Four types of concrete floor Coatings (And What You Should Know About Each)

A variety of factors, like the anticipated traffic volume and environmental conditions and conditions for durability, are to be considered to determine the ideal flooring coating to suit the specific application.

There are plenty of choices concerning concrete flooring coatings. They are typically used to shield concrete floors against wear and to stop corrosion to steel reinforcement. (To find out more about the specifics of corrosion in reinforced concrete, look up the section on corrosion resistance in reinforced Concrete Constructions.) In many instances, floor coatings can be utilized to:

  • Make floors more attractive by illuminating or defining specific parts of the facility
  • Mark the location of traffic isles
  • Route traffic
  • Cover stained concrete

This article will examine the most frequently identified concrete floor protection coatings and provide an overview of their benefits, drawbacks, and common applications.

Epoxy Floor Coatings

Epoxy flooring coating systems comprise two distinct components comprising An epoxy resin and a polyamine hardener. Both of these components are mixed before the application. If the resin and the hardener are mixed, they undergo the process of a chemical reaction that results in cross-linking of the components during the time they are cured. This chemical reaction results in a solid, stiff material made of plastic coating material that is well-bonded to the majority of the base layer.

Epoxy floor coverings are renowned for their toughness durable, toughness, and resistance to impact. These properties make epoxy coatings perfect for use in heavy-duty environments like warehouses, industrial buildings, logistic centers, and other places exposed to the heavy traffic of forklifts. Epoxy coatings are also known as a resistance material to chemical products, like bleach oil greases, cleaners, and so on. Its chemical resistivity makes epoxy an extremely popular choice for garages and workshops in the auto sector.

One of the biggest drawbacks that come with epoxy floor coats lies in the complicated application process. Preparing surfaces Particularly, the process is tedious. Epoxy flooring is not suited to damaged, contaminated, or not prepared surfaces. To ensure coating durability, the flooring must be free of oils, greases, and solvents. Surfaces that have been damaged must be repaired. In addition, the concrete might require grinding to make its pores more open and create a profile of the floor. (Learn the details about this process in 6 Methods to measure the surface profiles for concrete Surface Preparation.) Furthermore, the material requires approximately seven days to dry; thus, epoxy floors have a much slower time to turnover as compared to other types of coatings.

Floor Polyurethane Coatings

Polyurethanes can be described as polymers that are linked to a chemical compound group called carbamates. Polyurethane is a thermosetting polymer in nature, i.e., it does make it difficult to melt when heated. For the uninitiated, polyurethane coatings may appear to look like epoxy floors. But, they have distinctive characteristics that make them perfect for certain types of uses.

In contrast to epoxy coatings which are very robust and resistant to impact, polyurethane floor coatings are generally softer and more flexible. This can make polyurethane floor coatings ideal for areas that have high to moderate traffic from pedestrians. The higher elasticity makes polyurethane floors less prone to abrasion as the impacts are more easily absorbed and less likely to scratch. The flexibility and elasticity of polyurethane can also be attributed to its capability to function in colder environments. Temperatures.

The attractive features and desirable characteristics of polyurethane floor coatings are ideal for various applications, such as parking garages, freezer chambers, car parks, and bustling commercial establishments, such as airports, shopping malls, and hospitals.

Another of the major benefits of polyurethane flooring coatings is their time to cure. Floors that are coated with this substance are ready to use the following day. However, epoxy coatings need at least seven days to set before they are ready to use.

Although polyurethane has many positive properties, however, it does have some drawbacks. First, polyurethane floors are highly sensitive to moisture. If moisture gets into floors, air bubbles could develop on the Surface and cause unsightly blemishes to the floor. Floor coatings made of polyurethane are consequently not suitable for use in areas with high humid conditions. Their short pot duration and sensitivity to moisture make them difficult to handle. Therefore, proper treatment and use of polyurethane coatings typically require skilled and well-trained personnel.

Polyaspartic Floor Coatings

Polyaspartic is an element of polyurea. (More information on polyurea coatings is available in this article, The Story and the adoption by industry of Polyurea Coating Systems.) As with polyurea floor coatings, the polyaspartic coating is a dual-part product, i.e., the resin has to be paired with a catalyst to speed up the curing and the process of hardening. Although early versions of floor coatings made from polyaspartic had many flaws, advances in coating technology have enabled these floor coatings to be an excellent alternative compared to epoxy or polyurethane coating systems.

One of the main benefits of polyaspartic is its capacity to function as a full flooring system and a topping coat. In terms of floor coatings, polyaspartic coatings can accomplish with just one coat the same results that conventional epoxy and polyurethane would typically take two coats to achieve. This means that polyaspartics can significantly cut the time required to apply and labor and cost of materials.

Another advantage of floor coatings made from polyaspartic is that they can be customized. The esters of polyaspartic can be altered to control drying time and the life of pots. Certain coating compositions can dry within a matter of hours and allow a day after returning to work. This feature reduces the time lag and lets assets go back into service more quickly.

Since polyaspartic floor coatings match or exceed certain properties similar to their polyurethane counterparts, they can be utilized in various applications. They typically include areas with moderate to high foot traffic, including malls, airports and hospitals, shopping centers, etc.

Like epoxies, polyaspartic floor coatings require a careful approach in the preparation of surfaces. Incorrectly prepared surfaces could cause a variation in coating failing. Additionally, although polyaspartic coatings containing 100 percent solids have very lower VOC (VOC) emission rates, Most of the polyaspartic coatings are composed of solvents. These solvent-based coatings could be hazardous to breathe; hence, skilled workers and respirators are needed when applying.

Acrylic Floor Coatings

The majority of Acrylic floor paints are created using multiple monomers like ethyl acrylate, methacrylate methyl, or butyl acrylate. The components are usually made in a solvent, typically water. These floor coatings provide an acceptable compromise in terms of performance and cost.

Acrylic floor coatings may not be as long-lasting as their epoxy and polyurethane counterparts. Therefore, they might require to be polished or recoated more often than the other kinds of floor coatings. This means that even though the initial cost of floor coatings with acrylic could be fairly low, the long-term maintenance costs are likely to be more expensive than other coatings.

Because of these issues, they are ideal for decorative concrete floors, surfaces that have minimal pedestrian traffic, or areas where there is a low chance of scratches and chemical spills. Particular acrylic formulations have higher performance that includes improved sun protection slip resistance and water resistance.

Although acrylic isn’t as durable as other floor coatings, it has very rapid curing times, drying in as little as one-half an hour following application. This decreases total labor and processing times. Furthermore, the Surface of the coating can be easily polished if the coating gets damaged in the course of operation.

Conclusion

Concrete floor coatings provide distinct properties and advantages which can be utilized in various applications. A variety of factors, like expected traffic, environmental conditions, and durability needs, should be considered when deciding the concrete flooring coating product is best suited for a particular project.

Marijuana Grow Room Floor Coatings


An Industry Booms Amid New Laws

The legalization of marijuana in several states has created a modern new industry of cannabis grow facilities. In 10 states and the District of Columbia, medical and recreational marijuana is legal. The US is heading toward the decriminalization of marijuana and eventually making marijuana fully legal. With a relatively new and unique industry, these grow facilities and dispensaries have hurdles to overcome to ensure they stay dedicated to government regulations and codes.

Cannabis grow facilities are facing increasing competition as new cultivation companies are setting up shops in industrial spaces. Keeping production expenses low while maximizing high-quality yields will help these new growers build their businesses, profit and stay competitive in the market. 

The harsh environments inside of grow facilities can require regular upkeep and cleaning of floors. Fertilizer mixtures, pesticides, moisture, and UV lights are typically rough on floors in these buildings. Polyurethane and Polyaspartic floor coatings are typically perfect for these conditions in which chemical resistance, abrasion resistance, and UV resistance are required. Many have even modified existing floor coatings to make them better suited to these flooring applications. For example, UV light stabilizing additives can be added to polyaspartic and polyurethane systems to enhance their already great resistance to UV exposure (yellowing).

Medical Marijuana Grow Facilities

These facilities have very distinctive needs. In the past, grow facilities have experienced fires, explosions, code violations, and other incidences. What used to be an outdoor growing operation has evolved into large indoor commercial facilities. Taking operations indoors has translated into better security and protection from weather and outdoor contaminants. This has led to more control over the ideal environment for marijuana growth. Grow facilities are exposed to high-intensity UV lamps, moisture, and harsh chemicals used in fertilizers and pesticides.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT FLOOR COATING FOR A GROW FACILITY

Due to the harsh environment inside a grow facility, with a mixture of fertilizers, pesticides, moisture, and harsh lighting, the flooring is exposed to unique conditions that require a unique solution. Keeping a floor clean is very important to operations, so much so that most grow facilities require that shoes are washed with a special solution before entering the grow room. These operations need a floor that is resistant to chemicals, easy to clean, moisture friendly, and can withstand UV lighting. 

As a result of the unique environment in a grow facility, a hybrid floor coating system consisting of epoxy, and polyaspartic resins would provide an optimal solution. Two coats of water-borne epoxy (primer) protect against the humid environment. A topcoat with polyaspartic protects the floor from harsh UV lights. Compared with traditional epoxy flooring, Polyaspartic would be necessary as a topcoat to withstand UV lights, whereas epoxy would yellow with time. Additionally, polyaspartics protect against various chemicals and fertilizers that are present in a growing facility.

With the moisture and humidity in a grow facility, the floors can encounter condensation, making a smooth floor surface slippery. Finding the balance between cleanliness and safety on a floor is important. The smoother the floor, the easier it will be to clean, but the more polished and smooth it will be when wet. If safety is more important for your grow facility, we suggest adding anti-slip particles (texture) to the hybrid floor coating, increasing the coefficient of friction on the floor surface. If clean-ability is more important, we would recommend all employees wear slip-resistant shoes while the grow facility is experiencing high moisture levels.

Marijuana Dispensary Floor Coatings

The retail space of marijuana dispensaries emphasizes cleaning and sanitation, product safety, compliant facility operations, waste management, and operator health and safety. With this in mind having a clean and aesthetically pleasing floor is critical for the product and the customers. 

If you are looking for the best and most long-lasting floor solution, we recommend going with a polyurethane or polyaspartic protective coating. ArmorThane offers the best products in the industry, and if you would like to know more, follow the links below.

Differences Of Epoxy and Polyurethane Floor Coatings

The solutions of polyurethane (PUR) and epoxy flooring systems make each much better suited for different environments, and not understanding the distinctions can lead to dire effects, according to resin flooring specialist ArmorThane.

Custom Epoxy Floor Systems for Your Industrial Facility — Starting Line  Floor Coatings

According to the specialist, which recently released an article on the subject, knowing when to use the ideal floor is vital not only for contractors but likewise for project and center managers. They discuss that each system has actually varying properties fit to particular uses. As such, choosing the incorrect option can cause pricey repairs and even total floor failure down the line.

CONIPUR HG PURE – FULL PUR - CONICA AG

Checking Out the Molecular Makeup
Some resemblances do exist between epoxy and PUR floor covering because both are two-component systems including a resin and hardener. When united, these two parts undergo a process of stoichiometric treating to form a solid layer. In both cases, this results in a smooth, impervious coating that can be used rapidly in large quantities, the specialist discusses. Nevertheless, the different materials that make up each coating result in unique applications.

The main difference in between the two types of products remains in the molecular structure, which impacts how each merges together throughout the treating process. While there are several kinds of parts that can be utilized to somewhat differ the end result, the specialist says PURs effectively have a higher cross-linked density than epoxies, making them the more difficult using of the two.

Because of this, PUR systems have actually long been related to using strength, toughness, and strength when confronted with a range of screening conditions. These can include heavy footfall, physical effects, severe temperature levels, and corrosive chemicals. PUR systems are for that reason extremely well suited to commercial centers, where the floor is likely to face a long list of heavy use challenges every day.

Hard Polyurethane Applications
One downside to epoxies is that they are a lot stiffer in regards to structure and can not endure intense heat as well as PUR coatings. For instance, some epoxy coatings can resist heat at temperature levels up to 65 ° C, the specialist discusses, whereas PUR systems are available that can tolerate 120 ° C.

The superior chemical resistance of PUR floorings has made them popular in the food and drink market, where destructive acids and spin-offs are discovered in big quantities. This indicates that floorings are needed that can stand up to chemical attack from organic acids as well as sugar, malt, caustic, and powerful cleaner.

When dealing with PUR floor covering, the professional states it is necessary to understand the various types. For example, there are full PUR “liquid vinyl” floors, which can produce soft surface areas underfoot due to the PUR’s elastic nature. More common are PUR deck coatings used for parking lot and PUR concrete systems, which the professional states are the most failure-resistant kind of resin flooring available.

PUR concrete is frequently discovered in challenging industrial facilities, as it can stand up to punishing effects, severe temperature levels, heavy loads, harsh chemicals, and more. The PUR concrete can likewise be personalized with anti-slip aggregates, anti-bacterial additives, and is extremely adept at handling increasing moisture. However, the PUR concrete is normally not color stable unless it has an aliphatic coating.

Epoxies Offer Aesthetic Benefits
What PUR systems give in sturdiness is often removed in versatility and looks, according to the professional. If those homes are desired, many epoxies can be adapted for numerous environments and are available in a much broader series of colors, styles, impacts, and decorative choices than PUR.

Epoxies are a popular floor choice for customer-facing locations that need to look good on top of being functional. (Images thanks to ArmorThane).


Epoxies are a popular flooring option for customer-facing areas that should look excellent on top of being functional. Picture courtesy of Flowcrete Group.
Unless there is a specific challenge or requirement for a PUR, there will more than likely be an epoxy floor that depends on the task at hand, and which can do so in bright and glossy tones, glittering light-reflective surfaces, or multi-toned swirling tones, according to the specialist.

In turn, this gives designers the creativity to install unique floorings that convey an interior decoration scheme. This is an especially good way to represent a brand identity, specific aesthetic, or to instill the environment with a wanted vibe.

This has actually made epoxies a popular floor for large-scale business places, such as shopping centers and airports, along with in less durable industrial spaces or for customer-facing processing zones that need to look great on top of being functional.

PUR systems also tend to be thicker and much heavier than epoxies when applied. While that thickness is excellent for absorbing impacts and thermal shock, epoxies can use a thinner and lighter choice if weight and area is an issue.

In summary, it’s not so much a case of which one is better, as it’s really about which one is much better for the building in question, the professional composes, adding that it has representatives readily available to assist if prospective users have more questions.

What Is The Best Garage Floor Coating?

It cannot be easy to decide between the epoxy coating and polyurethane for the garage floor project. If you have ventured to research each material’s benefits, you know it can get a bit confusing.

Epoxy vs. polyurethane

Both coating products will defend against damage, stains, chemicals, and wear. Each coating is very tough and long-lasting, easy to clean, and light reflective. Depending on the application, they specifically have their advantages. So instead of choosing one or the other, most applications use both.

What is epoxy floor coating?

A thermosetting polymer, epoxy, is available in three formulations, water-based, solvent-based, and 100 percent solids. These materials are used for garage floor coatings and sealers. They provide a wide range of thickness variations, ease of application, VOC considerations, and individual bonding characteristics. Epoxy bonds very strongly to concrete and may be used to resurface weathered out concrete.

The most permanent epoxy coatings are 100 percent solids. These formulations create a remarkably thick, hard, and impact-resistant garage surface. The coating is self-leveling and fills in any hairline floor cracks or other imperfections while providing strong protection. Some options include UV inhibitors, but keep in mind they may still look yellowish after prolonged sun exposure.

What are the advantages of polyurethane?

Similar to epoxy, polyurethane is likewise a high-performance thermosetting polymer coating. It is also referred to as simply urethane, even though polyurethane and urethane are not the same material. If you come across an advertisement for urethane, it is most likely polyurethane.

For garage flooring, aliphatic polyurethane is the best choice. The manufacturer is composed of about 65% solids and is only about three mils thick. Unlike epoxy, polyurethane can’t be adjusted. Yet, aliphatic polyurethane offers more flexibility, greater impact absorption, and abrasion resistance. Polyurethane coating also offers better stability against chemicals.

Also, polyurethane floor coating is more UV stable than epoxy, meaning it won’t turn yellowish with long-term exposure to light. Epoxy is much harder, but polyurethane is a lot more scratch-resistant; it reacts better to humidity and temperature changes.

Even with all of these improvements, epoxy bonds better to concrete, and the thin thickness of polyurethane doesn’t work well at filling in defects.

Which flooring material is the best option?

The general belief is to use both epoxy and polyurethane coating for your garage floor for maximum performance. Whether you hire a professional or do the job yourself, the garage floor epoxy should be used to build thickness, followed by a clear polyurethane topcoat for optimal stability. This process will prevent the epoxy material from yellowing and provide a long-wearing, scratch-resistant coating.

If you would like to know more about how you can utilize these coatings, click here to visit our recommended company, ArmorThane.

ArmorThane is the go-to company when it comes to floor coatings. With over 30 years in the industry, they stand out as the leader for floor coatings.