Images courtesy of Technical Finishes

Choosing the correct resin flooring can mean the difference between a fully functional, aesthetically pleasing floor with high technical performance, and replacing the entire concrete screed.

Epoxy and Polyurethane resin solutions are extremely versatile products that packs a powerful punch when it comes to maintaining its performance characteristics throughout its lifecycle.

In addition to being able to withstand heavy traffic and high usage over extended periods of time, both epoxy and polyurethane flooring systems offers great flexibility and design opportunities for the client.

Several questions need to be answered for the selection of the right type of floor. A thorough understanding of the key factors influencing the selection of a flooring system can offer a substantial saving and reduce risks on site.

Some key factors influencing the selection of flooring systems:

  • Traffic the floor will be subjected to.
  • Temperatures to which flooring will be exposed.
  • Chemical exposure.
  • Wet or dry service conditions.
  • Slip-resistance requirements.
  • Aesthetics.
  • Hygiene requirements.
  • Moisture content of the substrate.
  • Application time.
  • Cost.

How to choose resin flooring

Resin floors are classified into eight categories – from thickness to surface finish.

To choose the correct resin, keep the following in mind:

  1. Resin floor sealers
    Durability: Light foot traffic and infrequent light vehicles.
    Characteristics: Protection against mild, ad hoc chemical spills.
    Applications: Only in low-traffic areas.
  2. Resin floor coatings
    Durability: Light-duty foot and vehicle traffic.
    Characteristics: Protection against mild chemical spills, minimum impact.
    Applications: General storage and manufacturing areas.
  3. High-build resin floor coatings
    Durability: Light to medium duty, regular foot and vehicle traffic.
    Characteristics: Chemical and moderate impact resistance, hygienic and anti-static grades available.
    Applications: Offices, warehouses, hospitals, manufacturing environments.
  4. Multilayer resin floors
    Durability: Medium- to heavy-duty, continual foot, vehicle and trolley traffic.
    Characteristics: Chemical and impact resistance, hygienic and anti-static grades available, slip-resistant.
    Applications: Shopping centres, retail facilities, wet areas, kitchens, food processing, storage and manufacturing areas.
  5. Flow applied/self-smoothing/self-levelling resin flooring
    Durability: Medium to heavy foot and vehicle traffic. High loads.
    Characteristics: Good impact and chemical resistance, food grades and static control grades available.
    Applications: Offices, warehouses, car showrooms, airport hangers, loading areas, public spaces, shops.
  6. RESIN screed flooring
    Durability: Long life, medium-heavy-duty flooring.
    Characteristics: Moderate impact resistance, easy to clean, food-safe, moderate anti-slip, static-controlled grades available. Low chemical resistance.
    Applications: Offices, public buildings, warehouses.
  7. Heavy-duty flowable flooring
    Durability: Heavy to very heavy-duty flooring for constant vehicle traffic, large loads and impacts.
    Characteristics: Excellent chemical and impact resistance, excellent cleanability, food safety and anti-static grades available. Low slip resistance.
    Applications: Logistics and manufacturing areas designed for constant heavy vehicle use and storage of heavy loads.
  8. Heavy-duty screed floor
    Very heavy duty: Extremely tough flooring system with excellent resistance to impacts, loading and continuous heavy vehicle traffic.
    Characteristics: Excellent impact and chemical resistance, excellent hygiene level, good anti-slip resistance, anti-static grades available.
    Applications: Food and drink manufacturing and processing, electronics manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, power generation, chemical processing and busy distribution centres.

At-a-glance guide to the different types of resins

EpoxyPolyurethaneMethyl methacrylate (MMA)PolyureaPolyaspartic
High physical strengthHigh physical strengthVery fast installationFast cureFast cure
Low-impact resistanceHigh-impact resistanceLow temperature toleranceHigh chemical resistanceHigh chemical resistance
High glossGloss or matt finishMoisture sensitiveRapid installationUV stable
Good chemical resistanceHigh thermal shock resistanceUltraviolet (UV) resistanceColour unstable 
Low thermal shock resistanceUV resistant   
Poor UV resistanceExcellent chemical resistance   

Why is selecting the right resin floor so important?

A floor is by its nature an expensive investment. More so when it’s in an industrial or commercial building. An incorrect selection could mean you would need to replace the entire concrete screed, which is far more costly than what the initial floor would have cost if specified and installed correctly.

This is why it is imperative to apply a protective layer on the floor – it improves the lifespan, enables functionality and offers the ultimate solution for the environment.

Resin flooring is not only durable, a long-term protective layer for the floor but also offers and complies with the necessary health and safety standards, whilst being an aesthetically pleasing seamless floor.

Asking the right questions and working with a specialist flooring material supplier, can mean the difference between an award-winning project or continues hindrance.

Thanks and acknowledgement go to Technical Finishes, Central Flooring Services Ltd and FERFA for the information contained in this article.

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