Urethane flooring is just another construction term that can cause confusion when you also hear about other flooring types such as epoxy, flake paint chips etc.  No wonder, there are great variations in the types of flooring that can employ urethane resins, there are some that are more appropriate for certain applications.  

Many times, it has been seen that even building professionals like general contractors and architects sometimes struggle to tell the difference between high-performance thin film urethane topcoat and cementitious urethane floors- also known as urethane mortar flooring. Here’s what you need to know if you are trying to decide the type of urethane flooring that would best suit your requirements.  

Application of Thin Film Urethane 

Even though they both have urethane in their names, thin film urethane topcoats and urethane mortar flooring are applied in different ways which function differently.  


  • Generally, today’s thin-film urethane topcoats for concrete floors are applied with a roller or flat squeegee. At no more than four miles of wet film thickness is used over a broad spectrum of epoxy base coat. 
  • The topcoat provides the floor with additional solvent, chemical and abrasion-resistance.  
  • Even though thin-film urethane topcoats do not typically adhere well when these are installed directly to a concrete slab, these do require, at minimum, an epoxy primer. 

Properties of Urethane Flooring 

  • Cementitious urethane flooring is made from urethane resin which is combined with Portland cement mortar or slurry. 
  • The combination creates a tenacious bond in direct-to-concrete installations, even when the slab is said to be moist.  
  • Unlike thin film urethane topcoats, cementitious urethane uses vary in thickness from 20 mils up to more than 250 mils.  
  • Based on the formulation, urethane mortar can also be applied with a notched roller, trowel or squeegee. 

Comparison, Features Explained  

Cementitious urethane has superior resistance to alkalinity and acids than other floor coatings. It can also help in mitigating moisture vapor. In addition, these systems have excellent thermal shock-resistance because they expand and contract at same rate as concrete.  Even when the temperature quickly swings from one extreme to another, it remains bonded with the slab.   Cementitious urethane floor coating can be used on their own or as a part of decorative finish. 

Matching the Application to the Flooring System 

Matching the Application to the Flooring System

It is important to choose the right type of urethane-based flooring system for your desired concrete application.  

Thin film urethane topcoats from reputable manufacturers can be chemical and stain-resistant. This can also provide a non-yellowish finish among other attributes.   

If the system is well-designed, it can help in achieving a higher level of slip-resistance and can also stand up to abrasion and important amounts of cart and foot traffic.  

Urethane mortar floor toppings are suited to heavy-duty applications like in food and beverage plants, commercial kitchens, wet processing operations, pharmaceutical, medical manufacturing facilities, hospitals and other medical treatment facilities. The commercial places usually require heavy-duty flooring systems which require less maintenance but at the same time provide protection from bacteria and microbes.  

  • Urethane mortar is easy to clean.  
  • It performs well in situations that require better resistance to heat and moisture.  

Such a floor is ideal for extreme environments because of its ability to withstand changes in temperature.  

If you live in an environment that changes frequently, cementitious urethane will be the ideal flooring solution. In contrast, high traffic locations with a stable temperature, dry environments can benefit from the value offered by epoxy coating and a high performance, thin urethane topcoat.  

Is Urethane Good for Concrete?

Urethane Good for Concrete 

The lifespan of urethane is long hence it allows you to skip replacing your floors every few years. It also saves time, money and effort. 

Urethane flooring is considered one of the most economical options when you have a concrete subfloor. It is considered less expensive than other floor coatings such as epoxy, tile and vinyl flooring.   

Difference Between Urethane and Polyurethane  

Urethane is flexible, making it ideal for objects that have different forms and shapes. It is also used in liquid form.  

Polyurethane, on the other hand, is rigid, stiff and ideal for firmer items, with a lot of benefits over natural rubber.   

What is Urethane Used For? 

Urethane is a sealer. It is used to protect different types of products but is often used to seal decorative stones and concrete.  

In fact, many polyurethane items are also referred to as urethane. These sealers provide a barrier to protect the wood, concrete and other items from excessive heat, cold and moisture.  

Is Urethane a Plastic? 

Thermosets polyurethanes are not considered plastic. Instead, these are long flexible polymer molecules that comprise thermoset polyurethanes, therefore making this material a true elastomer. 

If you want to know more about urethane flooring services, contact Tuff Build, epoxy and urethane flooring service providers in Melbourne.