The True Cost of Epoxy Flooring: Epoxy vs Polished Concrete

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is IMG_3762-1024x768.jpg To determine the cost of your epoxy flooring renovation, look at the different features and product lifetime. Currently, the chart topping flooring systems find epoxy and polished concrete battling it out for the title of the best value for money. Both have vast benefits that other flooring options simply can’t compete with. However there are always going to be situations where one system will be more suitable over the other. Find out the cost of epoxy flooring compared to mainstream polished concrete, and determine which will work best for you. You’ll not only discover practical benefits but also best value for money.

Get to know the system

Concrete is the most common flooring applied through the commercial and industrial industries. It’s easy to make, only requiring cement, water and an aggregate like rock, sand or gravel. Concrete is found as a popular choice for builders due to its strength and longevity. While a concrete slab is great, when polished you’ll find that it becomes even more resistant to damage. As well as less surface dust is generated, and looks more premium than an unpolished slab.

Polished concrete is a well known finish for your flooring. However epoxy is certainly growing in popularity and making that final decision on flooring systems that little more difficult. Epoxy offers a simpler installation. This simplicity is due to epoxy being a coating that adds extra protection and durability to the floor.

To create epoxy, resin is combined with hardener that allows the cured product to be highly resistant to most chemicals, durable and easily bonds with the original floor. Not only is epoxy practical in this sense, but additionally offers the freedom for customisation. This invites more businesses and residential clients to see epoxy as an option for their flooring system upgrade.

Durability

Durability is certainly one of the main characteristics people look to in their flooring systems. Commercial and industrial businesses look for floors that can stand the test of time from heavy foot traffic, vehicles and machinery. This is why most commonly epoxy or polished concrete is their flooring of choice for cafes through to large workshops.

For polished concrete, its durability stems from one of its core materials; cement. Once cured it can be as tough as a natural stone slab. Aside from strength, polished concrete has resistance to chips and cracks which many other flooring options are unable to effectively offer. However if the concrete has cracked prior to polishing, it’s highlighted unless you take the time to fill them. Epoxy on the other hand can truly hide cracks through the coating process.

Epoxy also offers strength and durability over other flooring systems. But when compared to polished concrete it can’t offer it in the same means. Epoxy is a coating applied to existing floors, which enhances the ability to resist most forms of impact or damage. When very sharp or hefty items are dropped, you may find some residual damage to your epoxy coat. Even though epoxy isn’t as durable in this scenario, it can be easily repaired. Whereas polished concrete does require a more lengthy process to correct any damage.

Overall, polished concrete does deliver high value for money if you require a flooring system that demands incredibly durable characteristics.

Affordability

When considering a flooring upgrade, epoxy and polished concrete are by far more competitive when you crunch the numbers. There are an abundance of businesses that provide the complete service of grinding and sealing your slab for polished concrete. Cost can increase depending on the final finish you are looking for. You’ll find your average spend per square meter will sit roughly under $100-$150.

When looking for more affordability, epoxy certainly falls under that average and can be further customised – from a cut and seal through to a fully flaked system. The prep-work needed ensures a strong bond, removal of minor imperfection, glue and laitance. If your existing flooring has significant imperfections, your installer can easily fill them to deliver a level and smooth finish. But this is completely optional.

Our team can usually get you out of trouble with your average spend per square meter being roughly $75-$150, depending on the finish you’re looking for. However, we can also look at more budget friendly solutions that are only a plain 2 coat system. Or even a cut and seal which involves grinding the surface and then adding a clear top coat. This finish can look very similar to polished concrete.

So if your main objective is to physically spend less money, but reap the benefits of a durable flooring system than epoxy is perfect for the hip pocket. If you’re comparing hardwood flooring or natural stone flooring for the aesthetic appeal, then you can’t beat epoxy as your budget friendly option.

Time To Install

Between these flooring systems, epoxy takes the cake in how long it takes to install. It takes our team between 2-3 days to complete an installation – check out our process here. For the curing time you will be looking at 7 days before you can park your car on it. Whereas polished concrete takes 2-3 days to lay a slab and have it set. Then, it takes another 3-4 days for the polish and seal to be completed. Polished concrete can then take up to 28 days to cure after that initial process.

So overall, epoxy is certainly the perfect option for you if you are time poor.

Maintenance

For easy care of your flooring system, both options offer simplicity and ease. Just use a microfiber pad or soft bristled broom to remove dust and debris for either polished concrete or epoxy. If there is dirt that won’t budge, spraying with a hose, pressure wash or a mop can do the trick. Products are available that are safe to use on your floor. Simply speak with your installer to recommend the right product if you need a more thorough clean. Overall, it’s a tie between epoxy and polished concrete for the easiest to maintain and clean. For both systems, avoid using acidic and abrasive cleaners, as these can cause damage to your flooring finish. For a full care and maintenance guide for epoxy flooring, check out the simple manufacturers guide here.

Mould and Moisture

An area where you need to consider a flooring that will combat mould and moisture, polished concrete offers more resistance than bare concrete. Once the finish is completed, it acts as a barrier to moisture seeping into the pores of the floor. This reduces the chance for mould or mildew.

However, for epoxy, it can depend on if the job is done properly. If installed incorrectly, moisture can be trapped under the coating and lead to it peeling, bubbling or blistering. This invites mould and mildew to spore, leaving polished concrete as your more desirable choice to consistently combat this problem.

Resistance To Chemicals

Epoxy can offer a variety of coatings that can withstand a variety of chemicals, which is perfect for industrial applications. For residential, this makes it easy as your mainstream threats like car fluids, household cleaners and day to day liquids won’t harm your floors. For those looking for hardcore resistance, epoxy can withstand harsh chemicals like ammonia, nitric acid, hydrogen peroxide, formaldehyde and sulfuric acid. However, polished concrete can corrode from these types of acids and chemicals, leaving your floor looking patchy and undesirable.

Slip Resistance

Another characteristic that can be a selling point and build value for you, is slip resistance. Even though polished concrete can look silky and shiny, it still is porous in nature which provides grip. While an epoxy coating to your existing floor is non porous. When dry it does the trick for providing grip under foot. But can be prone to be less slip resistant when wet compared to polished concrete. There are a variety of finishes available that can combat this characteristic. Upon request you can achieve a slip resistance with a P5 rating – being the best rating for slip resistance. This is typically used around constantly wet areas like pools or outdoor areas. Due to this ability, epoxy can offer the most slip resistance on request.

Brighten The Room

The final decision maker that is considered when comparing polished concrete and epoxy, is reflectiveness. This is how you can make a space brighter, reduce energy consumption and create ambient light with just your floor! Polished concrete offers around a 100% increase in light being reflected. Whereas epoxy certainly takes the title with up to 300% increase of reflectivity!

The Decision

When looking at a viable, affordable flooring system you need to sometimes consider more than the final figure on your invoice. There are key characteristics that both polished concrete and epoxy flooring offer. This can be where you find the true value of the flooring system, as it can solve your problems and truly justify the cost. Which flooring system will give you the most value for your space? If you’re still unsure, or if epoxy took the crown for the best solution for your residential, commercial or industrial flooring needs – contact our knowledgeable team today for a free quote!