Epoxy floors have the great advantage of being very resilient and hardwearing. They are also a long lasting floor coating system by providing build thickness. However, in most cases, the best results come from an epoxy floor with the addition of a thin-film polyurethane topcoat. This is because a polyurethane topcoat can enhance your floor with a number of unique properties. Read on to learn more.
You Need More Than Just An Epoxy Floor Coating
The kits you find in DIY home improvement stories often consist of relatively inexpensive, low solids, water-based epoxies. It is not surprising toread user reviews sayingthey are not durable and turn yellow over time. While these DIY products usually make functional primers and basecoats, they will never achieve the finish coat properties of a top-grade, polyurethane. An epoxy coating, in this case, is just does not meet the quality required. The absence of a high-performance urethane topcoat, or improper concrete preparation are often the two most frequest reasons for concrete floor failure.
The Right Topcoat Makes All the Difference
A polyurethane topcoat adds scratch resistance, gloss retention, yelowing resistance and easier cleanability to an epoxy floor coating system. Additionally, fine aggregate additives made from silica sand, aluminum oxide, or even spherical glass bead can be stirred into the urethane topcoat to add significant slip and wear-resistance while maintaining easy cleanability. These also hide minor imperfections in the concrete substrate, especially if a satin finish urethane is used.
With polymer floor coatings, unique needs and circumstances dictate the best grouping of primers, basecoats and topcoats. There is an extensive list of polymer flooring choices, such as vinyl esters, novalac epoxies, urethane concrete, ESD coatings, epoxy or polyurethane mortars. These are typically used in industrial areas with very specific requirements and not found in DIY home improvement stores.