A polyurethane floor coating is a plastic resin created when a polymer chain is organically linked to a chemical compound called a carbamate, whereas urethane is a specific compound, ethyl carbamate, derived from sugar. When used as a floor coating, polyurethane chips and stains less easily than acrylic urethane.
Although certain urethane floor coatings may perform as well as those made of polyurethane, contractors prefer to use the latter in residential and industrial applications. Polyurethane products are typically stronger than urethane, adhere more easily to a variety of surfaces and coat more square feet per gallon. On the other hand, a polyurethane finish dries, sets, and cures more slowly than acrylic urethane.