware now, the time needed for both drying and curing may depend on several factors that should be taken into consideration if you want to get properly done flooring that will serve you long!
What Factors Epoxy Floor Drying Time Depends On?
Speaking of drying time for epoxy floors, we have already mentioned a few factors that can influence this type of floor’s drying and curing time. Those factors include:
- The type of epoxy application you are using
- How heavy the traffic is going to be
- The solids content of the products being used
However, this is not a complete list of factors that can affect the drying time of an epoxy floor. Weather conditions can also affect the viscosity, adhesion, and curing time of epoxy flooring. This is why, if you want to install epoxy flooring during the winter, note that winter temperatures can play a big role in how long the installation takes!
Typically, a good temperature range for applying epoxy is anywhere from 55 – 90 degrees Fahrenheit though certain epoxies and poly aspartics are manufactured specifically for lower temperatures, even below freezing. But the temperature of the floor is more important than the temperature of the air.
To all of you who are going to pour epoxy flooring in winter, we recommend you should check the slab temperature with an infrared thermometer before an installation can commence.
If you are installing an epoxy floor in your garage and it is heated, note that it can take days for the slab to get up to the proper temperature! Also, keep in mind that you need to maintain that heat throughout the drying process or your floor might not cure properly.
But temperature is not the only thing you should keep in mind. Humidity can also affect the epoxy floor curing time pretty much. When installing epoxy floors, keep in mind that it’s best to hold off on installation if humidity levels are above 85%.
If you start installing epoxy floors at these high humidity levels, this can cast a thin layer of moisture over the epoxy surface and affect its bond to the surface. But this will also depend on the type of epoxy product you use. Some resinous flooring will cure faster and stronger with higher humidity, while others require low humidity.
Does Epoxy Scratch Easily?
Epoxy flooring is durable and long-lasting, besides, it can withstand a lot of exposure like heavy weights, etc. But people still wonder whether epoxy is that strong and we need to admit that this material does have one downside. See, epoxy is still susceptible to scratching.
However, there is no need to worry! It doesn’t mean that a single scratch of your fingernail will leave a deep mark on its surface!
Epoxy is much more scratch-resistant than other types of flooring materials. This is why even if you scratch it somehow, you will find that epoxy flooring scratches happen less often and they are usually so hard to notice that the flooring still looks good.
Nevertheless, you need to be careful! Epoxy flooring can be scratched by sharp or heavy objects. This is why we suggest you use rugs and mats to protect your floors from damage. In addition, those mats or rugs can be used as signage that indicates where not to place heavy items on the floor.
My New Epoxy Floor Isn’t Drying! What Did I Do Wrong?
This is quite a common question that comes from people who have epoxy flooring that has been recently installed. After a while, these homeowners tend to return, asking why their new floor is still not cured. And there are a few reasons for this issue:
It Was Not Mixed Properly
When homeowners pour a new epoxy floor, they often prefer mixing their epoxy with a drill. But even though doing it with a drill will be definitely faster than doing so by hand, it is still important to use the drill on a low setting. Like that, you will be able to avoid getting air bubbles in the mixture during preparation.
See, if you have bubbles in your epoxy mixture, this air will rise to the top and remain in the wet layer. If you see any bubbles rise to the surface, you should skim them off before allowing your floor to dry. This is why we would recommend you have an assistant that can come in handy!
It Is Too Cold
As you already know, temperature plays a big role in how quickly an epoxy floor dries. Temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit prevent it from fully curing, which means that even if you wait for several days, your floor won’t be ready for foot traffic or additional coats!
If you are trying to apply more layers when temperatures are lower than 45 degrees Fahrenheit, make sure to keep both your space and yourself warm while working with the material and consider using a space heater if possible.
You Didn’t Sand Your Floor Properly
This is the reason that quite many of us tend to overlook. However, this is exactly the reason that often leads to your new epoxy floor not drying properly. This is why make sure you have used fine-grit sandpaper. You should get the finer texture since it will allow for smoother application and better adhesion between layers of material when applying multiple coats over time!
You Didn’t Prime Your Epoxy Floor Right
As well as sanding, priming is mandatory when working with epoxy since it helps ensure proper adhesion between layers. However, an improper application can lead to patches where no glue has been applied at all.
The best way to solve this problem would be to make sure that there are no gaps between each coat of epoxy flooring. This can be done by filling them up with more primer before adding additional coats on top of these areas after they have dried completely
Now you know what could prevent your freshly applied epoxy floor from drying properly and how these flaws can be fixed. Luckily, they need no special skills or tools to get fixed, nevertheless, you should be attentive and cautious when pouring epoxy! The more accurate you are the higher the quality of your floor will be when it dries and cures.
Like that, you are now informed about all the nuances that come with the use of epoxy flooring in your property. You know how long you should wait before a new epoxy floor dries and cures, you are also aware of what could make the drying process slow down and how this can be fixed.
Finally, we told you what to pay attention to while applying this kind of flooring if you want to avoid any problems with its further use.
The drying time will depend on the temperature. At 77° F and warmer, it will dry in 9 to 12 hours. If it's cooler than 77° F, your epoxy floor will need from 12 to 18 hours to dry. Usually, it’s allowed to drive on your new epoxy floor after at least a couple of weeks, but the exact amount of time will depend on the type of epoxy application. You don’t have to wait until your epoxy floor is fully cured to walk on it. Epoxy is safe to walk on after about 25 hours. But you should still wait the full 48 - 72 hours before exposing your new floor to any heavy traffic.
Frequently Asked Questions
⭐How long does epoxy garage floor take to dry?
⭐How long before you can drive on epoxy floor?
⭐When can I walk on my new epoxy floor?
The drying time will depend on the temperature. At 77° F and warmer, it will dry in 9 to 12 hours. If it's cooler than 77° F, your epoxy floor will need from 12 to 18 hours to dry.
Usually, it’s allowed to drive on your new epoxy floor after at least a couple of weeks, but the exact amount of time will depend on the type of epoxy application.
You don’t have to wait until your epoxy floor is fully cured to walk on it. Epoxy is safe to walk on after about 25 hours. But you should still wait the full 48 - 72 hours before exposing your new floor to any heavy traffic.