Have you been thinking about installing polyurethane floors in a commercial space? Then you need to know about the process of doing it.
Most of the time, people aren’t aware of what actually goes into making a polyurethane floor. Even though it’s understandable not to be interested in the detailed process, knowing the basics is necessary to make an informed decision for your workplace.
We thought of bringing you this informative guide about creating durable polyurethane floors that last for a long time. Do remember that the process can vary based on the products you are using.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
The first step in creating any flooring starts with preparation. Assuming that you already have a concrete floor in the area where polyurethane is required, start by checking the health of the cement floor.
If there are major cracks or damage, they might need to be fixed. But if the surface is in good condition, it’s time to grind it with a diamond abrasive tool. This helps get rid of any existing layers of epoxy, resin or any paint, along with minor damages.
The grinding is done till the concrete is relatively smooth and clear of any previous layers of paint or debri. Another reason for grinding the floor is to help the polyurethane resin form a better grip on the surface. And after the grinding is over, the cement surface is cleaned thoroughly with a strong vacuum to get rid of any residue or dirt.
Now, before you spread the polyurethane layer on the floor, you’ll first need to apply a primer.
The reason many people go for priming is to provide an additional layer between the cement and the polyurethane. However, others may believe that priming might be an unnecessary extra step that delays the procedure. In general, if priming is included, installing a polyurethane floor takes about three days (subject to the area size and number of people installing the floor).
Usually, an epoxy primer does the job, and it can be evenly spread on the cement surface with the help of a roller. After that, some coarse grit is sprinkled on the wet primer to let the polyurethane adhere better to the surface. Some people may follow it up by using a blower to clear off any excess grit.
This layer needs to dry completely before the polyurethane resin layer can be applied to it. And, you’ll need to make sure that there isn’t any moisture left as it can seriously weaken the flooring.
When you’re in the market searching for polyurethane flooring material, make sure to get acquainted with its application process. It usually comes with different components such as resin, hardener, aggregate, and colourants. Hence, you would need to know the correct proportions to have enough to cover the whole surface.
Therefore, it’s quite essential to have the total measurements of your floor. You can ask the salesperson of a hardware store to give the right amount of product based on it. After getting the product, take some time to learn about the components and the mixing technique required.
Another thing that we would like to add is that just like epoxy flooring, polyurethane surfaces also come in different finishes. Hence, the amount of resin required depends on your preference for a glossy, satin, or matte floor. So, keep this in mind while shopping for materials.
Most common variants come with resin, labelled as component A. You will have to add the colour paste or powder and constantly mix it. A tool like a helical mixer works best to get a homogenous liquid. To this, you’ll also need to add the hardener, which is often labelled as component B, and make sure the mixer is running.
After it’s mixed well, you’ll need to put the aggregate into the solution slowly while the mixer is still on. Try to use the mixer to scrape the sides of the bucket and ensure everything turns into a homogenous blend. This may take a while, so be patient and make sure that there aren’t any lumps.
As you might have guessed by now, this isn’t a one-person job. You’ll require a lot of help while mixing the components and spreading the mixture on the cement surface. So, don’t shy away from asking for a helping hand!
The last step is applying the polyurethane blend to the prepared surface. If you’ve got components that are self-levelling in nature, then it would spread more quickly. But you still need to use a rake to make sure that the mixture travels to all the desired corners. Multiple people are needed to cover a larger floor to avoid the mixture from clumping at a single place.
If you don’t have a rake, a hand trowel can also be used to spread the mixture in small sections. After the initial spread, you’ll notice that there are some air bubbles left on the surface. To remove them, you might require a spiked shoe and a spiked roller.
We recommend you go through some application videos to learn the exact process of applying the mixture. The first coat needs to sit for about 12-16 hours and is usually followed by a second layer of product. If you’re waiting for more than 24 hours between coats, the first layer needs to be slightly ground before the second one is applied.
While working on spreading the mixture, make sure that nothing falls onto the surface, as there isn’t a way to get something out. Also, after the second layer has been laid, try to let it dry without causing any disturbance. The most important thing is not to let moisture seep into the coating as it can weaken the flooring.
If you manage to spread the polyurethane evenly on the concrete and let it cure for a suitable duration, the flooring will last for a long time. The best feature of this easy-to-install flooring is that it’s flexible enough to take a lot of footfall without getting damaged. So, it’s a great choice for industrial spaces, factory flooring and commercial kitchens.
That’s everything we had to tell you about laying down polyurethane floors. We have tried to keep the information comprehensive so that each step is easy to understand.
Having said that, you must have realised that there’s a need to learn several techniques to create an even surface. So, if it’s your first time doing the job, especially in a commercial space, it might be better to get a professional’s help.
When done right, polyurethane floors not only look good but prove to be durable for a long time.
With that, we have come to the end of this informative guide about installing polyurethane floors. Do let us know in the comments section if you have any queries related to the topic.
If you do need any further advice or would like us to provide you with a quote on installing the polyurethane floors on your behalf – please make contact with us and we’d be happy to help.
Until next time, stay safe!