Epoxy Floor vs Polished Concrete: Comparison Guide


Homes, commercial buildings, and industrial facilities can benefit from selecting either epoxy or polished concrete for their flooring. Which one to choose can be a tough question. There are pros and cons to both epoxy flooring and polished concrete. Any contractor, business owner, or property manager may already have their preference, but there is a clear winner on specific points when comparing the two.

In this guide, let’s take an unbiased look at what’s better between epoxy floors and polished concrete. Here’s what we found.

What Are Epoxy Floors?

Epoxy floors are made with a hardener and resin. Mixed, they are laid over concrete as a sort of stain finish. The result is an extremely strong, chemically-resistant surface that can almost tolerate anything you throw at it.

Epoxy flooring is highly durable. It can fend against water spills, chemical spills, heavy machinery, and anything that would otherwise break down flooring.

What Is Polished Concrete?

Polished concrete is made by grinding the surface of the concrete to remove imperfections. The machine then applies Diamond polishing pads to the surface to create a sheen across the surface.

No harsh chemicals are used in its making, and no toxins are released in its installation. The precise look of polished concrete can vary from matte to glossy or to various grades.

Epoxy Floors and Polished Concrete

Both epoxy floors and polished concrete are durable, long-lasting, and do not require much maintenance to keep up. They are both suitable for various applications and highly adaptable, but some clear differences may make one more suitable.

Polished Concrete Is Cheaper Than Epoxy Floors

If budget is the primary factor, polished concrete is far more affordable than epoxy floors. Polished concrete is as little as 50% less expensive than an epoxy coating.

Epoxy Is Widely Believed to Look Nicer Than Concrete

Though this varies depending on who you ask, it’s widely assumed that epoxy is the nicer, more high-end-looking finish than polished concrete.

Add to that its ability to guard against abrasions and punctures and conceal imperfections in various ways, and lots of business owners prefer epoxy.

Epoxy Is Better for Heavy-Duty Use Beyond Foot Traffic

Polished concrete is often selected for homes, offices, retail spaces, and similar settings where there’s little more than light to medium foot traffic. For more industrial environments, polished concrete pales compared to epoxy coatings.

Epoxy coatings handle heavy-duty industrial-grade use better than polished concrete and hold up better long-term.

Both Epoxy and Polished Concrete Perform Well Against Moisture

Epoxy and polished concrete are top-quality flooring choices in a setting with a lot of moisture. They are water-resistant and can help reduce the spread of mould, mites, and allergens.

Epoxy Is Chemical-Resistant While Polished Concrete Isn’t

Some facilities require a chemically-resistant floor surface. Epoxy is a lot better anywhere dealing with wear and tear from heavy machinery or where there’s a risk of exposure to dangerous substances.

This is why epoxy is often the pick when dealing with a warehouse, manufacturing, showroom, hospital, airplane hangar, or anything similar. Epoxy is a tough type of floor.

Epoxy Reflects More Light

Epoxy increases light reflectivity on average by up to 300% resulting in brighter, more welcoming spaces. This can also help reduce the wattage or number of lights you need in a room, reducing your overall electricity bill.

Epoxy Is More Aesthetically Versatile Than Polished Concrete

Epoxy is often chosen for commercial and residential garages, fitness areas, car dealerships, and a wide array of settings where the property owner wants to brand their floor in specific colours, images, and graphics.

Epoxy coatings are extremely versatile and considered more diverse compared to polished concrete. They can be customized to suit the exact look you desire, however abstract or specific you have in mind.

Polished Concrete Still Offers Various Styles

Polished concrete isn’t totally without the ability to be customized. It’s quite the opposite. Polished concrete has many styles, including laying on different stain colours, how the concrete is scored and banded, and all sorts of style choices.

Polished concrete can give off a unique aesthetic with a little creativity. However, it is a different look compared to what an epoxy coating offers.

How Often You Can Expect to Service Your Floors

As epoxy floors are often put into environments where you know they will have to withstand a lot of abuse, on average, epoxy surfaces will require refurbishing every 3-5 years.

As polished concrete is typically put into settings where its performance does not need to be so diverse, you can expect to service polished concrete every 8-10 years. This all depends on exposure, use, and the environment the flooring is in.

Dean is a self-professed tech geek with a fondness for computers, video games, and any novelty tech-savvy gadgets.