Urethane Coatings vs Epoxy Coatings: Which is right for you? (And Why It May Be Both!)
Choosing a new floor for your industrial or commercial space can be a daunting task, let alone choosing what to seal it with. There are so many things to take into consideration, and you want a floor that meets the unique needs of your business. It doesn't help matters that floor coatings and materials can be confusing, and often the differences between each system are subtle to the naked eye. Such is the case with Urethane and Epoxy coatings. They each have their own pros and cons, but they can also be paired together which we will discuss later on.
Pros and Cons of Urethane
Urethane Coatings are an excellent choice for industrial facilities. Short for polyurethane, urethane begins as a liquid resin, but cures to an extremely tough and protective surface. Urethane coatings are tough, durable, and abrasion resistant. They are also resistant to corrosion when exposed to certain kinds of chemicals. Urethane coatings hold up longer than epoxy coatings, making them perfect for industrial or commercial facilities that see a lot of foot or wheel traffic. Furthermore, urethane boasts one of the longest lifespans on the market - it could be 10 years before you need a fresh layer! Lastly, urethan can be customized to suit your individual tastes and needs. It can be pigmented or clear, and will resist chips and scratches, keeping its aesthetic appeal intact.
While the surface preparation may not be as extensive as epoxy coatings, it will still take time.
Pros and Cons of Epoxy Coatings
Epoxy is an extremely durable and long lasting two-part system that boast the ability to resist moisture, shock, and chemical exposure, while maintaining its aesthetic appeal. In fact, epoxy coatings is the preferred choice for striping, designs, and patterns. Epoxy coatings protect the concrete beneath them and prevent water from leaking in.
The biggest con for epoxy coatings is the installation time, with the surface preparation taking up much of the time. The concrete surface must be throughly prepared with all traces of oil and previous coatings being thoroughly removed. If the surface preparation is not properly completed, the epoxy will not have a clean solid base to adhere to.
Which one is right for you? Maybe both?
So which is right for you? If you are looking for a really tough floor that you won't have to touch up for 10 years, or if your facility floor takes a beating daily and you need a coating that can keep up, than urethane may be the right choice. Epoxy may be the right choice for you if you have a commercial business that does not need the level of hardcore protection provided by urethane, or if you are looking for a design for your floor.
Last but not least, you may want to consider using them both. Epoxy and urethane are sometimes used together, with urethane layered over the epoxy. If you aren't sure which system is right for you, Concepts In Concrete is happy to help.