Sooner or later, and at a most inopportune time, most of us will have to use a public restroom. It’s one of those things we can’t necessarily avoid (unless we just decide to stay home).
And a public restroom, it seems, is either maintained well, or not at all! And if not maintained, the end result is a restroom that smells of urine and holds stains.
Decomposing and dried urine on a floor creates alkaline salt crystals and an unpleasant odor. The salts and crystals that are left behind as the urine dries, are hydrophilic and draw water to them. When the moisture evaporates, it gives off odorous ammonia gas. And, when dried urine is remoistened during cleaning, it again gives off ammonia gas. The urine smell and urine stains are particularly noticeable if the floor of the restroom is bare concrete. Bare concrete is very porous and absorbs spills and stains readily.
Most restroom floors will have either a resinous coating or tile over the concrete. But some concrete floors are painted. Because of concrete’s porous nature, a painted floor is likely to peel, especially when applied to concrete slabs on grade with no vapor barrier installed during construction, or no surface preparation before the coating installation.
The peeling paint exposes the bare concrete which again, is very porous and susceptible to urine stains. The restroom floor in this photo was painted with enamel paint, and did not receive a thorough cleaning or a primer coat before painting. The result . . . peeling paint and urine stains.
On the other hand, seamless epoxy floor coatings and cove, installed on a properly prepared concrete floor, is known for its chemical resistance, durability, aesthetic beauty, and ease of maintenance . . . perfect for a public restroom.