Selecting the Right Warehouse Flooring for Your Commercial Space
Posted Mar 28, 2022 by Dave Scaturro
One thing that nearly all commercial spaces have in common is the need for flooring that can withstand high-impact use and highly variable temperatures. Commercial space owners and managers also prefer flooring that is low in maintenance and cost, and in some cases, that have some element of style or design. Considering these variables and applying them to the selection of ideal warehouse flooring options, two rise to the top: epoxy flooring and polished concrete.
Both polished and epoxy flooring are an extremely durable, environmentally friendly and cost-effective choice for large spaces such as warehouses. Deciding on which to use usually comes down to how the space will be used and the available budget. In a nutshell, epoxy flooring will offer a more durable option to a warehouse with heavy traffic areas, but will be more expensive. Polished concrete, on the other hand, will not withstand as much traffic as epoxy flooring, but will be more affordable.
Understanding the benefits of both types of flooring will help you make the right choice for the particular needs of your warehouse.
Polished vs. Epoxy Flooring
There are distinct differences between polished and epoxy flooring but first, let’s discuss the similarities. If you are looking to go beyond the standard gray color of most warehouses, you can add either acid-based or water-based stains to the entire space or just limit such customization to the more customer-facing areas. Acid stains give you rich, earthy tones, including browns, blacks, greens, blues and grays, while water-based stains have a much broader color spectrum, including reds, yellows and even whites.
You can further your floor’s customization by adding visual interest with decorative saw cuts or aggregates embedded in the concrete. Aggregates may include granite, quartz or recycled glass that create a look very similar to terrazzo tile when the concrete is cured and sealed. You could also choose to have your business logo incorporated into the flooring design with stain, saw cuts or other features.
With both types of flooring, it is critical that you hire a professional that can handle the scope of your project. If the concrete grinding, preparation and sealing is not performed correctly, your surface could see premature chips and cracks, which is a safety hazard for employees and can add to maintenance costs and time.
When to Chose Epoxy Concrete Warehouse Flooring
Durability is the name of the game here. Epoxy gives you the ability to engineer a stronger floor than polished flooring could. It is a great option for warehouses used for the distribution of pharmaceutical products, food and beverage storage, chemical storage and other processing and manufacturing options due to its ability to withstand extreme demands.
As mentioned before, epoxy flooring will be more costly, but keep in mind that it will likely be a better investment to a warehouse that must withstand heavy-duty conditions. The service life of an epoxy coating under high demand may be longer than a polished concrete floor. If cost is a consideration, it may be practical to implement a hybrid approach, where you have epoxy coatings in some parts of your warehouse and polished concrete in others.
When to Chose Polished Concrete Warehouse Flooring
Polished concrete flooring will be a more affordable option than an epoxy or industrial coating and likely be able to withstand the weight of a forklift and other heavy machinery. However, it will not withstand as much wear and tear as epoxy. Polished concrete flooring is a great option for a light to medium, general service warehouse that isn’t being used 24 hours a day.
One of the benefits of polished concrete is its reflectivity, since these surfaces tend to need less lighting, which can cut down on utility costs. Also, when polished concrete warehouse flooring is done correctly, with internal sealers applied to the concrete prior to polishing, top-coat sealants and subsequent waxing become extraneous. The internal sealant hardens the concrete, protecting it by making it denser from within. When the final polishing process is applied, the resulting high-gloss concrete never needs to be waxed, sealed or otherwise coated, and the floor is both beautiful and durable, as well as very easy to maintain over time.
If you’re making a decision on warehouse flooring options for your commercial space, there are many factors to consider, like choosing an experienced contractor that excels at minimizing downtime, coming in on budget and creating a uniform surface that is long-lasting. Count on Alpine’s nearly 50 years of experience meeting the needs of multiple floor systems regardless of their environment’s demands.