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Epoxy Vs. Acrylic Urethane

When it comes time to refinish your bathtub, you have a few different options. Acrylic urethane and epoxy are two of the most popular. But which one is better?

For refinishing purposes, acrylic urethane and epoxy are fairly similar. They both involve a chemical reaction that causes them to harden into a tough, durable finish that makes refinishing your tub or tile an economical solution.

Epoxy and urethane are two terms used to describe resins. Epoxy paint and urethane paint are often 2-part coating systems that are commonly utilized in industrial settings or for OEM applications where toughness and chemical resistance are required. Urethane coatings and epoxy coatings have a lot of similarities, but they also differ in the chemical makeup. This article explains the similarities and differences between paint formulations, with a strong focus on refinishing surfaces with epoxy or urethane.

Epoxy vs. Acrylic Urethane: How Are They Similar?

Both acrylic urethanes and epoxies are tough coating systems that cure when two chemicals mix together. Once they have cured, they are resistant to most chemicals and resistant to water.

Epoxy and urethane coatings both require specialized equipment to apply them as a sprayable coating system. The best application comes from spray systems, for applying the coating onto vertical, horizontal or overhead surfaces.

Epoxy and acrylic urethane refinishing coatings are applied in similar ways, but refinishers use different types of equipment.

The two most common types of paint used for bathtub refinishing are urethane and epoxy, which are made up of a Part A (resin) and a Part B (catalyst or hardener). The proper proportion of Part A and Part B is determined by the product and is frequently sold as a ready-to-use kit. Most products will require the use of a thinner or reducer. The paint will begin to dry once it has been combined, and you'll only have a certain amount of time to work with (often known as "pot life"). Epoxy paint and urethane paint are very durable and water, chemical, abrasion, and impact resistant.


Epoxy coatings, on the other hand, are typically thicker and better at filling cracks and surface flaws. Epoxy resins are forgiving of less-than-ideal prepared substrates and have a high degree of adhesion to most surfaces. As a result, epoxy coverings are frequently used as primers over masonry, concrete, metal and other surfaces. They're also frequently applied over fiberglass and porcelain when refinishing a bathtub. Epoxy primers are often quite rust-inhibitory. Epoxy coatings may also be used for immersion applications. However, Epoxy paints are sensitive to UV light and shouldn't be used for exterior topcoats. When exposed to UV light, the epoxy coating will chalk and fade over time leading to failure of the product. This is the number one reason we use an acrylic urethane for refinishing bathtubs!


Urethane paints are less thick than epoxy paints, but they are more resistant to chemicals, abrasion, and impact. Urethane paint is also UV-resistant and can be used as an outside topcoat. However, urethane paint is not suitable for immersion. An epoxy primer is sometimes utilized in conjunction with a urethane paint topcoat. The UV resistance of the urethane topcoat protects the epoxy primer, which serves as a very sturdy and forgiving underlayment that adheres well to the underlying substrate. This mixed-materials approach exploits the advantages of both paints. A liquid adhesive may also be used in lieu of an epoxy primer.

Epoxy paint, epoxy primer, and urethane paint are all highly technical paints. The application must be handled with care, as well as selecting the appropriate preparation and materials according to the substrates and application criteria. There are numerous different kinds of epoxy and urethane paints, so be sure to ask which product the refinishing company uses.

Epoxy vs. Urethane, what's the difference?

Epoxy and urethane are two types of polymers that are widely used in the manufacturing sector. Epoxies and urethanes are examples of industrial chemicals. Resins, foams, adhesive agents, paints, and curing agents are just a few of the goods that employ them. They have comparable characteristics. The distinctions between the two lies at the heart of each industry's preferences. To decide which material to use, industries look at a number of factors, including texture, flexibility, chemical resistance, and color. There are some variations in terms of price.

Chemical resistance is required by most industries that utilize urethane or epoxy products which means corrosion and acid-base reactions must be avoided. Epoxy does not readily combine with acids and bases. It is extremely resistant to chemicals. Urethane deteriorates faster than epoxy when exposed to abrasive or harsh chemicals such as bleach, so you want to be sure to properly care for refinished surfaces.

Foam and adhesive producers utilize epoxy and urethane to connect surfaces. It's necessary to consider both softness and flexibility. Epoxy is a more powerful substance that prevents a surface from shifting, whereas urethane is a mor flexible material that allows surfaces to move.

Epoxy is a very versatile material that can be used for a wide range of applications, but it does have some disadvantages. Urethane offers greater flexibility than epoxy. On mobile surfaces, epoxy tends to crack due to frequent movement. Urethane maintains its flexibility. Structures better suited to urethane include those that expand and contract with the seasons or temperatures, such as your bathtub or tile. This is another major reason we use an acrylic urethane to refinish bathtubs and tile.

The preference between urethane and epoxy is determined by the need for a chalky or smooth substance, epoxy tends to become chalky and brittle with age. Urethane retains its sheen, t's also a better option for items or surfaces that come into contact with water.

Urethane is one of the most widely used car body primers. It has a smooth, fluid texture that spreads easily and sanding is simple. It provides an excellent finish when properly used. It's the most versatile primer for surfacing and filling plastic bodies. It is also the best choice for bathtub refinishing products.

Epoxy is a corrosion preventative. The adhesive resin found in epoxy has excellent cohesion to most materials. It's a great bare metal primer/sealer since there isn't any need for surface preparation. It may be used as a non-sanding primer and then painted over.

The number one reason we use an acrylic urethane for refinishing bathtubs and tile is its ability to withstand UV light exposure and its flexibility. This means that you won't have to worry about your tub chalking or fading over time! If this sounds like a solution you're interested in, contact us today and schedule a free consultation with us, we are eager to help you find the best option for your needs.

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