For small businesses that want to keep costs low, DIY commercial/industrial flooring installation is an option with certain types of coatings.
For environments in which durability is a high priority, self-leveling epoxy floor coatings are an excellent option. They are resistant to impact, abrasion, corrosion, and rust, which allows floors to stand up to more wear and tear over the years. When deciding what type of epoxy floor coating is best for your application, consider how the space will be used. For better flexibility and water resistance, choose a polyamide-cured epoxy, and for better chemical resistance, choose an amine-cured product. For extreme chemical resistance to both acid and alkali compounds, a thicker product such as Duraamen’s Novolac is a good choice.
The color of the floor can be customized to match your preferences, and the seamless, smooth finish is easy to clean. Regardless of the type of epoxy floor you install, it is generally recommended to coat it with polyurethane for sun protection and to prevent chalking.
Methyl methacrylate, also known as MMA, is an acrylic resin that can be used for both interior and exterior applications. One of the greatest advantages of this type of commercial/industrial flooring system is that it cures within just a couple of hours, which makes it ideal for reducing downtime. However, indoor installations do require adequate ventilation because of the strong odor, so it’s a good idea to do it when the space is not occupied.
MMA’s bonding properties allow it to be applied over most types of existing flooring. It can also be installed in fairly extreme temperatures, so if the environment is exposed to high heat or cold, this is a good option. MMA floors are also resistant to both organic acids and lye, and they’re impervious to water and other liquids. Because MMA does not degrade when exposed to UV light, no additional sealing or coating layers are required.
MMA can also be mixed with antimicrobial agents for applications that require it. The surface can be customized with anti-slip products as well as quartz, sand, and pigments to create a unique color and texture.
Polyurethane is a relatively thin film that is most often used as a top coat with acrylic and epoxy flooring to provide UV protection as well as abrasion and chemical resistance. Some polyurethane sealers yellow over time with UV exposure, so be sure to select one that does not do this if coloring is an issue. It can also be blended with cement and sand to create an ultra-durable floor coating.
If your existing floor is in good condition, a polyurethane sealer can be applied to make it more resistant to scuffing and general wear and tear. With a typical curing time of 24-48 hours, this is a cost-effective way to lengthen the life span of your existing floor.
A subgroup of polyureas, polyaspartic resins offer several advantages for DIY commercial/industrial flooring. With a relatively fast curing time of 1-4 hours and no odor, polyaspartic resins can be safely applied in occupied spaces and require minimal downtime. You can also control the reaction rate during application to match your pace and desired cure time. There are no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the product, which is why there is no odor, and it can be applied without the use of any solvents.
After the floor has cured, it is light-stable, so it will not yellow over time, even if it’s applied as a clear coat. Pigments and broadcast media can also be added to create a customized look and feel. Polyaspartic coatings are more resistant to chemicals and abrasion than other types of resins, making them a great option for a range of applications.
Elastomeric coatings, which are often a type of MMA resin, are both thick and flexible, with low water permeability. This makes them a good choice for outdoor applications such as parking decks, pool areas, and roofs, and interior applications such as pools, showers, gyms, and spas. Because they are so thick, they can also fill in minor cracking, so the substrate beneath doesn’t have to undergo major repairs before the coating is applied.