Floors take a beating. From office and cafeteria floors to manufacturing and industrial floors, they are heavily used and often times under appreciated. Epoxy floor coatings are ideal for a variety of commercial and industrial needs, especially areas that see a lot of foot traffic or even a lot of vehicle traffic, like forklifts and machinery. Assessing the needs of the space will determine the best option for the flooring.

Before we figure out what floor coating may work best in high-traffic areas, let’s start with a couple scenarios.

Martin is an operations manager with a product manufacturer. The company is growing fast and the executives decided to move operations from their cramped inner-city plant where they started their operations to a 35,000-square-foot industrial plant. The floor needs to withstand forklifts, heavy warehouse shelving, and heavy foot traffic.

In our second scenario, we move to a school district in the Midwest. School is out for the summer, which means improvements to the facilities will need to be completed by the Fall. The school’s cafeteria is long overdue for an upgrade and the school board approved dollars to be set aside for the improvements. Dennis, the facilities manager for the school, knows the floor will be one of the first areas to be updated. With more than 2,000 students having lunch in the cafeteria every day, the floor will see a lot of traffic as well as spills, tables being moved and a variety of other abuses.

While school cafeterias and manufacturing floors are vastly different, they do have one thing in common — they are both considered heavy-traffic areas. Just like all floors, epoxy coatings are not created equal. Some are ideal for slick environments, while others are better suited for lower trafficked areas. If the level of traffic is ignored before laying the floors, the coating may not be able to maintain its level of quality and durability.

What epoxy floor coatings will work in these scenarios?

The answer is simple – epoxy coatings are great for prime coats, build coats, making repair mortars, broad casting into, etc., but they are not ideal for high traffic areas. Now you are thinking “what do I do?” Simply install a high traffic urethane over the epoxy! Once you have installed your epoxy floor your final coat should be a high quality, high traffic urethane. Urethanes are designed to with stand traffic and give you maximum life for your epoxy floor. Not all urethanes are the same so make sure you get one that is best suited for your environment.

Whether the floor will have thousands of school kids using it every day or forklifts will be driving up and down it consistently, these coatings will sustain the test of time and anything you may throw at it.