Although the terms paint and coating are often used interchangeably, there are definite differences between epoxy floor coatings and epoxy paint. Read on for more information about these commonly confused industry terms.
What’s in a Name?
To be fair, even industry experts will toss around the word paint to describe the coating material they are applying on a particular job. However, epoxy paint and epoxy floor coatings are not the same.
- Epoxy Paint: Typically, epoxy paint is a latex acrylic product that may have a small amount of epoxy in the mix. These products may have better adhesion and durability than standard acrylic paint, but they should not be confused with epoxy floor coatings.
- Epoxy Floor Coatings: Epoxy floor coatings are two component materials consisting of epoxy resin and a polyamine hardener. Prior to applying epoxy floor coatings, the two parts must be mixed together. Unlike paint, epoxy floor coatings cure rather than dry. They are also resistant to staining and are chemical and abrasion resistant.
Difference in Application and Durability
One thing is certain: Paint is usually much easier to apply than epoxy floor coatings. With paint, an applicator simply power washes the concrete floor surface, lets the substrate dry and then applies a coat or two of paint. While the floor may look great and was simple to achieve, from both a financial and labor standpoint, it is really a quick-fix with a short life span. Over the course of a few months (or a few years in the best of circumstances), bare concrete will begin to show through the layer(s) of paint as it begins to wear off in high traffic areas. In addition, the paint may stain easily and may flake off in big chunks where it covered a stain or imperfection in the substrate.
On the other hand, epoxy floor coatings have the durability to last years and years. These coating systems are durable, resistant to abrasion – even in high traffic areas – and chemical resistant. They are non-porous, will not flake and can also be slip resistant. However, epoxy floor coatings require quite a bit more as far as the application process goes. Proper surface preparation, such as shot blasting, grinding or scarifying, is a must when it comes to the application of epoxy floor coatings. Epoxy floor coating systems may also consist of various layers – primer, body coat, broadcast layer and top coat – making them thicker than a simple coat or two of paint.
The Right Choice
Knowing the difference between epoxy paint and epoxy floor coatings is extremely important when dealing with job specifications. Although those in the industry may use the terms interchangeably, they are very different. Always remember to clarify the terms and that on jobs where longevity, durability and quality are important, epoxy floor coatings are the right choice!
For more information about Plexi-Chemie’s high quality epoxy floor coating systems, please visit www.plexi-chemie.com or call 904.693-8800.