When it comes to preparing and finishing a concrete surface, you have plenty of options, from colored stains to polished concrete. It’s vital to understand the various benefits of these choices, so that when you run into a customer who isn’t quite sure what they need for their flooring, you’ll be in the perfect position to advise them on the right solution.
Today, we’re talking all about the benefits of concrete coating systems and breaking down some of the most common types of coatings that you might recommend for installation. Retail stores, warehouses, and schools are all prime candidates for concrete coating projects, but the Runyon Surface Prep team has seen this type of flooring system in numerous other places. Here’s why you should consider putting down a concrete floor coating.
Benefits of a Concrete Floor Coating
1. Easy to Sanitize
The coronavirus pandemic is shining a light on sanitation practices, particularly those employed by institutions like universities, grocery stores, and restaurants. Research shows that hard, smooth surfaces are less likely to harbor pathogens. We expect to see concrete polishing and concrete coatings grow in popularity, thanks to their nonporous finishes. The absence of joints, cracks, and pores makes a concrete floor coating easy to clean and sanitize with the appropriate cleaner.
2. Reduced Maintenance
No flooring system is completely maintenance-free, and concrete coatings will eventually have to be replaced or replenished. However, untreated concrete can be damaged by a whole host of natural forces. To avoid extensive and costly repairs, your concrete surface needs to be protected. A properly prepped and coated floor will last significantly longer than untreated concrete. And regular mopping (already a necessity for many businesses working to comply with safety regulations) will go a long way towards keeping a concrete floor coating clean and in excellent condition.
3. Durable Surface
A concrete floor coating strengthens untreated concrete immensely, enabling it to hold up under both extensive foot traffic and normal stress caused by the operation of heavy machinery. This flooring solution also creates a surface that is resistant to scratches and stains, further minimizing the need for extensive maintenance and repairs.
4. Aesthetic Appeal
When building owners hear the term “concrete,” they may think of a drab, rough surface, appropriate only for use in garages and other less finished areas. But those in the know understand that concrete can actually make quite the beautiful flooring choice. A concrete floor coating can be installed in a variety of colors and patterns, making it appropriate for use across a wide range of settings.
5. Affordable Flooring Option
Coated concrete is more affordable than other interior and exterior flooring choices, such as hardwood or paving stones. On the other hand, untreated concrete is porous and can be damaged—subsequent repairs and replacements can get pricey, fast. A concrete floor coating or other finish can protect your concrete installation and minimize the likelihood of expensive repairs. It may require more cost upfront, but your customer will find their investment well worth it.
Types of Concrete Coatings
Epoxy Floor Coating
Epoxy coatings are resistant to chemicals, abrasion, impacts, and heat. They adhere tightly to concrete, creating an attractive, high-gloss finish. This type of concrete coating can be applied in thin or thick layers. Epoxy floor coatings also create a waterproof surface, which eliminates the risk of mold growth and moisture damage to your flooring.
Traditional epoxy floor coatings do have longer curing times—we’re talking a minimum of a month. They can also yellow over time when exposed to UV light. However, premixed epoxies with faster curing times are hitting the market, allowing contractors to complete projects quicker. Just be sure to do your research when selecting a product to ensure it meets your expectations.
Urethane floor coatings are resistant to chemicals, stains, impacts, and abrasion. They also hold up to UV exposure and maintain their gloss and color more effectively than epoxies. However, urethane coatings are applied more thinly and don’t adhere to concrete nearly as well, making it more difficult to apply over small cracks. In some cases, it may be possible to install an epoxy floor coating system and seal it with a urethane coating.
Acrylic floor coatings come as both water-based and solvent solutions. This type of coating results in a deceivingly thin film that provides UV protection, making it an excellent choice for exterior applications. Acrylic coatings are also a good option for indoor or outdoor areas that see plenty of traffic.
Surface Preparation Supplies, Tools, and Tricks of the Trade From Runyon Surface Prep
Whether you’re installing and repairing concrete coating systems or polishing concrete, you’ll need your fair share of consumables and functioning machinery. We have good advice and industry insight in spades here at Runyon Surface Prep, but we also have the tools and equipment you need to tackle jobs large and small. Even better, we ship most orders as soon as they come in! Feel free to reach out with any questions or needs you may have—we can’t wait to partner with you on your next project.