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Epoxy vs Polyurethane Flooring

Which one should you choose for your project?

The Epoxy vs Polyurethane debate is a subject that can be quite confusing for most applicators and facility managers. Often both types of products are pitched as suitable solutions for floor products.

Furthermore the term epoxy floor is often used interchangeably to include both epoxy and polyurethane coatings.  This leads to even more confusion in the epoxy vs polyurethane discussion.

Customers often ask to see pictures of the two floors, so that they can understand the differences. Unfortunately, unless you are an experienced professional in the field, telling the two types of floor apart is quite difficult.
Below we have listed the key advantages of one floor system over the other. If you want to further discuss your project, please contact us.

Epoxy Floor Coatings have the following advantages over PU

• Epoxy bonds better to concrete. This is why we always recommend epoxy based primers

• More versatility in achieving desired colours and high gloss levels

• An Epoxy based coating is less sensitive to moisture and contamination. ( A little extra moisture in epoxy may cause some blushing. With polyurethane you can get a large bubbly reaction)

• Another advantage of epoxy floor coatings is that they are easier to apply. This is especially the case if you are an inexperienced applicator.

• Epoxy (mixed with the right aggregates) can form a very hard and impact resistant surface.

• Common application fields of epoxy floors include factories, workshops and warehouses

Polyurethane (PU) Floor Coatings have the following advantages

Aliphatic PU Floor Coatings are UV resistant. This makes it possible to use them for outdoor areas exposed to sunlight. Common applications are decks, car parks, terrces and beach bars (not all polyurethane floor coatings however are UV resistant)

• Also polyurethane based coatings tend to be more elastic and flexible. This is a common need in multi storey car parks. The additional elasticity gives the floor waterproofing and crack bridging properties.

• A significant advantage of polyurethane floors is that they have a better resistance to scratching. This is because their elastic texture can absorb some impact.

• PU tends to have a softer, more rubbery texture. This makes the floor warmer and friendlier for areas that have heavy foot traffic. Examples of such facilities are retail stores, gyms, schools and hospitals

• These products can also be used in  floors for freezing chambers where temperatures reach -30 degrees Celsius

• PU based floorings are often used in dairy production. Polyurethane coatings have a better resistance to lactic acids

So after studying the above, have you come any closer to deciding? If you want to learn more about the subject have a look at this video for epoxy vs polyurethane flooring!

Rapidcure Primer

Epoxy Primer on Concrete

Grey Epoxy floor in corridor

A Glossy Self Leveling Epoxy Floor

UV Resistant Floor Coating

PU Coating applied on a terrace

Ktisopur SL applied in a freezing chamber

PU Coating in a freezing chamber