While most homeowners and property owners are familiar with epoxy floor coatings or floor paints, they may not know that this catch-all term doesn’t actually capture the many nuances of floor coating options.
That’s because not every floor coating is epoxy, and in fact, epoxy is not always the best option for your concrete floor!
Polyaspartic floor coatings are a compelling alternative to epoxy for a variety of reasons. Understanding the differences between polyaspartic and epoxy concrete floor coatings can give you a better understanding of the best concrete application for your project.
Let’s take a closer look at epoxy vs polyaspartic.
Epoxy Versus Polyaspartic Concrete Floor Coatings
Epoxy and polyaspartic coatings each have their benefits and drawbacks. Here’s the full story on what, why, and how to choose the right floor coating.
Epoxy Floor Coating Basics and Benefits
Epoxy is a resinous, two-part coating material that is clear unless tinted or otherwise colored. Epoxy is durable, dries extremely hard, and is commonly used on concrete.
Epoxy is commonly used in industrial and manufacturing settings to create cleaner, safer, and durable flooring, protecting bare concrete from gouges or scratching.
Epoxy does not absorb stains or bacteria, and it can be used in applications beyond floors too. Epoxy coatings are great for crafting, casts, and today are even being used to coat or create countertops! Epoxy can go on quite thick, making it great for embedding fun additions in epoxy countertops or coffee tables – you’ve probably seen the many DIY crafts on Youtube or social media, where craftspeople make all kinds of things with epoxy.
Epoxy Floor Coating Drawbacks
Epoxy does, however, have some drawbacks in certain settings.
Epoxy is incredibly hard and inflexible, great for surfaces where you don’t want it to wear through. But in spaces where there is no climate controlling, the contraction and expansion of concrete through the seasons can result in delamination or broken bonds between the concrete and epoxy, and the epoxy eventually cracking or breaking. This can ultimately reduce the intended durability of epoxy.
For interior, climate-controlled spaces like basements, this isn’t an issue. But for garages or indoor/outdoor spaces, it can cause problems with time.
Additionally, hot tires entering a garage space over many years can also contribute to this debonding problem with epoxy in garages.
Most epoxies are also not ultraviolet (UV) stable, which means they can begin to yellow and fade with sunlight exposure over many years. This is not ideal inside picture windows or outdoors where UV exposure is an issue.
We are frequently called to homes where epoxy garage floor coatings have worn away, the homeowner is unhappy, and they’re looking for professional help repairing or replacing the coating. We can often see immediately where and why the issue is occurring: right where tires sit repeatedly over many years. Our general choice for indoor/outdoor spaces like garages is polyaspartic coatings for this reason.
Polyaspartic Floor Coating Basics and Benefits
Polyaspartic floor coatings are similar in appearance and application to epoxy, but these coatings are made from polyurea, a substance that comes from urethane. They are formulated to be more flexible than epoxy and are 100% UV stable, meaning they will not yellow from exposure to the sun.
Polyaspartic coatings have a higher strength with a thinner application; they are generally not applied as thickly as epoxy, but can create durability on par with epoxy. With greater flexibility than epoxy, polyaspartic coatings won’t chip or delaminate as readily either.
Polyaspartic coatings are much more heat- and cold-resistant, as well as salt-resistant and chemical-resistant, which is great for indoor/outdoor settings like garages or commercial warehouses.
Polyaspartic coatings can be used outdoors, including pool areas, patios, walkways, multi-use industrial or commercial spaces, and other versatile spaces.
Broadly speaking, polyaspartic coatings are an improvement over epoxy floor coatings.
Polyaspartic Floor Coating Drawbacks
Polyaspartic coatings cannot be applied in a thick layer, generally kept to a ⅛ thick coating or less. For extremely high abuse settings and locations with constant machine traffic like forklifts, this may not be ideal
Final Thoughts on Polyaspartic Coatings Vs Epoxy Coatings
When it comes to choosing between polyaspartic floor coatings and epoxy, here are some simple criteria to follow.
- For most floor locations that will be exposed to cold weather and elements (like garages or barn floors), a polyaspartic coating is the superior choice. It will resist delamination due to its inherent flexibility, provide similar durability to epoxy, resist chemicals and salt, and won’t yellow from exposure to sunlight.
- For interior, climate-controlled flooring like concrete basement floors, epoxy is a fine option, providing great durability, easy cleaning, and will last for years to come.
- For heavy-duty industrial spaces that are climate-controlled, we will also often deploy an epoxy floor coating.
Get a Free Floor Coating Quote
Every space is different, and we’d love to help you decide on the right floor coating for your home or business. We’ve been applying and servicing epoxy and polyaspartic floors for years, and our team of professionals can help you get the right solution for your space at the right price – guaranteed.
Call today, or fill out our Contact form, to schedule a free appointment and to learn more.