To achieve the best results for a decorative concrete project, you need to know that you’re choosing the best materials for the job. But as decorative concrete coatings have become more innovative and offer better performance, the choice of which to use has gotten more complicated.
Here’s an overview of several different coatings to help you pick the right one for your decorative concrete coating project.
For stamped concrete and surfaces requiring greater design:
If you’re looking for an easy way to create a unique design that’s rich in color, or that has a high gloss or satin-matte finish (or the exact sheen you need), consider a Solvent-Based Acrylic. It’s ideal for stamped concrete or exposed-aggregate concrete because it will enhance the color as well as give you adequate surface protection.
Solvent-Based Acrylics are UV resistant and non-yellowing, making them excellent for exterior surfaces. They will enhance your color better than water-based products. They can be also be used for your interior decorative concrete flooring needs.
When color preservation is a top priority:
Any exterior concrete surface where color preservation or added protection of your appearance is a top priority, you may want to choose a Non-Yellowing Acrylic sealer. It’s often recommended for projects such as swimming pool areas, patios, driveways, walkways, or any exposed aggregate where the outdoor surface is subject to sun and harsh weather.
What makes Non-Yellowing Acrylics so effective for protecting the integrity of your color is that they keep out harmful UV light — and UV light is a top cause of color or material break down (and therefore yellow).
Unfortunately, some manufacturers compromise their product’s protective capabilities by using a styrene-acrylic blend in their curing and sealing formula. Blending styrene into the acrylic may lower cost and improve curing efficiency, but it reduces the product’s long-term ability to stand up UV light, and the surface may begin to yellow or brown after extended UV exposure. So make sure to use a fully non-yellowing resin —meaning a pure acrylic.
For extreme durability, industrial applications, garage floors, or high traffic areas:
When you need incredible strength and durability, abrasion and scratch resistance, and a fast cure time, basically everything, consider a Polyaspartic coating. They’re ideal for stained and decorative concrete and concrete overlays for malls, hotels, restaurants, or any other high traffic area. They’re even gas and grease resistant, making them highly popular for garage floors as well.
A Polyaspartic coating can also give you superior protection against corrosion for equipment and agricultural vehicles, commercial vehicles, wind power stations and other machinery or outdoor storage that’s exposed to the elements. Industrial applications include: pipe and pipeline coatings, sewer and tank linings, water treatment plants, manholes, and more.
For beautiful, durable and scratch resistant surfaces in high traffic retail areas:
Not only are epoxy coatings preferred for projects requiring a beautiful looking surface, but if applied in the right environment, they will perform well for a long time.
They’re thicker than other types of sealers, making them the best choice for protection against abrasions, scratches and wear from high-traffic. They’re much tougher than acrylic or other types of sealers, and can be formulated to be either clear or in a number of pigments. They can be highly decorative, have excellent adhesion to concrete, and are low odor.
But Epoxies are not typically UV stable. If used on exterior decorative concrete, they could yellow or brown in the future. So they’re more suitable for interior concrete projects.
Aliphatic polyurethane could easily be your ideal solution for your flooring solution needs for a beverage facility, chemical processing plant, or anywhere traditional Epoxy flooring may be insufficient. That’s because they prevent moisture from getting into your floor, the number one cause of foreign bacteria. This is key, because once bacteria gets into the floor, a number of problems occur, including damage to the substrate and the violation of safety compliance guidelines.
Polyurethanes are UV stable, so they won’t discolor quickly. They’re also durable, attractive and available in a wide variety of pigments. So in addition to great protection, they do provide some design variation.
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