Wondering how epoxy flooring and polished concrete compare? If you’re trying to decided between the two then read our comparison below of the advantages of each and why you might choose one option over another.
What are they?
This product is made out of a hardy resin coating that is poured, cured and buffed over a prepared surface – usually concrete. It is important for the surface to be well prepared and free of any imperfections, as it can affect the end result and overall look of the surface.
Epoxy flooring comes in a number of different types and finishes, such as self-levelling which creates a smooth, seamless finish and texture, heavy duty mortar, quartz filled for decorative finishes, anti-static and vibrantly coloured finishes.
Polished concrete in comparison is created by putting a concrete base through a number of processes, including friction and sometimes topical coats to produce a shiny finish. The polished effect comes from a series of stages of grinding, buffing and polishing and usually involved a diamonded headed grinding tool to get the right look. Polished concrete was discovered a long time ago and has existed much longer than resin alternatives.
What are the key benefits of epoxy flooring?
Durable and resistant
Resin and hardener mix together to create a coating that is highly resistant to just about anything you can think of, including chemicals, grease, dust, water and scratches. Epoxy flooring is a popular choice for industrial and commercial buildings because of its long term durability, with coatings often lasting for many decades before peeling or cracks become an issue.
Resin coated floors are very low maintenance, the layer beneath is essentially sealed and protected from damage by chemicals, water or dust and the top coat only require minimal cleaning and wiping down to keep it looking shiny. No special maintenance is required to keep your floors looking good over the decades. The surface can be slippery when wet, but the easy cleaning routine means they are the perfect choice for many industries such as the automotive industry, or in large factories and warehouses.
It’s possible to get many different finishes with epoxy flooring, including highly decorative or creative styles that mimic far more expensive options, like terrazzo. The possibilities are endless when it comes to resin coatings, vivid hues, quartz and even metallic can be incorporated. Artists are beginning to experiment with the possibilities and there have been some excellent examples of creative uses for resin coatings over the years.
What are the key benefits of polished concrete?
Polished concrete, unlike some other alternatives, isn’t usually slippery even if it looks that way with its shiny surface. The friction processes used to create the effect actually mean that this method usually creates a highly slip resistant surface, making it a great choice in environments concerned with occupational health and safety.
No shut down time
Unlike some chemically created surfaces, polishing concrete doesn’t require any cure time or create hazardous vapours which would require closing off a space for a number of days. For large industrial or commercial businesses this is a huge plus as it means that business can continue as normal.
Which one is right for me?
At the end of the day it’s totally up to the individual and their needs. Both options are excellent, but there may be a clear winner depending on your own specific needs. If versatility, affordability and durability are your top priority then epoxy flooring is probably right for you. The look of polished concrete is popular for a reason though and it’s the perfect option for some work environments, especially if slipping is a concern!