When choosing a polymer coating for the floors of an office, industrial or commercial building, the contractor, architect and customer often faces a lot of difficulties, partly due to the limited budget for installation and operating costs, partly to a low level of awareness of which properties are inherent in the volume or other type of coating.
The uniformity and limited choice of monolithic polymer coatings have long since sunk into oblivion. The modern market offers the potential buyer a wide range of products of this kind: standard epoxy, polyurethane, methyl methacrylate, rough and super smooth, self-leveling and highly filled, monochrome and pleasing to the eye with all the colors of the rainbow … Sometimes it is not easy to understand such a variety even a specialist. How not to make a mistake in choosing a cover, with the minimum costs to purchase the most high-quality product?
First, you need to clearly define the conditions under which the floor covering will operate. It should be noted that, contrary to the assurances of marketers, universal coverage, suitable for any conditions, does not exist. For example, roll coverings or tiles are perfect for areas with weak or moderate pedestrian traffic, but for the floor on which the wheeled vehicle moves, they are completely unsuitable.
Self-leveling floors are the ideal solution for sterile premises, but they do not differ in wear resistance, and in a room with high humidity they are inapplicable due to lack of roughness. The most wear-resistant and repairable are highly filled coatings, but they will not provide the required level of aesthetics.
Secondly, even with a limited budget, you still should not choose the cheapest floor coverings. Most often, initially cheap monolithic polymer floors in operation require much more costs for maintenance, maintenance, etc. So it turns out that for the life cycle of the coating, 2-4 times more funds are invested in it than in the initially more expensive, but less demanding to care, and the product is more wear-resistant.
And finally, before making a decision, collect as much information about the coverage you choose to get to know what is a myth and an advertising gimmick, and what’s true about monolithic flooring.
The price of monolithic polymer coatings is higher than the cost of alternative materials (ceramic tiles, roll coatings, etc.).
Indeed, the initial price of monolithic polymer coatings is quite high. However, it should be borne in mind that coatings of this kind are distinguished by their high strength, durability, they are durable and do not require large expenditures for care and maintenance. Therefore, the final cost (taking into account the costs of materials for the care of floor coverings, maintenance, etc.) of monolithic polymer coatings will be at least two times lower than the initially cheaper floors.
The polymer coating is not as durable as ceramic tiles.
Indeed, the tile laid on the elastic polyurethane membrane on epoxy adhesive (seams also sealed with epoxy grout) will last longer than the polymer floor covering. However, it should be taken into account that, firstly, its cost is at least twice the cost of the polymer floor, and secondly, poorly laid tiles are not subject to repair, therefore in this case it will be necessary to repay the installation of new floors.
There is only one version of monolithic flooring – epoxy coatings.
In fact, in our time, many varieties of resins are used to make monolithic polymer floor coverings. However, it should be noted that each of them has certain advantages and disadvantages.For example, polymer concrete (highly-filled epoxy coatings) are not very aesthetically pleasing, but they have high wear resistance and durability, and therefore are ideally suited for premises with high operating loads. At the same time, such coatings, because of low level of elasticity, are sensitive to thermal shocks. Therefore, if a large quantity of hot flushing liquid is spilled onto the floor from the process vessels, the coating can be deformed.
Polyurethane coatings, on the contrary, due to their elasticity, are extremely resistant to thermal shock, easily resist food acids, therefore for food production are an ideal choice. However, it should be noted that solvents can be present in the formulation of floor coverings of this kind, which will make it impossible to use the coating in the food industry. In addition, the adhesion to the base of polyurethane coatings is greater, and the price is higher than that of epoxy coatings.
Methyl methacrylate coatings have a high level of heat resistance, are resistant to the effects of various chemicals, quickly harden. But this coating is sensitive to the action of solvents and has a strong smell, which can be installed (or repaired in case of damage) only during the stoppage of the production process (as a result, the final cost of coating significantly increases).
Solid epoxy floors can be installed only in production areas and warehouses – in other places they will not be harmoniously combined with the design of the premises.
Indeed, the level of aesthetics of flooring of this kind for a long time left much to be desired. However, thanks to the latest achievements in the field of polymer chemistry, colored decorative monolithic polymer coatings appeared on the market. At the request of the customer, floors with graphic patterns and multicolor can be created, thanks to the addition of some components (quartz, glass, etc.) to the decorative floor coverings.
Any base can be used for laying monolithic polymer coatings.
This is not quite true. After all, the durability of any kind of floor covering – tiles, monolithic coatings, roll materials – depends on the quality of the base (evenness, strength, absence of cracks, etc.). If the base is of poor quality, the floor covering laid on it quickly collapses.
The treatment of the substrate before laying the polymer coating is also extremely important.
It should be noted that the adhesion of the polymer to the substrate is determined by the area of adhesion (degree of roughness) of the surface and the absence of a layer of cement milk on it. In order to ensure reliable adhesion, it is necessary to treat the substrate with shot blasting units. Since such facilities are expensive, some companies that do not have the opportunity (or desire) to purchase them, argue that processing with diamond (or other) cutters will achieve the same effect. Such statements are not to be believed. With the help of milling cutters the base can only be ground, making either a smooth or unevenly covered with scratches. But cement milk in this way is completely impossible to remove.
Polymer coatings (even if their thickness is less than 1 mm) will last a long time.
Wrong opinion. After all, for example, nails protruding from wooden pallets of 1-3 mm can damage a thin monolithic floor covering. Therefore, it will have to be updated at least once a year.
Monolithic polymer coatings are laid without seams.
Indeed, the polymer floor, laid qualitatively and competently, looks like seamless, although in fact it is not. Almost all polymer coatings have seams located at the joints of the base.
You can not take care of monolithic polymer coatings.
Any floor covering requires care, monolithic polymer floors are not an exception – and it will have to be washed periodically, and cleaned of sand and other abrasive materials.
Choosing the color of a monolithic polymer coating, you should follow the advice of the designer.
Undoubtedly, you can choose any color gamut, but some factors should be taken into account. For example, on a plain floor, any contamination is clearly visible. Such a floor will have to be guarded more carefully from getting the abrasive (because dirt accumulates in the microcircuits) and is often cleaned. A floor covering of this kind is most suitable in places where the presence of dust and dirt is highly undesirable (food and pharmaceutical production, electronic industry). But in the trading halls, canteens, corridors, etc. it is possible to lay a multicolored polymer floor.
If high-quality materials are selected, the flooring will also be of high quality.
Unfortunately, this is not entirely true. After all, quality material – only one of the components in the installation of flooring. But even the best material laid on a poorly treated base without respecting the appropriate technologies will not last long. Therefore it is necessary to take into account also:
– Correctness of processing of concrete before installation of a covering;
– Observation of the temperature and humidity in the room during work;
– Adjacent coverage to walls and columns;
– Creation of the necessary slope to the gangways for water drainage;
– Correct connection of the monolithic covering to the floor, etc.
Neglect of the above parts causes almost all defects that occur during the operation of a monolithic polymer coating.
The laying of monolithic polymer coatings can be made by any firm specializing in services of this kind.
Yes, it is. However, it should be noted that if there are problems with the coating, the stacker will blame the producer, the manufacturer – the stacker, and the customer who turns out to be “between the two fires” can not prove anything, or he will spend considerable money for conducting various kinds of examinations and inquiries.
To minimize the possibility of the situation described above, the selection of the handler should be taken very seriously. Preference is best given to the bundle of the producer-stacker, and pay attention to the packaging of the material (ideal – a small package, designed for one portion of the mixing station), because inaccuracy in the selection of even high-quality ingredients will lead to a poor quality final product.
You can also ask the material manufacturer or previous customers about the selected stacker, and also require technical specifications for the offered coatings (ie information on chemical resistance, thickness, application area).
In addition, even before the conclusion of the contract with the handler, be sure to specify the terms of the guarantee. At the same time, it is very important to collect information beforehand, for example, about the life of the coverage chosen by you (some of the stackers state that the coating has a service life of 0.1-0.5 mm – 3-5 years, which is completely untrue).