Commercial and industrial coatings for concrete floors yields a lot of possibilities. There are a wide variety of coatings available. Each has unique properties and is best deployed under different circumstances. Two of the more popular options for commercial coatings includes epoxy and polyurethane (PU) coatings. One is not necessarily superior to the other. However, the decision to choose one over the other should depend upon your intended use for the space. Read on to learn the differences between epoxy vs polyurethane floor coatings.
Understanding The Differences Between Epoxy vs Polyurethane Floor Coatings
Fundamentally, these two processes are extremely similar. They start with a regular slab of concrete and then add a resinous top layer. Then, it is (usually) sprayed on and then smoothed out to create the finished surface. They also have similar properties, such as creating a single seamless surface. This is resistant to any sort of microbial infestation.
The differences of epoxy vs polyurethane come in the properties of that finished surface.
Epoxy vs Polyurethane: Advantages & Disadvantages of Epoxy Coatings
The major benefit of epoxy is that it is very hard. In fact, it is one of the hardest substances you could viably lay down on your floor. Epoxy is usually the go-to floor coating in situations where a lot of heavy vehicles will be driving around, such as warehouses with forklifts. In addition, epoxy bonds extremely well with concrete, filling in any cracks. It can often be used on existing slabs to renovate them at a relatively low cost.
On the other hand, while the hardness of epoxy gives it resistance to compression, it is easier to damage with sharply pointed impacts. Additionally, epoxy can be easily compromised by harsh chemicals such as acids unless otherwise formulated for protection. Epoxy flooring is also susceptible to UV damage, and will rapidly discolor in prolonged direct sunlight.
Epoxy vs Polyurethane: Advantages & Disadvantages of Polyurethane Coatings
On the other hand, polyurethane coatings may be less hard than epoxy, but it is more resilient. While more easily scratched, polyurethane coatings are less likely to be damaged by high-velocity impacts. That elasticity of urethane flooring gives it better performance in places with a high degree of heat variation. This is particularly important for areas that may become quite cold.
In addition, it’s stronger against UV, and much more resistant to chemical damage. Urethane is a popular choice in bio-medical and food processing facilities. This is because it can withstand spills, and runoff of byproducts that would easily damage epoxy.
Commercial Concrete Coatings: A Niche Industry
Black Bear Coatings & Concrete are the industrial flooring experts. With over 25 years of combined expertise, our team is the trusted professional in this niche industry. We value-engineer commercial and industrial flooring solutions based on the environmental factors that could impact the longevity of your floor. This provides a longer-lasting product. Our flawless installation ensures a timely, accurate delivery that minimizes disruption in operations and keeps the focus on your business.
Contact us directly for more information about our epoxy, urethane, polished concrete, and MMA flooring solutions. We can walk you through all of the benefits of each solution. Plus, we can guide you to choose between polyurethane vs epoxy floor coatings. Request a free, on-site assessment. Learn how Black Bear can provide a compliant, visually appealing, and durable floor for your business.