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February 21, 2020 - 2 min

Flooring 101

Published by SOPREMA Experts

As flooring products and technologies are continuously evolving, it pays to know their specific merits to select the solution that best suits your indoor environment.

It’s not uncommon for customers to be unaware of their options, or to think epoxy is the only solution. For example, while epoxy is an aesthetic solution, it is less resilient against thermal shock, which may make it less suitable in an industrial environment than cementitious polyurethane (CPU).

Here Are the Key Questions to Ask When Selecting an Indoor Flooring Solution:

Will the Flooring Be Exposed to Thermal Shock?

Thermal shock is defined as a significant fluctuation in temperature (rising or dropping) over a short period. Epoxy and polyurethane flooring products are not resistant to thermal shock.

CPU, on the other hand, can resist service temperature variations from -84 °C to 104 °C, which means it can be installed in a freezer or a hot cooking area without any concern.

What Are Your Sector’s Requirements?

Here are a few examples of flooring solutions according to typical flooring requirements for some sectors*:

Food and Beverage Industry
  • Requirements: Low VOC content, superior anti-slip properties, shock resistance, and compressive strength
  • Solution: CPU
Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Requirements: Glossy finish
  • Solution: Epoxy
Institutional Buildings
  • Requirements: Aesthetic finish
  • Solution: Epoxy

*Please note that these requirements are provided for guidance purposes only.

Learn more about flooring solutions and the characteristics of different application methods.

Will the Flooring Be Exposed to Chemicals?

Chemicals can damage your flooring. The nature of this damage depends on a variety of factors: concentration, quantity, duration of exposure, etc. It’s important for you to share as much information with us as you can, so that we can perform the appropriate tests and help you to make the right flooring selection. Compared with other flooring products, CPU and polyaspartic are resistant to a broader range of chemicals, and they can withstand higher concentrations and longer exposures.

Is the Thickness of the Flooring Important?

CPU is thicker than epoxy, polyaspartic, and even polyurethane. CPU is installed at 1/4 to 3/8 inches of thickness, and epoxy, polyurethane, and polyaspartic systems are about 20 mils to 50 mils of thickness.

Is the Aesthetic Finish Important?

Epoxy is well-known for its versatility and aesthetic finish. With countless colours and options, the possibilities are almost limitless to complement any design or structure. On the other hand, the finish of CPU resembles cement; it is porous and less glossy than epoxy. This is why CPU is more frequently used in industrial environments, where the physical properties of the flooring product are more important than its appearance.

What Is the Budget?

Prices may also guide your flooring selection. CPU is more expensive per square foot, but it offers several benefits: durability, high abrasion resistance, etc. Epoxy protects your concrete and offers various benefits as well, such as an aesthetic finish, at a lower cost.

Many other factors may influence your decision when it comes to flooring products. Each one has pros and cons depending on the intended use. But there’s no need to worry, because at SOPREMA Canada, we offer both epoxy and CPU solutions to suit your needs.