Concrete coating is a way to protect the underlying flooring from wear while preventing the corrosion of steel reinforcement. In most cases, it can improve the aesthetics of stained concrete, route traffic, indicate traffic aisles, and decorate floors by defining or brightening specific areas.
Knowing the types of concrete coatings and their applications can help you pick the best product for your property.
Epoxy floor systems are composed of a polyamine hardener and epoxy resin mixed before application. When combined, they create a chemical reaction that cross-links their elements while curing, resulting in a rigid and hardened plastic coating that bonds with most base layers.
Epoxy concrete coating is known for its durability, hardness, and impact resistance, making it suitable for heavy-duty applications like logistics centers, warehouses, and industrial facilities. It is also resistant to chemical products like greases, bleach, oils, and cleaners, making them ideal for the automotive industry.
However, the application can be challenging due to the tedious surface preparation required. You must ensure the surface is not damaged or contaminated and is free of grease, solvents, or oils for longevity.
Many acrylic concrete coatings are composed of multiple monomers, such as butyl acrylate, methyl methacrylate, or ethyl acrylate. These components are typically processed in a solvent like water. While acrylic coatings offer mid-range performance and cost, they are not as durable as polyurethane and epoxy and may require frequent recoating and buffing. That makes them more appropriate for decorative concrete surfaces or places with minimal foot traffic and risk of chemical spills or abrasions.
Polyurethane concrete coating may resemble epoxy, but its high impact resistance and stiffness make it suitable for areas with moderate to heavy foot traffic. The increased elasticity and flexibility make it resistant to abrasion and environments with freezing temperatures.
When choosing polyethylene concrete coatings, ensure an environmentally friendly formulation that is VOC-compliant in all 50 states. It should be easy to apply with minimal to no surface prep, even without acid etching.