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Coating Horizontal Surfaces: Things You Need to Consider

07 April 2020

All decorative concrete work needs to be protected. It’s a crucial question regarding coatings for horizontal concrete installations and restorations — whether the coating is serving a protective-only mission or protective-decorative function. Penetrating sealers leave a very nice natural look and offer a certain level of protection, but a coating will almost always offer a greater level of protection. Below are things you need to consider in coating horizontal surfaces.

Coating Horizontal Surfaces Issues

Specific issues to take into account include the type of traffic namely vehicular, foot, and forklift. Aside from that, you also have to consider the expected UV exposure, VOC or LEED considerations, skid resistance, potential chemical or water exposure, local building and health codes, and waterproofing requirements, just to name a few.

Coating Horizontal Surfaces

Coatings specifiers and users can choose from a varied mix of products for concrete floors and other horizontal concrete surfaces, from clear sealers that protect the decorative surface while essentially going unnoticed, to colourful, glossy and special-effect finishes that enhance powerful design statements while boosting durability.


Acrylic sealers are a widely used and economical option for horizontal concrete, and are available in a range of solids-content levels and in water- and solvent-borne versions. These materials work well as a low-cost, utilitarian coating choice, but frequent recoating is often needed.


A major player in the concrete floor coatings arena, epoxies come in water-borne, solvent-borne and 100-percent solids forms, and are typically multicomponent systems — bisphenol A resins combined when applied with polyamide or polyamine curing agents. These high-performance coatings deliver good abrasion resistance and a high degree of chemical resistance.


Polyurethanes for concrete are multicomponent, high-performance materials formed by the reaction of a polyisocyanate and hydroxyl-containing resin blend. Available as solvent and water-borne coatings, they are highly abrasion and chemical resistant. Polyurethanes are widely used premium coatings, and carry a price tag that reflects this reputation.

Polyurethanes are usually applied to a roughened concrete surface with conventional sprayers in one or two coats at a few mils per coat and cure within several hours. They also are used as topcoats over epoxy coatings in projects exposed to sunlight and other weather.


Based on a reaction of an aliphatic polyisocyanate and a polyaspartic ester, high-performance polyaspartic coatings boast a similar profile to polyurethanes in terms of the cured film’s durability and toughness, but they cure more rapidly. These high-build materials can be used like epoxies. Polyaspartics are marketed as a one-coating product that provides the performance of a two-coat system.


Polyureas, however, can be modified for decorative applications by blending them with other resins such as polyaspartics to slow down their ultra-fast cure time. These two-component, fast-cure modified polyureas are UV, chemical and abrasion resistant; high-build; durable; and available clear and pigmented. They offer a quick-dry and low-odour alternative to epoxies or as a topcoat/sealer for epoxy systems.

Coating horizontal surfaces involves different steps and processes. If you want to know more about coating horizontal surfaces, contact us now at Auseal-Curite. We offer a wide range of coatings for different application purposes.


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