While polished concrete and epoxy flooring share some common traits, like their modern, sleek look and durability, they also have unique characteristics that could affect the performance of your commercial flooring.
When you’re choosing between polished concrete or epoxy floors, the right choice for you will depend on the needs of your space. It’s not just about style and cost; it’s also about longevity, maintenance, safety, and environmental impact. We’ll take a closer look at the best environments for each type of material so you can decide which flooring will suit your needs.
Epoxy flooring is a kind of surface treatment that combines resin and a hardener over concrete to obtain a highly reflective, hard style of flooring. The resulting material is exceptionally durable, resilient, and easy to maintain, making it a popular choice for many industrial and commercial settings.
Polished concrete flooring is created by using polishing machinery to hone and grind a concrete substrate to a fine, polished finish. It is commonly used in commercial and industrial settings, and it’s becoming increasingly popular in residential settings due to its professional aesthetic and easy maintenance.
Polished concrete has a natural stone-like appearance and is highly resistant to heat and surface damage. However, it can be quite slippery when wet. On the other hand, epoxy flooring is a synthetic material that forms a durable, plastic-like surface which can be tailored to a wider variety of colours. It can also include anti-slip additives for better grip in wet conditions.
In terms of longevity, epoxy can become discoloured when exposed to a lot of sunlight, and it is more prone to scratches and chipping compared to polished concrete. Epoxy floors can be recoated and replaced, but a well-maintained polished concrete floor will last indefinitely.
The differences between these two types of materials underline the importance of considering the specific needs and conditions of your commercial property when choosing the best flooring option for you.
Polished concrete is commonly used in warehouses, retail locations, restaurants, and office buildings. Epoxy is favoured in warehouses, garages, hospitals and schools, partly due to its ability to resist chemical spills.
After epoxy cures, it is near impossible to change its look, so you will want to be sure you are happy with its appearance. The style of polished concrete is mainly determined by the concrete you start with, but you can control the degree of aggregate (exposed stone) and the amount of shine.
While both flooring options are durable, polished concrete may last longer than epoxy if properly maintained. Epoxy floors, on the other hand, may need to be recoated or replaced every 5-10 years, depending on the level of traffic and wear.
Epoxy floors have the potential to release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during and after installation. By comparison, polished concrete creates no fumes and doesn’t use harsh adhesives.
As polished concrete is breathable flooring, there is less chance of mould and mildew growth. It also doesn’t accumulate dust and dirt in the same way that other flooring does, like carpets. This can make it beneficial for allergy sufferers.
An epoxy coating creates a continuous, unified floor surface, which reduces the likelihood of bacterial growth. It also prevents the build-up of harmful moulds, moisture, and fungi.
Polished concrete costs more to install than epoxy but is also longer-lasting and more durable. Both flooring options are economical, especially compared to other alternatives, such as wood or stone. Because both polished concrete and epoxy change an existing concrete floor, you avoid the cost of flooring materials.
The maintenance for a polished concrete floor is quite simple – just dry mop or mop with water and a pH-neutral detergent. Similarly, epoxy floors can be cleaned using a soft broom or a commercial dust mop.
Epoxy floors are not eco-friendly due to the resins and hardeners used to create them and the fact that they let off VOCs into the air. By comparison, polished concrete floors are eco-friendly as they use no harsh chemicals, create no fumes, and use existing flooring – the concrete substrate.
At Floorcon, we provide installation services for epoxy and polished concrete floors. Ask us for advice on which flooring will fit the requirements of your commercial space. Get in touch to find out more.
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