Epoxy vs. Urethane Concrete Floor Coatings - What's The Difference?

Many industries, particularly those located in warm weather climates like Orlando, Florida, want a floor that will be durable, easy to maintain and withstand the test of time. For business owners with concrete floors, they may begin to research options for floor coatings and wonder which type of finish is better: epoxy or urethane?

In most cases, not all, the answer to this question would be to use both. Both floor coatings work in a unique way, has benefits in certain situations and provides different functions. Each floor coating provides protection against wear, damage, and chemical corrosion. Both floors have a long lifespan and reduce maintenance and replacement costs. Safety of non-slip is increased with each flooring. Light reflectivity is increased up to 300 percent with both floor coatings, which results in lower heating and cooling costs, brightens the workspace, and even enhances employee morale. Urethane concrete floor coating is a surface for wearing so that it protects the epoxy; while Epoxy functions more of a floor resurfacing/primer method.

Let's dive into this topic a little further...

Epoxy Floor Coating

Epoxy floor coating is a perfect flooring product to use for giving your concrete floor a new surface. This floor coating is able to be applied anywhere from just 2mls up to 80+mls thick contingent on the underlying surface and the application. Epoxy can build up cracked, pitted, old concrete flooring and make it appear polished and new.

Epoxy is also an excellent way to add color to the workplace and/or utilize several colors to assign specific areas, walkways, put a logo, or other important designs directly on the floor. Epoxy coatings for concrete floors not only boost aesthetic appeal, but they also provide protection for the floor surface, as well. Appropriate for industrial, retail, public buildings, and showroom, epoxy coatings are a popular choice for numerous uses including hospitals, labs, schools, manufacturing plants, automotive, galleries, aerospace, malls, showrooms, and much more.

With skillful installation for proper bonding and curing and proper preparations of the underlying concrete, there would be no other floor that beats epoxy flooring. Certain preparations of epoxy concrete coatings meet LEED requirements for VOC limits, making this a “green” choice for all industries.

Urethane Floor Coating

Urethane is rolled out at 350 – 500 square foot (SF) per gallon, translating to approximately 2 – 3 milliliters in thickness, with no way to adjust it. Moreover, urethane is not an ideal floor coating to use directly on concrete as it does not bond well to concrete.

However, this coating is an exceptional top coat and sealer for many types of epoxy that are applied over the concrete floor coatings. Due to urethane mortars providing smooth and seamless floor coating that is both heat and moisture resistant, they are ideal for the food and beverage industry. Also, it’s ideal for industrial or lab settings due to its chemical resistance.

Normally, it’s considered that the ideal approach would be to build up flooring by using epoxy and then seal and protect them by applying urethane. When urethane is used as a topcoat applied over epoxy, the life of the floor outlasts an unsealed epoxy floor 3:1. This coating will provide outstanding abrasion and wear results.

As you can see, choosing one or both options really depends on the type of floor you have and what you're desired result is. That's where the professionals at Florida Epoxy Floors come in. With over 20 years in the epoxy floor industry, we know how to make a durable, long lasting concrete floor. If you have any questions or would like a quote/consultation, contact us today by calling 407-705-3525.

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