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Polished Concrete vs. Epoxy Flooring: The Ultimate Comparison

November 7, 2022

Struggling to choose between polished concrete or epoxy flooring? While these two flooring systems may feel similar under foot, they bring their own strengths and weaknesses that you’ll need to take into account. And to help you choose the right option, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know.

Polished concrete and epoxy flooring are two of the most popular flooring choices for Melbourne homes and businesses.

But what’s right for you?

It may be tempting to opt for the cheaper finish, but with a list of unique pros and cons, you’ll need to factor in more than price to help make your decision. It’s important you get a surface that’s durable, low-maintenance, and stylish, so we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about these leading flooring choices.

Read on to find out which flooring system is best suited to your Melbourne home, business, or commercial space.

Everything you need to know about epoxy flooring

Highly popular and widely used in commercial and industrial settings, epoxy flooring is affordable and durable.

Consisting of a hardener and resin that bind to create a robust chemically-resistant surface, epoxy flooring brings strength that helps Melbourne businesses whether they’re dealing with high foot traffic, chemicals and oils (for example, a garage or showroom), or machinery.

Does that mean epoxy flooring is for commercial sites only?

Not at all.

More and more Melbourne homeowners are turning to epoxy flooring in garages to provide a long-lasting surface for the family car while still showing off a ‘WOW’ factor that comes with this versatile flooring choice.

✔ Affordable (can be installed directly over concrete floors)
✔ Highly resistant to stains, oils, scrapes, scuffs, germs, and more.
✔ Easy to clean and maintain
✔ Long lifespan and highly durable
✘ Careful installation required to avoid problems down the line
✘ May require concrete floor preparation which costs time and money
✘ May be slippery when wet (though non-slip coatings are available)

Curious about an epoxy flooring lifespan? Get the facts and figures here (you’ll be shocked at how many years you’ll get…

Everything you need to know about polished concrete

Long gone are the days when concrete was drab and dull. In 2022, polished concrete is one of many concrete finishes that can turn heads and deliver a truly durable surface for your Melbourne property.

Offered in a wide range of finishes (including your desired sheen from glossy-mirror to low-mustre matte and more), a polished concrete surface is scratch and stain resistant and can be applied without breaking the bank. This process starts by grinding the surface of your existing concrete slab to remove any imperfections, before a concrete polishing machine (typically using diamond polishing pads), leaves the surface smooth and strong.

Similar to epoxy, polished concrete stands out for its durability. Helping reduce allergens (unlike carpeted surfaces), this concrete finish uses no harsh chemicals and is an appealing option for many different spaces.

With minimal maintenance needs, you won’t be spending significant time or money on floor upkeep, so whether you’re keen to keep a little extra cash in your household or business budget, a polished concrete floor brings plenty of advantages.

DID YOU KNOW? Although shiny on the surface, polished concrete is highly slip-resistant. Through mechanically grinding and flattening the surface, the coefficient of friction is increased compared to plain concrete.

✔ Less maintenance required (tightly compacted surface is stain-resistant)
✔ Highly durable and long-lasting
✔ Wide range of design options, styles, and finishes available
✔ High slip-resistance
✘ Cracks may appear over time
✘ Does not retain heat and may be cold to touch during winter
✘ Hard surface may be uncomfortable under foot for employees

Psssst. Here’s how long a polished concrete floor will last for.

Factors to take into account when comparing epoxy and polished concrete floors

You’ve got a concrete slab. But what’s the best way to get the most value from it?

You could grind down the surface until it’s smooth and shiny, then apply sealers to leave your concrete polished and strong. Or you could add a layer of protection to your slab with an epoxy resin and hardener combo.

When choosing between these two options, you’ll need to take the following influences into account. If you’re stuck on the fence, the following list can help you step back and see which flooring choice is right for you.

Durability: Your floor needs to be tough whether it’s handling hundreds of customers, heavy-duty machinery, an endless stream of cars, or the family vehicle. While both epoxy and concrete are strong, polished concrete is the more robust option.

Price: Both epoxy and polished concrete are affordable flooring options that don’t require you to rip up your slab and start over. Polished runs around $50 per m2, with epoxy coming in cheaper at around $30 to $35 per m2 (as you’re only coating the slab, not grinding and sealing it. Keep in mind, epoxy flooring is a temporary choice and may be damaged/require replacing over time, so while installation costs may be cheaper, long-term costs may still add up.

Installation: Epoxy is the faster flooring system to install, with professionals taking between 2 and 3 days to have your new floor ready. You’ll still need to wait for the epoxy to fully cure before driving a vehicle on the surface, while polished concrete can take up to 6 days to be finished.

Cleaning and Maintenance: Let’s be honest, no one wants to spend their spare time constantly mopping, dusting, and keeping the floors clean. And whether you opt for epoxy or polished concrete, you won’t have to! Both low-maintenance choices, cleaning is as simple as removing dust and dirt to keep your floor looking shiny and new – but avoid using abrasive chemicals which may damage your floors.

How to choose the right flooring system for you

As you can see, choosing between epoxy flooring and polished concrete isn’t easy.

More than a matter of price, you’ll need to consider a range of factors from the use of your surface to your level of preferred care and maintenance, and even the aesthetic look you’re gunning for.

If you’re operating a Melbourne business and need a heavy-duty floor that can withstand machinery, foot traffic, and chemicals without damage, then epoxy flooring may be right for you. Keep in mind, epoxy flooring can also be customised in a range of styles and designs from epoxy flake to metallic finishes and much, much more.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for an affordable option that still offers an eye-catching finish and impressive durability (with low maintenance to boot), polished concrete could be the winner for you.

The “best” choice for you will come down to your budget, needs, and preferences, so if you need a little help deciding on a new flooring surface, read on to find out how the team at Flawless Floorz can help.

Looking for a little inspo? Check out our completed project gallery here

Let one of Melbourne’s leading concrete companies help…

At Absolutely Flawless Floorz, nothing short of 100% customer satisfaction will do. We understand that your choice in floor is never an afterthought, but a crucial feature of your Melbourne home or business.

No matter what you’re considering – whether polished concrete or epoxy flooring – we have a team of highly experienced and skilled concrete experts ready to help out. And with upfront rates and transparent pricing, you’ll never be stung with extra charges or fees along the way.

If you’d like to weigh up your options and speak to your local concreting experts, get in touch and speak to a member of our team. Whether you need a quick quote (100% obligation free), have a question about epoxy flooring, or you’d like to learn about polished concrete, we’re happy to share our knowledge and prices at no cost.

Get in touch on 0450 550 649 or click here to request your free quote.

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