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The difference between Polyurethane and Epoxy Flooring

Choosing the right resin flooring system for the job can sometimes be confusing.

Epoxy and polyurethane floors are two of the most commonly used types of resin flooring.

One question that we hear often is ‘what are the differences between Polyurethane and Epoxy Flooring, and when should we pick one over the other?’.

We have created the blog below to help you differentiate between the two and make an informed decision about when to use them.

While each flooring system offers many benefits, not all flooring systems are appropriate for all environments. Therefore, it helps to consider the space the user will be using and the overall facility demands.

  1. Epoxy Floors are usually harder than polyurethanes

Firstly, epoxy floors are usually harder than polyurethanes. This means they have a higher compressive and impact strength making them durable in heavy duty industries.

Epoxy floors are favoured in:

  • Warehouses
  • Heavy industries
  • Logistics centres
  • Industries with heavy forklift traffic

Polyurethane floors tend to be softer and more elastic, making them more resistant to scratching, as their elasticity tends to absorb some of the impact. This makes polyurethanes a good choice for food factories where the storage temperature can reach -30 degrees or in car parks as the elastic coating can act as a waterproofing.

Polyurethane floors are favoured in:

  • Places with foot traffic
  • Car parks
  • Food factories

2. Epoxy floors and polyurethane floors react differently to different chemicals

Epoxy and polyurethane flooring react differently to different chemicals they are exposed to. This makes polyurethanes the favoured choice in food industries that have contact with lactic acids. Epoxy flooring under these conditions could turn yellow in colour and could even experience corrosion.

Epoxy floors are more suited to industries which have exposure to sulfuric acids as epoxy flooring is more resistant than polyurethane.

 3. Polyurethane is much more sensitive to humidity

Polyurethane flooring is particularly sensitive to humidity. Although epoxy resins are also sensitive to moisture, the damage will be far more limited to some discolouration or blushing. This means, in industries where humidity could be a factor, epoxy is the safer choice.

Both epoxy and polyurethane floors are available with many customisable and decorative options. An experienced industrial flooring specialist can help you determine which floor is the right solution for your specific environment. So, get in touch with our team today, who will give you advice on the best flooring for your next project.

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