Polyurea vs. Epoxy: Which Floor Coating is Better for Your Floor

Giving your garage’s concrete floor a new coating is increasingly one of the most popular ways to make a residential garage look like new and have a safer surface. It’s also a must-have for commercial garages, which have a lot more foot- and car traffic and might be a customer’s first look at your business. Once you decide you want to install a floor coating, you need to choose between epoxy and polyurea coatings. Here are a few factors to consider when choosing which floor coating is the best fit for your garage:

  • Minnesota is home to extreme temperature variations. Nearly every part of your home expands and contracts over the seasons due to temperature fluctuations. It happens with your foundation soil, any hardwood floors or cabinetry, and concrete floors. This is why your many parts of your home are designed to flexibly allow the minute shifts. Polyurea floor coatings do precisely this as it grips onto the concrete floor and expands or contracts along with it. This is critical during seasonal shifts, especially during that first early blizzard when you need a safe place to store your car. Epoxies are approximately half as flexible which means, while they can stand up to some temperature variations, they might start to fracture sooner than they should.
  • Is your garage floor coated in chemicals? Even if you can’t see the signs of them, your car constantly brings your garage floor into contact with a variety of acidic and damaging chemicals. If the wintry season has just started (or even if you’re planning on adding floor coating a couple of months after it’s ended), the road is coated with salts and chemicals that catch in your tires and can start to eat their way through the top layer of concrete in your garage. Even during the summer, your car will bring in grease, gas, and a variety of other chemicals. Not only can these compounds stain your garage’s bare concrete floor, they can start to break down the surface. Your garage floor might also come into contact with a variety of other chemicals just through your day-to-day use. Garages are where you store extra oil or spare paints, where you keep fertilizers and leftover pool cleaner, and other containers full of acidic or basic liquids you don’t want to keep inside. Epoxy floor coatings can act as a layer that prevents some contact, but polyureas can stand up to far more chemicals. Also, because polyureas can withstand four times as much physical impact like abrasions, chemicals will have a much harder time getting through the coating to the concrete underneath.
  • Are you on a time crunch? There are a lot of varieties of epoxy floor coatings that are available in home improvement stores. If your garage’s floor is in solid condition without any cracks, dips, or bumps, the epoxy can be applied with hand tools. But it will take seven days for the material to cure up to 80%. The rest of the curing process happens over a longer timescale, and any weather fluctuations during that time could make the flooring more brittle. Instead, polyurea floors take only twenty-four hours to cure completely; this means your new floor is fully utilizable in the course of a day without you having to worry about how changing weather conditions will impact the final product. Being able to start using your garage quickly, whether your home has a two-car garage and you want to park your car, lawn mower, and outdoor equipment inside before a storm or you have a new commercial garage and are eager to start your business, is a huge benefit. One of our goals is making sure you can enjoy your new, durable floor as soon as possible. 

Whether you’re considering a floor coating for your commercial or residential garage, polyurea coatings are far more reliable, durable, and quicker to apply. If you want to learn more about how PolyTek Surface Coatings prepares and repairs your garage floors before adding a polyurea coating for years of solid flooring, read more about our process here.