There are numerous factors that can influence your choice of surface coating. Is your project taking place outdoors? Or, is it indoors in a low key, residential environment? What about projected foot traffic? Your budget? Of course, you’re likely already considering some of these questions.

The truth is that, while there are only a handful of coating types to choose from, there are multitudes of ways to mix and apply them. For now, we’ll keep things simple as we dive into the scenarios and details that should influence your choice of floor coating as well as some benefits of each primary coating type.

Exterior and Interior Projects

Ultraviolet resistance is something you may not have thought about going into this venture. But UV rays can have serious effects on your surface coating. While interior surface prep jobs, especially residential, may benefit just fine from standard coating options, surfaces that regularly see the light of day should be given UV resistant coating like the Key Resin Epoxy Resin #514 or the Spartacote Flex Pure Clear Kit.

If, however, you’re in an environment with serious cold streaks and you need a coating that can withstand freezing temperatures (especially upon installation), you’ll want to go with polyaspartic coatings as epoxy resin and polyurethane have curing issues in extremely cold or hot weather.

When High-Traffic or Abrasion Come into Play

It’s important to choose durable coatings for surfaces with high foot traffic and regular abrasion. Auto repair shops, for example, experience everyday oil and chemical spillage and heavy equipment movement. Property owners of such establishments are encouraged to avoid cheaper alternatives like a simple layer of paint and, instead, use polyurethane coatings to top their initial coat. Not only do polyurethane coatings hold up to intense wear and tear, but they will help the environment give off a more professional, sleek aesthetic. 

That said, you should know that epoxy resin coatings bond well with concrete floors. So while it may be tempting to avoid epoxy resin as your initial coat, doubling up with epoxy and polyurethane will give you the best of both worlds. 

So, What About Cost?

Of course, cost is among the most influential factors when it comes to renovations like surface preparation – after all, you’re likely paying for more than just the coating and you have a budget to consider. But before diving into which coating is the cheaper option, you should take a minute to ask yourself: Do I want to save money in the short-term or the long-term? 

If, for example, you’re coating a surface for a large warehouse that will demand a significant labor and equipment rental bill, it can be tempting to go with the cheaper option. However, shutting down your operation every few years to replace a cheaper option can push you or the business owner into a vicious cycle. Topping your surface with polyurethane, in this case, may be a slightly more expensive option up front but you may find that the longevity comes with its perks.

Polyaspartic Vs. Epoxy and Polyurethane

At first glance, you’ll notice that these three types of coatings have the potential to provide similar benefits (keeping in mind the differences already noted between epoxy and polyurethane). Note, though, that one major benefit to polyaspartic coatings, as opposed to the other two, is their quick curing process. 

So, returning to the warehouse flooring illustration: if you were to shut down a 24-hour/7-day operation for a whole weekend to coat your floor, how many hours of labor and production are you missing out on? With polyaspartic, it’s possible to have things up and running in just a day. Additionally, while it’s recommended to use polyurethane strictly as a topcoat, polyaspartic may be used for the full coating installation.

Don’t Shy Away from Epoxy Resin if it’s Right for Your Project

This post has put a bit more focus on what the polyaspartic and polyurethane coats and topcoats can do for your surface, but it should be emphasized that epoxy resin floor coatings are perfectly sufficient options. In fact, one great benefit to epoxy: it provides your project with an opportunity for design flexibility – which is great for businesses looking to wow their guests or emphasize their company brand.

Runyon Surface Prep – Coating and Equipment for a Wide Range of Needs

Curious to learn more? Runyon is a full-service sales and rental facility with products ranging from heavy-duty surface prep equipment to the most basic accessories. Whether you’re removing old flooring, polishing concrete for a new build, or recoating your surface, our extensive catalog of products is sure to have what you need. Call today or reach out online to connect with a representative.