Polished Concrete Vs. Epoxy Floors: Pros & Cons

When looking for a flooring solution for a commercial, industrial, or residential space, most people compare polished concrete vs. epoxy floors. There’s no need to search through several different articles in order to make your choice. In this blog, you’ll learn the difference between polished concrete and epoxy floors, including their pros and cons.

Polished Concrete Vs. Epoxy Floors

Polished concrete is when your existing concrete floor is ground down using diamond polishing pads that create a smooth and shiny surface. Epoxy floor installation is when layers of epoxy are coated over your concrete, creating a stronger and more durable surface.
One of the biggest factors in choosing the right solution for your space is based on how you use your space. For places that experience regular foot traffic, you might consider a polished concrete floor. These floors are usually popular in homes, offices, and retail spaces with existing concrete surfaces.
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For places that require a chemically resistant and stronger surface, you might want to consider an epoxy flooring. These are very popular in garages, car dealerships, factories, airplane hangers, and other spaces that experience heavy foot traffic, vehicle traffic, and accidental spills.

Polished Concrete

As we mentioned earlier, polished concrete is made by first grinding the surface to remove any imperfections. Once that’s completed, a concrete polishing machine with diamond pads creates a smooth and durable surface. Below are some pros and cons of a polished concrete surface.

Pros

  • It’s attractive – A polished floor enhances the overall look of your concrete surface.
  • It’s energy-efficient – Polished concrete can increase light reflectivity by up to 100%. That reduces the need for extra lighting in your space.
  • It’s customizable – Experts can polish your concrete based on your desired sheen, whether it’s a matte, gloss, or anything in between.
  • It’s environmentally friendly – Polished concrete doesn’t involve any chemicals or toxins. All that’s involved is a grinder and your concrete.
Contemporary home entry hall with polished concrete floors
Builder polishing mortar floor at construction site of new appartments. Mechanized grout screed concrete floor close-up. Laborer performing and polishing sand and cement screed floor

Cons

  • It’s susceptible to moisture – If your concrete isn’t polished correctly and sealed, it can be susceptible to moisture penetration. If water does make its way into your porous concrete, it can quickly lead to mold growth and corrosion.
  • It’s not slip-resistant – Polished concrete can become very slippery when wet. This is risky if you have an outdoor concrete floor and it rains.
  • It can be loud – Polished concrete flooring can be just as loud as ceramic tiles and natural stone.

Epoxy Floors

Epoxy is also installed over concrete surfaces. But unlike polishing, which just enhances the appearance of your concrete, epoxy actually increases its strength, life-use, and effectiveness. Epoxy coatings come in various colors, designs, patterns, and textures. Experts can even add stencils or company logos. Below are some pros and cons of epoxy-coated floors.

Pros

  • It’s energy-efficient – Polished concrete only increases light reflectivity by up to 100%. Epoxy floors can increase it to up to 300%.
  • It‘s versatile Epoxy can be added to any outdoor or indoor concrete surface.
  • It’s environmentally friendly Epoxy floors don’t emit any toxins after it’s installed.
  • It’s waterproof and mold-resistant – If your concrete floor isn’t protected with an epoxy coating, it’s at risk of moisture damage and mold growth.
  • It’s chemical-resistant If you’re handling gas, oil, or grease in your space, you need a flooring system that will prevent these harmful liquids from staining your concrete.
  • It’s easy to clean – Epoxy floors can be easily cleaned by a light pressure wash, mop, or rag.
  • It’s long-lasting With proper care and upkeep, epoxy floors can last well beyond 20 years before they need reapplication.
  • It’s optionally slip-resistant By choosing a slip-resistant topcoat, you can prevent yourself from slipping on your floor when it gets wet.
  • It’s customizable – Complete Concrete Coatings offers a variety of different colors, patterns, textures, and stencils so you can customize your epoxy floor.
  • It’s easy to install if it’s done by a pro – Epoxy floors need to be installed by professionals. Otherwise, if done improperly, lots of things can go wrong, such as delamination (the epoxy begins to peel off your concrete or in between the different coatings).
garage floor epoxy
Preparing the floor for the epoxy

Cons

  • DIY is risky – As we mentioned above, epoxy floors should be installed by a professional concrete coating company. You may find epoxy floor kits at hardware stores or online, but these DIY solutions have many drawbacks and risks. Improperly installed epoxy floors can be brittle, prone to cracking, and won’t provide the level of durability you expect from a professional installation.

Who Can Protect Your Floor?

If you need concrete polishing or epoxy floors, call Complete Concrete Coatings. Since 2005, we’ve installed thousands of epoxy floors all over the greater Salt Lake City area. We also provide concrete polishing services for both residential and commercial properties. Call today for your inspection and free estimate.

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