One of the most important aspects when working with any material is knowing the differences between it and similar materials that may be used for different purposes. Epoxy flooring and concrete resurfacing are two common ways to protect hard surface flooring. Still, each has its own distinct properties that make it more suitable in some scenarios than in others.
This article will break down epoxy flooring vs. concrete resurfacing to give you a better understanding of how they differ from one another, which you’ll need to know before making your next decision about your floor’s protection.
What Is Epoxy Flooring?
Epoxy is a type of industrial-strength plastic resin (a substance made up of bonded chemical substances called polymers) that can be mixed with various additives and pigments to create a material with a wide variety of different properties. Epoxy flooring is made by adding powdered pigments or flakes to the epoxy itself before it is mixed, then spread across the desired location as a liquid where it will harden into a solid film.
Epoxy Flooring Pros
There are many benefits to using epoxy as your floor’s protection. For example:
- It can be used for both interior and exterior applications, so you won’t need to buy separate materials for each area in or near your home.
- The durability of an epoxy coating means that you shouldn’t ever have to repair or refinish the surface again after applying new coats at regular intervals.
- Because epoxy hardens to a solid film, it won’t become porous and attract dirt and other debris.
Epoxy Flooring Cons
Even the best materials will come with downsides, and epoxy flooring is no exception. You should be aware of these issues before making your decision:
- The potential health risks involved when working with the chemical mixture are well known in the industry. Still, not all manufacturers take precautions against inhaling or ingesting small amounts due to accidental contact with skin or eyes.
- It’s important to know that epoxy doesn’t actually strengthen concrete; it’s simply applied on top of the material as an extra level of protection for aesthetic purposes. This means that you might experience chipping or cracking in your flooring if the concrete beneath is structurally unsound.
- Not every color option will match the original shade of your floor, so you’ll want to check beforehand.
What Is Concrete Resurfacing?
Concrete resurfacing is a service offered by many companies that leaves your current concrete surface intact but creates a new protective layer on top of it using an acrylic-based material that has been tinted with pigments and sprayed or brushed onto the area at hand. It’s typically used for repairing existing surfaces like driveways and sidewalks but can also be applied over epoxy coatings (if they’re still in good condition) as a way to renew their appearance without removing them entirely.
Concrete Resurfacing Pros
There are several different reasons for choosing concrete resurfacing as your preferred method of floor protection:
- Repairing a cracked or uneven concrete surface can be done much more quickly and cheaply than removing, repairing, and replacing the material completely.
- This type of service is often available for same-day appointments.
- It will also protect an epoxy coating from minor damage unless it’s physically removed by a vandal or industrial accident.
Concrete Resurfacing Cons
Although this service may be a good choice based on your current circumstances, there are some downsides you should take into consideration before making your final decision:
- It won’t offer the same level of protection as epoxy because it isn’t actually a coating; it’s simply applied on top of the existing material as an extra layer.
- Application will take longer than with epoxy, which means you’ll need to spend additional money or time on the process.
What Are The Main Differences Between Epoxy Flooring And Concrete Resurfacing?
The biggest difference between epoxy flooring and concrete resurfacing is that one is actually applied to the original material (epoxy). At the same time, the other is used as a stand-alone protective covering (concrete resurfacing). Here are examples of how they work differently:
- Epoxy works best for interior applications because it creates a solid film that won’t become porous over time. Concrete resurfacing can be used both indoors and outdoors.
- Epoxy flooring is a chemical mixture that can be potentially hazardous when not handled correctly by installation contractors. Concrete resurfacing is a purely physical process with no toxic materials involved.
- Epoxy will last much longer if you use it on the interior of your home or business, but exterior applications might only need minor repairs after several years. Concrete resurfacing can last anywhere from three to five years before needing repair or replacement.
What Factors to Consider During Your Installation?
Since there are pros and cons to both epoxy flooring and concrete resurfacing, it’s important to consider what factors will make the most difference for your needs. Here are some examples of questions you might want to ask yourself before making a final decision:
- How much time do I have for this installation?
- Epoxy installation can take several days if applied properly, but concrete resurfacing is typically done in one day.
- Do I care more about the chemical properties or durability of my flooring?
- Epoxy works well as an interior coating that won’t be exposed to traffic or environmental damage, but concrete resurfacing doesn’t actually strengthen the material beneath it, so it may not stand up to heavy use.
- Is price or quality more important to me?
- Epoxy is typically a higher-quality product than concrete resurfacing and will also last longer. On the other hand, concrete resurfacing can be completed on your schedule and may cost less.
- How much protection do I need from foreign objects or liquids?
- Concrete resurfacing won’t provide as much protection as epoxy flooring since it’s not an actual coating.
As you can see from this article, both epoxy coatings and concrete resurfacing have their own pros and cons that might make them more suitable for some situations than others. It ultimately comes down to the specific needs of the location they’ll be installed in: time, budget, desired durability, etc. Contact a professional like us here at Epoxy Tacoma for a free estimate based on your unique needs.