Epoxy Flooring Versus Polyurethane Flooring

Epoxy and polyurethane flooring are becoming popular choices for many business owners due to the many benefits they offer. However, both types of flooring have unique pros and cons, so it can be challenging to decide on the best option for your business. This article will compare epoxy versus polyurethane flooring in a commercial setting to help you determine what type of flooring is best for you.

What is Epoxy Flooring?

Epoxy is a synthetic resin composed of two components: an epoxy resin and a hardener. When these two components combine, they form an extremely tough and durable compound. As a result, epoxy flooring is often chosen for commercial settings as it is highly resistant to wear and chemical and water spills.

Polyurethane industrial flooring

What is Polyurethane Flooring?

Polyurethane flooring is a coating applied to the flooring to protect it and give it a high-quality finish. There are two main types of polyurethane flooring: solvent-based and water-based. Solvent-based polyurethane flooring is more durable and resistant to scratches than water-based, but it can be harmful to the environment and may contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds). On the other hand, water-based polyurethane flooring is less durable but safer for the environment.

Benefits of Epoxy and Polyurethane

Both epoxy and polyurethane flooring have many benefits that can be beneficial for businesses.

Epoxy Pros

Price

Epoxy flooring is the slightly less expensive option of the two types of flooring. It tends to be cheaper because it is a more straightforward product to manufacture and easier to install.

Durability

Epoxy cures as a harder surface and is less prone to scratches, scuffs, and dents. It can also withstand high traffic and has a much greater compression strength, making it ideal for industries that use heavy machinery.

Chemical Resistance

Epoxy has a high resistance to many harsh chemicals, making it an ideal option for businesses that deal with certain hazardous materials, such as those found in pharmaceutical manufacturing or laboratories.

Humidity Resistance

Epoxy is less sensitive to humidity changes than polyurethane, making it a good option for businesses with high or low humidity levels.

Polyurethane Pros

Flexibility

Polyurethane flooring is more flexible than epoxy flooring. Its more elastic nature makes it highly resistant to abrasion and impacts and dramatically improves its overall durability.

Fast Curing

Polyurethane is known for its fast curing time. Most coatings will be dry to the touch within 2-4 hours and completely cured within 24-48 hours, making it ideal for businesses that need a quick turnaround.

Abrasion Resistance

Polyurethane flooring has high abrasion resistance. As a result, it is better suited for businesses that require a floor coating that can withstand heavy wear and impacts.

UV Stability

Polyurethane is known for its UV stability, meaning that it will not fade or discolour in sunlight. As a result, businesses with a lot of natural light in their environment, such as a retail shop or office with large windows, will find this valuable.

Extreme Temperatures

Polyurethane flooring is resistant to fluctuating temperatures, an essential quality for commercial environments where there can be extremely hot or cold conditions. One example is a commercial kitchen where the flooring needs to withstand the heat of ovens and stoves and the cold of walk-in freezers.

Similarities of Epoxy and Polyurethane Flooring

Both epoxy and polyurethane flooring share some similar qualities, which make them good choices for businesses:

Slip Resistance

One benefit that both epoxy and polyurethane flooring share is their high slip resistance. It is crucial to have a floor coating in a busy business environment that will not cause people to slip and fall.

Aesthetics

Epoxy and polyurethane flooring come in various colours and finishes, so you can choose the one that best suits your business’s aesthetics. It is possible to completely customise the design and appearance of both types of flooring.

Protection

Epoxy and polyurethane flooring guard against moisture, chemicals, and other contaminants, helping to keep your business’s flooring safe and protected from damage.

Minimal Maintenance

Both epoxy and polyurethane flooring require minimal maintenance to keep them looking their best. In most cases, regular sweeping and mopping with a damp cloth will be sufficient to keep the flooring clean. However, if standard cleaning fails to remove dirt and grime, they can also withstand more rigorous steam cleaning and pressure washing processes.

Long Lifespan

With proper care and maintenance, both epoxy and polyurethane floors can last for many years, making them an excellent investment for businesses.

Polyurethane Resin Flooring vs Epoxy Flooring

Though they share many benefits, there are also some key differences between epoxy and polyurethane flooring. These differences include:

Composition

Epoxy flooring comprises 100% solids, while polyurethane flooring does not, making epoxy more resistant to shrinking, cracking, and peeling. It also has a higher resistance to moisture and chemicals.

Curing Time

Polyurethane flooring has a much shorter curing time than epoxy and can be completely cured within 24-48 hours, making it ideal for businesses that need to be up and running again quickly. On the other hand, epoxy flooring can take up to several days to cure completely.

Chemical Resistance

While both flooring types offer chemical resistance, they are resistant to different substances. For example, polyurethane flooring is known for being resistant to natural chemicals like lactic acid, making it the best choice for industries such as food processing, especially those handling dairy. On the other hand, epoxy is resistant to strong corrosives, such as sulphuric acid.

Installation

The application process of polyurethane is more challenging than epoxy. In addition, it can be severely affected by humidity and temperature, which can cause it to dry too quickly and make it susceptible to air bubbles. Epoxy flooring is much easier to install as it is a slower-drying material and less affected by the environment.

Which is Better: Epoxy Flooring or Polyurethane Flooring?

The type of flooring you choose will depend on your business’s specific needs and challenges. For instance, epoxy is better for protecting against moisture or corrosive substances. At the same time, polyurethane is ideal if you need a floor coating that cures quickly and is resistant to extreme temperatures. Ultimately, the best flooring type for your business will depend on your requirements.

Contact Us

If you would like to learn more about epoxy or polyurethane flooring, or if you need help deciding which type of flooring is right for your business, contact us today. We would be happy to answer any of your questions and help you choose the right resin flooring for your needs.