Are you considering coating your concrete floors with a protective layer? If so, you may wonder which is best: polyurea floor coating or epoxy. Choosing the right material for concrete coating can be overwhelming without knowing all the facts about each option. But don’t worry!
In this post, we’ll break down what each type of coating is so that you can determine which one is right for your home. So keep reading to find out if polyurea or epoxy floor coating is better suited to meet your needs.
What is Polyurea Floor Coating?
Polyurea is a synthetic polymer with properties similar to rubber, making it well-suited for being used as an elastomer.
It is highly customizable and can be adapted to provide greater strength and flexibility in its applications.
This makes polyurea ideal for use as a concrete coating material due to its ability to modify its properties to suit the specific needs of a surface.
What is Epoxy Floor Coating?
Epoxy is a type of polymer resin widely used for concrete coating.
It consists of a combination of resin and hardener, which, when mixed, form an adhesive material that sticks to the surface of the concrete.
Its elasticity makes it resistant to cracking or flaking, while its strong adhesion properties make it durable and long-lasting.
The Differences Between Polyurea vs. Epoxy
When applied to a concrete garage floor, polyurea dries instantly so the product can be evenly spread without lumps or dry patches.
This coating is absorbed into every tiny surface crevice, effectively preventing peeling and cracking.
In addition, a short set time can be expected with this coating – generally ready for people to walk on in just 4-8 hours after application and ready for vehicles in 24 hours – a necessity for businesses that require no downtime.
Furthermore, almost no odor is associated with the installation process due to the low levels of VOCs emitted.
Applying at least two layers is recommended for a garage floor covered in epoxy. Each coat takes between 12 and 48 hours to dry before the next one can be applied, although it may appear ready for use sooner.
Ventilating the room will help speed up this process. However, after the top coat has been added, it is best to avoid pushing your luck and wait a week until you drive your car into the garage.
Additionally, temperature differences must also be taken into account during installation – while polyurea works within a wide range of temperatures (20-140 degrees Fahrenheit), epoxy is only viable between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, thereby limiting the times throughout the year that you can protect your concrete with epoxy.
Epoxy coatings are designed to last only three to five years before requiring a replacement, making them more costly in the long term.
Polyurea has a life expectancy of around 15 years, reducing the need for frequent replacements and saving you time and money.
With its enhanced durability and lasting power, polyurea promises to provide you with a lifetime of service. Ultimately, this means you can count on polyurea for up to ten years more than epoxy.
Epoxy is a popular DIY product that can be purchased from your local hardware store. It usually ranges from $3 to $7 per square foot, with some epoxy coatings costing up to $12.
Polyurea is more expensive than epoxy due to its enhanced durability and long-term performance; a single-bay garage polyurea concrete coating can cost approximately $2,000 or around $7 -$12 per sqft.
Even though it may be pricier upfront, investing in polyurea will provide you with value for money as it lasts longer and yields better results.
With epoxy, this process can take up to five days, causing a great deal of inconvenience for those whose concrete coatings are in an area where time constraints are a factor.
However, polyurea coatings can have a curing period of only one day. So after six hours, you can walk on it, and after 24 hours, you can drive on it.
The curing time will naturally be affected by temperature and humidity; hot temperatures result in faster curing times, whereas higher humidity levels will slow the process down.
These coatings also emit VOCs that give off an odor while curing.
Therefore, with epoxy’s long cure time, the smell of chemicals used in the coating will last much longer than necessary.
In comparison, polyurea dramatically reduces cure time and the accompanying odors.
To maintain a pristine epoxy coating on garage floors, you must remove dirt and grit as soon as possible. In addition, sweeping up chemicals like gasoline, antifreeze, or oil is essential to retain the coating’s appearance.
The best way to clean surfaces is by washing them with hot water, ammonia, and a microfiber mop. Unlike epoxy coatings, polyurea coatings are more resistant to chemical spills, abrasions, and physical impacts; hence there isn’t much worry of damage when removing them.
To keep your floors looking sharp, try wiping off more minor spills with paper towels while mopping with warm water and cleanser for larger messes.
Furthermore, waxing and polishing the surface can add shine, while regular mopping will keep polyurea flawless in the long run.
How long does polyurea floor coating last?
Polyurea floor coating can be highly durable and long-lasting, extending its lifespan to 10 years. A qualified contractor must select a quality product and install it to ensure the best performance and longevity. With proper maintenance, this coating could even last longer.
Is polyurea garage floor worth it?
Polyurea garage floor coatings offer superior resistance to chemicals, stains, abrasion, and UV rays, making them an ideal choice for garages and other high-traffic areas.
Moreover, polyurea coatings are easy to clean and maintain, meaning you won’t have to worry about ongoing upkeep.
If you’re looking for a long-lasting, low-maintenance solution to your garage flooring needs, polyurea is definitely worth the investment.
Can you apply polyurea over epoxy?
Yes, polyurea can be applied over epoxy. It bonds quickly to concrete and other substrates, forming a strong seal that is highly resistant to chemicals, abrasion, and UV radiation.
When used as a topcoat or combination layer, it enhances the performance of epoxy by providing additional protection against wear and tear.
What’s stronger than epoxy?
Polyurea is four times stronger than epoxy and provides 98% more flexibility. Its superior flexibility makes it highly resistant to cracking, chipping, and abrasion, making it an ideal choice for areas prone to heavy foot traffic or frequent contact with chemicals.
Choosing between polyurea and epoxy depends on your specific needs. If you are looking for a quick solution with minimal downtime, polyurea is the best choice, as it cures quickly and requires no special preparation.
It is also more durable than epoxy, making it ideal for areas with paramount durability and chemical resistance. On the other hand, epoxy is more affordable and easier to apply if you are on a tight budget. Ultimately, the decision will depend on your specific needs.