Concrete Floor Coatings: Which One To Use

If you are planning to treat your floor for safety reasons, or for pure aesthetics, you have several choices of different concrete floor coatings to choose from. The key to a long lasting job is to make sure that you use the product which is best suited for your particular application. That is, if you are only interested in applying a coating which will help with slippage and it only has to hold up to foot traffic then you will choose one particular type of coating. On the other hand, if you need to protect a floor that is driven on by heavy equipment, trucks, or forklifts then you will want a thick, tough coating to stand up to the stress and strain. Don’t short circuit your project by choosing the wrong coating.

Acrylic Concrete Floor Coatings

An acrylic floor coating is a water based product that is low odor and requires no mixing generally. You can apply it right out of the can. Application is with a brush or a roller and since it is water based the clean up is a snap. The downside is this product is mostly used for foot traffic as it will not stand up to vehicular traffic for very long.

Water Based Epoxy Concrete Floor Coatings

This is a two-part epoxy that is more durable than the acrylic coating. You can apply this product on your concrete floor with a sprayer, brush, or roller. For a thick coating, use a long nap roller and apply it liberally. Once mixed, the application time is from 6 to 8 hours. That means, you have this much time to work with the mixture before it sets up. This is generally considered a low-odor product but it may not be VOC (volatile organic compound) compliant in all localities. It can usually support foot traffic in about 16 hours and full strength is achieved after 72 hours depending on the ambient temperature and humidity.

Heavy Duty Epoxy Concrete Floor Coatings

The next step up from a water based epoxy is a two part system comprised of a resin and hardener. This epoxy concrete floor coating can be spread on quite thick to offer added protection. Use a brush, roller , or sprayer but if you use the sprayer you will have to apply several coats. The application time for this material is 20 to 30 minutes but depending on the temperature it can be even shorter so you have to work fast before it starts to clump up.
Usually, this heavy duty epoxy will support foot traffic within about 24 hours. It is fully hardened in three to four days but if the temperature is hot you should wait a week before turning steering tires on the surface or you may experience “hot tire pickup”. Also, this epoxy can be degraded by the UV rays of the Sun so it should not be used out of doors.

Polyurea Concrete Floor Coatings

This coating is very tough and often times succeeds where lesser coatings have failed. Polyurea is chemical, heat, UV and abrasion resistant. It is a two-part system that offers very quick cure times. Like the other coatings it can be applied with a roller or sprayer but you can also pour the mixture out and use a squeegee for a thicker application. This material can be used in a wide range of temperatures from about -20 deg F to 100 deg F as long as the concrete surface that you are going to apply it on is dry. Application time is approximately one hour after mixing. It is foot traffic ready in about 6 hours and cures fully in about two days.
When choosing concrete floor coatings your choices are based on the use of the floor you are going to coat. For light foot traffic an acrylic will work fine but for heavier traffic including machinery you will want to choose and epoxy or polyurea.

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1 Comment for “Concrete Floor Coatings: Which One To Use”

  1. This is a very useful content to choose concrete floor coatings.

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Are you looking for up to date information on Garages, Floors, and Coatings? If so, this is the place you need to be.

This site came about one day because I was looking for the Best Floor Coating to install in my garage. I just couldn’t find any good information that would help me to make a decision.

I was complaining about the lack of a good site and so I decided to just do it my self. This is the result. A place where you can get unbiased answers and ask questions. I hope you find it useful.

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