Difference between Commercial and Residential epoxy flooring
What is a Commercial epoxy coating and what is the difference between it and an epoxy used in residential flooring? This question is common in the industry and among homeowners, with many wondering what the difference is between the two.
There are many differences however, most of the same processes and materials are used for both commercial and residential epoxy floors. Here at Pro Flooring Systems LLC, residential systems that we install in garages, basements and living rooms might have similar uses in commercial kitchens, or warehouses. All our residential systems can be used for commercial projects. One of the major differences between a residential epoxy floor and an industrial epoxy floor is the amount of topcoats, as well as the material chosen for topcoat. In a residential application an epoxy topcoat may be sufficient as the environment may not be as aggressive or corrosive to the floor, where in an industrial application a chemical resistant urethane topcoat may be necessary to protect the floor from harmful chemicals and a rough work environment. A polyaspartic topcoat could be used for faster turn around in an environment that requires less down time, like a commercial application.
Many uses of epoxy coatings in commercial settings also require the addition of non-slip additives such as sand or grit (we use a sand-like material) to give the floor a much more textured surface. This textured finish gives more traction and helps to prevent slippage.
All said and done, all residential epoxy systems can be ‘converted’ for use in most commercial floor projects. It all depends on traffic, use and what sort of wear the floor is likely to receive, we select an appropriate finish for the situation. There are a few coatings that are specific to commercial projects that, in theory, could be used in a home, but would be considered ‘over-kill’.
For home use many people have heard of coatings for garages, but they can be used for many other surfaces as well. Below are just a few:
Epoxy resins for pool decks and pool rooms. These areas can be dangerous if they’re not surfaced properly. Water from the pool can make both slippery. Epoxy flooring can be mixed with non-slip materials that provide extra traction around the pool deck to help prevent injuries from slipping.
Pool rooms are an excellent place to use epoxies. The coating makes a moisture and microbial barrier that protects against moisture damage and bacteria build-up.
Bathrooms are another area to consider. We do spend a lot of time in the bathroom; showering, washing our hands, or just getting ready for work. One person uses the bathroom several times a day. With all the water and steam from constant showers and water from the sink, bathrooms see a lot of moisture. This causes many problems, like mildew, peeling paint and wallpaper, and damp and rotting baseboards. Resinous coatings can prevent many of these problems.
The epoxy seals the floor against moisture, preventing water damage to the flooring. It also creates a barrier against mildew. Epoxy can also be used on the walls and baseboards.
Because of the time and money spent into the kitchen, bedrooms and other rooms, many basements seem half-finished because some people cut corners on the flooring. Bare concrete, rafters and beams still visible make the room just look incomplete. With a few finishing touches and an epoxy coating on the floor, the room can become the perfect hangout to watch the game, or for the kids. One very popular use for epoxy in the home is for the garage. The garage is a place that can see heavy use due to tools, equipment, vehicles and other things that are stored there. Many people also use the garage as a workshop. This can lead to tools getting dropped, or heavy items being slid, dropped or drug around. Oil spills, dripping car fluids and other chemicals are also a concern.
Very few flooring options can stand up to the abuse! Epoxy can stand up to most oils and chemicals. Heavy items being dragged, slid or dropped will usually cause little to no damage. Epoxy also seals the floor, making it a breeze to clean.
Epoxies come in just about any style and color you can imagine. They can be used to match the color or style of a room, or just add some color or pop to a project. With these benefits, using epoxy is an easy choice for the homeowner, allowing them to spend more time enjoying the home, rather than worrying about the floors.