When it comes to choosing new flooring systems for industrial use, garage floor coating, or any other concrete surfaces, resinous floor coatings truly stand out from other flooring options for many reasons. Resinous flooring is highly durable, customizable, sustainable, and decorative for any surface. What’s most appealing is it’s resistance to high levels of wear and tear and chemical exposure. These factors make it one of the longest-lasting flooring options. Considering resinous floor coatings? Learn about different floor systems, the different types of resin, and where to use specific types of flooring systems!
“What is Epoxy?”
A primary aspect of epoxy coating is that it is chemically distinct from regular floor paints. Resinous flooring consists of a two-part epoxy system – a combination of polymer resins and hardeners, much like epoxy glue. When properly mixed, the epoxy resin and hardener react to one another resulting in a chemical bond with each compound and with the floor itself. The chemical bond creates a stiff plastic material that is durable, resistant to degradation, and bonds exceptionally well to its substrate.
“What is Urethane?”
Although typically epoxies are one of the most popular floor coatings for residential, commercial and industrial sites, urethane floor coating (or polyurethane floor finish) is still regarded by many as the most reliable and economical choice when it comes to a high-quality floor finish. Because urethane floor finish is better able to resist scratch, impact, and abrasion, it is still a valuable choice when considering which floor coating to use.
The term “Urethane” is used interchangeably with the term “Polyurethane” when talking about the manufacture and installation of floor covering products. Both terms refer to a polymerizing carabamic compound that produces flexible, non-toxic floor coatings. Because urethane floors are so flexible, they allow for high levels of foot traffic and large machinery usage. In addition, urethane floors provide an extra level of abrasion resistance due to their flexible nature, and will remain glossy and new-looking even if in contact with abrasives like glass, sand, or concrete.
Even though there are many reasons why urethane floor finish is still a popular choice, there are several drawbacks. Because it is such a thick compound, it must be applied in very thin layers to avoid non-uniform thickness and lumping. In addition, because a polyurethane floor finish must be applied in such a thin layer, it will not cover imperfections in the underlying substrate as well as an epoxy or epoxy mortar system might. This is why most “epoxy” systems call for an epoxy primer layer and base coat to be installed first, with a polyurethane top coat.
“What are Polyaspartics, and Why am I hearing about One-Day Turnaround?”
One garage flooring option that has created quite a buzz in the industry the last few years is polyurea/polyaspartic floor coatings. This relatively new coating has become the latest favorite for installers as an alternative to epoxy. It has created some confusion for home owners as well. The fast curing ability of this system is being billed as the “Holy Grail” of floor coatings! It’s advertised as the best of everything, but it does have some limitations.
Unlike epoxy, a polyaspartic coating can be applied in temperatures as low as -30F to as high as 140F depending on the formulation. That means you don’t have to wait till spring or summer to coat your garage floor if you live in a colder climate.
Typical polyurea and polyaspartic floor coatings are applied in just two or three coats; the first being both the primer and color coat and the second being the clear coat. Because of their fast cure rates, a complete flooring system can be installed in one day and returned to service the next. This means that you won’t have to do without your garage for 4-5 days like you would for a full epoxy system.
There are some limitations, however. The first is cost. To have it professionally installed can cost an average of $2 to $3 more per square foot than an equivalent epoxy and polyurethane system. The materials alone can cost almost twice as much as epoxy or polyurethane. The second is moisture sensitivity. Most polyureas have a very low moisture tolerance. So if you have a concrete slab that is exposed to a lot of moisture, or seems damp a lot, the concrete would need to be primed with a moisture-mitigating primer of some sort before polyaspartics could be applied.
“What are Resinous Floor Coatings?”
The most straightforward definition of resinous flooring suggests a flooring surface that comprises multiple layers of epoxy that is applied to a floor with a depth of at least two millimeters. Confusion typically arises when comparing a resinous floor and resinous floor coating. The difference between the two lies in the depth of the resin – as stated, resinous floors are classified as a resinous coating of at least two millimeters thick. Any floor less than two millimeters thick is commonly referred to as a floor coating.
Types of Epoxy and Resinous Floor Coatings & Where To Apply Them:
Self-leveling epoxy is utilized to apply over new, old, cracked, or damaged concrete floors. This creates a smooth, durable, and a leveled texture on the surface of the floor. This type of floor provides a shiny, seamless look. It comes in many different colors that appeal to commercial, industrial, and residential spaces.
- Where To Use Self-Leveling Epoxy Floors: manufacturing buildings, warehouses, showrooms, commercial garages, kitchens, athletic facilities, and more.
Epoxy Mortar Floors
This flooring option classifies as the most stringent epoxy floor system available for use. This epoxy floor is made up of 100% solid epoxies and graded or quartz sand. Mortar systems are ideal for spaces that require a floor that is highly chemically-resistant and can withstand a great deal of impact. This epoxy floor can be used to repair cracks before applying another type of epoxy floo.
- Where To Use Epoxy Mortar Floors: mechanical spaces, warehouses, commercial kitchens, restaurants, garages, manufacturing plants.
Urethane Cement Floors
Much like an epoxy mortar floor, this is probably the strongest and most durable resinous floor one can get. It consists on 100% solid polyurethane and quartz sand that is moisture insensitive (can be applied on damp slabs) and has the durability to withstand industrial abuse. It can also resist thermal shock.
- Where to use Urethane Cement Floors: industrial and commercial kitchens, loading docks, manufacturing plants. boat dry docks
Quartz-Filled Resinous Floors
Quartz flooring is a combination of a high-performance epoxy polymer resin or polyaspartic and stained quartz grains. This coating should be utilized for decorative spaces that require sanitary and slip-resistant properties.
- Where to Use Quartz-Filled Epoxy Floors: locker rooms, restrooms, schools, cafeterias, lobbies, offices, showrooms, garages, and more.
Anti-Static Epoxy Floors (Electro-static charge (ESD) Resistant Floors)
ESD can be hazardous to many work environments. To reduce any static hazards in your spaces, anti-static epoxy floors can be applied. This epoxy floor typically holds a conductive compound that accumulates static electricity that dissipates any potential discharge. An anti-static solution is a highly recommended epoxy floor for spaces that contain flammable materials.
- Where to Use Anti-Static Epoxy Floors: electronic, chemical, or pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities, healthcare facilities, or any spaces that use flammable gases or liquids that bring a risk of combustible dust buildup.
Resinous Flake Floors
This type of floor contains colored vinyl flake or paint chip materials that are inserted in the epoxy or polyaspartic to create a vibrant, multi-hued look. The flakes not only offer a seamless look but also provide each surface with subtle grooves to reduce any slips and falls. Flakes come in an infinite variety of sizes, colors, styles, and textures that is customizable for any space.
- Where To Use Epoxy Flake Floors: locker rooms, sports venues, showrooms, clinics, commercial kitchens, garages and more.
Metallic Resinous Floors
A metallic epoxy floor coating is quite simply a low yellowing epoxy, with a metallic pigment mixed within. These metallic pigments are mixed into an epoxy resin and then poured onto the floor or substrate. When these pigments become agitated with a paintbrush or roller, they gather, separate, twist and turn to reflect light at different angles. Eventually, the epoxy hardens and the metallic pigments are locked into place and give a three dimensional, swirly look. The installation technique is what determines the final look of the floor. It’s a critical part in attaining the desired look. Most installers will mix more than one pigment to achieve a “marbling” effect. This gives the coating “veins” or other types of artistic contrast. These are the most artistic and unique variations of resinous flooring, and are thus typically the most costly.
- Where to use Metallic Floors: bars, art galleries, offices, studios, retail stores, garages, basements, man-caves and more.
Resinous flooring is a versatile chemical solution that is practical, long-lasting, highly resistant to impact, and customizable for any space. Whether you need an elegant entrance to a restaurant, a durable garage floor, or need an unyielding surface to withstand industrial work – there is a floor system right for your space.
Interested in Resinous Floor Coatings? Get in touch!
Does one of these epoxy or resinous floor coatings seem like a good fit for your business? The team at Concreate is ready to help… just get in touch! Message us on Facebook, call us at 804-767-8301 or use the contact form below to reach us.
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