What is the Difference Between Resin and Epoxy Flooring?

Settling on the perfect flooring for your commercial or industrial property is not an easy decision. If you’re hoping to lay resin flooring, you will undoubtedly be interested in the difference between polyurethane and epoxy flooring, two of the most commonly used resin floorings in industrial settings. This post explains the differences between the two and provides a clear idea about which floor is best suited to your property’s needs. 

What is Polyurethane Resin Flooring? 

PMMA and polyurethane are two of the most widely used resin floorings on the market. Polyurethane is generally characterised as an elastic and highly flexible resin flooring surface that is resistant to high heat levels. It’s also resistant to scratches and similar damage, which is why it’s used in areas that experience high foot and vehicle traffic. 

What is Epoxy Flooring? 

Epoxy is another type of resin flooring that is also popular and highly durable. But while polyurethane tends to be elastic, epoxy flooring is much harder and more brittle. Resembling plastic, epoxy protects a floor’s surface from impact, scratches, water, and certain chemicals and is available in a range of sub-types, depending on the industry. 

Polyurethane v Epoxy: The Differences

So, while both polyurethane and epoxy are hard-wearing and durable resin floor options, they have some notable differences that are important to consider. Below are some differences between the two that might impact your decision about which to install at your property: 

Use Cases 

Thanks to its elasticity and receptiveness to heat, polyurethane flooring is best suited to commercial or industrial settings with extreme temperatures and those that experience high foot and vehicle traffic, such as bakeries and car parks. Epoxy resin tends to be used on surfaces within aeroplane hangars, car showrooms, and other warehouses. 

Cure Time 

While both polyurethane and epoxy are classed as thermoset resins, they have notably different cure times once laid. You can expect polyurethane to cure within five days, but epoxy takes anywhere between seven and ten days. 

Installation

Polyurethane is extremely sensitive to humidity and is one of the most challenging resins to work with. As such, it’s important to budget for the labour of a skilled resin floor installer to help you, which can hike the cost. Epoxy, on the other hand, is easier to install and less susceptible to humidity. 

Cost

Although not as expensive as PMMA, polyurethane is likely to fetch a mid-to-high price, particularly when the cost of labour for installation is considered. On the other hand, epoxy tends to be at the cheaper end of resin flooring prices, making it an attractive choice for many.

Repair and Maintenance 

If either polyurethane or epoxy flooring is damaged, it will need to be entirely removed and replaced, which is one of the drawbacks of thermoset resins. Equally, both surfaces need to be regularly cleaned and maintained, and staff will need to implement bespoke cleaning strategies to ensure the resin flooring is well maintained. 

Final thoughts 

Polyurethane and epoxy are both hard-wearing and durable resin flooring options for commercial and industrial properties, but they have notable differences that are worthy of your considerations. Hopefully, this short guide has helped you identify the main differences between polyurethane and epoxy flooring and has enabled you to settle on the ideal surface for your property.