Just like a medical clinic setting for people, your veterinary office has to be ready for anything—that includes messes and biological hazards that could make your next patient ill. For ease in cleaning and durability, you need to choose a floor that will hold up to everything could happen in a typical day at your clinic.
If you're also running a kennel or boarding facility, there's an additional need to choose the right flooring. Besides being easy to clean, any floor you choose needs to be comfortable for the animals who will spend time there.
How epoxy works
Epoxy is a resin, or type of plastic, that is mixed with a special hardener that adds strength. Once the resin and hardener are combined, it starts a chemical reaction that tightly links the structural bonds between the two components. This process, called curing, requires time to take place and to harden properly. The art of mixing epoxy and applying it correctly takes some time to learn, so it's best left to professional flooring installers.
Epoxy has many benefits for your veterinary practice:
- The hard flooring is resistant to the scratches that dog and cat claws can make when an animal is scared or nervous. It also prevents chips and dings that can happen when your technician drops something—an unfortunate but inevitable occurrence when handling wiggling or active pets.
- Epoxy surfaces are resistant to moisture. If your animal clients have accidents, urine and feces will not soak into the floor and can be easily mopped up. Other body fluids can also be cleaned easily.
- Epoxy surfaces are not slick like tile or laminate. Your installer can also combine the epoxy with aggregate to increase the non-slip factor. Dogs and other pets who walk in on the floors won't be panicked by their inability to have solid footing.
- You can clean epoxy easily, using disinfectants that kill disease. Do check with your flooring installer to find the ideal cleaner. Straight bleach, for example, will do damage to any surface, and epoxy is not an exception. But there are many commercial veterinary cleaning products that kill parvovirus and other diseases and will not harm an epoxy floor.
- Epoxy can be applied in one coat. That means there are no seams or cracks where bacteria and fungus can grow, as with tile flooring. You're assured that your cleaning will get anything that could make future patients ill.
- Once epoxy has cured, it doesn't give off formaldehyde or other emissions like some types of flooring. That means that your animal patients, who are closer to the floor, aren't breathing in dangerous fumes.
- You can install an epoxy floor that looks beautiful and matches your clinic décor. Just because you're choosing an effective and easy-to-clean flooring option doesn't mean it has to look industrial or unattractive.
Epoxy can be a great choice for veterinary or kennel uses. It beats tile because it's so much easier to clean and doesn't harbor pathogens, and it's less expensive than a urethane floor covering. Plus, it won't chip or crack like a paint or simple floor coating. Talk to your flooring installer about whether or not epoxy is a good solution for your clinic.