So, what is resin flooring? Surely this is a silly question as everyone knows, right? Well not necessarily.
Over many years, this term has become synonymous with epoxy floor paint, so much so that many customers say they want an ‘epoxy floor’, when in fact what they really want is a hard wearing finish, and a hardwearing resin finish can be achieved in a huge variety of ways using different resins (epoxy, polyurethane, methyl methacrylate (MMA), polyaspartic and polyester etc), additives and thicknesses.
Also, the general perception of where resin flooring is used should also be challenged. It is not just a hard wearing finish for garages and factories. Today, a large percentage of these types of floors sold around the world are used in commercial projects such as shopping centres, pubs & restaurants, supermarkets and schools, as well as residential housing and hospitals.
So having dispelled some of the myths, let’s come back to the initial question, ‘what is a resin floor?’. In simple terms, a resin floor is created by mixing together a selection of ingredients at the point of installation to initiate a fast and controlled chemical reaction. This chemical reaction turns the ingredients into a highly durable finish.
In the most basic form (a resin coating), the ingredients consist of a high performance formulated synthetic resin and separate hardener. As performance demands intensify (typically resulting in an increase in floor thickness), the range of ingredients grows to include aggregates, specialist pigments, decorative chips / flakes and in some cases cement powder. The thicker type resin floor is almost always harder than concrete.
Most resin finishes utilise a primer which penetrates into / reacts with the substrate to create a high strength and reliable bond which is essential to the longevity of the floor. The primer is typically followed by a main structural layer, often referred to as the body coat, which creates the bulk of the floor thickness and provides many of the key performance elements such as impact resistance, flexibility and compressive strength, as well as defining the decorative finish of the floor.
Often resin floors will then be finished with 1 to 3 seal coats to encapsulate the body coat and decorative element of the floor and provide the final performance characteristics, such as chemical and wear resistance.
Not only do resin coatings provide highly durable finishes, some are ultra fast curing to enable rapid installation and minimal disruption, and most are seamless to enhance durability and improve hygiene. As floors are ‘created’ on site, the range of aesthetics that can be achieved is vast and surface texture can be tailored to provide just the right balance between slip resistance and ease of cleaning.
Resin flooring really is a diverse and versatile option, so why not take a fresh look at what resin flooring could deliver for your project.