Urethane Floor Coatings

Durable protection with a glossy shine

If you’re looking for a way to preserve the beauty of your facility’s existing floor while giving it superior protection, a urethane floor coating may be just what you need.

What is a urethane floor coating?

Urethane is short for polyurethane. It’s a synthetic resin of polymer units that are linked together by groups of urethanes. Polyurethane exists as a liquid resin, but once it cures, it creates an extremely tough and protective surface.

Urethane’s toughness is the primary reason why it is used as a coating for floors. Another reason is its versatility. Urethane floor coatings can be applied directly to a variety of surfaces – concrete floors, hardwoods, or even other floor coatings.

A urethane coating can be applied as a clear coating, or it can be pigmented. The choice is yours. If you’re using a urethane coating to cover up a damaged floor, then you’ll want the coating to be pigmented.

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What is the process of installing a urethane coating?

Urethane coatings are most often applied by industrial flooring contractors. That’s not to say you need a professional to apply a urethane coating, but the reality is, professionals have enough experience to do the floor right the first time. Floors take a beating on a daily basis, so if they’re not coated properly, they won’t last.

5 Steps to Urethane Coating Installation:


Establish a project timeline

Urethane coatings take longer to cure than most floor coatings (although, they still cure faster than epoxy). When scheduling and forecasting your project, plan for a urethane coat to cure in about 1-2 days.

Prepare the surface

Because urethane bonds to existing coatings, you don’t have to strip a coating from your floor before you apply the urethane. While this saves time during the preparation stage, do not discount the importance of surface preparation to rush the process. Surface preparation is vital in making sure a coating bonds properly with the floor.

Prepare and apply the coating

Decide whether you’re using a clear coating or a pigmented one, and prepare the urethane mixture accordingly. Urethane coatings are best applied using roller application.

Allow the coating to cure

As mentioned previously, urethane coatings take a day or two to cure. Rushing the process will ruin your floors, so be patient and follow your contractor’s instructions regarding cure times.
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What are the benefits of urethane floor coating?

If we didn’t believe in the benefits of urethane floor coatings, we wouldn’t be in the business of applying them.


Urethane floors stand up well under foot and most wheeled traffic, and they resist abrasion damage well. They also resist corrosion when exposed to certain chemicals, making urethane a good choice for many industrial fields.

If your facility handles especially corrosive chemicals, you will want to consider extreme chemical resistant flooring.


The lifespan of a urethane floor coating depends on a variety of environmental factors, but overall, urethane tends to be one of the longest-lasting floor coatings on the market. You can safely expect it to endure for a decade or more before you need to start thinking about applying another coat.

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Urethane provides a glossy or a satin shine and is often used as a transparent topcoat to protect existing colors or patterns on a floor. You might find topcoat application of urethane on a hardwood or tiled floor because this type of application enhances the floor’s aesthetic appeal rather than detracting from it.

On the other hand, if your objective is to improve the aesthetic appeal of your floor by covering it up, you can use a pigmented urethane coating to accomplish that.

Urethane flooring maintains its aesthetic appeal for years, resisting chips and scratches due to its durable characteristics.

How to Achieve the Right Aesthetics for Your Urethane Floor


Urethane floor coatings are versatile in that they can be applied to a variety of surfaces and used in many environments. Another trait that makes urethane coatings versatile is that they can be applied in combination with an epoxy coating to capitalize on the unique benefits that both floor coatings offer.

What happens when you use epoxy and urethane together?

How does a urethane coating differ from other coatings?

Urethane vs. Epoxy

Between urethane and epoxy, each floor coating has its own pros and cons. One of the main differences between urethane and epoxy coatings is that urethane has more elasticity than epoxy. This attribute makes urethane ideal for colder environments and more resistant to scratching.

Blog: Urethane Coatings Vs. Epoxy Coatings

Concrete Sealer vs. Epoxy/Urethane

If you have a concrete floor you’re looking to seal, you have at least two options: a concrete sealer or a urethane coating. Which should you use?

The short answer is this: Urethane coatings are much stronger and longer lasting than a basic concrete floor sealer. If you expect your floor to experience a lot of foot traffic, or you just don’t want to have to re-seal it in three years, then we’d recommend a urethane floor coating for your concrete floor.

Blog: Concrete Sealer Vs. an Epoxy/Urethane Coating

What are the possible applications for urethane?

Urethane has the kind of durability that will perform well in the toughest environments. Therefore, the question is not so much “Can I use a urethane coating?” but rather “Is a urethane coating necessary?”

In some cases, a urethane coating might be more than you require, while other environments may demand the durability and longevity that urethane offers. Here are some locations where a urethane floor coating is ideal:

  • Manufacturing facilities with heavy traffic
  • Parking garages
  • Walk-in freezers and refrigerators
  • Dairy farms
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What other considerations should you have before installing urethane?

How do I maintain a urethane floor?


  • Wait at least one day before cleaning a newly coated floor and two days before putting equipment on it.
  • Mop regularly.
  • Use an “auto-scrubber” with medium bristle brushes.
  • Add protective mats to the bottom of shelving or other large items if possible to protect the floor from scratches.

Do not…

  • Use abrasive materials (such as a sander) to scrub or scrape your floors.
  • Drag equipment across your floor. Instead, pick it up and place it where you want it.
  • Clean with products that leave a residue behind.

What if the urethane coating chips or cracks?

While urethane is one of the most durable floor coatings on the market, it’s still not impossible to crack or chip. The best way to repair a chipped or cracked urethane coating is to apply a new coat over it.

The great thing about urethane coatings is that you can apply them over other coatings. You do not have to strip an old urethane coating before applying a new one.

Does urethane work in humid environments?

Urethane works great in humid environments!

Talk to us about new coating technology for application of coatings on damp concrete surfaces or places of high Moisture Vapor Transmission in the concrete slab.

Contact CPC about urethane floor coatings

CPC is your industrial flooring expert for specialty coatings like urethane. Contact us today to schedule a consultation, and find out how we can breathe new life into your floors.