Concreate, Inc. delivers concrete polishing and custom staining for both commercial and residential projects primarily in Virginia and Maryland (but also up and down the East Coast). We work hand in hand with with designers, architects, project managers, general contractors, tradesmen, and home owners alike from start to finish. We welcome the opportunity to serve your polished concrete needs in every way possible.

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What You Should Know About the 3 Main Types of Resinous Flooring

What You Should Know About the 3 Main Types of Resinous Flooring

Wide open polished epoxy floor system with windows reflecting light off its surface.

Each flooring type excels in different situations and settings.

Key Takeaways:

  • Resin floors are durable options when coating your concrete
  • They excel in many industrial and commercial settings
  • Each flooring system works best under different circumstances
  • Learning about the advantages of each flooring type makes your decision easier

Resin floors are incredibly durable and are best suited for industrial and commercial applications. Automotive factories, retail markets, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and food production businesses can all benefit from these floors because they stand up to significant traffic and are easy to clean. These flooring systems are also customizable, and some can even reduce slip-and-fall instances in industrial and commercial settings. 

There are three main resin floor types worth examining before deciding what works for your business. Each resinous material performs best in different settings, so learning as much as possible about the practical uses for each of these options will help guide you to the best choice for your floor.

Read on for information on polymethyl methacrylate, polyurethane, and epoxy floor systems, including the advantages and disadvantages of each flooring type.

Epoxy floor systems

Perhaps the most-used resin flooring type is epoxy, which combines an epoxy resin and a polyamine hardener to create a chemical reaction. The result is an incredibly hard and rigid material that bonds with most base floors and is widely used as a concrete flooring overlay in industrial settings. 

An epoxy floor system has tremendous impact and chemical resistance. Its impact resistance makes it popular in warehouses, logistic centers, and industrial buildings where workers may drop items and forklifts are continually circulating. The flooring’s chemical resistance prevents oil, grease, cleaners, and bleach from soaking into the base floor, which is why epoxy is a top choice in mechanic garages across the country. 

However, despite these benefits, epoxy floor systems have some disadvantages.

First, although damaged epoxy coating can be repaired and/or patched, this process requires some downtime and the damage will generally remain visible even after repair. 

Epoxy floors also have the longest cure time of the three main flooring types. Though you can have foot traffic within 24–48 hours with increasingly heavier traffic allowed over time, as it takes seven to ten days for the floor to be fully cured. You’ll also have to wait 12–24 hours to apply an overcoat. 

Installing an epoxy resin floor isn’t recommended on cold days, either. The ideal application temperature is about 59 degrees Fahrenheit, and it must be at least 50 degrees for the floor to cure properly. 

Epoxy flooring systems are great in many situations, but their long cure time and inability to repair them could lead to business interruptions in the future.

Polymethyl methacrylate floors

Polymethyl methacrylate, or PMMA, floor coatings are made from a synthetic resin that is sometimes called acrylic glass. The material commonly appears in Perspex, Plexiglass, and Lucite, but it can also be used to make flooring. 

One of the best features you’ll find when selecting PMMA flooring is that it’s customizable to your needs. For instance, it’s possible to alter the material to reduce slips and falls, provide more chemical resistance, or protect against electrical dangers.

Many businesses that go with PMMA do so because of its short cure time. The material cures in about an hour, and you can apply an overcoat in another hour, making it by far the fastest resin floor to install. You can also apply the coating in temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, so there’s no need to wait for a warmer day to get started. 

It’s possible to repair a PMMA floor, too, so you won’t have to replace the entire thing if there’s damage. 

That’s a good thing because PMMA floors are less durable than epoxy flooring, so the risk of abrasions and other damage is always there. If you install this flooring in a high-traffic area, you can expect maintenance and reapplications to become a regular part of your life.

Overall, PMMA floors are great as a quick and easy alternative to epoxy resin, keeping in mind that they won’t offer the same level of protection from damage and traffic and aren’t the best option in industrial settings or busy commercial areas.

Polyurethane resin flooring

Flooring made with polyurethane resin is similar to epoxy flooring in many ways, as it has excellent impact and chemical resistance. 

In fact, polyurethane has greater elasticity than both epoxy and PMMA flooring, allowing for better impact absorption and increased performance in locations with significant pedestrian traffic like shopping malls, retail stores, airports, hospitals, and schools. Polyurethane is also resistant to high temperatures, making it excellent in food production settings like bakeries and restaurant kitchens. 

As far as cure time goes, polyurethane takes about five days to be fully ready, and you can apply an overcoat in about eight hours. You can’t install the flooring in cold temperatures, though, as it must be at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit. You also can’t repair polyurethane flooring, as complete removal and replacement are necessary when there’s damage.

It’s worth noting that polyurethane doesn’t offer much moisture resistance, either. Bubbles tend to form on the surface after exposure to moisture, so it’s best to use this type of flooring in relatively dry areas that won’t see significant amounts of water or other liquids.

Choosing the right floors to meet your needs

Each resin flooring type is practical in different situations, so your choice will likely depend on your building and its usage. Epoxy flooring is the hardest of the bunch and can withstand significant impact and traffic from heavy machinery while offering protection against chemical spills. PMMA is the quickest to install and provides outstanding customization, but it’s best in areas that only see light traffic. Polyurethane resin withstands constant foot traffic and extreme temperatures, creating a practical flooring solution in pedestrian areas or kitchens.

Selecting the ideal concrete coating for your floors is challenging, but that’s where we come in. Concreate can help ensure you make the best decision for your needs. We have the experience and knowledge necessary to assist your team in choosing a resinous flooring system that best suits your business. Contact us or visit thisisconcrete.com to learn about your concrete flooring options.