What Concrete Coating Is Right for Your Workspace?

April 11, 2018
General Coating & Polishing

Concrete coatings ultimately increase the longevity of concrete flooring by protecting them from abrasions and overall deterioration, while simultaneously adding aesthetic value to any work environment. However, with a multitude of coating options available, it's important to pick which system is most appropriate for your specific workplace. The following information should give you a general overview of the best concrete coating options available for different business needs.

Concrete Coating Options for Manufacturing Facilities

There are two main choices for concrete coatings at manufacturing companies. A thin coating — typically a hybrid polyurethane — may suffice for concrete flooring that does not see an inordinate amount of abuse or heavy traffic. This system is easy to clean, durable and less expensive than thicker coatings. However, they can be scratched by heavy machinery and constant traffic. For busier manufacturing operations, a thick coating is typically recommended. Epoxy or polyaspartic coatings will stand up to the toughest conditions, while also concealing prior flaws in the floor. These coatings include some type of aggregate. Aggregates used include polyurethane flakes, sand or natural stone chips. Both the polyurethane flakes and stone chips are available in different colors or color combinations. These extremely durable coatings are highly abrasion resistant and solvent/caustic resistant.

Concrete Coatings for Retail

The type of concrete coating used in retail environments depends largely on the main usage of the space. For busy showrooms with heavy foot traffic, a hybrid polyurethane can again be used. Alternatively, a light flake or aggregate system can be applied. This concrete coating better camouflages any existing flaws in the floor. For other retail spaces, there are even more options. A decorative epoxy — using metallic dispersing flakes, for example — helps cover existing flaws and allows for greater creativity. A solid color coating is also popular in retail environments to match a branding scheme. Finally, a simple clear coat is a great option for concrete floors already in good condition and has gained in popularity in recent years providing a more “rustic” look and feel.

Hybrid Concrete Coatings

Many businesses are comprised of mixed-use work environments. For example, a company may include a sales floor in the front and a warehouse in the back. In these instances, multiple concrete coating systems can be used. A hybrid polyurethane or decorative epoxy system might be recommended for the busy sales floor, while a durable thick coating, with aggregate, may be recommended for the warehouse.

Concrete Coatings for Office Environments

Decorative epoxy concrete coatings are becoming increasingly popular in modern offices. The use of multiple colors and metallic additives create attractive patterns throughout office spaces. This type of coating is also durable and helps conceal any existing flooring flaws.

Go Green with Mechanically Polished Concrete

Finally, for environmentally friendly work environments, mechanically polished flooring is an excellent alternative to some of the aforementioned systems. This green concrete flooring option provides sustainable, high-gloss concrete flooring, with low chemical emissions.If you are still unsure on what concrete flooring system is right for your workplace, contact us today for a free consultation.

8 Ways to Upgrade Your Concrete Floor

There are so many ways to upgrade your concrete floor from polishing to coating to engraving or staining. We love helping our clients pick out the right fit for what they are looking to accomplish. Sometimes it’s a bit overwhelming to choose what to do with your concrete flooring. Here are 8 ways you can upgrade your concrete to protect and/or enhance it with a little explanation about each technique. We hope this helps when deciding what to do with your next project!

Mechanical Polishing

Mechanical polished concrete is a process that takes abrasives (diamonds) and mechanically places scratches in the concrete. This scratching process uses finer grit abrasives to remove and replace the scratches with smaller and smaller micro scratches.

The objective is to refine the floor and take away the small scratches so that you see a reflection in the floor. This process can be achieved with older concrete, new concrete and/or coated concrete.

This process is considered to be the maximum refinement method, and can be considered the best long-term solution for polished concrete.

Topical Polishing

Topical polishing is similar to the mechanically polished floor, but the course of action is shorter, and it leaves the floor at less than maximum refinement.

Most of the time the topically processed progression ends at a 200- or 400- grit step. These grits leave peaks on the top of the scratches that have zero lateral support. A topical sealer is then added and is placed into the gaps left by the scratching process. As the sealer settles and dries, it gives the appearance of being completely polished and is referred to as “polished concrete.”

This process is a much cheaper alternative to the mechanical process. The “topical polish” is exactly the same thing as putting on a coating. This method can be done with a burnisher, a floor scrubber and even a swing machine.

Decorative Epoxy Coatings

Epoxy floor coatings are hard wearing and durable solutions for both commercial and residential flooring. These floor coatings can be applied over concrete floors to provide a high performance and an attractive surface.

New technology now offers you the ability to choose almost any color. Metallic additives create a gorgeous surface and multiple colors can be randomly applied together revealing a swirling effect that is very unique and attractive.

Decorative Overlays

Overlays are a great option for concrete floors that are damaged or distressed. They are extremely durable and attractive. Overlays typically consist of a cementitious product, but some may be a combination of polyurethane and cement. They can be stained, mechanically polished, coated or stamped with any pattern you can imagine. Overlays are a great way to make an old concrete floor look brand new.

Dyes and Stains

The skies the limit when it comes to colorants. Multiple colors and patterns add to the beauty of your polished floor. There are a multitude of application techniques to add interesting effects when applying dyes and stains.


We can incorporate engraving into your polishing process to provide borders and logos. Engraving can turn ordinary concrete surfaces into slate, tile, stone, brick and much more.

Hardeners and Sealers

Hardeners/densifiers are products that penetrate into the concrete surface and react with the Portland cement and fills the micro-pores. This reaction creates a very dense surface that helps with ease of cleaning, abrasion, dusting, staining, and overall wear of your concrete surface. These products do not change the appearance of the surface but can generate a sheen after burnishing and actually becomes harder the more you use the surface.

Sealers are an option for some floors. Depending on your needs it may provide a shiny surface that is easy to clean. All sealers will need to be reapplied at some point depending on wear and tear.

Final Notes

Performance Concrete Polishing is focused on providing services that are related to concrete surfaces. These services are appropriate for new and existing concrete. The majority of services we offer are oriented to improving the aesthetic appearance of these surfaces. Decorative concrete services are the hallmark of this company, and we’d love to help you out with your next project!