Floor coatings are tough, protective layers used in applications where heavy surface wear or corrosion is expected. Typical applications include warehouses, chemical plants, and manufacturing floors. Floor coatings can also be used to brighten or define areas of facilities, mark traffic aisles, route traffic, and cover stained concrete. A floor coating such as epoxy is suitable for resurfacing applications and patching exposed surfaces. Epoxies require clean surfaces and exhibit high strength and low shrinkage during curing. Setting styles include single-component, dual-component, thermosetting, and radiation curing. Polyurethane floor coatings can be thermoplastic or thermosetting. Ceramic floor coatings consist of oxides, carbides, nitrides, carbon and other non-metals with high melting points. Ceramics are suitable for applications requiring wear resistance, refractoriness, low electrical resistivity or other specialized characteristics.
Floor coatings differ in terms of specifications and features. Many products include sealers and sealants. A sealer is used to protect a surface from oxidation and wear. A sealant is a semi-solid substance that hardens to prevent the ingress of moisture and dirt. Some sealers contain putty, asphalt and wax. Others include varnish, shellac, lacquer, urethane, and polyurethane. Floor coatings that provide static control are also available. Materials of construction include conductive and dissipative rubber. Vinyl tile, antistatic conductive carpeting and carpet tiles, conductive epoxy coatings for resinous flooring applications, antistatic floor runners, and conductive sheet flooring are also available. Slip protection floor coatings can be applied to porcelain, fiberglass, ceramic or metal to create non-slip surfaces and enhance worker safety.
Selecting floor coatings requires an analysis of application requirements. Factors to consider include chemical exposure, abrasion, impact, and thermal shock. Other considerations include appearance, installation time, total project cost, and life expectancy. For best results, resurfaced floors must be inspected periodically by a facilities manager or qualified contractor. Periodic inspections are especially important with concrete floors, which are porous and tend to create dust from abrasion and wear.