Epoxy vs Polyurea: Choosing the Best Floor Coating for You

If you’re looking for ways to floor your house or office, you’ve probably come across epoxy and polyurea floors. Epoxy and polyurea are two types of coatings that are great for resurfacing garage floors, workshops, driveways, offices, and other places.

They also make the house or space look better, stronger, and safer. Even though you might not be able to tell the difference with a simple eye test, each floor option is slightly different.

Therefore, sometimes, it can take effort to figure out which one is the best choice for you. So, if you want more information about epoxy and polyurea to help with your decision-making, this article is for you.

What is Epoxy?

Epoxy coating is a product of epoxy resin and polyamine hardeners. Epoxy is a type of polymer, made up of a group of chemical compounds that contains repeating subunits of large molecules, making the resulting epoxy strong and flexible.

Polymers are everywhere in our lives, both natural and artificial. You probably know a few polymers, like wool, rubber, Styrofoam, and epoxy.

What is polyurea?

Also called an elastomer, polyurea is a type of polymer. This means that it is a rubber-like polymer made in a lab. Polyurea is an elastomer made when a two-part mixture undergoes a chemical reaction.

It is 20 times stronger than epoxy and feels like rubber. Its elasticity makes it very attractive, waterproof, and less likely to break when it hits something. In contrast to epoxy floor coating, the color of polyurea coating won’t change when it’s out in the sun.

Compounds made of polyurea can have a wide range of properties and hardnesses. They can be changed to make them stronger and more flexible. This makes them a popular material for coating concrete.

What is the Difference Between Epoxy and Polyurea?

From the outside, it’s hard to tell the differences between these materials. Like any other material, they are useful depending on what you use them for and how you apply them.

How do you choose between these two depending on your goal? How do they perform compared to the other, and what do you like more about the one you choose? These differences between epoxy and polyurea will help you answer those questions.

Features Polyurea Epoxy
Mixing Done by adding a color tint( known as a pigment) Done by combining resin and a hardener
Floor preparation Easier Less easy
Working time Faster Longer
Thickness Thinner Thicker
UV Resistance Highly resistant Resistant
Durability Very durable Very durable
Chemical Resistance Highly resistant Resistant
Cure time 3 days 7 days
Smell Awful odor No odor

What is the Price Difference Between Epoxy and Polyurea?

In terms of prices, epoxy garage floor coating is the more affordable choice. So, if you have a little money, it could be a good choice because it will cost less than polyurea.

Epoxy flooring costs about $3–$4 per square foot to have installed. So, epoxy coating costs between $1,500 and $1,800 for a 2-car garage floor.

When contracting a professional to carry out the installation, be attentive to the price and the warranty details, which should last between 12–36 months.

The cost is higher if you want a polyurea coating for your garage floor that is more durable and resistant to UV light and wear.

Most polyurea floor coatings cost between $5 and $7 per square foot to install. Using polyurea for a 2-car garage floor will cost you between $2,000 and $2,800, and the warranty can last anywhere from 7 years to a lifetime.

To get the result you desire, ensure to get a certified and approved contractor for installation.

Epoxy vs Polyurea: Maintenance

To keep the epoxy coating on your garage floor in good shape, you should eliminate any grit or dirt that could scratch the surface or get stuck over time.

You should also clean up chemical spills, like oil, gasoline, or antifreeze. Some things can even change the way your garage floor looks if you don’t get rid of them quickly.

If you use epoxy in a warehouse or factory, you should use extra safety measures, such as welding mats.

When you have heavy things on your floors, plywood can help protect them from damage. Also, remember to regularly keep the epoxy surface clean with a microfiber mop, 2 to 3 ounces of ammonia, 2 to 3 tablespoons of bleach, and a gallon of water.

When it comes to polyurea flooring can handle chemicals, wear, and physical impact better. So, any spills shouldn’t hurt your coating, but it’s best to clean them up for looks’ sake anyway. If the spill is small, you can apply a paper towel.

Incase of a bigger spill, you will need water, a mop, and a little cleaner. Since the surface is smooth and polished, dry spills are easy to clean up with a broom.

The top coat should stay shiny for years, but when it gets dull, you can wax and polish it with a product from a store. Keep your polyurea flooring in good shape for a long time by mopping it with water and a cleaning agent.

Conclusion

Epoxy and polyurea are two types of coatings that can be used to resurface kitchens, workshops, bathrooms, offices, and other places. They also add beauty to a floor and make it look better, stronger, and safer.

But even though they are both used for coating, they have notable differences and fit different purposes. So the application determines the best fit as they serve different purposes.

To achieve maximum results from your job, you should figure out which adhesives make the biggest difference.

Epoxy vs Polyurea: Choosing the Best Floor Coating for You
Nick Shushan
Nick Shushan

Epoxy Expert and the CEO of NYC Epoxy Flooring. I love epoxy so much and spend my entire day speaking about epoxy and working on epoxy projects.

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