At Reepol, we offer a wide range of resin-based flooring products – but how do you know which is right for your business? Especially when it comes to the choice between the two most commonly used types of resin – epoxy and polyurethane?
Both of these materials come with their own characteristics and strengths and both are suited to different industries and applications. They do however, share some key characteristics – both Epoxy and PU floor solutions are durable, hard wearing and provide waterproofing while also protecting your concrete floor from a whole range of damage and dirt.
Those are the similarities, but what are the differences between the two?
Generally, a polyurethane floor coating is highly flexible and elastic, while epoxy flooring is harder and more brittle. This makes polyurethane coatings more resistant to scratches and similar damage and is why you’ll often find urethane resin floors in heavy traffic areas – such as multi-storey car parks. This extra flexibility also makes them desirable for applications in extreme temperature situations as the flooring can expand and contract with the changes in temperature – preventing cracks from occurring.
While both epoxy resin and urethane resin floor coatings are chemical resistant, they are resistant in different ways. For example, polyurethane systems are more resistant to natural chemicals such as lactic acid. It is this kind of resistance that makes polyurethane flooring popular in food processing environments – especially those dealing with dairy products. If an epoxy floor is exposed to lactic acid it will often experience a degree of corrosion and yellowing. Epoxy, however, offers far better protection against strong artificial corrosives such as sulphuric acid.
If you are looking to repair existing concrete flooring then both polyurethane and epoxy solutions offer their own solutions. As a thinner compound, epoxy can be used to fill cracks in concrete, while more flexible polyurethane flooring compounds are ideal for bridging gaps and cracks in an existing substrate.
When it comes to installation, PU flooring options are extremely sensitive to humidity. If attacked by moisture, a curing urethane coating can be completely ruined – making it imperative that the area stays dry while being installed. Epoxy resin flooring can also be affected by water during the application process, but to a far lesser degree – making it more suitable for areas impacted by moisture. The installation and curing times vary massively between the two options. A multicoat polyurethane surface can be cured to full strength over a weekend, whereas the same area of epoxy flooring can take a whole week to fully dry.
While all of our epoxy and polyurethane flooring products are suitable for DIY installation, the high sensitivity to moisture and the fast cure time of PU systems make the installation process far harder than that of hardier epoxy resin options. This being the case, we can only recommend self-installation of polyurethane systems to more experienced teams.
When it comes to the question of epoxy versus polyurethane there is no one winner – it all depends on the requirements of your industry and what you need from your new surface. As an experienced manufacturer of high performance and heavy-duty resin flooring systems, we are always here to help you make the best decisions for your business. If you want to discuss which of our product ranges would best meet your requirements, then why not give us a call on 01952 588575 and arrange a no-obligation site visit and survey?
“Working in the cold forming industry with a high profile customer base, we were looking for a hard wearing floor covering that had to withstand day to day running of a busy manufacturing environment. Using heavy machinery, forklift trucks and a variety of industrial oils and floor cleaning products.”
“Excellent & friendly service, quality product – would recommend to any new customer.”