Everlast® Epoxy vs Neverlast Flooring Episode 11 :
What Are the Most Durable Commercial Flooring Options?
How long should a commercial floor last? Whether we are talking about a floor that is in a wet environment like a kitchen, or a heavy traffic area like the entrance to a building… a commercial-grade floor system should last you at least a decade without needing any maintenance. So what are the most durable commercial flooring options and how well do cheaper “Neverlast” floors stand up against a quality flooring system?
When we talk about Neverlast floors, we mean floors that, in all likelihood, will only last you a handful of years. Sometimes, it might just be a handful of months.
Common Neverlast floors include;
- Rubber sheet
- Cementitious Urethane
- Epoxy paint
- Epoxy floors with low resin amounts in the mixture
The sad part about these floors is that they start off as good floors. They’re beautiful and they meet many health regulations. The problem is that the “honeymoon” period only lasts so long!
There Are Many Commercial Flooring Options Available And Mt Of Thm Don’t Last Long
When it comes to commercial floors, there are essentially two questions you should ask yourself;
- How long will the floor last without me needing to maintain it?
- How much effort goes into keeping the floor looking great and clean?
After talking to many of our customers, at the end of the day, it’s mostly about how much will a flooring system cost me over another flooring system. And I’m not just talking about the initial material and installation cost, but ongoing maintenance, effort to clean, and potential risks when it comes to regulations (i.e. you don’t want to get shut down by the government due to health risks associated with your floor).
As I mentioned above, there are a few broad categories of indoor flooring options on the market today. I’m not going to dive too deep into specific flooring brands (that would require a book's worth of pages…), but I do want to make some broad observations about each category.
The reason I can do this is that each category has common weaknesses, such a seams and grout lines. These common weaknesses are often the reason why floors fail or start coming loose.
First off, tile and grout are porous. They easily allow moisture to go through, which causes a problem in wet environments, like showers and kitchens.
The grout gets washed out and food gets stuck in the cracks. Stuff gets underneath and deteriorates the mortar holding the tile to the floor.
The tile will eventually come loose.
To top it off, they can be hard to clean. Again, gunk will accumulate in broken grout lines and it will require a sharp object to scoop it out. Because tiles is porous, they will absorb oils and fats. This causes the tile to trap dirt on top of them as well, creating a crust on top that might require scraping over mopping.
How long will tile flooring last? Without any maintenance, it might last you a few years. If the tile is in a wet environment, it might start to fail sooner. It also depends on how well they were installed. tile is not easy to install properly. Ask any tile setter and they will confirm this statement.
“Safety” Sheet Rubber Floors
Although good in theory, with rubber being a smooth surface and supposedly easy to install, they fall short in many ways when it comes to commercial environments.
Sheet floors will come loose at the seams and allow water and gunk to get underneath the material. The rubber has a natural tendency to want to bend, which puts a strain on the seams, which eventually gives up.
This opens the floor up and allows bacteria to breed in the wet, hot environment. A nasty smell will often start to form as well.
As nasty as it is to think about, we’ve seen and heard of people stepping on a rubber sheet with water underneath it. It’s kind of like stepping on a ketchup packet… except, in this case, you’ve got nasty, bacteria-filled water squirting in all directions!
How Long Will Sheet Flooring Last? It might last you a few years before it becomes a problem due to wear and tear. The main thing to remember is that water will make its way through the seams and start to fester underneath the rubber sheet. If you’re fine with a nasty smell floating around the area and you don’t have to worry about health codes… you can get away with using rubber sheet flooring for more than 3+ years.
Just because it’s epoxy doesn’t mean that it has strength.
Like the name says, it’s paint. A very thin coat is applied over the surface. Sure, sometimes you apply 2-3 coats, but it’s still a very thin layer compared to all other flooring systems.
Epoxy paint is too thick to be painted straight onto the floor from the can, so you usually need to thin it down with water or thinners… reducing the protective properties of the epoxy coating.
Another issue with epoxy paint is that it wears off fast. Once it’s gone, you’ve got an exposed floor and anything goes. Often, the paint will only last for a few months in busy areas.
The manufacturers even expect you to repaint your floor every few months or years, depending on foot traffic.
It’s similar to a concrete floor. The main difference is that concrete is made with water but cementitious urethane is mixed with urethane. Although many cementitious urethane manufacturers claim their stuff is better than epoxy… when it comes to fixing cracks and other damaged areas, epoxy is almost always used over urethane.
Another weak point is that cementitious urethane flooring systems often only have a protective glaze over top. If you watched the video, the cake analogy explains it.
If the surface is pierced or deteriorates past the glaze, it’s open season for moisture and bacteria.
Most Epoxy Systems
Just like with the cementitious urethane systems, most epoxy floor systems have their own flaws.
The big one is when manufacturers use a low amount of resin per 25 pounds of filler material.
It creates a very dry floor. They tend to compensate for this dryness by coating the floor with an epoxy glaze. But again, once it wears off or is breached, you’ve got issues.
So, how long will epoxy flooring last? It depends on the amount of resin in the mixture. A resin-rich floor should last you more than a decade… even decades. A low-resin floor will probably start giving you issues within a year's time.
So How Do Never last Floors Stand Up To Everlast® Epoxy Floors?
The main thing to remember when selecting a floor for your commercial operation is that there are common weaknesses in flooring systems.
- Seams, like with tile and rubber sheets,
- How it is glued down to the substrate,
- How thick the material is. Thinner is often worse because it can’t take much of a beating,
- And whether it has a top glaze only for protecting your floor from moisture and bacteria.
It’s not so much about the quality of the material or the manufacturing brand. It’s a simple weakness that cannot be removed from the current flooring system. Tile will always have grout lines.
And for epoxy flooring systems, the weakness is in the top layer. A small top glaze is not enough to make an epoxy floor last for decades without any maintenance.
So when I set about designing my Everlast® Epoxy product lines, I removed those weaknesses.
With Everlast® Floor, instead of having a small amount of resin per 25 pounds, I added much more. In fact, the epoxy resin goes all the way through the system. It’s 100% covered and protected, not just the top layer.
With an Everlast® Floor, the resin goes all the way through the floor, dousing the aggregate in epoxy resin. There is no top barrier that can be worn off or pierced by sharp objects. Everlast® Floor provides protection 100% through the system, not just the top layer.
We use about a gallon of resin per 25 pounds of aggregate quartz. Our competitors use maybe ¼ of a gallon if you’re lucky.
An Everlast® Epoxy floor is a thick floor. Hand troweled on and it’s resin-rich, which means that it’s stronger and more durable than your average epoxy floor from competitors. It seals drains perfectly and it has no seams.
How Much Is Too Tough When It Comes To Commercial Floors?
Here is an industry secret. Not all manufacturers want you to have a floor that lasts long. They want you to believe that it’s normal to replace your floor every couple of years (and replace it with their products, of course).
This is a misconception.
There is no reason why a commercial floor, even in a tough environment like a kitchen, shouldn’t last for decades. It’s just a matter of eliminating the common weaknesses that cause floors to fail.
With Everlast® Floor, we did just that.
- No seams that can come apart or allow water to get under the floor,
- Moisture cannot break through the floor and cause damage underneath,
- No “top protective glaze” that can wear off or be pierced,
- No complex procedure of installing the material, resulting in human error causing a floor to fail faster,
- Easy to clean and reduce the man hours spent cleaning it.
If you’re looking for a flooring system and you want to have it installed and forget about it for a decade (outside of light cleaning), then take a look at our product lines.
We firmly believe that we have the right solution for your needs. We can confidently say this because many of our past clients have been commercial kitchens, swimming pool facilities, and hospitals, i.e. businesses that require their floors to meet strict regulatory standards.
However, we understand you have many questions before making your decision. Why not give us a call and talk to one of our friendly floor experts today?
“Are you searching for a flooring solution for your business? Give us a call and have one of our floor experts recommend what options are available to you and your budget.
Visit Everlast® Epoxy’s Durable Commercial Flooring for more information…
… or call 800-708-9870 now.