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Concrete floors are porous which means water and other soluble contaminants can easily penetrate it. When this happens, the concrete floor is bound to experience premature degradation. Signs of a degraded concrete floor include the following;

  • Physical defects such as spalling and cracking
  • Laitance and;
  • Efflorescence

Fortunately, these unsightly defects can be avoided by applying industrial floor coatings. With proper installation from a pro, industrial coatings provide protection for the concrete floor by helping prevent freeze, stain, and abrasion.

Epoxy coating and concrete polishing are among the most common ways of coating concrete floors. Below are the differences between epoxy coatings and concrete polishing.

Epoxy Coating vs. Concrete Polishing

While both epoxy coating and concrete polishing use concrete slab as their foundation substrate, the two produce different surfaces suitable for different environments. For instance, concrete polishing is preferred in most schools’ common areas, grocery stores, and coffee shops.  On the other hand, epoxy coating is the favored flooring in numerous warehouses, industrial sites, and commercial buildings. This is because epoxy floors provide a safe and clean condition for industrial equipment, inventory, and workers.

The Creation Process

Specialized industrial grinding machines are used in creating polished concrete. The machines, which feature finer polishing heads, are repeatedly run over a concrete slab that is already treated to form a burnished and smooth surface. This process can be likened to polishing marble or granite. Usually, the equipment used to polish the concrete features diamond grit.

The resulting smooth surface ranges from a dull luster to a highly shiny surface, depending on the intensity of the polishing. The polishing process condenses the concrete surface together transforming it into its hardest and densest state.

On the other hand, epoxy coating usually consists of layers of two-component coatings that are fluid applied to an already mechanically prepared concrete floor. The end result is a durable, protective, and impervious coating that features aesthetic characteristics.

Differences between Epoxy Coated Floor And Polished Concrete Floor

Compared to epoxy coating, concrete polishing does not scratch or peel and it has the ability to stay intact for a very long time as long as it is well maintained. Epoxy coating has the tendency to scratch and peel after some time.

While epoxy is water-resistant and provides a non-slippery surface perfect for busy environments like industries, concrete polishing reduces the accumulation of waste and can remain presentable and clean for long periods if well-maintained. Polished concrete floor also reflects light by up to 100%.

On its part, epoxy flooring requires extra cleaning, which involves cleaning products to aid in removing the built-up debris and dust. However, epoxy flooring cannot be damaged in case of a chemical spill, which makes this type of flooring ideal for industries and warehouses.

Polished concrete floor can easily be damaged by chemical spill and the flooring cannot work on pitted or cracked floor.

Advantages of Epoxy Flooring Vs. Polished Concrete Floor

Looks

When it comes to looks, a polished concrete floor is aesthetically pleasing and easy on the eyes. While untreated concrete gradually emits dust as it ages, polished concrete has zero dust emission because of the physical changes it undergoes while being polished.

Durability

Polished concrete is also more durable and can last up to ten years if well maintained. Polished concrete is also durable and has the capacity to withstand heavy machinery essential in commercial structures.

Epoxy floor can only last for about three years if well maintained. Nevertheless, epoxy flooring can also handle heavy machinery

The great thing about an epoxy coated floor is that it can withstand heavy chemicals. This type of flooring also hides multiple imperfections.

From the information above, it is safe to say that polished concrete is far more durable than epoxy flooring and should thus be considered especially for areas with constant traffic. One of the best advantages of epoxy flooring is that it is non-slippery and thus perfect for areas where there is frequent water spillage (but for safety purposes, floors should be kept dry at all times). Therefore, the choice is yours.