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What Is the Best Concrete Coating for Your Floors?

Are you wondering what is the best concrete coating for your floors? If so, you've come to the right place. We discuss some of our favorites.
Photo of two workers using the best concrete coatings for a floor

Are you thinking about giving your concrete floors a makeover? Wondering which coating will make them look great and last a long time? If so, you’re in the right place. 

In this blog, we explore the different types of coatings for concrete floors. Whether you’re looking to spruce up your garage, basement, or any other concrete surface, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s dive in and answer the question, “What is the best concrete coating for your floors?”

Metallic Coatings

These coatings give your concrete floors a sleek and shiny finish, almost like polished metal. They come in a variety of colors and can create stunning visual effects with their reflective properties.

One of the great things about metallic coatings is their durability. They’re resistant to stains, scratches, and chemicals. This makes them perfect for high-traffic areas like garages or commercial spaces. They’re also relatively easy to clean and maintain. So you can keep your floors looking shiny and new with minimal effort.

While metallic coatings offer numerous benefits, there are certain situations where they might not be the best choice for your concrete floors. Here are a few scenarios in which you might want to avoid metallic coatings.

Care Requirements

Dust and dirt can accumulate on metallic-coated floors, dulling their shine over time. Regular sweeping or vacuuming with a soft-bristle broom or a vacuum cleaner with a hard floor attachment can help remove surface debris.

Mopping with a gentle cleaner and warm water is also recommended to remove stains and spills. Avoid using harsh chemical cleaners, as they can damage the metallic finish.

To prevent scratches and scuffs, you’ll need to place rugs or mats in high-traffic areas and under furniture legs. These protective measures can help minimize wear and tear on the coating. When moving heavy furniture or equipment, use furniture pads or sliders to prevent scratching or gouging the metallic coating.

Over time, the metallic coating may begin to lose its shine due to foot traffic and everyday wear. If this happens, reapplication of a protective topcoat can help restore the gloss and enhance the coating’s durability.

When to Avoid This Metallic Floor COatings

  • Moisture Prone Areas: Metallic coatings don’t handle water well, so avoid use in places like bathrooms or outdoor spots without proper shelter. A moisture barrier can be used to help avoid these problems. It’s always good to make sure your contractor tests for moisture problems before the coating goes down.
  • Industrial Settings: If you have a lot of machinery or vehicles moving around, metallic coatings might not last long.

Flake Coatings

Flake coatings are like confetti for your floors. A customer favorite, this coating consists of colorful vinyl flakes that are sprinkled onto a freshly applied layer of epoxy or other resin. As the resin cures, the flakes create a textured and decorative finish.

One of the biggest advantages of this flooring upgrade is its versatility. They come in a wide range of colors, sizes, and patterns. This means you can customize your floors based on style and preference. Whether you prefer a subtle speckled look or a bold, eye-catching design, there’s a flake combination for you.

Aside from their aesthetic appeal, flake coatings offer practical benefits as well. The flakes create a slightly rough surface that provides excellent traction. This reduces the risk of slips and falls (especially when the floor is wet).

The epoxy or resin base also provides a durable and resistant barrier against stains, chemicals, and abrasions. Because of this, flake coatings are ideal for garages, workshops, and other high-traffic areas.

Care Requirements

One of the key benefits of flake coatings is their low maintenance requirements. Regular sweeping and occasional mopping with a mild detergent are typically all that’s needed to keep them clean and looking their best. Periodic resealing may be recommended to maintain the coating’s protective properties and extend its lifespan. 

When to Avoid Flake Floor Coatings

  • Extremely Rough Surfaces: Flake coatings require a smooth and even surface or they won’t stick properly.
  • High Moisture Areas: Flake coatings aren’t suitable for concrete floors in areas prone to frequent or excessive moisture (i.e. basements prone to floods). A moisture barrier can be used to help avoid these problems. It’s always good to make sure your contractor tests for moisture problems before the coating goes down.
  • High-Heat Environments: Flake coatings don’t withstand high temperatures well and can degrade in environments with extreme heat.
  • Chemical Exposure: Flake coatings may not offer sufficient protection against prolonged exposure to gasoline, oil, or strong acids. Certain measures and products can be added to allow for such exposure. It’s always good to talk to your contractor about your intended use.

Quartz Coatings

If you’re looking for a tough and durable option for your concrete floors, quartz coatings might be just what you need. These coatings combine epoxy resin with quartz granules to create a strong and resilient surface that can withstand heavy use and abuse.

The quartz granules make concrete floors highly resistant to scratches and wear and tear. This is why quartz coatings are an excellent choice for:

  • Warehouses
  • Industrial facilities
  • Commercial kitchens

In addition to its durability, quartz coatings also offer excellent slip resistance. The textured surface created by the quartz granules provides traction underfoot. This reduces the risk of slips and falls. Even when the floor is wet or oily. This makes quartz coatings a safe and practical option for environments where safety is a priority.

Care Requirements

Regular cleaning is essential to preserve the appearance and performance of quartz-coated floors. Sweep or vacuum the floor regularly to remove dirt and debris. Grit and particles can act like sandpaper and cause abrasions over time.

It’s best to use a soft-bristled broom or a vacuum with a brush attachment to avoid scratching the surface. The majority of the time, having a daily cleaning routine is fine (for instance, a warehouse having a janitorial team that does regular cleaning).

While quartz-coated concrete floors are water-resistant, chronic leaks can seep into joints or seams and cause damage over time. So you’ll need to wipe up spills and avoid prolonged exposure to moisture promptly.

When to Avoid This Floor Sealer

  • Extreme Temperature Fluctuations: Quartz coatings may not perform well and could be prone to cracking or damage.
  • Chemical Exposure: Quartz coatings may not be appropriate for areas exposed to highly corrosive chemicals (specialized chemical-resistant coatings may be required).
  • High UV Exposure: In outdoor or sun-exposed areas, UV radiation can cause the color of quartz coatings to fade over time

Overlay Coatings

Overlay coatings are like a fresh layer of skin for your concrete floors. These coatings are designed to resurface and rejuvenate old or damaged concrete surfaces. Giving them a brand-new look without the need for costly replacement.

One of the main advantages of overlay coatings is their ability to correct minor imperfections in the concrete. This includes cracks, chips, and uneven surfaces. By applying a thin layer of overlay material, you can smooth out rough spots and create a uniform appearance. Revitalizing your floors in the process.

Overlay coatings come in various types, including:

  • Spray/Tex (Pool Knockdown or “Cool Deck”)
  • Broom Finish
  • Microtopping

Each type offers unique features and benefits. So it’s essential to choose the right one for your specific needs. For instance, overlays are known for their excellent adhesion and chemical resistance. This makes them suitable for industrial and commercial applications.

On the other hand, polyurethane overlays are flexible and UV-resistant. This makes them the better choice for outdoor use.

Care Requirements

Sweep or vacuum the floor regularly to remove dirt, dust, and debris that can scratch the coating’s surface. Use a soft-bristled broom or a vacuum with a soft brush attachment to avoid scratching the coating.

For more thorough cleaning, you can mop the floor with a mild detergent and water solution. Always avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners. They can (and will) damage the coating.

Depending on the level of foot traffic and wear, you may need a fresh coat of sealant or wax every few years to maintain the coating’s protective properties and enhance its appearance.

When to Avoid This Floor Sealer

  • If your concrete floors have significant structural issues, such as extensive cracks, heaving, or settling.
  • In areas with extreme temperature fluctuations, such as freezing winters and hot summers, overlay coatings may expand and contract, leading to cracking. However, this situation is normally due to the concrete itself moving and not due to a failure with the overlay itself.
  • They may not hold up well in heavy traffic areas or industrial settings with constant wear and tear.

Still Stuck on What Is the Best Concrete Coating?

Choosing the best concrete coating for your floors doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Whether you’re aiming for a sleek and modern finish or strength and resilience, there’s a coating option to suit every style and need.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just getting started. EZ Concrete Supply Chicago has everything you need to achieve professional-quality results.

Watch our trainings to help determine what is the best concrete coating for your floor. Or you can shop our products and start your journey towards beautiful and durable concrete floors that you’ll love for years to come.

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