Why You Shouldn’t Choose a Concrete Floor Coating with a Lower Percentage of Solids

When it comes to selecting concrete floor coatings, the choice between single-component (1k) and two-part (2k) products, along with the consideration of solids content, plays a crucial role in determining the performance and longevity of the coating.

 

Here at Floor Shield, we use a 2k, 100% polyaspartic system that is comprised of over 90% solids.

 

This may lead you to ask, “What are 1k and 2k products?” and “What are the benefits of having more solids in concrete floor coatings?”

 

In this article, we’ll answer these questions and more honestly. We’ll also cover the role of vehicles such as water in the application process, and the environmental and performance benefits of opting for coatings with elevated solids content.

 

What is the Difference Between 1k and 2k Paint?

There are many ways to define a product, but one categorical system is the single component products, which are called 1k, and two-part products, or 2k products. 1k products are the simple home-improvement paints and coatings you’d typically buy at major retailers like Home Depot or Lowe’s. In short, common latex and acrylic paint. These products are easy to use and don’t require managing a pot life.

 

In contrast, 2k products, such as urethanes, epoxies, and polyaspartics, consist of two parts that undergo a co-reaction during application, resulting in a more durable and robust coating that is typically used in industrial settings.

 

Two-component products require more training that involves managing induction times, pot life, mix ratios, and sensitive overcoat windows. For some applications, specialized regs are required, one example being plural component pumps.

 

Why Are Concrete Coatings Applied as Liquids?

With all coatings, you generally have a vehicle to aid in the application process. In other words, you need a concrete coating to be in liquid form to get it on top of the concrete, then it will harden in the curing process until it is completely solid.

 

The vehicles to keep 1k products (like water-based paint) in a liquid state can be:

  • Water
  • Oil
  • Alkyds

 

For 2k products, you’ll usually have solvents to keep the product in a liquid form for the application process. These are easy solutions to keep the product liquid in the application process despite it potentially consisting of mostly solids.

 

What Do High Solids Mean in Paint?

At Floor Shield, our mantra of "the more solids, the better" is grounded in practical wisdom. When a coating has a higher solid content, there is less liquid to evaporate during the curing process. This is significant because the liquids flash off or evaporate into the atmosphere, resulting in less surface coverage.

 

For example, if a water-based paint is 40% water by volume, only 60% remains after the paint cures.

 

Recently, we had a customer explain that he found a competitor at a cheaper price and asked if we could match the price. What he didn’t realize was that the cheaper product was 70% solids. Floor Shield is 91% solids by volume. When we did the math, Floor Shield was cheaper when calculating the price per dry mil. The customer realized he would have to buy more of the cheaper product due to the thickness requirement on the commercial floor.

 

The same logic applies with house paint. A watered down paint may have a cheaper retail price, but in reality, consumers end up paying for mostly water instead of the actual protective product.

 

Floor Shield employs coatings with over 90% solids, ensuring maximum coverage and cost-effectiveness.

 

Are Solvents Bad for the Environment?

There is a strong “green” movement in the paint industry. Formulating high-solid floor coatings is one notable industry trend. This movement is primarily driven by the desire to reduce reliance on solvents, which have traditionally been added to coatings to enhance viscosity for better workability during application.

 

Solvents, however, pose several challenges. The reason why there’s a massive push to move away from solvents is because they are harmful to humans and the environment in general.

 

There are solvents that are better than others and less harmful, but they are still harmful to some degree, nonetheless. Some of these dangers include:

  • The emission of strong odors that not only smell bad but can cause harm to installers who must regularly breathe them.
  • Solvents are harmful to the environment because they evaporate into the air and pollute it.
  • Some solvents are dangerous to work with, like the ones that are flammable and combustible.
  • Solvents can irritate skin, nostrils, and eyes if they are near a person.

 

For all these reasons, regulators have been pushing for manufacturers to move away from solvents. Even with concrete coatings, you can achieve an easily appliable product that is self-leveling while also having it composed of 100% solids. Thinning it out with a solvent is an easy, and frankly, lazy solution.

 

Floor Shield offers 100% solid epoxies, and our polyaspartic floor coatings boast over 90% solid content. All the solvents used in our formula are exempt solvents, meaning they’re the safest type and are encouraged by the EPA. This commitment to high solid content not only ensures a safer and more sustainable product but also reflects a dedication to producing coatings that meet modern environmental standards.

 

Solvents Reduce the Purity of Concrete Coatings

Formulating with solvent has other performance drawbacks. High-solid products are usually more “pure”. Excess Solvents can be trapped in the coating, potentially compromising:

  • Clarity
  • Hardness
  • Can lead to solvent pops

 

A higher percent of solids not only contributes to performance but also to the overall quality and appearance of the coated surface.

 

The Conclusion

To cap off, the advantages of higher percent solids in concrete floor coatings are numerous and impactful. From improved product coverage and durability to environmental and health considerations, the shift towards coatings with elevated solids content represents a positive step forward in the industry.

 

At Floor Shield, our commitment to this philosophy underscores the importance of providing consumers with high-quality, environmentally responsible, and long-lasting concrete floor coatings. Choosing coatings with higher solids content is not just a preference but a practical and responsible decision for both consumers and the environment.

 

If you’re interested in getting a free, no-obligation quote from us to coat your concrete floor, scroll down.


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