Looking to update your garage or basement? If so, the best way to change the look and feel of a room is the floor. While your old flooring may have been functional, coating your concrete floors can transform and improve both comfort and aesthetics. Bare concrete slabs can harbor dirt and debris and are susceptible to stains which can make for an unsightly surface. It can also make for a floor that is difficult to clean and maintain. If you are looking for an easy to clean surface that will look beautiful for years to come, concrete coatings are your answer. The question now is: What is the best concrete floor coating?
There are many options when it comes to concrete floor coatings. Most homeowners do not know much about concrete coatings and have trouble making the decision on which coatings to choose. Which product that is right for you is going to vary depending on your personal needs and wants. Each coating has its own pros and cons, read below to see a breakdown of the benefits and downfalls of them all.
You can find concrete floor paints available as oil-based or latex products. Latex floor paints contain a small amount of epoxy resin which is designed to make the finished product hard and stain resistant. Choosing the correct paint is imperative so be sure the paint is designed for concrete surfaces. Concrete floor paint will need to be reapplied every year or two so it is typically only used as a temporary solution.
Epoxy Floor Coatings are very thick and hard coatings that create a 100% seal when fully dried and cured. They consist of polyamine hardener and epoxy resin. Since epoxy is so hard and thick, it does not have any flexibility. This is one of its downfalls as it will not move with the concrete as it expands and contracts. This can cause the epoxy to crack, chip or peel. Another downside to epoxy is that it is not UV stable so it will discolor if it is exposed to sunlight.
Epoxy coatings are available in a variety of colors and textures. From solid and smooth, to speckled and textured, there are endless possibilities when it comes to what your options are. Since epoxy is thicker, it causes it to have a longer cure time. A typical cure time for an epoxy floor is 2-3 days (cure time can be affected by temperature, humidity, etc.). Due to its slow dry time, it makes it an ideal option for someone looking for a DIY project as there is a lot of time to fix mistakes before it dries.
Although they look very similar, polyurea/polyaspartic coatings are very different from epoxy. Polyurea/polyaspartic coatings are four times stronger than epoxy and last much longer. They are also extremely thin (yet durable) which helps make them flexible, allowing them to move with the concrete. Since they move with the concrete (unlike epoxy) they are much less likely to crack, chip or peel. Even though they are very thin, polyurea/polyaspartic coatings are still remarkably strong and impact, scratch, and chemical resistant.
Another benefit to polyurea/polyaspartic coatings being so thin is their cure time. These coatings can be installed in just one day, which is over two times faster than epoxy. Their fast dry time makes them ideal for both residential and commercial applications. From homeowners looking to update their garage, basement or porch, to business owners that need a quick turnaround time; polyurea/polyaspartic coatings are the ideal solution. Polyurea/polyaspartic coatings are not ideal for DIY projects as their fast dry time leaves little to no room for mistakes.
Polyurea/polyaspartic coatings are typically only offered in a full flake broadcast. This is due how thin they are as it causes the coating to look opaque, instead of solid, when it dries. If you noticed we mentioned porches earlier you’re probably wondering if polyurea/polyaspartic coatings are UV resistant. These coatings are in fact 100% UV stable so they will not yellow, fade or discolor from the sun. This makes them ideal for outdoor applications as well like porches, pool decks and patios.
Concrete stains tend to be easier to apply than coatings but in order to maintain their appearance they have to be reapplied every few years. They create a beautiful pigmented, marbled effect versus a plain solid color or paint flake. Acid-based stains, on the other hand, create a chemical reaction that changes the color and look of the concrete. This process makes the outcome impossible to control and an unfavored option. They do last longer than water-based stains and are stain resistant (even without a sealer). During the application process, chemical reactions occur and toxic chemicals are released into the air. These chemicals can be dangerous and require proper personal protection equipment.
Now that we know the pros and cons of all the options to cover your concrete, it will be easier for you to make a decision on what product is right for you. If you are looking for a cheap, quick fix option then concrete paint is going to be your answer. For individuals looking for a DIY option that will last a few years, then epoxy is going to be your best bet. Most homeowners are looking to have a long-lasting, durable coating professionally installed that is going to last a lifetime. For these individuals, polyurea and Polyaspartic coatings are going to be the best option.
If polyurea/polyaspartic coatings sound like the best option for you, give us a call today! Here at Tagg Concrete Coatings we offer the best concrete coatings available and take pride in customer satisfaction. When you go with us, you are guaranteed to receive premium products installed by professionally trained technicians. If you are in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, High Point, or anywhere else in the Triad, give us today or fill out our inquiry on our website to schedule your free estimate! (919) 439-8879