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Does your garage floor look a little worse for wear? Maybe it is time to do a makeover and improve the look of your cracked, stained, and dirty concrete floor. There are a variety of products you can use to transform the look of your floor from dull and dusty to something with color and shine. Many of these products you can apply yourself, but which one is the right choice? From paint and epoxy to a polyaspartic floor coating amongst others, there are many choices. However, not every floor coating can be applied to all garage floors. So, it is important to understand the condition of your cement floor and the type of coating you want to use, to make sure you make the best choice. Follow our guide below on the best polyurea garage floor coating for your needs.
Table of Contents
Types of Garage Floor Coating
There are quite a few options when it comes to floor coating, each one providing different features. Choosing the right one will depend on what you are looking for. Do you simply want a coat of paint or are you looking for more durability? Below are a few garage floor coatings you might want to consider.
Paint: Latex or One-Part Epoxy Paint
Latex paint is the basic option for a garage floor coating and offers a painted look that might keep the dust at bay. However, you will not have any durability and might be a good idea only if the surface is not used a lot. The epoxy floor paint is a more durable option, as it is a mixture of paint and epoxy. It also offers a waterproof coating that is more expensive than latex paint.
Epoxy Garage Floor Coating
This is a two-part system that, when combined, forms a chemical reaction that cures to a hard surface. An epoxy garage floor coating option is much tougher and thicker than simply painting the surface with latex paint. This has been the best option for many years. You can also use garage floor epoxy both indoors and outdoors.
Polyurea Garage Floor
The polyurea floor coating option has become a popular choice in recent years. This is because the coating offers advanced durability, is flexible, cures fast and the polyaspartic coating is UV resistant. So, it offers all you will need for your garage floor coating. Read on for the best polyurea garage floor coating products.
What is a Polyurea Floor Coating?
The simplest explanation is that polyurea is a subdivision of polyurethane that is created by combining two components, isocyanate, and a synthetic resin. When combined these form a chemical reaction and harden forming your polyurea floor coating. Polyurea is developed from either aromatic diisocyanates or aliphatic diisocyanates.
The aromatic polyurea can be identified by their sensitivity to UV sunlight. Over time, you will notice unwanted color changes if the surface is exposed to sunlight. This version of polyurea costs less, however, it is not the best option for a topcoat. The aliphatic polyurea, on the other hand, can withstand exposure to sunlight and is a better choice for any outdoor applications. However, this form of polyurea is more expensive.
The main feature of the polyurea floor coating is the curing process. This particular floor system once applied cures and hardens faster than other systems. Polyurea is also more durable able to withstand harsher conditions when compared to epoxy. It can better hold up to things like chemicals, oils, cracks, and other stains. Some of the benefits of applying a polyurea garage floor include some of the following.
When looking at products, you might also come across the word polyaspartic. This is another type of aliphatic polyurea. Polyurea, as mentioned, cures extremely fast, then you have the polyaspartic coating formulation that produces a longer pot life. The pot life can be anything from five minutes to two hours, all depending on the formula. This means you can apply the coating in a more accepted way. This coating is also UV resistant, so it will not yellow over time if exposed to sunlight.
Benefits of Using a Polyurea Floor Coating
The unique formulation of the polyurea or polyaspartic floors makes it an extremely popular choice for floor coatings. This floor coating can easily be installed in a day and you should be able to use the surface the next day. However, if you are going to do it yourself, you will need to strictly follow all instructions for the application process.
The Durability of a Polyurea Floor Coating
Polyaspartic floors can handle harsh conditions from chemical spills to serious impacts. Since it is such a strong product, it can be used in industrial and commercial environments. The polyaspartic floors do not give off any volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and can withstand UV exposure without problems.
The coating can also endure higher temperatures, which means there will be no hot tire lifting or peeling. So, simple scratches are not going to be a problem at all. Remember, the best polyurea garage floor coating is not UV resistant and will yellow over time.
As mentioned, the polyurea coatings cure fast and can be installed in a day and the surface can be used the next day. Compared to epoxy, which can take anything from three to five days to cure completely. You will not have to wait so long with the polyaspartic floor coating.
Aesthetic Appeal and Easy to Maintain
The polyaspartic coating provides a beautiful clear gloss finish that is both durable and nice to look at. The smooth surface can easily be cleaned and maintained. You do not have to worry about any cracks and places where dirt can accumulate. Even though it appears smooth, the coating does provide features like anti-skid and anti-wear. You should also be able to get the coating in different colors and design options.
The last thing you want is to slip on a smooth wet surface. Polyaspartic floors are non-slip or anti-skip, and you can also include paint chips to improve this feature further. The coating is heat resistant, so will act as a fire retardant. When applying, the polyaspartic coating is non-toxic and there are little to no volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Temperature is not Problem for a Polyaspartic Floor Coating
You can apply a polyaspartic floor coating at any temperature, so you do not have to wait for perfect conditions. Depending on the formula, the coating can be applied in cold and hot weather. Also, you should only have to apply two coats. The first layer providing the primer features and adding color and the second layer is the clear coat.
Comparing Polyurea, Epoxy, and Polyurethane
Remember that polyaspartics is a polyurea, however, not all polyureas are polyaspartics. The difference being the slower cure rate and UV resistance. Next, lets u have a look at polyurea vs epoxy and polyurethane.
|Odor||Low to no odor||Low to high, depends on the product||Low to moderate|
|UV Resistance||Advanced resistance (polyaspartics)||High resistance||Low resistance|
|Pot Life||Short pot life, cures fast. It may be difficult to apply||Slow to medium pot life, relatively easy to apply||Medium pot life can be difficult to apply|
|Gloss or Sheen||Gloss Finish||Different sheens from gloss to matte||Gloss Finish|
|Resistance to chemicals||Advanced resistance||High resistance||Medium to High resistance|
|Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)||Little to no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)||Low to moderate, product dependent||Little to no VOCs in 100% Solid epoxy|
|Solids Content||High Solids||Medium Solids||Solid epoxy 100% solids|
|Moisture Resistance||Once cured it is resistant to moisture||Once cured it is resistant to moisture||Water-resistant|
|Thickness||Apply as thick or thin as you wish||Build up thin layers for desired thickness||Apply as thick or thin as you wish|
|Time between coats||One to two hours||Six up to 24 hours||Between four and 24 hours|
|Cost||More expensive than epoxy and polyurethane||More expensive than epoxy||Less expensive|
|Installation Time||Can be done in hours||Four to five days||Four to five days|
|Durability||Hard and flexible, resistant to scratches and abrasions||Dependent on application||Hard and rigid and still has a weakness against abrasions|
Best Polyurea Garage Floor Coating
So now that you know a little bit more about polyurea vs epoxy and polyurethane, it is time to look at a few products available. Most of the polyurea and polyaspartic floor coating products are only available from the manufacturers or selected sellers, however, there are a few similar garage floor coating products from Amazon.
UV Stable Polyurea Floor Coating: RUST-OLEUM FastKote
The Rust-Oleum Polyurea floor coating has so far received good reviews. This fast curing floor coating can be used in 24 hours. The best option for this gloss coating is in commercial and industrial settings. Light traffic should be okay in only four to six hours and provides great protection from abrasions and chemicals. You can get about 400 square feet from a single gallon.
Best Garage Floor Coating: RUST-OLEUM Rocksolid Polycuramine
The Rust-Oleum garage floor coating is perfect for indoor concrete surfaces. The product has superior strength, especially when compared to epoxy. When applying, you should experience little Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and no odor. The entire process should be complete in 24 hours. Once done, you will have a high gloss finish that is resistant to chemicals, cracking, and peeling.
- A durable polycuramine concrete floor coating kit
- A self-leveling formula 20 x stronger than epoxy
- Fast to apply and dries to a high-gloss finish
Best Professional Epoxy Coating: RUST-OLEUM Epoxy Shield Floor Coating Kit
This Epoxy Floor Coating is a great alternative to the above options. The product is less expensive and still offers excellent durability that provides resistance to scratches, abrasions, and general wear and tear. You get a semi-gloss finish that has a solid base color. You can also add decorative chips to the mix.
Applying a Polyurea Floor Coating
In many cases, the application of a polyurea floor coating is difficult because of the short pot life and requires a professional to do it properly. However, Legacy Industrial, a floor maintenance product supplier has come up with the Nohr-S polyurea coatings. This product deserves a mention because it claims that it is a do-it-yourself product. This is a single-component polyurea floor coating that can easily be applied to garage floors and other applications.
So, you do not have to worry about mixing anything and it also has an unlimited pot life. You also do not need a primer, is UV stable and has a self-leveling gloss finish. Since it acts as a clear sealer, it can be applied to stained or bare concrete. Installation is quick and you could be using your surface within 24 hours, As with all floor coatings, proper surface preparation is of utmost importance.
Polyaspartic Floor Coating Considerations
Even though polyaspartic floors offer so many advantages, it is not the best do-it-yourself option. You might want to consider getting in a professional for this job. The floor has to be prepared correctly if you want the best results. The main concern is the moisture vapor emissions, which must not be high.
Also, the solids content must be correct for proper adhesion to the surface. If you can meet all the requirements, you can have a polyaspartic coating complete in a day. However, if you do not meet the requirements and the moisture vapor emissions are too high, the coating will fail. Before coating your concrete garage floor, we recommend considering these tips.
Surface Preparation is Important
You need to first consider the current condition of your concrete surface before anything is done. You need to clean the surface and take care of any cracks, stains, or other imperfections. Preparation needs to be done properly so that the coating can adhere to the surface correctly. As mentioned, you should check for any signs of moisture, as this will ruin the outcome. Some will recommend diamond grinding the surface so that better penetration of the coating can occur. Since this is such a pivotal step and including all other factors, your best option might be to hire a professional.
Hiring a Professional
A polyurea floor coating is difficult to work with and you need to meet all the requirements for success. This time around a professional might be in order if you want the job done right the first time. You might land up saving yourself time and money. Make sure that if you do get a professional, they check your concrete flooring for moisture and porosity. This is to ensure the proper coating system is installed.
Work out the Cost
You should not only take into consideration the price per square meter, but you should also include what it will take for preparation and the materials needed for the project. Consider the costs of using polyurea vs epoxy and budget to your needs. Polyaspartic floors will work out more expensive but if you are willing to pay, it should be worth the money.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Apply Polyurea to a Driveway?
A polyaspartic floor coating can be applied to a driveway, as it offers durability, is UV resistant. The result is a great-looking driveway that is easy to maintain.
Polyurea vs Epoxy, Which is Better?
When it comes to durability as well as flexibility, polyurea is the best choice. However, epoxy also has its advantages. The final decision of which to use is up to you after taking into consideration a few factors like cost, ease of application, and overall performance amongst others.
Can You Apply the Polyurea Floor Coating on Top of Epoxy?
Yes, you can coat over an epoxy coat with a polyurea coat. Preferably, get a professional to apply the topcoat.
Does Polyurea Last Long?
Yes, it can last a long time from five to ten years. This is much longer than the epoxy, which lasts around two to three years with high foot traffic.
The best polyurea garage floor coating offers an incredible durable and attractive finish for all types of scenarios. Follow our guide above, and you will be sure to achieve a perfect finish for your garage floors.