Are you in the midst of deciding which coating to use for your floors? With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one.
Two popular choices are epoxy and polyaspartic coatings. But how do they compare?
In this blog post, we’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of both epoxy and polyaspartic coatings to help you determine which is best suited for your flooring needs. So let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
Properties of Polyaspartic
Polyaspartics exhibit the beneficial properties of both epoxy and polyurethanes. Here is a detailed analysis of the properties of polyaspartics:
1. Fast curing
They can cure at a faster rate compared to epoxies. After 2 to 3 hours of application, the floor gets cured And after about 12-24 hours of application, the floor is actually ready to use and operate on.
But the downside of this is that you need to be a real expert or a professional when it comes to the application of these.
Since the curing time is fast, there is no time to mess things up and correct them.
This type of flooring is suitable if you are really in a hurry to make your floor ready for operations in a faster span (like hotels, restaurants, and hospitals).
Apart from that it also reduces the total working hours of laborers from the operational standpoint of a contractor.
People mostly experience some kind of peeling problem when it comes to polyaspartic because of its faster curing time. But the real culprit here is the surface on which it was applied.
The surface has to be ground and cleaned properly before applying it. However, applying it on a surface that is way too glossy or that had not been cleaned can eventually result in peeling problems.
2. No Bubbling
As an effect of its fast curing time, this doesn’t form bubbles as there is not enough time to form one.
It greatly reduces the risk of bubbling and also reduces the chances of degassing.
Also make sure that the substrate or the floor on which you apply the polyaspartic is well-ground, polished, and maintained to stay free of bubbles and eliminate the risk of forming them.
It is always recommended to apply a primer no matter what. But, polyaspartics have an amazingly self-priming property and form a strong bond with the concrete.
4. Scratch resistant
Epoxy flooring is durable, glossy, and tough but due to its glossiness, it is prone to getting scratches.
Whereas on the other hand, polyaspartics are tough and they are equally good in resistance to scratches.
But they are not as glossy or shiny as epoxies.
5. UV Resistance
Polyaspartics can be applied both indoors and outdoors.
Because they don’t turn yellow over time like the epoxies.
And they are resistant to chalking and weathering. They are also extremely resistant to UV rays and make a great coating material on top of any kind of surface.
6. Withstand low temperatures
It can withstand even freezing temperatures whereas the same cannot be achieved with epoxy.
Though they make a good flooring material for low temperatures make sure the area isn’t humid or moist.
Polyaspartics doesn’t work great in moist conditions. If it’s a low-temperature area, make sure it is dry at the same time. For eg: Frozen or the freezer section
Properties of Epoxy
Epoxy is not a cheaper alternative to tile or concrete. It is basically a protectant that is used to extend the life of your floors and it has its own properties. Here are some:
1. Protection of concrete
Having a mere concrete floor can cause a lot of damage to it over time. It can grab in dust particles, break or crack. But with a coating of substance like epoxy, it strengthens and the epoxy completely protects the concrete underneath.
2. Easy to clean
It is easy to clean up water, oil, or other chemical mess or spills if there is epoxy flooring. That is why it is quite common to see epoxy flooring in workshops, garages, and other places where these liquids are mainly dealt with.
With epoxy it is very easy and convenient to not just clean but also the spills don’t create any stains on the floor, protecting its luster and shine for an extended period of years.
3. Greater Acceptance
Epoxy flooring is approved by most of the industrial sector including the food manufacturing facilities, agricultural storage facilities, wineries, and even pharmaceutical sectors where stringent policies and regulations are imparted to maintain guidelines.
Since epoxy flooring is well-approved even in these businesses or companies, it is safer to use epoxy than to experiment with anything new.
With epoxy, you can play around with various aesthetics and decorative aspects to create amazing designs and floors.
5. Not great for high temperature
It turns yellow over time and is not resistant to UV rays. Thus mere epoxy coating is not suitable for garage floors. However, an epoxy primer or an epoxy coating protected by a polyaspartic will work great.
If you are looking to apply epoxy to your garage floor, the main reason why people do not prefer epoxy is the exposure to UV rays in the garage affecting the epoxy.
6. Not Flexible
Epoxy flooring is prone to peeling and getting stuck to hot tires if the temperature of the flooring is high. Since epoxy is not that flexible it doesn’t stretch, expand or contract on temperature changes.
Thus they can easily peel off since the bonds are broken off.
7. Slow curing
epoxy takes a longer time to settle which strengthens the bond between epoxy and the concrete making it more durable.
The greater settling time also gives a good amount of time for the construction workers to correct any mistakes made and make it to perfection.
Where to use Epoxy
Epoxy on the whole is a great material but not great for outdoor usage like garages or for places where they can be frequent temperature changes.
Places where the floor is exposed to sunlight, or snow are not great too. So, it is best to use epoxy flooring for flooring without sunlight exposure, or constant temperature change.
If you are going with epoxy, then it is highly recommended to use an epoxy vapor barrier. Because one of the leading causes of the breaking of concrete is the moisture coming through the concrete making the bonding with the concrete weaker.
But with the epoxy vapor barrier, the moisture content is a barrier or is prevented from getting evaporated
Where to use polyaspartic
This is best suitable for outdoor usage since it can withstand temperature changes. It is quite flexible to temperature change and doesn’t change color.
Also, it bonds nicely with the concrete making it a suitable choice for garage floors and other outdoor flooring.
But make sure it is not exposed to moisture or an area where it is humid with moisture content or a wet surface.
Usually, the much-preferred coating layer is to coat your garage with epoxy, then cover it with chips and a layer of clear epoxy. Now to prevent the clear epoxy from turning yellow, apply a coating of polyaspartic over it.
After comparing the characteristics of epoxy and polyaspartic coatings, it is clear that both have their own unique advantages and disadvantages.
Ultimately, when choosing between epoxy vs polyaspartic coating for your floors, it depends on your specific needs and budget.
Consider your flooring requirements in terms of durability, aesthetics, maintenance needs as well as how much you’re willing to spend.
Regardless of which coating you choose for your floors – whether it’s an epoxy floor coating or polyaspartic floor coating – make sure to hire experienced professionals who can properly install the product so that you get optimal results.