Floor coatings protect the underlying surface with a tough, hard, and aesthetically pleasing topcoats. Commercial garage operators and residential homeowners both benefit from applying coatings to bare concrete surfaces. But two of the most common choices — epoxy and polyurethane — offer unique advantages depending on what protective characteristics you’re looking for. In this quick overview, we’ll discuss the differences between epoxy flooring and polyurethane flooring.
What Is Epoxy Flooring?
Epoxy flooring is a two- or multi-layer flooring option. The epoxy coats can be water-based, solvent-based, or solid, and professionals apply the coating to the flooring via rollers. As the floor cures, the molecules start to crosslink, and the floor hardens into a stiff, strong layer. Once the floor cures and dries, it can repel stains, protect the underlying floor from impact damage, and more. Epoxies come in a wide range of color choices and additives options so you can choose the perfect flooring for your space.
Recommended Environments for Epoxy Flooring
Epoxy flooring bonds well with concrete, so it’s a popular choice for residential garages. Epoxy flooring seals and binds to the concrete to protect it from wear and impact damage from your vehicles, dropped tools and equipment, and more. The surface can also repel artificial chemicals, making it easy to mop up spills and leaks over time. As more and more homeowners move away from traditional flooring like carpeting and tile, epoxy flooring is an increasingly popular choice for laundry rooms, kitchens, and even entire homes.
Along with concrete floors in general, epoxy flooring can significantly improve these flooring conditions:
- Concrete with worn and unlevel patches: Epoxies have self-leveling properties so the material spreads into a smooth three- to 15-millimeter thick layer across the space.
- Existing flooring installations like tile and vinyl: Unlike many other flooring solutions, you don’t have to remove the previous flooring first. Epoxy can safely be applied on top of many existing types of flooring. This makes the project faster and more cost-effective. Our team can assess your current flooring when you receive your free quote.
- Floors with dried or absorbed stains: Garages pick up a collection of oil spills, paint splatter, and other stains. Professionals can treat the floor to prepare the surface and apply the epoxy on top of stained surfaces without it compromising the final look and finish.
What Is Polyurethane Flooring?
Polyurethane coatings are similar to epoxy coatings; professionals can apply a liquid layer of thermosetting polymers on flooring. Once the product cures, it creates a thin, flexible topcoat that protects the floor from organic chemical spills, can handle extreme temperatures (such as boiling water), and is extremely long-lasting.
Recommended Environments for Polyurethane Flooring
Polyurethane flooring works best in industrial settings. It is built to handle extreme temperatures and very corrosive organic chemicals, which are present in manufacturing centers and food processing plants. Its flexibility is also far above what is needed for most residential applications, so it’s an excellent choice for factory floors, warehouses, and industrial garages.
Polyurethanes have high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) so they should only be installed in environments with adequate ventilation.
Epoxy Flooring vs. Polyurethane Flooring
Both epoxy and polyurethane floor coatings are durable, strong, and help protect the underlying flooring from damage. They can resist damage from chemicals, offer a wide selection of color and pattern customizations, and are popular in properties across Scottsdale. However, because of epoxy flooring’s unique resistance to corrosive and artificial chemicals, its cost-effectiveness, and its hardness, it’s a great choice for homeowners who want to coat the floors in their garages and homes. Epoxy coating can also bind more strongly to concrete, so you can easily have it applied to bare concrete floors, stairs, and driveways.
Schedule a Visit With Our Team for a Free Custom Quote
If you know epoxy flooring is the right fit for your home, take the first step by requesting a free custom quote for the project. Our team can assess your current flooring and your preferences for the space to give you more details about the perfect flooring for your home.