The Journey of Mike’s Epoxy Floors

Written by: Brady Drake

Growing up, Mike lived in a three-bedroom house in a family of eight children. If he wanted something, he had to work for it. So that’s what he did and he never stopped.

Now, with three decades of running a successful business under his belt, you would assume that Mike hatched a plan to start an epoxy flooring business, but in reality, he just kind of started doing it after a short conversation.

“Nobody taught me this. I taught myself for the most part,” Mike said. “When I was 28 or 29 and living in Colorado, my niece’s husband saw an epoxy floor and told me about it. So, I went to the paint store and talked to the guy behind the counter about how to do it.”

In those early days, Mike used muriatic acid to etch the concrete.

“When you put epoxy down, you have to have a really clean floor and you have to have it etched,” Mike said. “But using muriatic acid was dangerous—you had to wear a respirator when you did it that way.” Now, he uses a grinder to prepare the concrete, which is much safer.

Mike did his first floor in Colorado and his customer was happy. At the time, that’s all that mattered to him.

Mike (left) and his son-in-law Lorenzo Cardona (right) prepare to put on a fresh coat.

“I thought the first floor turned out awesome, but looking back on it now, it was pretty spotty, but you get better the more floors you do.”

Eventually, at the age of 32, Mike moved back to Fargo where he was a pioneer of sorts.

“It took another 10 years for the look to get to Fargo,” Mike said. “There were people doing epoxy floors, but it was just solid colors. They weren’t using the flakes.”

Being one of the first to a trend means it takes time for people to embrace a new look—flooring proved to be no different. So, Mike worked in painting and texturing and picked up a flooring gig here and there. But eventually, things took off.

“I really relied on word of mouth for growth. My only advertising was on the side of my truck. I just hustled and made sure I was always clean and on time,” Mike said.

That hustle took Mike far with his business—he now does roughly 60 floors a summer—but his daughter, Reanna Cardona, wants to help take the business to the next level.

“I’m 59 and I’m starting to wind down, and I want to hand the business off to my daughter,” Mike said. “It’s a good business. A lot of people want floors. She’s gotten us on social media and really wants to take the business to the next level.”

After just a few years online, Mike’s Epoxy Floors has amassed over 11k followers on Facebook! Mike credits his daughter Reanna for the online success and he eventually wants her to take over the business.
Facebook | /mikesepoxyfloors

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Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.