This Guide is based on the collective experience of FeRFA members who have been designing and applying Synthetic Resin Flooring since the earliest development of such resins in the 1960’s.

In separate sections the Guide gives recommendations for the classification, for the design, for substrate preparation, for the application and for the inspection and testing of the Synthetic Resin Flooring. Its scope includes all floorings based on liquid synthetic resin binders, in which curing takes place by chemical reaction of the resin components, applied to a direct finished concrete slab or screed or to an existing concrete floor.

The terminology ‘resin’ is derived from the epoxy resin on which the first resin floorings were based. Many different types of chemicals are now used to manufacture resin floorings but the one common feature is that a polymerisation or ‘curing reaction’ takes place in situ to produce the final synthetic resin finish. Synthetic resin flooring is available in a wide range of thickness from thin floor seals to heavy duty industrial protection. The resulting flooring can provide a seamless surface with greatly enhanced performance compared to the concrete base on which it is applied.

The main advantages of synthetic resin floorings can be summarised as follows:

  • strong permanent bond to the concrete base
  • excellent resistance to a wide spectrum of aggressive chemicals
  • impermeable to liquids
  • increased toughness, durability, resilience, and resistance to impact or abrasion
  • hygienic and easily cleaned surfaces
  • greater resistance to cracking
  • low applied thickness
  • rapid installation and curing with minimum disruption to normal operations

This document is the basis for the new British Standard Code of Practice for Synthetic Resin Floorings BS 8204-6.

Synthetic Resin Floorings

For all synthetic resin flooring products the setting reaction, by which the initially liquid components are converted into a strong tough polymer, begins only when the base resin and the reactive hardener are intimately mixed. To obtain the optimum results these components must be blended in the precise proportions needed for the chemical reaction to occur and mixing must be thorough to ensure the final product is homogeneous and uniform in properties.

Optimum performance is assured by the use either of pre-batched components or the precise proportioning of the components on site from bulk supplies. Since it is imperative that the chemical balance is not upset no attempt should be made to use sub-divided packs of pre-batched components, nor to blend in other materials such as diluents or aggregates.

Many synthetic resin flooring systems may also incorporate separate primers and/or surface seals. These must be applied strictly in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations in order to achieve maximum bond between each application.

Synthetic Resin Types

A variety of different types of synthetic resin systems are available which can form the binder of a flooring system. These include typically epoxy, polyurethane and methacrylate resins.

Different resin types give different combinations of application characteristics and in-service performance and the considerations which affect the selection of a particular type are described in the design section.

Classification Of Synthetic Resin Flooring Types

Type Name Description Duty Typical Thickness
1 Floor Seal Applied in two or more coats.
Generally solvent or water borne.
LD up to 150 µm
2 Floor Coating Applied in two or more coats.
Generally solvent free.
LD / MD 150 µm to 300 µm
3 High Build Floor Coating Applied in two or more coats.
Generally solvent free.
MD 300 µm to 1000 µm
4 Multi-layer Flooring Aggregate dressed systems based on multiple layers of floor coatings or flowapplied floorings, often described as ‘sandwich’ systems. MD / HD > 2 mm
5 Flow Applied Flooring Often referred to as ‘self-smoothing’ or ‘self-levelling’ flooring and having a smooth surface. MD / HD 2 mm to 3 mm
6 Resin Screed Flooring Trowel-finished, heavily filled systems, generally incorporating a surface seal coat to minimize porosity. MD / HD > 4 mm
7 Heavy Duty Flowable Flooring Having a smooth surface HD / VHD 4 mm to 6 mm
8 Heavy Duty Resin Flooring Trowel-finished, aggregate filled systems effectively impervious throughout their thickness. VHD > 6 mm

LD (Light duty) light foot traffic, occasional rubber tyred vehicles
MD (Medium duty) regular foot traffic, frequent fork lift truck traffic, occasional hard plastic-wheeled trolleys
HD (Heavy duty) constant fork lift truck traffic, hard plastic wheeled trolleys, some impact
VHD (Very heavy duty) severe heavily loaded traffic and impact

In general terms these categories of flooring are listed in ascending order of durability. However the actual life in a particular installation will depend on the product formulation used, the quality of the substrate and the degree of severity of the service conditions. Please refer to FeRFA “Guide to the Selection of Synthetic Resin Floors (ISBN 0 9538020 3 5) for further information on the features and characteristics of the floor types.

Some of these categories of flooring may be produced with special decorative effects by the incorporation of coloured particles or flakes in the surface. Terrazzo-like finishes (ground exposed aggregate) may be produced from certain trowel-applied floorings of Types 5 and 8. Slip resistant or anti-static/conductive versions of all these categories may also be available.

Source from FeRFA, the UK Resin Flooring Association