Polyurea vs. Polyurethane & Epoxy

 

POLYURETHANE

 

POLYUREA

 

EPOXY

 

Forms a weak bond when applied directly to concrete. Usually used as a topcoat with an epoxy-based primer.

Polyurea forms a very strong bond to concrete.

Epoxy forms a very strong bond to concrete.

Has been in use for 20+ years. Has been in use for 30+ years. Has been in use for 65+ years.
Must be top-coated every 4-7 years.

Lasts indefinitely if applied properly–even in challenging environments.

High quality epoxies last indefinitely if applied properly in the right environment.

Polyurethane has elongation properties similar to Polyurea.

Polyurea has elongation properties more than 50 times that of epoxy–making it highly resistant to cracking.

Cures to a very hard surfaceepoxy cannot handle expanding and contracting concrete found outdoors.

Works well indoors and outdoors.

Polyurea works as well outdoors as it does indoors. Installations can be done in very challenging environments and perform well.

Not recommended for outdoor use. Epoxy cannot handle the constantly fluctuating state of outdoor concrete.

Can be installed in temperatures ranging from 20° F to 110° F.

Polyurea flooring products can be installed in temperatures ranging from -20° F to 130° F.

Epoxy can only be properly installed in temperatures above 50° F.

Installs and cures in 2-4 days. Installs and cures in one day. Installs and cures in 6-8 days.

Moderately susceptible to hot tire pick-up.

Polyurea is highly resistant to hot tire pick-up.

Property installed industrial-grade epoxy is highly resistant to hot tire pick-up.

Generates strong odor when curing.

Generates almost no odor when curing.

Generates strong odor when curing.

Highly resistant to oil and most contaminants.

Highly resistant to oil and most contaminants–just wipe up spills. No trace is left.

Industrial-grade epoxies (not big-box store epoxies) are very oil and chemical resistant.

More resistant to fading than epoxy.

Polyurea is 100% UV protected so it will not fade.

Industrial-grade epoxies do not fade over time.

Retains traction when wet.

Polyurea retains traction when wet.

Property installed epoxy retains traction when wet.

Moderate VOC levels.

Green Product. Most forms of Polyurea have zero or extremely low VOCs.

Industrial-grade epoxies have low VOCs. Big-box store epoxies have extremely high VOC content.

Many color options. Numerous color options. Many color options.

Can be used as a single surface coating between floors and walls.

Is able to coat walls and floors as one surface, which prevents bacteria growth in wall cavities and makes cleaning much easier.

Epoxy can be used as a single surface coating between floors and walls.

*This chart is not intended to be a comparison to ALL epoxies. The epoxy example used in this chart is a high-quality, general-use epoxy commonly used in residential and commercial concrete coating applications. There are hundreds of different epoxies, some of which are formulated for specific performance in unique environments, or for uses that are not related to construction.