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  • Writer's pictureShawn Kocab

FLOOR COATING SEALERS: How to know the difference between them all

When searching for floor coating sealers, there are thousands of products on the market to choose from. Before deciding which product is the best fit for your flooring project, it's essential to understand the two basic types of sealers available today.

1. PENETRATING SEALERS Penetrating sealers are a type of sealer that usually does not require a lot of prep work before applying the product. The only time one would want to prep the surface (acid etch, diamond grind, shot-blast, etc.) would be when the concrete surface is newly poured, very smooth, or power-troweled concrete. As the name suggests, this type of floor sealer penetrates deep into the surface profile, creating strong adhesion. They usually do not change the color of the substrate and are often not used as a decorative finish. While no sealer can provide 100% stain resistance, penetrating sealers do a good job of preventing moisture from seeping into the floor. Cleanup is easy with these sealers, and most household and commercial cleaning products will suffice. However, be cautious not to use cleaning products that are too strong, as they may risk damaging the floor.

2. COATING SEALERS Coating sealers are a more common type of sealer known as coatings. These coatings create a film on top of the concrete to which they bond. They come in a variety of colors, shades, and thicknesses. To enhance safety, most coating products usually come with a non-skid additive.

Maintaining a coating is extremely easy since they sit on top of the concrete. Spills or dirt that build up on the floor can be simply wiped or washed away. However, proper floor preparation is crucial before applying the coating. The floor needs to be well-prepared to allow the coating to create a strong bond. Failing to prep the floor adequately, especially when there are pre-existing coatings, dirt, oil, or grime, is like putting a band-aid on the floor. It may work for a while, but in the long run, those areas will fail.

Over time, coatings can chip with use and abuse, similar to concrete. For added protection, it's recommended to use flooring mats on top of the coating in areas that receive heavy use or have heavy equipment.

Coating sealers are generally more expensive than penetrating sealers because they tend to last longer and create a more aesthetically pleasing result. Many coatings can be layered on top of one another. Typically, a primer, high build coating, and topcoat are used to create a well-adhered layered system. These coatings are chemically formulated to adhere to each other.

It's important to note that there are various types of coatings available in the market, ranging from thin to thick, with different chemical resistance and non-slip properties. Your environment, desired finish look, and budget will play a significant role in determining which type of sealer best suits your needs.

JP Epoxy Flooring San Diego offers a variety of sealers and coatings to meet virtually every type of floor coating need.

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