Epoxy flooring systems can include a cove installation, a curve at the base of a wall that provides a seamless integration between floor and wall covering. This cove serves as an aesthetic touch and provides additional waterproofing at the wall base. The installation is not difficult, but the creation of the epoxy building material takes careful attention during the mixing process. While a successful mix and application provides an attractive, gentle curve, a mistake can leave behind a brittle, unstable material that can crumble in place, leaving a gap-filled ragged surface.
Things You'll Need
- PH-neutral cleanser
- Epoxy primer
- Wooden stir sticks
- Electric drill
- Paddle drill attachment
- Epoxy cove base mix
- Batch mixer
- Cove trowel
Clean the wall with a pH-neutral cleanser and a sponge to remove dirt that would interfere with the adherence of the epoxy. Rinse with water, then allow the wall to dry completely.
Mix the epoxy primer, using the mixing ratios provided by the primer manufacturer, in a medium-sized bucket. Stir the base and hardener in their separate containers with a wooden stir stick; use a different stick for each component and stir thoroughly before mixing in the bucket. Use an electric drill with a paddle bit attached to mix the primer.
Brush the primer onto the wall with a paintbrush, covering the entire surface where you intend to spread the epoxy. Use a moderate layer of the primer to ensure complete coverage. Wait for the primer to dry to a point where it's no longer visibly wet, but still feels slightly sticky when touched.
Combine the epoxy for the cove base in a bucket, stirring each component with a new wooden stir stick before mixing. Pour the epoxy base and hardener into a bucket, using the manufacturer's suggested ratios. Mix for four minutes, using a low-speed electric drill, and pour the combined epoxy mix into a batch mixer.
Add the colored quartz granules if creating quartz cove, or add cove powder and the mortar granules for a mortar aggregate-based cove mixture into the mixer. Mix the epoxy and the aggregate for four minutes in the batch mixer until you cover the aggregate completely with the epoxy. Turn off the mixer.
Spread the cove mix over the primed wall with the flat of a trowel. Build a layer 1/8 inch thick for the quartz mix or 1/4 inch thick for the mortar. Add the material at the cove, then use a cove trowel, a trowel with a curved bend, to create the cove radius by going back and forth over the material against the wall until the curve forms.
Cutting the cove base with the trowel edge at the floor line, leaving the curve intact. Remove all excess material from the cut-away section. Allow the cove to cure overnight before completing the flooring material installation, placing flooring up to the cutoff point.