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Topcoat Clarity

Wooden blocks with bold black letters spelling out the word 'CLARITY' on a desk, with a blurred potted plant in the background, conveying the concept of clear thinking or transparency in epoxy topcoats.

When customers learn about the wide variety of colors, patterns, images, or textures that West Coast Epoxy can place over their concrete floors in Northern California, they are often astounded. It’s important, however, to make sure the finished product is protected so it does not get damaged or ruined. That’s where a topcoat comes into play. A topcoat makes sure you enjoy the design or appearance added to your concrete floor for as long as the floor lasts.

Although most topcoats are typically clear and devoid of color, some designs require a slight modification to transparency. In fact, a topcoat might need less transparency or even added color to bring the impact that the customer desires (e.g., a stained-glass look). Coupled with years of expertise, the epoxy industry uses a specially designed color scale to create the right effect for your topcoat.

What Is the Gardner Scale?

In the early part of the 20th century, Dr. Henry Gardner recognized the need for color standards in transparent oils and paints. Using a series of vials filled with liquids, each vial represented a different color stage. In 1958, He introduced the Gardner Scale to the world of paints and topcoats. The Gardner Scale is also used in measuring things like resins, fatty acids, and varnishes. This 18-stage scale identifies the yellowness of transparent liquids, spanning from light pale yellow to a dark brown.

Modern developments offer different techniques, but they are still set to the same standard of the Gardner Scale. While you can still acquire Gardner vials, most companies now use electrical spectrophotometers or other digital devices to measure samples within the Gardner Scale. The ASTM D1544 system uses glass filters instead of liquid samples. The effect, however, is the same: these methods use the Gardner Scale to identify the level of transparency.

In most cases, clients of West Coast Epoxy prefer a crystal-clear topcoat so they can appreciate the exquisite colors, patterns and designs embedded in a protective layer of epoxy or an elegant concrete polish. If they would like a tint of light for their chosen design, however, we are happy to accommodate the request. In either case, the Gardner Scale is a useful tool to bringing your vision for a concrete floor to life. To discuss how we can improve and protect the look of your concrete floor, please call West Coast Epoxy. Of if you prefer, fill out our convenient online form to schedule a free consultation.

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