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A complete guide to types of floor coating and where to use them

floor coating types January 13, 2020

Many designers look at a space’s use as being determined by factors such as structural height, zoning, environmental cover, fixtures and fittings. One area that also must be considered is the floor, and in particular, the floor coatings that will best suit the purpose. 

Floors for people

Polyurethane floor coatings are softer than epoxies, meaning that they’re more comfortable to walk on and stand on for prolonged periods. These floor coatings are also relatively resistant to contaminants, and can be applied with decorative patterns

Floors for machines

Epoxies are an excellent choice for garage floors and warehouses as they’re an extremely hard-wearing solution. Epoxy resins form one seamless surface creating a dirt and water-resistant coating.

On the plus side, epoxy flooring is generally cheaper than polyurethane. One potential drawback of epoxy is, while strong, it’s not completely scratch resistant. This can be overcome by applying a polyurethane topcoat to increase scuff resistance.

Floors for speciality areas

Building regulations state that floors in some industries must be non-permeable, waterproof and have no cracks where the floor adjoins the walls. Floor coatings for hospitals and surgeries, for example, must be level to the micrometre and require waterproof, flexible flooring that curves up the wall for ease of cleaning.

Areas that may be at risk of liquids creating a slippery surface may require mediation with non-slip mats, tapes or fabric to ensure the safety of all people using the floor.

Main types of floor coating

While residential homes have traditionally chosen from wood, carpet or tile, commercial spaces often require a sturdier floor coating. Epoxy floor coatings, polyurethane resins, decorative, flake floors, polished concrete, waterproof linoleum; the type of floor coating suitable is specific to its required use.

Polyurea floor resins

This type of floor coating works on both internal and external floors. Polyurea floor resins are slip-resistant and have UV capabilities to help it last longer.

Polyurea provides seamless coatings for floor surfaces. For example, a restaurant floor could be a be high gloss, decorative coating, while remaining resilient. When used as an external surface coating, polyurea floor resins can achieve high slip resistance and UV stability.

Kleenit’s high-performance topcoats are non-porous, food-grade, and exceptionally strong.

Epoxy floor coatings

When you’re considering a new floor coating, you start to see it everywhere. But you may have wondered, why do some older epoxy floors start to fail and peel? Shortened longevity usually comes down to poor surface preparation. The substrate may have been damp or dirty, limiting the possibility of adhesion in some places. But when applied properly, epoxy floor coatings are perfect for garage floors, kitchen floors, showrooms and warehouses.

Anti-slip floor coatings

Anti-slip floor coatings have become a requirement for health and safety obligations, but it’s a simple process to make your floor coating anti-slip. The new floor coating will be slightly roughened to create a textured surface.

How much for floor coating; what’s the cost?

A floor coating quote will usually be calculated on price per square metre BUT it’s worth mentioning the type and condition of the floor to get an accurate quote. These factors will affect the final cost of floor coating

  1. Preparation – Larger cracks in concrete may need to be patched before any pour-on coating is used. 
  2. Pre-cleaning – Stains can show through even darker coloured floor coatings. How many stains and how deeply they have soaked into the substrate will make a difference 
  3. Moisture – Some floors need to be dried thoroughly before applying a floor coating. The substrate cannot exceed 3% humidity.
  4. Materials – Check the quality of raw materials and the experience of the tradesperson applying it.
  5. Scope – A larger square meterage will usually have a lower cost per sqm.

Considerations for floor coating

Before deciding on what floor coating will work best for your situation, there are a few things that are worth considering:

  • Who will be using the floor? Employees, staff, automated lifters?
  • What temperatures will the floor be exposed to? 
  • Does your industry require HACCP certification?
  • Will there be chemicals in contact with the floor? 
  • What loads could damage the surface will support?

In conclusion

With so many variables for commercial floor coatings, it’s well worth getting a professional opinion as to what will best suit your organisation. Kleenit offers a free, no obligation quote service, so get in touch to discuss your flooring needs.

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