Concrete floors have a porous surface, which means they are vulnerable to water, chemicals, oil, and other contaminants as well as abrasion, wear and tear from heavy machinery or foot traffic, and more.
The good news is that there’s a wide range of products that you can use to protect your concrete flooring.
Concrete floor coatings are used to protect the floor from degrading prematurely. These materials also can be used to prevent corrosion, mark traffic routes, improve skid resistance, and decorate floors.
Whether you are looking for solutions to protect the flooring of your warehouse, factory, basement, garage, store, mall, hotel, airport, restaurant, or industrial plant, a concrete floor finish is an excellent option.
5 Common Types of Concrete Coatings
There are several types of concrete floor finishes on the market today, each with its own benefits and physical properties that make it best suited for certain environments and purposes.
The most popular concrete coatings are epoxy, polyurethane, and acrylic. There are many other less common types, including methyl methacrylate (MMA) and polyaspartic, that are also important to keep in mind.
1. Epoxy Floor Coatings
One of the most popular types of concrete floor coatings is made from epoxy. Epoxy finishes are extremely durable, hard, and rigid plastic floor coatings. This type of concrete coating is also known for its resistance to impacts, chemical products like oil and grease, and heavy traffic.
You will often see epoxy floor coatings in areas like warehouses, industrial facilities, and other areas subject to heavy machinery. Additionally, you are also likely to find epoxy finishes in residential or commercial garages.
2. Polyurethane Floor Coatings
Polyurethane is a type of thermoset polymer, which means it does not melt when heated.
Polyurethane floor coatings are much more soft, elastic, and flexible than other floor coating solutions like epoxy, which makes them a perfect fit for areas with high levels of pedestrian foot traffic, since these properties are not as hard on the body when standing or walking. This floor finish also works well in low-temperature environments and is ideal for busy commercial facilities, freezing chambers, and parking garages.
3. Acrylic Floor Coatings
Acrylic floor coatings have relatively fast curing times and feature a decorative, high-gloss finish. Since this type of concrete floor coating is more decorative than functional, it is best suited for areas that have minimal risk of chemical spills, abrasions, or heavy foot traffic.
Water-based acrylic floor coating may not be as durable as epoxy or polyurethane finishes, but it costs less to install. At the same time, the long-term maintenance cost is higher because these floors need to be recoated and buffed more frequently.
4. Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) Floor Coatings
Methyl methacrylate floor finishes are known for their quick curing time, extreme durability, and versatility. These floor coatings can cure in as little as a couple of hours, are resistant to chemicals and water, and can be installed in low-temperature environments.
MMA concrete coatings can be found on the floors of schools, gymnasiums, food and beverage areas, and retail or manufacturing settings because they provide both durability and aesthetic appeal.
5. Polyaspartic Floor Coatings
While polyaspartic floor finishes are relatively new, they are quickly gaining in popularity among concrete coating products. Polyaspartic floor coatings have extremely fast setting times—while epoxy and polyurethane coating generally requires two applications, polyaspartic coatings only require one coat.
Polyaspartic finishes are suitable for both commercial and retail environments; with their impact and abrasion resistance properties, they are especially popular in areas that are subject to heavy wear and tear, such as driveways, automobile showrooms, warehouses, and garages, or in environments with heavy foot traffic, like malls, shopping centers, and hospitals.
How to Choose a Concrete Floor Finish
The concrete floor finishing market offers a wide variety of options and products—the number of choices can, at times, be overwhelming.
How do you find the most practical, cost-efficient, and effective floor coating solution?
The first step is to remember that these products have different properties that lend themselves better to certain applications. Therefore, you need to consider the factors that are most important to you in a concrete flooring system.
Ask yourself questions such as the following:
- How much foot traffic do you anticipate?
- What environmental conditions does the flooring undergo?
- What is your budget?
- How long can you dedicate to letting the floor coating cure?
- How durable does the floor coating need to be?
- What decorative options are you looking for?
Your answers to these questions will guide you to the most appropriate coating system for your concrete flooring.
Need additional assistance? Ask an experienced floor coating professional to help you decide.
Contact ICS for Your Concrete Floor Coating Needs
ICS has been in the floor coating and polishing business since 1993. Today, we are a leading concrete flooring company based in New England that serves industrial and commercial clients from a variety of fields.
Our team of experienced flooring professionals have the experience and knowledge required to get the best results. Whether you are a general contractor, public company, or private enterprise, ICS can create and install high-quality concrete floor finishes that meet your exact specifications.
Are you ready to get started on a unique, durable, customizable concrete coating solution for your flooring? Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.