Applying Polyurethane Flooring

Applying polyurethane flooring like a pro

Polyurethane flooring is a versatile and durable flooring system that can be used in various settings. The seamless and smooth finish is aesthetically pleasing and highly resistant to heavy foot traffic, chemical corrosion, and abrasion. It can absorb impacts and remain intact. Polyurethane flooring is also highly desirable owing to its hygienic properties and ease of maintenance.

If installed correctly, polyurethane flooring can result in a marvellous transformation for any space, providing long-lasting, functional, and aesthetically pleasing flooring. Here’s how you can apply polyurethane flooring like a professional:

Polyurethane flooring components

To ensure a successful application of polyurethane flooring, ensure that you have all the components in place. Different variations of these components can be used to produce different results, ranging in varying degrees of durability. There are specialised formulations for improving slip resistance, chemical resistance, UV resistance, impact resistance, anti-static, and more. 

Consult with a supplier to ensure you have the correct components for your particular application. Calculating the right quantities of components is critically important to ensure that your entire floor is adequately covered. It is always better to err on the side of having too much product than too little, as ordering additional components can lead to an uneven finish.

  • Two-component polyurethane resin system

The first and most important component of a polyurethane flooring solution is the two-component polyurethane resin system. This consists of a base and an activator. These components must be mixed together before application, according to the precise manufacturer’s specifications.

Any deviation from the specified ratios can lead to the floor not curing properly. Adding too little activator can make the floor tacky and not hardening; adding too much activator can result in a cloudy finish. 

Always check to make sure that you have the right activator matched with its respective polyurethane resin base, as mixing the wrong products together can compromise the finished product.

  • Primer

Primers prepare the concrete substrate underneath before applying the two-component polyurethane resin system. The primer should be applied first, ensuring proper adhesion and a strong bond between the substrate and the polyurethane coating itself. A properly applied primer will also ensure that outgassing and bubble formation don’t occur. 

Different primers can be used depending on the type of substrate you are dealing with, so it is important to consult your supplier to ensure you use the right kind for your application.

  • Sealer

The sealer is the final coat applied at the end to enhance the polyurethane floors’ resistance to chemicals, abrasion, and UV exposure. Sealers are particularly important in demanding industrial and commercial applications. However, we generally recommend it for all applications, as it will enhance the longevity of any polyurethane floor.


Preparing the existing concrete substrate for application is one of the most important aspects of ensuring a professionally applied polyurethane floor. This means thoroughly cleaning, drying, and degreasing the substrate before applying anything. All contaminants, including oil, grease, dirt, dust, and old coatings, must be thoroughly removed before applying a primer. 

In some cases, the concrete might be extremely smooth, so you might need to grind or shotblast the surface to ensure a rough profile. Sweeping, dusting, and vacuuming thoroughly are recommended before applying the primer to ensure that no dust or debris contaminates the resin.

Once the surface has been properly prepared, apply the primer to the substrate. Primers ensure that the concrete and polyurethane coating adhere properly and can prevent additional problems, such as bubbling or outgassing, from occurring. 

The area should also be dehumidified to remove any moisture in the air, as moisture can compromise the polyurethane resin.


Once you have selected the appropriate polyurethane resin system for your application, mix the base and the activator components together according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Proper mixing of these components is critical, as it will affect the results of your flooring dramatically if done incorrectly. 

Mixing the two components with a proper electric mixing device should ensure an even mix and minimal aeration. Using a stick to mix the components or using an electric drill with a mixer attachment is not advised. Instead, use a low-torque mixing device, as this will result in a proper solution. 

Once the base and activator have been thoroughly mixed, the resulting solution can be applied using a squeegee or roller to spread the polyurethane resin over the prepared surface. Do this methodically and with attention to detail to maintain a consistent thickness. If needed, apply multiple coats of this base layer to ensure a thicker flooring solution. In some systems, broadcasted aggregates might be added to improve slip resistance. 

Once the base coat has been applied, it should be allowed time to cure according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Depending on the product used and the thickness of the flooring solution, this can take several hours to a day or more, depending on environmental conditions. It is critical to ensure that the flooring has properly cured before moving on to the next step.

To ensure enhanced durability, apply a top coat, which is important in places where chemicals and abrasion are common, such as in industrial settings. 

Final steps

For extra protection, the sealer should be added as the final layer. The sealer will enhance the floor’s resistance to abrasion, chemical corrosion, and UV exposure. The same application process should be followed as before, with the sealer being applied methodically and carefully across the entire space. 

Throughout the process, use spike rollers and spike shoes to remove air bubbles and ensure a smoother and more even surface. These tools are particularly useful in situations where self-levelling polyurethane systems have been used. 

The final step is to ensure that curing is allowed sufficient time to take place. The floor must be fully cured before allowing any foot traffic or other stresses onto it. Full curing can take several days to a week, depending on the product and environmental conditions. It is always best to consult the manufacturer’s specifications and your supplier to better understand the exact curing times that your application might require.

If you’re looking for a reliable and knowledgeable polyurethane flooring supplier, contact us at Technical Finishes today. We can offer expert advice and have everything you need to ensure that your finished floors look and feel incredible.

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