All Floors are Not Created Equal
We often hear the same thing “Resinous flooring? Sure, I’m familiar with epoxy.” Resinous coatings are often generically labeled as epoxy and that is not always a compliment if the application demands something more. The reality is that epoxy is just one of several different chemistries under the seamless, resinous flooring umbrella. So while epoxy floor systems are part of the foundation that the resinous flooring industry was built on, they are not always the answer to your flooring woes. To remedy the common misconception we've come up with a quick breakdown of the different types of resinous floor systems to help you understand which type would be the most applicable for your project.
Epoxies are the most well-known of all the seamless flooring options. There is range of epoxies on the market; from those offered at a low price at big-box stores to high quality epoxies designed for commercial use. Be sure to do your homework as these different epoxies range greatly in terms of performance. We also recommend a urethane topcoat on epoxy floors as all epoxies will eventually amber (turn yellow) without one.
Epoxy floor systems are recommended for industrial and decorative applications. They are ideal for areas with continuous traffic; common applications for epoxy floors are retail stores, schools and universities and manufacturing facilities.
Cementitious-Urethane (aka Urethane Cement and Urethane Concrete)
Aptly named, these floor systems offer a urethane polymer technology within a concrete matrix providing you with a floor system that ranges in thickness from 3/16” – 1/4”. Across the board, these floors offer superior durability and some of them even provide the same ease of install as seen with other resinous flooring chemistries.
A major benefit of these floor systems is that due to their physical properties, they expand and contract, just as the concrete substrate does with temperature shifts. This is why these floors are the go-to in areas where thermal shock and cycling are present such as commercial kitchens and food and beverage processing areas.
These floor systems are completely unique to the flooring market and a technology only offered by Dur-A-Flex, Inc.. These systems look like epoxy to the average eye, yet the physical properties and installation technique are much different. They are superior to epoxy floors in that they are aliphatic – meaning they are UV stable - not requiring a urethane topcoat. They are able to be installed quickly – each coat taking on average 2 hours to cure (dry) allowing for a floor to be put down as quickly as a day. Yet they are unlike any other product on the market in that they install quickly with a barely noticable odor. This allows Accelera floor systems to be used virtually anywhere where quick turnaround is needed – even in facilities where operations are still ongoing.
MMA floor systems are known for two main characteristics; quick installs and an odor present during installation. Coats of MMA cure (dry) and are able to be re-coated within an hour. The quick cure times allow for installers to complete jobs within a day saving labor costs and helping end-users to renovate areas quickly (even overnight). MMA’s noticeable odor during installation makes it ideal for new construction and renovation projects where the facility is empty; not ideal for operational facilities. MMA floors offer a low-glare, satin look and are able to be installed both inside and outside, as they will not amber (yellow) in sunlight. Due to these benefits MMA floors can be found on pool decks, exterior walkways and anywhere you’d put an epoxy or Accelera floor – they are used when turnaround time is of the utmost importance.
Still need more information? Check out our flooring guide for a system recommendation for your project!