There are many reasons to coat a concrete floor, because a resin floor coating provides a practical solution.
There are many types of resin floor coatings. Each type of floor coating has it’s performance and/or cost advantages and we can help you discover the best solution for your situation.
Some of the different types of floor resins are acrylic, epoxy, urethane, polyurethane, Urethane cement, polyurea, polyaspartic, MMA and more.
Acrylic resin floor coatings
Acrylic resin floor coatings are probably the cheapest of the bunch. They have very good adheasion to concrete. Acrylic resin floor coatings are usually clear, although you can add coloured tint to them. They are available in matt or semigloss versions. They can be waterbased or solvent based (usually xylene). They usually have about 25% solids and require 2-3 coats.
Acrylic resin floor coatings are not as hard as other types of coating, this means they will not last as long, but they also do not show as much scratching as an epoxy. They are easy to re-coat if kept clean. usually require resealing every 3-5 years.
NB an acrylic wall paint is not a concrete floor coating, we use a product made for concrete.
Epoxy resin floor coatings.
An epoxy resin is a 2 component reactive resin with a part A and a part B. When mixed together the epoxy components will react and generate some heat. They are also called a thermoplastic. Epoxy resin has been around since about 1927 and is used for glues, construction bonding, coatings and more. Most epoxy resins form a hard coating that offers great protection to a concrete floor. Different formulation have different properties and are better for different applications.
Epoxy polymides are the best formulation for moisture barriers and work great the hold back moisture from under floors and behind walls from the inside.
Epoxy floor coatings are generally in 2 categories – a roll coat system – typically 100-400 microns, or a self levelling system 1-4mm thick. The thickness of the coating increases the impact resistance (offers more protection to the concrete substrate) as well as offering longer abrasion resistance (takes longer to wear out).
Epoxy resins are usually quite rigid and brittle. They have little flex and will crack if put under too much pressure. Also epoxies can show scuffs and scratches quite quickly, especially in glossy self levelling systems.
Most epoxy resin coatings are aromatic, not aliphatic, meaning they will discolour with UV exposure.
See our epoxy floor coating systems here
Polyurethane floor coatings
Polyurethane – In short polyurethane floor coatings are best for wooden floors. They have poor adhesion to concrete. Polyurethane does have better flexibility, heat and chemical resistance than epoxy systems. When used on concrete an epoxy base-coat is required to ensure an adequate bond to the concrete floor is achieved.
Polyurethane concrete, also called Beton PU is a high strength mortar used in heavy duty production areas and chemical plants. The major benifits of Beton PU is it’s high density, high impact resistance and high chemical resistance. It also offer exceptions heat resistance up to 150 Deg C. This makes it perfect for productions areas that require steam cleaning and chemical resistance.
Beton PU is far superior to epoxy and polyester resin based mortar systems such as sureshield which have a more open cell construction matrix and lower chemical and abrasion resistance.
Polyurea resin floor coatings
Polyurea is an advancement on polyurethane. It’s big advantage is it’s fast cure time. Many formulations can cure in seconds and require expensive spray equipment to apply it. This is great for protective coating on steel and concrete, such as bridges and tunnels, but not great for more visually appealing finishes on concrete floors.
Slower curing formulations of polyurea have been developed that allow reasonable pot life, yet fast curing. Typical recoat times of just 2 hours and areas are accessible in 4-6 hours.
Many polyurea formulations are Aliphatic and are not discoloured with UV exposure, therefore can be used inside and outside without limitation. Polyurea coatings have good flexural strength, very high abrasion resistance, chemical resistance and heat resistance.
Most polyurea coatings require an adhesion base-coat of epoxy or polyaspartic. polyaspartic being faster curing than epoxy.
Polyaspartic floor coatings (our most popular option)
Polyaspartic resins also known as Polyaspartic Aliphatic polyurea (PAP) is the newest development in floor coating resin advancement. They have a great balance of pot life and cure time. polyaspartic resin formulations allow for the product to cure more slowly when in a pot and cure more quickly when spread across the floor.
Polyaspartic resins are generally thinner than polyurea and polyurethane and can get great substrate adhesion without the need of an epoxy base-coat.
Polyaspartic formulations also include 100% solid, solvent and VOC Free versions – see our PURE range of systems.