Optimal protection with the right commercial and industrial floor coatings
Floor coating serves as thin protective layers on existing floors and as thicker complete flooring systems. The thin layer commercial and industrial floor coatings are usually not thicker than a millimetre, but the complete flooring systems may reach up to one centimetre in thickness. The most common commercial and industrial floor coatings for concrete on the market are polyurethane and epoxy based resin floor coatings which both come with unique properties. Wooden floors can also be coated, as we cover later in this article.
Floor coatings can be for many different purposes. 5 examples of specified floor coating functions are:
- Promotes hygiene: The seamless layer prevents spread and growth of mould, bacteria and fungi.
- Applicable in every sector: There is a suitable floor coating for every environment.
- Decorative: Available in nearly all RAL colours and in finishes from ultra matt to high gloss.
- Functional additives: It is possible make floors anti slip or fire retardant by using the right additives.
- Cost efficient: Can postpone the need for a new floor, complete floor coating systems are durable and easy to maintain.
There are commercial and industrial floor coatings suitable for almost any floor, but how to determine which coating is the best for your project? In this article we will provide you with professional advice on choosing the right floor coating for a specified environment.
Start by defining the purpose of the floor coating
As every environment is different, it is crucial to choose a floor coating that matches the requirements of your specific location. Industrial floor coatings need to bear heavy loads, and commercial floor coating systems should feel fine to walk on. A few of the most important factors to consider include downtime during installation, hygiene requirements, presence of chemicals, and people or machines using the floor.
Industrial kitchens, for example, require a HACCP certified coating to meet strict hygiene standards. Where downtime is to be avoided a fast-laid solution, such as SolidLux Instant Coating, is an option to consider. Therefore, before you jump into looking for floor coatings you should define what is expected from the coated floor.
1. Mechanical and chemical resistance
Suitable coating: Epoxy floor coating
This floor coating is an extremely hard-wearing solution which relies on epoxy resins. The coatings result in a seamless surface resistant to liquids and dirt, which makes them easy to clean. Epoxy floors bear heavy mechanical loads and do not abrade as a result of foot or vehicle traffic. Therefore, industrial floor coatings are usually epoxy based.
Possible applications: Industrial floors, warehouses, parking garages, workspaces, factories and as warehouse floor paint
2. Need for continuous activity (+ mechanical and chemical resistance)
Suitable coating: Instant floor coating
Instant floor coatings are innovative flooring solutions for floors that should be coated with the absolute minimum downtime. The instant floor coatings do not need time for drying, as they are cured by UV radiation. SolidLux Instant floor coating is the only such product on the UK market at the moment. The coating is suitable for industrial floors as well as where commercial floor coating systems are needed.
Possible applications: parking garages, factories, catering kitchens, museums, distribution centres
3. High hygiene requirements
Suitable coating: HACCP floor coating
Floor coatings with an internationally recognised HACCP certificate contribute to a hygienic, antibacterial environment; these coatings make sure that fungi and bacteria do not have a chance to attach to and grow on the floor. The HACCP floors are also highly resistant to contaminants and aggressive cleaning chemicals. In the UK, HACCP products are mandatory for sectors that process food. HACCP floors can be commercial or industrial floor coatings which are easy to clean and include an antimicrobial additive.
Possible applications: food and dairy industry, canteens, catering establishments, swimming pools and health centres
4. Walking comfort for the crowd
Suitable coating: Polyurethane (PU) floor coating
Polyurethane coatings are more flexible than epoxies, which makes them softer and more pleasant to walk on. These coatings are also known for their decorative properties; not only are they available in many colours but they also provide a high gloss finish. Also these coatings are easy to clean due to the fact that they are somewhat resistant to contaminants. These are the most common commercial floor coating systems.
Possible applications: museums, showrooms, public places, retail stores, offices or in the living room
5. Decorative protection for wooden floors
Suitable coating: Oil, stain or lacquer
Oil, stain and lacquer are perfect solutions for protecting a wooden floor, such as parquet, while letting it retain its natural beauty. Oil is transparent and enhances the natural colours of wood. Stain is absorbed by the wood resulting in a light, semi transparent coloured finish. Stains also provide protection from moisture and UV radiation, which makes them suitable for exterior wood such as decking. Lacquer provides a transparent high gloss film on wooden floors. There are also pigmented lacquers which provide the floor with an opaque colour finish. Wooden floor coatings are almost predominantly for the commercial sector due to the fact that wood is not a common material for industrial flooring.
Possible applications: residential and commercial interiors, terraces, decking
A top coat finalises the system and gives a floor coating special properties
Depending on the requirements for the floor, the coating can be complemented with a top coat that gives the floor additional properties. This is mainly to provide additional safety and protection. A top coat is suitable on any of the aforementioned coatings apart from the wooden floor coatings. However, the top coat must also meet the required standards: a restaurant floor still must be hygienic, a factory floor must not wear easily and a commercial floor should remain pleasant to walk on.
The functions a top coat may have include: anti slip for where additional grip is needed, fire resistance to minimise fire hazard, and anti static where electronic machines may cause short circuits. It is also possible to achieve a special effect with a top coat, for example luminous paint can be used to illuminate escape routes on commercial floor coating systems.
Note: if you are opting for a completely new flooring system, these properties can also be created by incorporating additives into the actual floor coatings. In that case an additional top coat is not needed. Industrial floor coatings usually do not require a topcoat, but commercial floor coating systems often include one.
Always opt for a tailored floor coating solution; provide the contractor with as many details as possible in order to achieve the most suitable floor coating. In case you need any consultancy in choosing a floor coating or you wish to reach suppliers of a specific coating, do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to help!
Important details to know about applying floor coatings
Often a floor coating is by far the best flooring option, however, there are some disadvantages related to floor coatings and their application. Consider the following factors before applying floor coatings so you know what you are dealing with:
- Layer thickness and surface preparation
The thicker the floor coating layer, the more preparation the substrate requires. The usual requirements include a completely clean surface, even surface structure and proper use of primers. Unless you are looking for a self smoothing epoxy coating, which is also applicable on uneven and damaged concrete floors.
- Pricing and durability
Thin film floor coatings are affordable, however, in the long-term they lack durability. Thicker layer floor coatings are very durable and do not require much maintenance, but they are more expensive in terms of material and application.
- Scratch sensitive epoxy
Epoxy is a hard wearing and impact resistant coating, but it lacks scratch resistance. When epoxy is the coating to be used, it is wise to apply a polyurethane top coat to increase scratch resistance.
- Application process is time consuming
A floor coating is an investment of your money and time. The application is a specialist job and can last several days, with some exceptions. If there is no time for application an instant coating is a good choice. Bear in mind that even instant coating requires a well prepared substrate.
The costs to consider – Price of commercial and industrial floor coatings per m²
The floor coating price is usually calculated per square metre. If you want to request a quote for coating a floor, never forget to mention the surface. The following 5 factors influence the price of floor coating:
- The larger the surface, the lower the floor coating price per m²: Small surfaces are usually relatively expensive to coat.
- Coating type: Epoxy is generally cheaper than polyurethane. Different standards apply to HACCP and Solidlux.
- Pre-cleaning: Some surfaces, such as concrete, require intensive pre-cleaning and surface preparation.
- Moisture content on the surface: The moisture content of the substrate may not exceed 3% for optimum results.
- Cheap may turn out expensive: Ask carefully for the quality of raw materials, they determine the durability of the floor coating.
To make it easier for you to roughly estimate floor coating prices, we have compiled a list of price indications per square metre. Note that the prices for instant and HACCP coating are higher than other floor coatings, so the following table cannot be used as a guideline for these two coating types. For the other floor coatings, the table provides a price indication as they are subject to change and variability.
|Area of floor to be coated||Indication of price per m²|
|1 – 50 m2||£45 – £70|
|51 – 100 m2||£35 – £45|
|101 – 150m2||£30 – £40|
|151m2 +||£20 – £35|
Let commercial & industrial floor coatings be applied by reliable specialists in the UK
So you have in mind to update a cold room with a hygienic HACCP coating, a parking garage with a fast-curing instant coating, a car showroom with a warm PU floor, storage room with special warehouse floor paint or something completely different. We at Coating.co.uk are happy to offer our services to provide you with a floor coating solution. In cooperation with our coating partners we can make you a competitive proposal for both material and application of floor coatings.
|Floor coating company||Offered floor coatings|
|Libert Paints||Industrial floor coatings based on polyurethane, self levelling polyurethane floor coatings|
|Prokol||Industrial floor coatings based on polyurethane and epoxy|
|Wydo||SolidLux UV Instant Floor Coating (available with anti slip)|