Watch our StonTalks episode, "Selecting the Perfect Floor: Epoxy vs Urethane" to help you make the right choice for your space.

You’re considering installing a seamless flooring system in your facility, but you’ve heard about both epoxy and urethane formulations. Both seem to be durable and attractive, so you may be asking yourself, “Which one do I need?” In this post, we’ll help you understand the differences and guide you in the direction of the right flooring solution for your space.

A Seamless Flooring Solution 

Some resinous flooring products are offered in both epoxy and urethane solutions. Since both options are strong and long lasting, they can be used in many of the same industries. Epoxy and urethane floors both offer durability and low maintenance, but there are key differences to consider. Let’s discuss epoxy flooring systems first. 

What is Epoxy Flooring? 

Epoxy floors are made from a combination of resins and hardeners to create the strong, durable material that essentially becomes a part of your structure when it is poured in place. Epoxy flooring systems provide durable, wear-resistant features that allow the floors to withstand harsh conditions under heavy traffic day after day. These seamless floors have the benefit of being easy to clean while offering a limitless range of possible colors and designs. Epoxy floors can also be offered in a number of finishes such as gloss, semi-gloss and matte, to meet aesthetic satisfaction or the requirements of your space. 

The High-Performance Benefits of Epoxy Flooring 

Beyond a wide range of design options, including patterns, color blends, and custom logos, quality epoxy flooring systems will offer many performance benefits such as chemical resistance, which allow your floors to stand up to spills and harsh cleaning products. Some epoxy floors formulated for special areas feature conductive elements to provide static control for industries like electronics and pharmaceutical manufacturing where strict regulations must be met to ensure safety of personnel and protect products and equipment. Epoxy flooring systems are also highly effective and popular in auto dealerships, retail spaces, manufacturing plants, schools and colleges, and aerospace facilities. 

What is Urethane Flooring? 

Urethane (also known as polyurethane) is a polymer that forms tight bonds, as is the case with urethane flooring when installed over concrete. Urethane floors are popular for longevity and for their design capabilities. Some urethane floors feature low VOC formulas to improve indoor air quality during installation. Seamless urethane floors are also known for being easy to clean. So how are they different from epoxy flooring systems? 

When Temperature is an Issue, Urethane Flooring is the Solution 

A property unique to some urethane flooring systems is the ability to stand up to thermal shock and thermal cycling. Properties within urethane flooring systems allow them to withstand exposure to extreme temperatures and temperature changes due to processing, equipment, and high-temperature washdowns. It is for this reason that it is recommended for commercial kitchens and food and beverage facilities. In addition, urethane flooring systems can stand up to freezing temperatures in coolers and cold storage spaces. Yet, urethane floors are not only recommended for their excellent performance under varying temperatures. They’re also used in hospitals, schools and more. 

Keeping Spaces Clean, Quiet, and Comfortable with Urethane Flooring 

Due to ergonomic, resilient, noise-reducing and stain-resistant properties, urethane flooring is also preferred for operating rooms, emergency rooms and trauma centers. Due to the seamless structure of the floors, urethane flooring systems are naturally antimicrobial, rendering a cleaner environment rid of bacteria, fungi, and molds as compared with traditional welded flooring systems or tile. Noise reduction and cleanability are equally important in educational environments, where they can also provide attractive design options. 

Deciding Between Epoxy and Urethane Flooring 

Now that you understand the differing benefits of epoxy and urethane systems, making a decision can still be a challenge. A skilled resin flooring expert can guide you to the right choice for your facility, providing information about the manufactured product and installation process, as well as maintenance after install and warranty details. The floor you choose should be formulated for the conditions of your space, allowing your operation to run smoothly for many years. 

The Stonhard Difference 

For nearly a century, Stonhard has delivered a proven, single-source service, covering both your products and installation. Stonhard's seamless, long-wearing and easy-to-clean systems are engineered to perform in both industrial and commercial environments without sacrificing design innovative vision. Contact your local Territory Manager or Architectural Representative here. 

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