What is Urethane Flooring and How Long Does It Last?

Introduction to Urethane 

Urethane, or polyurethane, flooring systems resurface concrete floors and add pops of color to designate walkways or other various markings. These floors provide resistance against chemicals, abrasion, slips, and heavy impact. A major benefit of poured-in-place urethane floors is that they are seamless and non-porous and can be pitched for water drainage. This allows for thorough cleaning and better hygienic protection since there are no grout lines or welds where dirt and bacteria harbor. Not only are urethane floors durable and practical, but they also add aesthetic value to your space with an unlimited number of color and design options.  

Urethane is a versatile polymer that has many available options with different advantages. Aliphatic urethane can provide UV resistance but is a more expensive flooring system. Aromatic urethane is less costly but may discolor under UV light. Cementitious urethanes provide excellent thermal shock and organic resistance properties. The upfront cost of a urethane flooring system may be higher than another option, but due to the number of destructive factors urethane flooring resists, it will both perform and look better for longer than a traditional floor without needing to be repaired or replaced, ultimately saving you time and money. 

Poured-in-place floors, such as urethane, are part of a building’s structure and are a more sustainable and eco-friendly choice than most traditional floors. Seamless urethane floors do not end up in landfills when a change is desired or needed. Some formulations of urethane flooring may also utilize rapidly renewable, recycled resources and materials. By installing urethane flooring in your facility, you are taking strides to positively impact our environment. 

How Long Do Urethane Floors Last? 

Urethane floors can be expected to last from 10 to 20 years, and even longer with proper cleaning procedures, maintenance, and touch-ups. With thermal shock resistance and better resistance to organics, they will have a longer life than an epoxy floor in a food and beverage environment. There are a number of urethane flooring formulations that are suited to specific environments and with the right installation, you can expect your urethane floor to be a sound investment with long life-cycle savings. 

Where Can I Install Urethane Floors? 

Urethane floors can be installed in both industrial and commercial spaces. Different flooring systems provide diverse benefits for different spaces. Some of the most common commercial applications of urethane flooring are in the food and beverage manufacturing, healthcare spaces, commercial kitchens, hospitality locations, food service areas, laundry service areas, educational spaces, and retail stores. 

Food and Beverage Manufacturing Facilities 

Food and beverage manufacturers have strict rules when it comes to flooring installations. Their facilities need to pass inspections from multiple agencies including the USDA, FDA, and OSHA. Poured in-place, seamless urethane floors are ideal for bakeries, packaging plants, freezers, and more. Most importantly, seamless urethane floors contribute to sanitary design. With no place for bacteria and dirt to harbor, these seamless floors are easy to clean and will stand up to hot water washdowns because they are thermal shock and cycling resistant. When floors begin to fail due to cleaning procedures or chemicals, they are open to contamination, which leaves food manufacturers open to costly recalls and a host of problematic issues. These are just a few, but the most important reasons, why urethane flooring is ideal for food and beverage facilities. 

Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities 

Hospitals and healthcare facilities also benefit from urethane flooring. Their resilience offers ergonomic benefits for surgeons who operate for many hours at a time and staff who are on their feet all day. This resilience provides sound absorption too, benefiting the wellbeing of patients and assisting in their recovery. Hospital corridors, lobbies, and patient rooms are ideal spaces for urethane floors. The stain, wear, and slip resistance of urethane floors also contribute to efficiency of healthcare facility operations. Urethane floors can also include wayfinding symbols and more right into the floor of your medical center. 

Schools and Universities 

There are several requirements when choosing a flooring solution for schools and universities. From wear resistance and noise reduction to a color scheme that amplifies school pride, urethane floors offer all this and more. Seamless urethane floors provide comfort underfoot for teachers and provide sound dampening to prevent students from becoming distracted. Their easy cleaning and maintenance are key benefits in these spaces where hygiene is more important than ever. In addition, janitorial staff can get their work done faster and more efficiently, saving time and money. 

Retail Stores 

Similar to flooring for educational facilities, retail spaces also require an equal balance of functionality and design. Whether a grocery store or department store, every detail needs to be centered on welcoming the customer and completing a sale. Seamless urethane floors are an excellent way to strengthen your brand recognition with custom colors or logos installed at your entryway. They can also be used to designate walkways with arrows or other signage to direct the customer in the right direction. Urethane floors with UV-resistant formulas will help your floors last longer where light from windows shine in day after day. 

Hotels and Restaurants and other Hospitality Locations 

Urethane flooring can be installed in a wide range of hospitality locations, from the commercial kitchen to the hotel lobby to the rooftop bar or poolside deck. These versatile floors offer long-lasting protection and unique aesthetic options. Texture can be added for additional slip protection and custom patterns can be achieved to bring your vision to life. The sanitary design benefits of seamless floors in spaces that cater to throngs of people on a daily basis cannot be underestimated. Attractive, comfortable, and clean, a urethane floor is a crowd pleaser. 

Why Install a Urethane Floor Instead of an Epoxy floor? 

Urethane floors provide distinct benefits from epoxy floors and vice versa. The requirements of your space need to be taken into consideration before selecting a flooring system. The main difference between epoxy and urethane floors is flexibility. Epoxy floors are hard, where urethane floors “give” more offering better scratch and wear resistance. These flexible properties also affect sound and comfort. In addition, a unique aspect of urethane is its ability to stand up to thermal shock and cycling. These floors can withstand exposure to extreme temperatures and temperature changes, so they can be used where high-temperature washdowns are necessary, in freezers and cold storage, and outdoors where the weather fluctuates. There are also unique design options that can be achieved with urethane floors.  

Urethane flooring systems are not ideal for every space. An epoxy floor may be your ideal choice. Epoxy floors offer many benefits in demanding spaces including chemical resistance and heavy-duty protection against impact. They can also be formulated with conductive elements for certain industries where electronics or pharmaceutical products are present or being manufactured. Like urethane, they come in a wide range of options and formulations for both performance and design. 

How Can Stonhard Help Me Select the Right Urethane Flooring System? 

Stonhard has many urethane flooring systems to choose from that suit specific spaces within your facility. We work with architects, designers, business owners, and general contractors to help you make sure that the flooring system you decide to install is the perfect fit. From manufacturing to installation and beyond, the Stonhard team is always here to solve your problems. 

Stonhard Urethane Flooring Systems 

Stonclad – High-performance systems for industrial applications 

Stonclad UT: A troweled polyurethane mortar system for food manufacturing environments. This flooring system is HACCP International certified, high strength, and withstands heavy traffic. Smooth, high-gloss finish. 

Stonclad UR: When texture is not a requirement and a rapid installation is needed, Stonclad UR, one of our HACCP International -Certified urethane flooring systems for food environments, provides the same benefits as Stonclad UT. 

Stonclad G2: Formulated for food environments to withstand thermal shock and cycling. This urethane flooring system includes a recycled glass formulation while providing the same benefits as other Stonclad urethane floors. 

Stonclad UL: This self-leveling polyurethane mortar system is designed for dry food environments. It is chemical, impact, and abrasion resitant and HACCP International certified. 

 

Stonshield – Textured, color quartz broadcast systems 

Stonshield URT: For light-traffic areas, this cost-effective, textured polyurethane system offers good chemical resistance and excellent UV resistance. Low odor, fast installation. 

Stonshield UTS: HACCP International certified for food preparation and service areas, Stonshield UTS is a troweled polyurethane, textured system. Handles thermal shock and cycling. 

 

Stonres – Seamless, resilient floors with distinctive design and high performance 

Stonres RTZ: Highly recommended for operating rooms, Stonres RTZ is also perfect for education and public spaces. Available in a wide-ranging color palette that can be incorporated into patterns and free-form designs. Stonres RTZ is stain resistant, resilient, ergonomic, and provides noise reduction. 

Stonres RTZ-2: Provides all the benefits of Stonres RTZ in a modern design palette featuring translucent urethane chips. 

Stonres STR: Ideal for open space projects such as corridors and labs in hospitals and schools, also effective in operating rooms. Stonres STR comes in solid color options with custom available. 

Stonres DEC: This wear, stain, weather, and UV-resistant urethane floor makes pool decks, rooftop dining, and patio areas of restaurants stand out to guests and stand up to the elements. 

Stonres SYN: This urethane flooring system has the look of natural teak, but none of the maintenance teak requires. It is perfect for outdoor pool decks, bars, resort patios, and hotel reception areas. It is easy to maintain and slip resistant and like Stonres DEC stands up to all the outdoor elements. 

 

Stontec – Dense, stain-resistant flake flooring system 

Stontec UTF: This decorative, urethane flooring system is wear resistant and chemical resistant in healthcare, education, labs, process areas, retail, and stadium and entertainment venues.  

Stontec TRF: A mortar-based polyurethane flooring system designed for renovations with damaged substrates. Offers excellent impact resistant and is an ideal choice for biotech and pharmaceutical environments. 

Stontec QBF: A liquid-based urethane flooring system that is durable and impact resistant and can be installed quickly. 

 

The Stonhard Difference 

Stonhard is the unprecedented world leader in manufacturing and installing high-performance polymer floor, wall, and lining systems. Stonhard maintains 300 Territory Managers and 175 application crews worldwide who will work with you on design specification, project management, final walk through and service after the sale. Stonhard’s single-source warranty covers both products and installation.