4 types of concrete coatings compared

4 types of concrete coatings compared

Do you have a concrete floor in need of coating, but don’t know what to use? Or maybe you have heard of some of the products, but don’t know how they compare?

To help you make a better guess, I’ve gathered 4 common coating types that I’ve come across during my career. All of them are widely used and good for coating purposes. What we have here is splitting of hairs, but that what looking for maximum benefits is all about.

Concrete coatings

These days, concrete coatings not only beautiful outlook for your concrete surface but also protect and give longer life for your concrete. Whether you have chosen fast setting polyaspartics, top of the line epoxies, or coatings that have special effects, the current coatings are able to endure all the wear and tear that our concrete surfaces go through.

Concrete that is untreated is porous and vulnerable to wear, damage and corrosion. That is why using a good coating makes a huge difference in the way your concrete wears and looks. Harsh chemicals, tire traffic, and de-icing chemicals corrosion are all prevented from harming your concrete by a good coating for your concrete.

Solid coats not only give your surface concrete a lot of protection, it also simplifies your necessary maintenance and beautifies your surfaces.

Fast cure times are available for many types of concrete coatings. These are also free of VOC’s that can be harmful and adhere effectively to concrete surfaces that are properly prepared. In addition, these are available in decorative options and varied colors.

The most modern coats for concrete feature maximum performance in terms of the ability to perform and to install options that are traditional. Even if these are more expensive, the ease of use they provide and the endurance they have to make them stand out among the hundreds of concrete coatings that are available in the market today.

Coatings include overlays that are cement based and paint, topping and epoxy aggregate systems.

There are four options in the category of coatings types, including acrylics, urethanes, epoxies and polyureas.

There are many types of concrete coatings

Epoxy coating

Epoxy comes usually in two different forms. Rapid dry and slow dry. The advantage of slow drying is that you get more working time. The benefit of rapid process is that it provides protection faster and usually you can do thicker surfaces with it.

Using advanced epoxy

Usually producing a high-gloss finish that lasts long, epoxies are durable and mark, abrasion, and scuff-resistant. This is why these have been utilized for a long time in various industries. There is a drawback, however, and this is the yellowing that results from the curing times that are extended.

Epoxy systems that are one part, however, are also popular, since these can be immediately applied and do not need to be mixed. Great for both residential and commercial projects, options of epoxy are resistant to grease, stains, scuffs, tire marks, etc.

Using rapid dry epoxy

Epoxy products that dry fast usually can be handled in twenty minutes, and are totally dry in twelve hours. This is a great feature since epoxy options that are traditional need twenty-four hours of dry time before recoating. A few days are also required for curing.

Polyaspartics coating

Polyaspartics are in the market with good performing capability and a more convenient installation. These coats get cured and can be applied in short periods of time and can go through a one-time application.

In addition, these are more resistant to impact and give you more protection against abrading than epoxy or urethane coatings.

Able to be used in residential or commercial settings, polyaspartics can be applied in low and high temperatures. These coats are popular for retail facilities, garage floors, warehouses, driveways, showrooms, and slabs of concrete that go through heavy usage.

Pricier than traditional coats, polyaspartics have minimal labor costs and wait time which make up for this one drawback.

Acrylic coating

Acrylic coatings can be used on various surfaces as well. Acrylics are available water-based or solvent solutions. It can be applied to prepared concrete and works well on most occasions. It might be also the most beginner-friendly option out of all of these.

Acrylic coatings provide good protection against UV light so they are good for the outdoors as well. You just need to remember to pick the right coating as not every product is like that. The surface of the concrete can be textured or decorated and acrylic coating will work fine with it. It is resistant to water, but only mild chemicals.

Like the other coatings, acrylics can work out in commercial and industrial places as well. It’s breathable so it works in places that need to let moisture out. Overall it will make for easy maintenance and cleanup.

Solvent based acrylics contain high level VOC’s so you need to keep that in mind when ordering them.

Urethane coating

Urethane, like epoxy, is highly resistant and easy to maintain. It can also leave the same kind of smooth final surface as epoxy does. It is designed to handle heavy use like traffic, chemicals, and machinery. It is no wonder that it has been increasingly popular lately.

Epoxy is a higher strength substance, but urethane is better when it comes to moving as it doesn’t crack so easily because of the higher flexibility. So for contracting and expanding surfaces urethane is better.

It will also leave a seamless surface as epoxy does so it will work well on facilities that have chemicals or water. It is resistant to cold temperature so it will also work on cold facilities and other outside surfaces.

Some say that it even surpasses epoxy on thermal shock and chemical stress. Urethane coatings don’t adhere to concrete well so most of the time they come with adhering primer solutions that you have to use before the coating. After that, the urethane coating is applied and it will adhere to that primer.


Here you have 4 types of concrete coatings compared and I hope it helps a little bit. I’m a fan of polyurethane these days as I’ve done more of those these days as it’s getting more popular on outside uses. Epoxy is going strong as well, but polyurethane is a strong competitor.

When you’re planning on buying the coating, it’s good to look where it is going to be placed. Outdoors garage in cold weather might favor polyurethane while warm garage could favor epoxy. At places with slight use, but lots of UV light acrylic coatings might be the best.

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