What Are Polished Concrete And Epoxy Resin?
Polished concrete is a direct concrete finish created by applying a top-level chemical hardener directly to a concrete base. The mix is then ground down and polished to create a marbled, reflective look as well as a smooth, durable surface resistant to damage.
Additional grit and powdered dyes can be mixed in during the grinding stage to colour the floor or create greater friction resistance.
Epoxy resin paint is (as the name implies) floor paint specially formulated for concrete.
It doesn’t modify the concrete itself – instead; it creates a shield made of hardened resin as it sets. Epoxy resin can be applied quickly and mixed (or repainted) to contain additional protective chemicals. It’s often used to cover vast spaces (such as factories or warehouses) where polishing every concrete floor individually would be time-consuming.
The Pros And Cons Of Polished Concrete
Polished concrete is an ideal choice for areas that need decorative industrial look or that need minimal levels of active maintenance over very long periods (i.e. decades). Left untouched, concrete can easily absorb food flakes and other detritus into its porous surface. This can lead to mould and bacterial growth, increasing the risk of infection and illness amongst workers and customers. Polishing the top of the block creates a preventative layer that naturally prevents pathogen growth.
For the same reasons, the smoother surface of polished concrete makes it much easier to clean with water and chemicals. The high degree of resistance to erosion polishing offers means that you don’t have to worry about the impact of using anti-bacterial agents.
However, polishing works best with fresh concrete flooring that’s completely even. If you’re renovating an older or damaged floor, you might have to pay for costly underlying repairs if you want to polish it up.
Certain types of concrete also have poor compatibility with additives and modifications after they set – particularly those used in specialist environments or made from a smoother mix. You may have to pay for another layer on top or extensive pre-polishing prep and grinding if you want to transform these surfaces into a double-coated base.
The Pros And Cons Of Epoxy Resin Paint
Resin paint is another easy-to-maintain, low-cost, hygienic solution to cover hard flooring. It’s vapour-permeable, low-odour, and provides excellent dust-proofing qualities. This makes it adaptable to business, public, manufacturing, and retail spaces, open and closed.
Epoxy is much easier and cheaper to apply to large spaces than polishing and is easier to decorate, too, with a range of aesthetically-pleasing after-coats and patterns available to pick from. Cleaning, replacing, and spot repairs are also easier with painted surfaces. A full epoxy repaint will also cost far less than fully restoring a polished concrete floor.
However, epoxy resin will require repairs more frequently than a polished finish. Some cheaper resin options can also be damaged by corrosive substances. Resin paint itself can prove slippery without after-treatment – obviously not ideal for workspaces without additional anti-friction measures being added to the paint.
Concrete Floor Finishes From Central Flooring
Central Flooring provides advanced floor finishing solutions for business customers across the UK. Our contractors can install a personalised epoxy floor finish from beginning to end, fitted to any requirements. Call or email us today to find out more.