If your concrete floor shows signs of wear, such as chipping, cracking, or staining, it may be time to apply a durable coating. First off, you need to choose the right coating type for your floor. More options can be good, but it can also make it difficult to decide between the various concrete floor coatings.
Polyurea and Epoxy are the most popular flooring options. There are many subcategories within each of these categories, as well as different application methods. But let’s keep it simple and discuss two of the most common floor coating types, Epoxy and Polyurea. We will also examine their differences and determine which one is best for each situation. Both will give your floors a shiny shine, but only one is flexible and impact resistant.
Here are the facts:
What is an Epoxy Floor Coating?
An epoxy floor coating consists of an epoxy resin and a polyamine-hardener. After it cures, a 100% solid epoxy coating gives the concrete a glossy, hard finish. However, the epoxy coating will chip and crack over time.
Epoxy is a thermoset resin, which can be used in two steps. It’s a resin that cures as a liquid. Epoxy Coatings can be used in industrial areas, such as warehouses where you have to drive a truck or forklift repeatedly. The epoxy coating is a thick resin and cures slowly, usually in 2-3 days. Epoxy’s cure time can be affected by environmental factors such as moisture, temperature changes, and even direct sunlight. These factors can affect not only the cure time but also change the appearance of the coating. Epoxy is a traditional, commonly used product that has seen its use diminish over the years. People have reported Epoxies long term issues as being the following:
- Peeling floors
- Moisture buildup under the coating
- Inconsistent color
- Cloudiness after Epoxy Resin Hardens
- Bubbling and Deformities
- After Curing, Dullness
Let’s now learn a bit more about Polyurea Coatings…
What is a Polyurea floor coating?
Polyurea can also be used as a 2-step resin. However, it is very different from Epoxy resin. Polyurea is 4x stronger and 98% more flexible than Epoxy. The material’s flexibility makes it durable and lasts a long time. Because the material is flexible, it won’t crack or peel. Polyurea can also be used in extreme temperatures. The coatings are chemically inert to oil, salt, gas, and other harsh chemicals. It is more scratch-resistant than Epoxy, which is great for pets’ paws. Polyurea Coatings can be used to resurface slippery walkways and pool decks. Our coatings come in a variety of textures and colors. Polyurea is UV-resistant and won’t yellow or fade in sunlight. Concrete Coating projects can be completed in a single day. You won’t have to wait for Polyurea to cure three days. Our Polyurea Concrete Coatings can be used to drive, walk, and do anything else you wish within 24 hours.
Which is better: Epoxy or Polyurea?
Both products share many similarities. If asked, every contractor will answer this question differently because every customer’s needs and circumstances are unique. Many factors can influence the floor design and function, budgetary considerations, aesthetic preferences, and much more.
Polyurea, however, is our clear choice. Polyurea is more flexible and can move with concrete because it is easier to work with. It is also stronger than Epoxy and more resistant to impact.
Polyurea flooring is not something you can do yourself. Our application specialists prepare the surface, remove grease and stains, and repair any spalled or damaged concrete. The key to creating a profile that will allow for mechanical bonding between concrete and coating is preparation.
The result is a smooth, attractive garage floor that’s resistant to oil, grease, chemical, extreme heat, and tire marks. You can personalize your floor with a polyurea coating in a variety of colors or a mixture of flakes.
Epoxy can be more economical for short-term use; however, you should expect to replace or refinish it within a couple of years. Epoxy Coatings typically last between 5-10 years before needing to be reapplied. ArmorThane’s Polyurea coatings, on the other hand, can last for over 15 years. If I’m told that I have the option to coat concrete only once, versus a possible three times over 15 years with Epoxy, then I will choose to do it one time with Polyurea, every time.
The Garage Flooring Experts are here to help.
At ArmorThane, our vote is for Polyurea, which is why ArmorThane applicators are experienced in applying polyurea floor coating solutions. This process is ideal for both residential and commercial concrete floors. ArmorThane can help you learn more about the flooring options and our process. ArmorThane proudly stands behind the expertise of our applicators, as well as the durability and quality of our garage floor coatings.