Polyaspartic vs Epoxy Garage Floor Coating

December 9, 2022
Polyaspartic vs Epoxy | Epoxy Colorado

Polyaspartic vs epoxy garage floor coating: If you are looking for a floor coating for your home garage or workspace, you've most likely heard about epoxy floor coatings for added durability, traction, and visual beauty. You also probably heard about polyaspartic floor coatings, but if you're anything like me, you probably thought that was just a fancy type of epoxy.

But the truth is that epoxy coatings and polyaspartic coatings are two different things that involve similar installation processes but each offer slightly different pros and cons. Both will transform your dull, cracking concrete floor into a stunning work of art, but which coating is suitable for your situation? Keep reading to learn more about each type's pros, cons, and use cases.

What is polyaspartic?

Polyaspartic was first developed in the late 1990s, making it a relatively new invention, and it was used primarily to eliminate rust and corrosion on steel structures like bridges. It was developed to be highly heat resistant and easily withstand temperatures above 300 degrees Fahrenheit, making it an excellent option for high-traffic and high-heat surfaces like garage floors.

Aside from its extreme heat resistance capabilities, polyaspartic is highly resistant to UV rays and corrosive chemicals. Although highly acidic compounds can compromise its integrity, polyaspartic is an excellent alternative to concrete flooring and epoxy coatings in many cases.

Since it has been introduced in residential garage flooring applications, polyaspartic coatings have been formulated for fast drying times and low VOC emissions, allowing an easy one-day installation with fewer offensive odors than alternatives like epoxy coatings.

Polyaspartic Flooring Pros

What are some good things about installing a polyaspartic coating in your garage?

Durability

Unlike epoxy, polyaspartic coatings can be applied indoors and outdoors due to their extreme corrosion resistance. When installed properly, a polyaspartic coating will last for years to come.

Weather Resistance

UV rays, outdoor air, and weather often damage epoxy coatings causing them to crack and deteriorate over time. Polyaspartic was initially developed to work outdoors and stand up to mother nature's unpredictability.

Stunning Work of Art

With polyaspartic, we can fully customize your floor to your liking without any added costs or hoops to jump through. Although we can't offer as many color choices as with epoxy due to its insanely quick drying time, you can rest assured your polyaspartic floor will be a talking point for years to come.

Low VOCs

Using a low volatile organic compound (VOC) formula, polyaspartic coatings are perfect for those with an extra sensitive nose and a love for the environment. While it is not 100% eco-friendly, when compared to epoxy, polyaspartic is a much cleaner and less foul-smelling alternative.

Fade Resistance

Polyaspartic coatings are resistant to UV rays, meaning they will retain their vibrant colors for years. Epoxy is highly susceptible to fading, making it the less desired choice for garages with lots of light.

Quick Installation

Installation takes one day or less, depending on the size of your garage. What does that mean? It means you only have to interrupt your daily flow for one day or less, and in the end, you'll have a fantastic floor that your neighbors will immediately wish they had.

Polyaspartic Flooring Cons

What are some downsides to installing a polyaspartic coating in your garage?

High Cost

As the age-old saying goes, "you get what you pay for." A more accurate sentiment regarding polyaspartic coatings has never been uttered. Quality often comes at a higher cost, but it is up to you to decide if the extra expense for polyaspartic compared to epoxy is worth the longevity and added durability.

Acid Corrosion

Polyaspartic may resist many other potentially toxic compounds but is susceptible to highly acidic liquids, such as battery acid. For fool-proof protection against commercial-grade poisonous chemicals, you might want to consider a secondary containment treatment.

Hard to Install

Unlike epoxy, polyaspartic is highly difficult to install and should be left to professionals. This project should not fall on your DIY list of things to do since one wrong move can result in air bubbles, uneven installation, or even separation from the base concrete.

Tricky Install Conditions in Humid Climates

For those living in moderately to highly humid climates, moisture built up in the concrete can create potentially devasting conditions for polyaspartic coatings. If there is too much moisture, the layer is more likely to separate from the concrete, causing unwanted cracks, unevenness, and air bubbles over time.

Sometimes Dries too Quickly

Although polyaspartic can be designed to dry more quickly, sometimes, when DIYers choose to install their coating, they underestimate how quickly it actually does dry. Skilled professionals can work fast enough to avoid the base coat and the unwanted air bubbles. Get in touch with us today to get your free quote!

What is epoxy?

Epoxy is a polymer (a group of chemical compounds composed of large molecules with repeating subunits) that has been used to seal concrete floors for decades due to its resistant and durable properties once cured. Epoxy coatings have mainly been used indoors due to the corrosive nature of the compound when exposed to UV rays and foreign chemicals.

Epoxy floors typically consist of a primer, a styled color base coat, and a few top layers of polyurethane. They can easily be customized to suit anyone's style preference, with over 250 color choices. Epoxy floors used to be the go-to for sealing a cracked concrete garage floor. Still, with the relatively recent movement of polyaspartic coatings, many of our customers have opted for the latter for a few key reasons. But which one is right for you? Let's break it down.

Epoxy Flooring Pros

What are some good things about installing an epoxy coating in your garage?

Durability

Epoxy dries hard, allowing it to withstand high-traffic areas easily.

Affordability

Epoxy is an excellent option for those looking to spend less and get the most out of their floor coating. Compared to polyaspartic, epoxy is a great budget-friendly option.

Chemical Resistance

Unlike polyaspartic, epoxy is resistant to chemicals like battery acids and other highly acidic liquids. Oil spills are also easy to clean, thanks to epoxy's lack of porousness.

Customization

Epoxy floors can be customized to their owner's style preference. Our vinyl flake coatings are the most popular choice for those looking to spice up their dull concrete floor.

Quick Installation

With a one-day installation, you can quickly return to your daily grind, knowing your floor will be protected for years to come.

Epoxy Flooring Cons

What are some downsides to installing an epoxy coating in your garage?

Temperature-Sensitive

Epoxy is challenging to install in extremely high or low temperatures, making it more of a seasonally available product. If the conditions don't align with your targeted install date, installation cannot be completed.

Curing Time

Epoxy takes several days to dry, meaning you can't park any vehicles on its surface until it fully dries. It also takes nearly a month to cure and can vary depending on outside temperatures.

Bad Smell & VOCs

It's no secret that epoxy coatings can increase the number of airborne VOCs, causing the air quality to be potentially toxic for short amounts of time. Not to mention the smell! It's not great and can last for several days and weeks, depending on the temperatures.

Easily Fades

Unlike polyaspartic, epoxy is not resistant to UV rays and can quickly fade over time. We do not recommend epoxy floors in areas with a lot of natural light.

Not Crack-Proof

One of the most significant downsides of epoxy coatings is that when dry, they become rigid, making them more susceptible to cracking, unlike polyaspartic.

Polyaspartic vs Epoxy

So, where do we stand on the whole polyaspartic vs epoxy debate? Regarding residential garages and high-traffic spaces with exposure to natural light, concrete prone to cracking, and areas with higher humidity, we highly recommend opting for a polyaspartic coating over epoxy.

If, after reading about the cons of epoxy, you are still not convinced, there is nothing wrong with an epoxy coating for your garages! Although epoxy is not as durable, crack-resistant, or fade-resistant as polyaspartic, certain chemicals and acidic compounds cannot penetrate epoxy and can corrode polyaspartic. If saving money is essential, then epoxy might be best for your case.

Both options offer extensive color customization and are leaps and bounds better than a cracking concrete floor. Each one serves a different purpose and for more help figuring out which one is right for your case, take a look at our residential flooring types to read more about each one.

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