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How to Choose Between Epoxy and Polyurea Seamless Flooring

When choosing to use a seamless flooring system in your mudroom, garage, or maybe your industrial facility you are going to hear the word ‘epoxy’ a lot. There are a plethora of options when choosing the type or brand of epoxy, but in simplest terms, epoxy is a cured component of taking two or more products, (resin and a catalyst, part A and part B) and by mixing the components you create a chemical reaction that results in a hard durable product.

Epoxy type floors have been sought after for their ability to make up the inherent weakness of concrete. This epoxy/concrete bond creates a much nicer product when concrete is subject to chemicals, water intrusion, or high wear. In the last few years a product called polyureas have been widely used as they have similar properties of epoxy with additional features such as UV resistance and faster cure times. Of course with this increased benefit ,we also see an increase in price; sometimes twice as much as a standard epoxy product.  So how do you choose between using an epoxy and a polyurea? Is the added cost worth it for your project?

To answer these questions and also give you the ability to make the right decision, I have outlined some basic ways to make sure you get the best value for your project. Now these are the options we offer at my company, Dancer Concrete Design. These may not be applicable for all installers. We are very picky with the products we use and only choose products that are 100% solids (no fillers, no solvents) and contain NO-VOC’s.  We exclusively use NO-VOC products as I don’t particularly like wearing a mask while I work, and you should not have to leave your home because of the danger in a product.

Make sure you ask your installer what products they are putting down and ASK TO SEE REAL SAMPLES of the cured product. This will make sure the contractors and your expectations are consistent. 

 Epoxy

  • More affordable solution
  • Very chemical resistant
  • Cure time between  2-4 days
  • Comes in clear and multiple colors
  • Will yellow when exposed to UV light
    • If outdoors can yellow within weeks
    • Indoor applications with windows (assuming windows have a UV film)  it may take 5 – 10 years to notice yellowing
When to Choose Epoxy

 Epoxy works great when budget concerns are of most importance or in an area where epoxy is being chose for its performance ability rather than a decorative flooring solution. Epoxy serves more of a purpose to protect the concrete from oil rather than having a decorative appeal.

Polyureas

  • Higher upfront cost – may be $0.40 – $1.00 sq. ft. higher depending on application type
  • Very chemical resistant
  • Faster cure time – 8 hours – 24 hours
  • Comes in clear and multiple colors
  • UV stable coating. Can be used outdoors. Will not yellow.
When to Choose Polyurea

Polyurea is the best offering for top coating seamless floors. Polyureas are sought after when the floor is being installed for a decorative look as well as for performance.

Thanks for reading this post.

Nick Dancer

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