Concrete Polishing vs Epoxy Coating: Which is Better?

Concrete polishing has become a popular flooring option in recent years because of their strength and low maintenance. Epoxy floorings are also becoming increasingly popular due to their purpose and resistance to chemical stains and spills. However, there are some key differences between polished concrete and epoxy coating.

If you’re torn between these two flooring options -concrete polishing and epoxy coating- we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll compare and contrast these two choices so you can make an informed decision about which is right for you.

What is Polished Concrete Floors

Polished concrete flooring is a type of concrete that has been treated with a chemical densifier to make it harder and more sturdy. Concrete polishing is created by grinding down the existing concrete until it has a smooth, glossy finish. This grinding treatment makes the polish concrete surface less porous, which helps to prevent staining.

Polished concrete floors can be used in both residential and commercial applications, and are often used in high-foot traffic areas because it is easy to maintain and clean. Polished concrete is a sustainable choice over other choices like carpet or hardwood for flooring, as it can last for many years with proper care.

Benefits of polished concrete flooring

Highly Durable

Polished concrete floors are extremely durable and can last for many years. Polished concrete flooring is resistant to scratches, stains, and fading, and do not require any special treatments or finishes to maintain its beauty.

Cost-Effective

Polished concrete cost less to many homeowners. It is much less expensive to install than other types of flooring.

Easy to Maintain

Mechanically polished floors are very low in maintenance costs compared to other floor options. It is very easy to clean, making them a wise choice for busy families.

Design Options

The polished concrete floor comes in a variety of colors that can complement any decor. Your new concrete floor can be customized based on your desired finish.

Eco-Friendly

Polishing concrete floor uses more environment-friendly materials and doesn’t emit hazardous chemicals such as VOCs.

What is Epoxy Coating

Epoxy coating is a type of resin that is mixed with a hardener and then applied to concrete floors to create a smooth, glossy finish. It is made up of two parts – the basecoat and the topcoat. The base coat is typically clear or pigmented, while the topcoat can be either urethane or polyurethane.

If you are considering epoxy coating for your concrete floor, it is important to hire a professional contractor who has experience with this type of project. Applying an epoxy coating is not a do-it-yourself project, and it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that the coating is applied correctly.

Benefits of Epoxy Flooring

Chemical-Resistant

Aside from being resistant to scratches, cracks, stains, and fading, epoxy coating is also able to resist liquid hazards such as toxins and chemicals.

Durability

Epoxy coating can increase the overall lifespan of your concrete floor by protecting it from wear and tear, extreme temperatures, and accidental chemical spills.

Appearance

Epoxy coating is typically applied in a single color and has a glossy finish, but it can be available in a variety of colors, so you can choose the perfect shade.

Purpose

Epoxy coating is often used in commercial and industrial settings with high foot or heavy machinery traffic. Special add-on coating and stains such as anti-slip or sanitary are also available.

Maintenance

The epoxy coating creates a smooth and nonporous surface that makes it very easy to sanitize and maintain with just a damp mop.

Which is right for you?

Sure, there are key differences between polished concrete flooring and epoxy coating. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of each to help you reach and make a decision.

Polished Concrete:

Pros

Longevity

When installed properly, a polished concrete floor is expected to last for a very long time and would save you a fortune in the long run.

Pet-friendly

Knowing that it is scratch-resistant, concrete polishing can be very suitable for home applications with your fur friends too.

Slip Resistance

Polished concrete floors can be slippery when wet but can be treated with a coating for a higher grip and resistance.

Better Ambience

Improvements in lighting and the overall appearance of your home or establishment give a more luxurious vibe due to the polished concrete look and finish.

Customizable

Surface treatments, dyes, paints, patterns, and designed stencils are available. Options for a polished concrete finish are endless.

Cons

Cold

During colder months and seasons, the surface might get chilly and will be needing radiant heating to the concrete floor.

Uncomfortable

Polished concrete floor might be uncomfortable for your feet to stand for a long time. It won’t have any cushioning.

Prone to shatter

The concrete flooring surface will be merciless for accidental drops of fragile items and won’t be suitable for every home.

Cracks

Over time, even if installed properly or a seal-polished concrete, a polished concrete floor will develop cracks due to constant changes in the environment of the concrete slab.

Interruption

You will be needing to vacate the area as the polishing concrete could be very dusty and a fully polished concrete floor would take a couple of days to complete.

Epoxy Coating:

Pros

Robust

Epoxy coating suit for heavy machinery equipment, high traffic, and production areas because of its strength and features.

Safe

Accidents are always prevented with additional coatings and by covering hidden bumps and cracks on an existing concrete floor.

Reflective

Epoxy-coated floors are very visible due to their glossy finish. It enhances light reflection and makes it brighter.

Seamless

There won’t be gaps or crevices when the mixture is poured into the floor. The process leaves even and flat surfaces.

Sanitary

There are lots of available cures and anti-microbial coats for hygienic use, which is essential to every workplace and building.

Cons

Unpleasant Smell

When drying, the epoxy coating gives an awful chemical smell and the toxic fumes can be dangerous when exposed.

Needs Caution

The application requires protection and safety gear as the chemical mixtures and other materials to be used are highly toxic and hazardous.

UV-Sensitive

UV rays can damage the epoxy coating and will be needing a protective coat or reapplication in a few years.

Mold Buildup

Moisture can be trapped below which can lead to mold buildup and be prone to bubbling your surface.

Special Cleaners

Using citrus and soap cleaners can damage epoxy-coated floors and will require special cleaning agents.

Making your decision

When it comes to choosing a flooring option for your home or business project, there are many factors to consider. Durability, cost, sustainability, aesthetics, security, and maintenance – all these things play a role in the decision-making process.

Durability

You want to make sure that it can withstand heavy foot traffic, high amounts of wear and tear, increase traction, resist temperatures, and won’t chip and scratch easily.

Cost

Making sure that it is a cost-effective, long-lasting, and high-grade option that will save you money in the long run and providing great value.

Sustainability

Floorings made from recycled materials that do not require harmful chemicals or finishes are still the best option to make your house environment-friendly.

Aesthetics

Aesthetics are important when choosing a flooring option as it is stained or dyed to create a variety of looks. Do you want a sleek, modern, classic, or matte finish?

Security

When looking for a secure floor option, make sure that it is not potential for accidents, and is resistant to liquids, shock, and temperature.

Maintenance

Choose low-routine maintenance on your floor surfaces that doesn’t require waxing or sealing and can be easily cleaned with a broom or mop.

Conclusion

So, which flooring option is better – polished concrete or epoxy coating? The answer really depends on your specific needs, uses, and preferences. If you’re looking for a more sustainable, long-lasting option, then polished concrete is the way to go. If you want a temporary, affordable, and protective floor for active traffic, then the epoxy coating would suit your choice.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to what you value most in a flooring option and what varies for the space where you want it to be installed. 

We are a team of experts in concrete and epoxy flooring and we can help you weigh in all the factors and considerations to determine your choice and decision of your new floor.

Contact us today so we can discuss your floor options in detail!

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