Epoxy vs Polished Concrete

Dec 16, 2023 | Epoxy Floors, Polished Concrete Floors

Polished concrete floor at loading docks.

Polished concrete flooring at loading docks.

The Differences Between Epoxy and Polished Concrete Flooring

In this post we will illuminate the epoxy vs. polished concrete debate. The two most common concrete floor finishes are epoxy and polished concrete flooring but what are the differences. How can you know which flooring type is best for your facility.

Winter Tire vs Summer Tire

A great analogy to explain the difference between epoxy and polished concrete would be the winter tire vs the summer tire. 

Epoxy is the winter tire, it’s designed to completely seal off the concrete and protect it from harsh liquids. If your facility has consistent exposure to liquids, chemicals, or other elements harmful to concrete, you should use epoxy. 

Polished concrete is the summer tire, it performs better in dry environments. The surface of the concrete is ground, polished, and treated with a chemical that improves durability and makes it resistant to dusting. 

Polished concrete has a harder and more durable surface that requires less maintenance which is great for high-traffic environments. It doesn’t scuff or mark and retains its like-new appearance much longer than epoxy. 

Epoxy

Epoxy flooring at loading docks.

Environment where epoxy excels at:

  • Parking garages
  • Food processing 
  • Manufacturing that uses oils or acids
  • Extremely wet areas
  • Machine shops

Polished Concrete

Environments where polished concrete excels:

  • Offices
  • Retail Stores
  • Warehouses
  • Dry Manufacturing
  • Schools
  • Stadiums
  • Museums / Art Galleries
  • Homes

Environmentally Friendly?

Polished concrete is a sustainable and environmentally friendly flooring solution. It does not release VOCs or contain toxic elements, making it a good solution for companies that value sustainability and green design. 

Epoxy scores very poorly for sustainability. It has a global warming potential 189 times polished concrete. The manufacture of epoxy is toxic and releases harmful chemicals into the environment.

Epoxy is suitable for harsh environments and should only be used when necessary due to its toxic and damaging environmental impact. Unfortunately, it’s commonly misused in flooring situations where it is not advantageous. 

Conclusion

It’s important to take the time to understand your requirements before selecting your flooring. Matching your needs with the right floor will result in a better use of resources and higher long-term satisfaction. 

We are happy to answer your questions or provide a free assessment of your floor. Contact us today.

Polished Concrete 1 Inc. serves the Greater Toronto area and Southern Ontario.