EPOXY VS URETHANE COATINGS
To keep commercial floors shiny and clean, special coatings need to be applied to guarantee durability and make maintenance easy. There are two main commercial flooring coatings that can be applied; epoxy and urethane. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages – and deciding which one is best for your application can keep your floors free from stains and scratches. So which coating should you use for your commercial floors?
Epoxy Vs Urethane: Which One Is Right For You?
Epoxy is a thermosetting polymer that comes in 3 different formulas. It can be fully solid, water-based, or solvent-based. Epoxy coatings usually bind tightly to flooring surfaces and provide a hard and lasting coating. Industrial floors that have a lot of traffic and impact from machinery will benefit from the shock-absorbing properties and durability of epoxy floor coatings.
Epoxy can be formulated to be extremely resistant to chemical stains and moisture, making it very useful in the coating of warehouse floors and similar industries. Additionally, epoxy is superb coating material for the resurfacing and renovation of older floors.
One of the biggest drawbacks with epoxy coatings is the time it takes to install it. The floor needs to be completely prepped to prevent the epoxy from not adhering correctly to its intended surface. Once the epoxy is applied, the curing time can take longer than other types of materials. Epoxy commercial coatings also tends to wear over time when exposed directly to sunlight which can be a factor when applied for a specific, space that gets a lot of sunlight.
Urethane is also a thermosetting polymer that is used for the coating of concrete floors. It is one of the highest functioning commercial coatings because it is flexible and hardy in its application. Urethane comes in a variety of formulations that vary in their fluidity. The greater the solid content is in the mixture, the greater the performance of the coating.
Urethane coatings are more resistant to abrasions (like drops-and-scratches) as well as UV light. In addition, they also won’t yellow out over-time like epoxy coatings can. They are better at keeping their color and sheen, making the floors looking newer for longer. The preparation process for applying urethane coatings is also significantly shorter than epoxy coatings as well. This is an important decision maker when there might not be time for an epoxy coating.
The primary drawback with urethane vs epoxy commercial coatings is that urethane may not bond as closely to concrete as epoxy does. Urethane has a thin surface film that causes it to be more difficult to apply to small cracks and comparable surfaces.
So Which One Is Best?
Essentially, the choice between epoxy vs urethane coatings is a give-and-take between tight adherence to the floors and high abrasive resistance. If you’re also worried about UV durability, ease of installation, and resistance to chemical/ water stains, you may be steered towards selecting one over the other.