Types of Concrete Coatings and Sealants

After any decorative installation interior or exterior it is always recommended that a sealer or coating be installed. Sealants and coatings are surface applied systems that are designed to seal, protect, and beautify the concrete’s surface. Sealers are generally classified as protectants that penetrate the surface of the concrete whereas Coatings remain on the surface creating a protective barrier against, spills, UV rays, moisture and so forth.

Sealants and coatings can be classified into many categories. We will take a close look at some of the most common and widely used in the Decorative concrete industry and their characteristics.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the most common sealant and coating system options for concrete and cement based finishes.

Acrylics: Single component products which are readily available, and fairly easy to use. Often applied in numerous thin coats, acrylic sealers are available in both water and solvent based finishes. These are the most commonly used products for residential and light commercial finishes.

Ideal when a superior bond and increased wear resistance and chemical resistance is required. Epoxies are available in both water emulsion, solvent as well as 100% solids formulations. Epoxies are known for their excellent adhesion properties and are often used as a primer coat for subsequent top coats.

Urethanes & Polyurethanes: One of the toughest coating products available urethanes and polyurethanes are ideal as a finish coat on decorative concrete systems. The difference between a urethane and polyurethane is simply that a polyurethane is composed of multiple urethanes. Not always great with adhesion polyurethanes are often installed over an epoxy primer and they will give superior chemical resistant properties as well as very durable and abrasion resistant finish.

Polyurea: A quick drying high quality coating system designed for fast turnaround floor systems and where only the best quality will do. Finding its way into the garage floor coating and industrial market this new concept gives professional quality coating installations that are ready for traffic in just a couple hours while maintaining and even surpassing a high quality epoxy or polyurethane coating.

Countertop Sealers:
Countertop sealers can be any number of products, depending on the look and outcome desired. It is very common for countertops to use a water based acrylic or even a desifier to leave the natural stone finish of the concrete apparent. If a high gloss finish is desired an epoxy or solvent acrylic will yield these results.
Maintaining a concrete countertop is often done with a carnauba or bees wax.

Hardeners & Desifiers: Often used during the polished concrete process hardeners and desifiers are penetrating sealers that absorb into the pores of the concrete and then crystalize on a microscopic level when then dry. These crystaline type growths help to seal and harden the surface of the concrete making it stain resistant and a more dense and durable surface.

Maintenence Wax & Floor Finish:
Floors that require easy maintenance are often finished with an acrylic floor finish or wax. These commonly used floor maintenance products are easy to apply, quick drying, durable and user friendly. They can also be burnished and buffed to bring back the shine after use has dulled their surface finish.

Coatings & Sealants
Acrylic Sealers
Urethane & Polyurethanes
Contertop Sealers
Hardeners & densifiers
Maintenance Wax & Floor Finishes