Flooring Options – Epoxy versus Polyaspartic

Choosing the “right” coating to coat a concrete floor is critical.  The right selection could add more life to the process with less maintenance, while picking a wrong one could lead to significant problems, including total failure.  These days there is a lot of discussion about the two most popular coatings available – epoxy and polyaspartic.  Both have significant qualities and many installers have chosen one or the other and say “Ours is Best!”  

You might think that since our name is Columbus EPOXY Coatings that we believe that epoxy is the best choice, period.  So, you might be surprised to hear that our view is: IT DEPENDS!  Each coating has its benefits and each can do a great job – with long life, slip-proofing and all the other qualities that a customer want.  

We Do Our Homework BEFORE Recommending a Coating Type 

Frankly, some installers are more interested in getting to a payday as fast as possible, avoiding the time and expense for the appropriate necessary to understand different types of coatings, specifications and purpose. Instead, one type of coating is chosen for every job.  Some product suppliers support this practice. A minority or product suppliers may offer “a one solution fits all” product to sell more product while their unsuspecting contractor client (often new to the trade) lose credibility and long-term, repeat business. 

Our view is different, we care enough to do our “homework” thoroughly.  We believe that our customers don’t care what coating we install as long as it’s the very best choice to meet their specific needs.  Before we recommend anything, we do a complete on-site analysis and ask a lot of questions to find out HOW your space is used and WHAT types of conditions the coating has to withstand.  

Our reputation and the trust we’ve earned with repeat customers is paramount to our foundation.  It’s a lot more important for us to be thorough and give each customer the right product/installation than it is to make a “quick buck.”   We understand that long-term quality equates to increased, long-term relationships and revenue. 

We study any and all coatings as they come on the market to make sure that we know which coatings are better suited for different environments.  Knowing how the space will be used – including cleaning - is an integral part of installing an efficient and effective coating. 

Surface Preparation

Surface preparation prior to applying a coating is one of many critical elements required for a good installation -, regardless of what type of coating is to be applied - for a successful installation. It’s imperative to ensure that the surface is profiled and ready to accept and ensure bond regardless of the coating is to be applied.  

Once we take the steps necessary to mechanically prepare the floor thoroughly, the installation will move forward.  We have the ability, technology, and trained crew to efficiently prepare floors prior to coating and to follow all the steps needed to provide the best results with minimal dust.  

Epoxy and Urethane Coating Systems vs. Polyaspartic Technology

Epoxy and Urethane Coatings

Epoxy and other resinous coatings normally consist of two elements: epoxy resin and a hardener, a catalyst that causes a chemical reaction that creates cross-linking of the elements as it cures. After the epoxy coating is applied, it is allowed to set up or cure.  A coating process will most often consist of 3 separate coats of varying types of product suitable for the environment. 

A typical installation normally requires a covers a 3-day process period for full curing. The result is a durable, tough plastic coating that provides durability, long life and which while resisting abrasion, impact, and chemicals.  


Primary Uses

Epoxy floor and resinous coatings are used, along with various resinous fillings on minor gouges and cracks, to extend the life of concrete floors in warehouses, logistic centers and other locations that are subjected to lift truck and other light traffic as well as medium to heavy foot traffic. These coatings have the ability to stand up very well to chemicals, oils, and cleaners.  Additionally, Novolac epoxies can even guard against sulfuric acids commonly found in battery changing stations

A specific variant - fusion bonded epoxy coating technology – provides corrosion resistant which makes it very popular in oil/gas and water/wastewater usage to protect pipelines from corrosion. 

Because this coating provides two layers of protection, it is more tightly cross-linked and less permeable, offering excellent substrate protection, chemical resistance, and hardness for heavy industrial and environments where industrial acids are used in industrial processes. 

However, organic acids, like nitric acid, which is used in food production, can damage epoxy and urethane coatings.

Polyaspartic Coatings 

Polyaspartic coatings is a are a relatively new technology, a hybrid coating type that has become very due to the speed of its curing process.  Polyaspartics often provide an excellent top-coat.

This technology offers very good color and gloss retention. It performs well as a top- coat while providing better versatility to lower temperature cure cycles.  Polyaspartics are also UV stabile. 

Primary Uses

It is used for exterior concrete where faster installations are required.

Quicker Drying Time and Other Benefits

Polyaspartic coatings have become popular because the base chemistry can be manipulated to suit varying applications - quick cure times help provide for a faster installation turnaround, time resulting in less downtime to a customer. 

Summary

The choice of coatings is a major consideration in how we will quote and plan the job.  The coating type we recommend will be the best choice for durability and long service life.  We don’t just do the quickest and cheapest work, our work is designed to stand the test of time and use.

Various coating technologies have their place and Columbus Epoxy Flooring will recommend the best system in terms of durability, resistance to traffic, chemicals, cleaning and cost effectiveness.  We work hard at finding the right solution because our customers depend on us and we appreciate and depend on them!