These four concrete coating types make up the bulk of the products used on concrete floors. The molecules and the chemistry are different and give them various pros and cons. If you don$t know the difference you could be making a big mistake. That$s one reason to have a pro evaluate your application.
There is lots of chemistry we could talk about but it really doesn’t matter to a customer.
You just want the product that will give you the look and durability you expect.
So let talk about them:
Acrylics - They are one part products that harden by drying. They come in solvent and water based forms.
The pro of acrylics are that they are UV resistant. This is why they are used as driveway sealers and on
outdoor patios and walkways.
They are not particularly hard, go down rather thin, and will wear
(quickly in commercial use). They need to be re-applied every 2-6 years but re-coating is very easy.
Even with the drawbacks, they are still a good product for outdoors.
Also, they are your lowest cost to apply option and adhere to concrete very well.
Epoxy - Epoxy are two-part products. An A and a B part are mixed just before applying.
They not only dry on the floor but over about a week will get harder as they cure.
They product very hard surfaces and are more chemical resistant than other coatings.
That’s why you see them in industries and garages. They can be applied very thick to produce
a coat that can last many many years. They are shiny when applied but will dull down after a while.
One drawback though is they are not UV stable. They can fade and "chalk".
Like acrylics, they too adhere to concrete well.
Urethane - Urethanes are also two-part coatings that not only dry but cure. They are limited in the
hickness of each coat as placing them too thick will not allow for proper curing.
The big selling point is their resistance to wear from foot traffic. They are more flexible than epoxies
and sort of bend but not break to prevent wear. Thus ,they maintain their shine longer than the others
above and are UV resistant. You do however need a primer coat as most manufacturers do not recommend applying
them directly to concrete. Most systems utilize an epoxy for that.
Polyaspartics - Some people love them, some a warry of them. Polyaspartic polyurea is a two-part coating
much like urethanes. The most striking characteristic is the drying time. They can be from as little
as 10 min to 45 minutes, with the 100% solids products being the fastest.
Because of the speed which they dry you must have very good concrete prep. They dry so quickly that they
do not penetrate the concrete if it is not. This can result in failure of the product to adhere.
Any moisture rising from under the slab will worsen the problem.
They are UV resistant and produce
beautiful floors but can be very slick when wet.
Lastly, they are UV resistant. They can save you a lot of time if your applying multiple coats but they
are the most expensive of all these coatings.