As years go by, floors are susceptible to yellow out and to suffer different problems which on a long-term condition could affect work. To keep floors clean and shiny, special coating materials must be applied. Nowadays the most important commercial coatings that are being used are epoxy and urethane. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks – and making the right choice can keep your floors free of scratches and stains. So which material should you use for coating your industrial floors?

Epoxy Coating

According to Black Bear site, epoxy is a thermosetting polymer that comes in 3 different formulations. It can be water-based, solvent-based, or fully solid. Epoxy coatings typically bind tightly to the floor and provide a hard and durable coating. Industrial floors that experience heavy traffic and impact from machinery will benefit from the durability and shock-absorbing properties of epoxy coatings. In addition, epoxy is an excellent coating material for resurfacing and renovating older floors.

The biggest drawback with epoxy coatings is the installation time. The floor has to be thoroughly prepped to prevent the epoxy from adhering loosely to the intended surface. Once applied the curing time may take longer than other materials. Epoxy commercial coatings also tend to wear over time when exposed to direct sunlight which may be a factor when engineering a solution for a specific, light-filled space.

Urethane Coatings

Urethane is a thermosetting polymer use to coat concrete floors. It is one of the highest performing commercial coatings due to its durable and flexible application. It comes in various formulations. The higher the solid content in the mixture, the higher the performance of the coating.

Urethane coatings are also more resistant to abrasions (such as drops-and-scratches) as well as UV light. In fact, they don’t yellow out over-time like epoxy coatings do. They are better at retaining color and sheen, keeping the floors looking newer for longer. The prep process for applying urethane coatings is considerably shorter than epoxy coatings as well. This is a critical decision maker when time is of the essence.

The primary drawback with urethane vs epoxy commercial coatings is that urethane may not bond as tightly to concrete as epoxy does. Urethane has a thin surface film that makes it harder to apply to small cracks and similar surfaces.

Ultimately, the choice between epoxy vs urethane coatings is a trade-off between tight adherence to the floors-and-high-abrasive resistance. If you’re also concerned about UV durability, ease of application, and resistance to water/chemical stains, you may be driven towards selecting one option over another.


BlackBear Concrete (2018). Epoxy vs. Urethane for Commercial Floors. Retrieved on august 14th, 2020 from the site

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