Types of Concrete Coatings

There are hundreds of different kinds of concrete coatings, ranging from standard to highly advanced. Advanced coatings are designed to maximize performance and are easier to apply than traditional varieties. They also last longer, and some even achieve special decorative effects. Learn more about the various types of concrete coatings and how they can improve your property. To learn more, check out our glossary of terms. We’ll also discuss some important aspects of these coatings, including their pros and cons, application versatility, and environmental impact. Click for more.


Many types of protective coatings are used to enhance the durability of reinforced concrete structures. These coatings provide a number of benefits. They offer rapid setting time, excellent bond strength, and low water and chloride permeability. They also exhibit excellent freeze-thaw resistance. Among their other benefits, they have electrolytic conductivity and can act as skin sensors for structural health monitoring. However, their application is still under research.

The most commonly used protective concrete coatings are acrylic aqueous emulsions. These coatings prevent moisture and salt from penetrating the concrete. Unlike other coatings, acrylic emulsions allow vapor to pass through the film. These coatings are typically satin or semi-gloss, and remain largely on the surface of the concrete. They also require periodic reapplication to maintain their protection.

Color options

There are several color options for concrete coatings. The most basic is integral color, which is created by mixing a pigment powder bag with the concrete. Because the color blends through the concrete, the resulting slab has a traditional, monochromatic appearance. Additionally, integral color tends to hide chips more easily than other methods, making it a popular choice for high-traffic areas. However, there are some limitations to using integral color.

For instance, concrete stains made with water contain pigments and acrylic polymers that penetrate the concrete and produce a long-lasting color. These stains have a wide range of hues compared to acid-based stains, and some manufacturers offer custom blending to match your color scheme. Water-based stains also are easier to manipulate because they contain no harsh chemicals, making them ideal for areas with high-traffic and a variety of design schemes.

Application versatility

The application versatility of concrete coatings has never been greater, thanks to the countless varieties of the various materials. Manufacturers are constantly improving the composition of newer products, which must be more durable, abrasion resistant, and lower in volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Many new coating products are designed for specific purposes, and many are even available with a range of mix-in pigments for special visual effects. Listed below are some of the most common types of concrete coatings, and the many benefits they offer.

These concrete coatings can be applied over epoxies and cementitious treatments, or directly to concrete. Another option is polyaspartics, which are a reaction between polyisocyanate and a polyaspartic ester. This type of coating possesses comparable durability to epoxies and polyurethanes, but cures more quickly and is marketed as a single-coat system.

Environmental impact

Concrete is a highly aggressive substrate with varying moisture content, porosity, and alkalinity. To resist these forces, coatings need to be both water and vapor-repellent and breathable. Horizontal coatings are especially vulnerable to moisture vapor transmission, while allowing water vapor to pass through them. They also need to withstand varying temperatures while in service. In addition, the formulations for these coatings must address alkali buildup behind the coating.

In addition to reducing the negative impact of concrete coatings on water quality, they also help protect the environment from acidification. While the ratio of coarse to fine aggregate has a low impact on global warming, it has a major impact on eutrophication and acidification. Adding an extra layer of concrete can also reduce the effects of a rainstorm by up to a third. The use of recycled aggregates also reduces NOx emissions. Click here for more interesting articles.