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This question is regularly reacted to with fear, and then answered like a politician avoiding direct questions to the latest scandal. It is a simple enough question, but is too often asked out of context. It should follow the questions that ask the type of floor system needed and the surface preparation required. Understanding that the system type, surface preparation method, and size of the area being coated will create cost variances, there are still baseline average costs that can be provided.

If a simple, durable floor coating is needed, the most basic floor can be as low as $1.50 per square foot (materials and installation) in most markets. Specialty coatings, such as static control flooring or antimicrobial flooring, can cost up to $5.00 per square foot depending on the performance requirements. A basic coating system is typically two or three coats with a total film thickness between 12 and 30 mils (1000 mils equals one inch).

Typical 3-Coat System

When the conditions of the concrete substrate require it, and/or the usage of the floor creates the need, a broadcast floor (typically 90 to 125 mils and often referred to as a “shop floor”) would have a baseline installed cost of between $2.00 and $5.00 per square foot depending on the scope and the resins used to accept the broadcast. Many factors, such as final texture needs, chemical exposure, substrate issues and specialty performance needs, can vary this cost.

If exposure or substrate conditions indicate a slurry system (125 to 250 mils), the average installed pricing will typically fall between $4.00 and $10.00, with added cost for the use of specialty resins or more technical performance requirements.

Finally, in the event that more severe substrate conditions exist, or elevated durability performance is a requirement, a trowel applied mortar floor (185 to 500 mils) is the recommended choice. The turnkey cost of a mortar system will typically fall between $5.00 and $12.00 per square foot. As always, special performance additives, such as steel-filled or spark-resistant aggregates, will add to this price range.

Heavy-Duty Trowel-Applied Mortar System

Heavy-Duty Trowel-Applied Mortar System

The key to a quality result and purchase is based on careful contractor selection. A quality contractor will be able to openly consult with the coating manufacturer for product recommendations and technical support. Additionally, a quality contractor can clearly explain all costs and provide an understandable, manufacturer-supported, justification for all variances from these baseline costs.

Need help determining which type of polymer flooring system is right for your business? Our Industrial Flooring Self-Assessment can help! Click here to get started.

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Patrick Scudder