There are many challenges facing architects, engineers and designers when it comes to choosing industrial flooring. With the numerous construction elements needing to be selected and specified for every project, it would be impractical to become an expert in the various types of industrial floors and the advantages of each in different situations.
Epoxy, polyurethane or PMMA resin? Anti-skid, chemical-resistant or closed-pore? Luckily, consideration of just six key elements of a floor’s planned use can make a big difference in selecting the right type of industrial resin floors.
The first thing to identify is the type and volume of traffic anticipated for the floor. A warehouse floor subjected to forklift traffic throughout the day has different needs than a storage room in a small retail shop that sees infrequent foot traffic. The type of traffic will help identify the right resin material for your purposes; for example, a parking deck floor requires the ultra-hard, durable surface offered by epoxy or PMMA resin flooring to withstand continuous vehicle traffic.
Conversely, a gymnasium floor may be better suited to the more flexible finish of polyurethane flooring. The volume of traffic is another important factor, especially as it affects cleaning, maintenance and repair costs.
The intended use of the space is an important consideration when selecting industrial resin flooring. If the floor is in a food production facility that handles milk and dairy products, PMMA or polyurethane flooring is a better choice as organic lactic acids can corrode and yellow an epoxy resin floor. Conversely, industries involving exposure to sulfuric acids should avoid PU floors, opting instead for PMMA or epoxy. For sterile environments, such as clean rooms, PMMA is an ideal choice for its hygienic, closed-pore properties, which also make it extremely easy to clean.
While it’s always advisable to choose an industrial flooring system that’s fit for purpose rather than by cost, your available budget will rightly play a part in selecting a type of floor. It’s important to note that the price of any industrial floor includes more than just the cost of materials and installation. Over time, you need to account for cleaning and maintenance costs, as well as the cost of repairing any damage and even replacing the floor in the future.
In addition to materials and labour costs, you may need to account for time lost while your floor is being fixed. PMMA floors have the fastest installation and cure time of all resin flooring options, which minimises downtime during installation as well as repair.
Various environmental conditions can affect industrial resin floors differently, including temperature, moisture and exposure. Polyurethane floors have excellent resistance to high temperatures and direct heat, making them an ideal solution for hot environments, such as in front of ovens in a bakery where high electrical conducting is required, epoxy offers the optimum solution.
PMMA resin flooring is extremely durable and scratch-resistant, as well as the easiest type of resin floor to repair, which makes it an ideal choice for locations exposed to a range of traffic and weather conditions.
Colour is an important consideration for floors when it comes to cleaning, maintenance, light and the comfortability of a space or work environment. If your space gets little natural light, a light colour can make it look brighter and larger, resulting in a more pleasant environment. A bold or flashy colour like yellow or red may seem like a good idea but can become tiring on the eyes over time.
White or cream may look very nice but can be difficult to keep clean. Highly customisable flooring like PMMA resin floors also offer an opportunity to personalise a space, for example by choosing a brand colour or design for your floor.
Industrial flooring systems offer a range of finishes to suit a floor’s intended purpose. Anti-skid coatings are essential for workplace safety, especially in wet conditions. There are coatings available to resist damage from heavy vehicle traffic and to prevent chemical damage or corrosion.
A flexible floor finish can be important to minimise damage from small scratches, such as from high heels or dropped utensils. Moisture-resistant finishes can help prevent damage or moisture ingress that could cause mould and mildew. Finally, industrial floors with hygienic finishes are important in the food processing and pharmaceutical industries, where cleanliness is essential.
Identifying the needs of your floor in these key six areas can make the task of selecting an industrial floor an easy one. If you’d like more information or assistance in deciding what kind of resin floor is right for you, contact the experts at Floortech today.