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Choosing Between Quartz or Chip Epoxy Floors

April 22, 2022

Both decorative quartz and decorative chip floors are excellent options for facilities that need flooring that provides high strength, wear resistance, chemical resistance, and pleasing aesthetics.

Dur-A-Flex’s decorative epoxy quartz and chips floors are called Dur-A-Quartz and Dur-A-Chip, respectively. These floors have been installed globally and are trusted solutions for many industries. Common use sites for Dur-A-Quartz and Dur-A-Chip floors include:

  • Hospitals
  • Locker Rooms
  • Cleanrooms
  • Retail
  • Laboratories
  • Schools
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Supermarkets
  • Lobbies
  • Cafeterias
  • Restrooms
  • Dining Areas

Dur-A-Quartz and Dur-A-Chip are epoxy based double broadcast flooring systems. Dur-A-Quartz uses two broadcasts of decorative colored quartz, whereas Dur-A-Chip uses two broadcasts of vinyl chips. This might make one think that the only difference is the aesthetics, but that would be an incorrect assumption.

As you may have heard, read, or even experienced, Dur-A-Quartz floors are slightly more durable than Dur-A-Chip floors. In this case, durable is referring to overall strength. If you look at quartz granules versus vinyl flakes, it is clear to see that the granules are innately stronger than flakes. A grown person would be hard pressed to snap a granule of quartz in two. In comparison, a vinyl chip could easily be snapped — even by a toddler.

This gives a Dur-A-Quartz flooring system a slight advantage over Dur-A-Chip when it comes to compressive and tensile strength. The quartz also increases the slip resistance of a wet floor. Quartz naturally lends itself to a surface that has greater slip resistance, however textured additives can be used to increase the slip resistance of any Dur-A-Flex resinous floor.  

Let’s compare the systems:

Dur-A-Quartz System Build:

  • Topcoat – Clear Armor-Top
  • Grout Coat – Clear Dur-A-Glaze #4 or Ultra Clear (1 coat for standard texture, 2 coats for orange peel texture, 3 coats for smooth texture)
  • Second Quartz Broadcast – Clear Dur-A-Glaze #4 with Broadcast of Q28 or Q11 Decorative Quartz Aggregate
  • Quartz Broadcast – Clear Dur-A-Glaze #4 with a Broadcast of Q28 or Q11 Decorative Quartz Aggregate
  • Primer – Dur-A-Glaze No. 4 WB, Dur-A-Glaze MVP, or Elast-O-Coat
  • Prepared Substrate – Concrete Surface Profile of 3-4

Dur-A-Chip System Build:

  • Topcoat – Clear Armor-Top
  • Grout Coat – Clear Dur-A-Glaze #4 or Ultra Clear
  • Second Chip Broadcast – Clear Dur-A-Glaze #4 and Broadcast of Macro or Micro Decorative Vinyl Chip
  • Chip Broadcast – Dur-A-Gard OPF and Broadcast of Macro or Micro Decorative Vinyl Chip
  • Primer – Dur-A-Glaze No. 4 WB, Dur-A-Glaze MVP, or Elast-O-Coat
  • Prepared Substrate – Concrete Surface Profile of 3-4

Physical PropertyTest MethodDur-A-QuartzDur-A-Chip
Hardness, Shore DASTM D224075-8075-80
Compressive StrengthASTM D695
ASTM C579
17,500 psi
12,500 psi
16,000 psi
10,500 psi
Tensile StrengthASTM D6384,000 psi3,700 psi
Abrasion ResistanceASTM D406010 mg loss no grit
4 mg loss with
Armor Top Gloss with Grit
10 mg loss no grit
4 mg loss with
Armor Top Gloss with Grit
Impact ResistanceASTM D2794>160 in-lb >160 in-lb
Slip Resistance Dry
single grout coat over broadcast
ANSI 326.3 -LAB DRY≥0.8 without anti-slip additives* ≥0.8 without anti-slip additives*
Slip Resistance Wet
single grout coat over broadcast
ANSI 326.3 -LAB WET ≥0.65 without anti-slip additives* ≥0.42 without anti-slip additives*
* Dur-A-Flex flooring systems can be built to meet or exceed the requirements of Static or Dynamic Coefficient of Friction testing per installation by using broadcast aggregates or non-slip additives at various rates. Contact your territory sales manager or tech representative for more information on alternative textures, grit / grip additives, or smooth coatings for your specific environment. A sample must be obtained and tested prior to purchase for any non-slip flooring system.

Compressive Strength

Compressive strength is the amount of downward force a material can withstand before cracking. Resinous floors are tested with two standards: American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) C-579 (concrete and mortars) and D-695 (plastics).

Using the ASTM C-579, typical concrete has a compressive strength of 3000 – 4000 psi. By the same standard, Dur-A-Quartz systems have a compressive strength of 12,500 psi, and Dur-A-Chip systems rating is 10,500 psi. 

Using the ASTM D-695 standard, Dur-A-Quartz systems have a compressive strength of 17,500 psi, and Dur-A-Chip systems rating is 16,000 psi. 

Tensile Strength

Tensile strength is the amount of pulling force a material can withstand before cracking or breaking apart. Resinous floors are tested with ASTM D-638 as the standard.

For reference, typical concrete has a tensile strength of 300 – 700 psi. Both Dur-A-Quartz and Dur-A-Chip systems are far superior to this rating.  Dur-A-Quartz systems have a tensile strength of 4,000 psi, versus Dur-A-Chip systems’ rating of 3,700 psi.

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Slip Resistance

Dynamic Coefficient of Friction (DCOF) measures slip resistance during motion. The DCOF is the force needed to stop a moving object against a stationary object. The standards that are widely used for this are based on the tile industry. American National Standards Institute (ANSI) 326.3 is the guide for hard surface floors including ceramic tile. It sets the standard for slip resistance to be a wet value greater than 0.42.

Using ANSI 326.3 testing for dry floors, both systems with a single grout coat over the broadcast rate at ≥ 0.8 without anti-slip additives.

Using ANSI 326.3 testing for wet floors, Dur-A-Quartz (with a single grout coat over the broadcast) rates at ≥ 0.65 without anti-slip additives while Dur-A-Chip (with a single grout coat over the broadcast) rates at≥ 0.42 with anti-slip additives.

What does this all mean?

Essentially, these epoxy flooring systems are interchangeable, unless it is known that the facility requires a higher compressive strength, tensile strength and / or slip resistance (without the use of anti-slip additives) than Dur-A-Chip can provide. If that is the case, look to a Dur-A-Quartz floor.

Recap:

Dur-A-Flex decorative quartz and chip floors are trusted globally for their durability. Outside of aesthetics, the main differences between a decorative chip floor and a decorative quartz floor are compressive strength, tensile strength, and slip resistance

For more information on choosing epoxy floors talk to your local Dur-A-Flex territory sales managers. They will assist in determining which flooring system will best address the needs for any facility.

Author: Jes Grant
Jes Grant is the content development manager for Dur-A-Flex. She has over 15 years of experience creating content for various technical industries, and has been featured in several publications for her writing and design work
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