Are you upgrading your current veterinary office, or designing a space for a new practice altogether? One of the most important design decisions you’ll have to make is that of your floors. You want something that’s friendly and welcoming to both pets and humans, but also practical, easy to clean, and able to withstand a lot of abuse over the years.
While traditional tile and vinyl have their advantages, if you currently have a concrete floor an epoxy coating may be your best option. Epoxy often requires a higher initial investment, but it offers several distinct advantages.
What is an epoxy floor coating?
An epoxy floor coating is a two-part liquid system that’s applied directly over your concrete slab (though it can also be applied to wood or tile). The two parts, a resin and a curative, form an extremely strong chemical bond with each other and with the floor itself (as long as the floor has been properly cleaned and prepared ahead of time).
This process forms a protective barrier that’s attractive, impervious to liquid, and extremely durable.
What makes epoxy a solid choice for veterinary clinics?
1. It’s sanitary
Unfinished concrete and tile grout are often porous, meaning urine and spilled liquids can seep down deep into the floor itself, possibly creating a haven for microbes and viruses. The right kind of epoxy coating will stop any leaks, making cleanup a simple matter of mopping.
Epoxy provides a smooth surface, unlike tile, making it easier to sweep up pet hair and debris and more effective to sanitize.
And epoxy coatings can be anti-microbial in themselves, thanks to the optional addition of small amounts of silver nitrate. (Read why silver nitrate is so effective against bacteria).
2. It’s attractive
You’ll find a wide variety of epoxy colors and patterns available, which can be used for fine detailing work such as logos, directional markings, playful paw prints, and more. Epoxy’s attractive nature can put pet owners’ minds at ease and visually communicate a high level of professionalism and care. Just be sure to choose neutral, “fear-free” colors to keep dogs and cats happy, too.
3. It’s durable
The extremely hard nature of epoxy makes it ideal for high-traffic areas, and it can resist scratches and wear from dog and cat claws. While strong, it’s flexible enough that it can absorb minor shocks (such as dropped instruments). And it’s also long-lasting: depending on how often the floors are used, it may be another 10 or 15 years before you’ll have to get your floors redone.
One drawback to epoxy is that the application can be an intensive process that can take a few days. We’d recommend a professional team handle installation rather than a DIY kit, since seemingly simple mistakes (such as not properly cleaning the floor surface) can severely compromise the coating’s ability to bond to the floor.
Despite this, it’s hard to find another type of coating that offers as much and lasts as long an epoxy. We think it’s well worth the investment, providing you years of worry-free flooring.