Concrete is one of the most durable building materials available. It is naturally robust and can last decades without maintenance; with Polished Concrete or Epoxy, the concrete can be transformed and also receive several extra benefits. Which begs the question, Polished Concrete Floors vs Epoxy Floor. Which one works better?
Both use concrete slabs as their base, but they have different strengths and weaknesses. Polished concrete grinds the concrete with fine blades until it reaches the desired level of shine. Epoxy is a paint-like coating that goes over the top. Various considerations must be considered to decide Polished Concrete Floors vs Epoxy Floor such as durability, ease of maintenance, cost and aesthetics.
Polished concretes durability depends on the level of refinement. A well-refined floor can last for ten years or more before re-polishing is needed and the maintenance usually costs a fraction of the original installation. A high-quality epoxy flooring can last for about five years before it needs to be reapplied and is capable of hiding imperfections in the concrete, something that polishing doesn’t achieve.
Epoxy floors are also naturally chemical and waterproof. Polished concrete can be made resistant, but it needs a coating that isn’t as powerful as Epoxy. However, to apply a new coat of Epoxy requires removing the first layer and this can get very expensive. Epoxy can also be damaged by heavy machinery, high foot traffic and is subject to peeling and flaking over time. Once Epoxy starts to peel, flake or chip it makes maintaining and cleaning it significantly more difficult. Epoxy flooring may require the use of cleaning products and detergents while polished concrete only needs a weekly wash with warm soapy water.
The design and style choices for polished concrete are nearly limitless, while Epoxy has limited design options. Polished concrete has a virtually unlimited number of textures, colours, finishing options and can be customised to suit a wide variety of styles. Saw cuts, custom engravings, and graphics can create a one of a kind floor to suit virtually any dwelling. Pebbles, shards of glass or glitter can also be used to develop something unique. It can also be polished to have a low, medium or high-level mirror-like shine.
Concrete polishing may provide better long-term results than epoxy because it is not susceptible to sun damage, peeling and has more options for customisation available. Both options have benefits and drawbacks. Ultimately it comes down to individual tastes and requirements to answer the question of Polished Concrete Floors vs Epoxy Floor? Everyone’s needs and requirements are different. It all depends on what works best for the circumstances.