Choosing between epoxy vs concrete for your home’s floor surfaces?
If you’ve been contending between epoxy vs concrete for your property’s outdoor spaces, you may be confused by the seemingly conflicting opinions from different articles online, with no clear list of considerations that can help you make a decision.
Well, we’re here to put an end to your deliberation by laying out the facts for you once and for all. In this article, we’ll highlight the differences between epoxy and concrete resurfacing, the pros and cons of each, and some ideal use cases for them.
Table of Contents
- What Is Epoxy Flooring?
- What Is Concrete Resurfacing?
- Comparing Epoxy & Concrete Resurfacing
- Is Epoxy or Concrete Resurfacing The Better Choice?
What is Epoxy Flooring?
Epoxy flooring makes use of epoxy resin (a type of plastic) as a protective coating for your flooring. It is typically used in industrial settings, where its chemical-resistant characteristics help to prevent damage to the foundational flooring material. In home settings, it’s more commonly applied in garages due to the increased durability that is needed.
The application process for epoxy flooring will typically involve priming the foundational surface (usually concrete) to remove debris and ensure that there are no cracks or damage. Once the flooring surface is ready, the epoxy resin will be poured onto the surface and spread out to form a consistent layer. This layer will be left to set and harden over time, eventually resulting in a clear epoxy surface.
What is Concrete Resurfacing?
Concrete resurfacing is a comprehensive end-to-end service that involves the removal of old or broken concrete resurfaces for the reapplication of a new and improved concrete surface. Concrete flooring is one of the most popular choices for driveways, pavements, and even pool surrounds in Australia.
Concrete resurfacing typically requires a base of existing concrete to be present in order to be applied, but existing surfaces can also be prepared with grinding and tile removal. Depending on the condition of your existing flooring, some repairs may need to be done, such as filling in cracks to create a smooth surface for the new concrete to be applied. You’ll then have the option to complete the concrete resurfacing process with custom finish design options from exposed aggregate to stamped patterns.
Resurfacing is usually necessary when concrete areas show significant damage beyond the help of minor patch-ups. Cracks, wear due to weathering, or accidents may demand more than simple repairs; if they aren’t addressed, they could pose safety hazards and will adversely impact the longevity of your concrete surface.
Apart from repair needs, it’s also possible to revamp concrete surfaces simply to change their appearance. Doing so not only enhances its visual appeal but can also contribute to increasing the financial value of your home or commercial space. Concrete resurfacing can transform any plain grey surface using a variety of finish options, from stencil patterns to exposed aggregate.
Comparing Epoxy & Concrete Resurfacing
When it comes to selecting a flooring option for your home’s outdoor spaces, it can be tempting to simply choose whichever option seems to be the cheapest and quickest to install. Unfortunately, this is a mistake that many homeowners make, resulting in major drawbacks down the line.
To help you make the right decision between epoxy and concrete resurfacing, we’ll provide you with a detailed comparison of their key features.
Epoxy flooring is most known for its chemical resistance. Epoxy is a relatively inert material that does not react with most chemical substances, which makes it ideal for use cases where there may be spillage of various liquids or chemicals.
However, the durability of epoxy flooring can vary wildly based on its type. For home applications, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get access to commercial-grade epoxy. Chances are, you’ll be given the option between water-based epoxy and solids-based epoxy, both of which are not as durable as the ones used at industrial sites. These lower-grade epoxy resins are more prone to chipping and cracking over time, especially under heavy activity.
Concrete, on the other hand, is a much more reliable material when it comes to durability. A high-quality concrete resurfacing project can last for years under harsh Australian weather conditions with minimal need for maintenance. This is the reason why concrete driveways are the standard for most Australian homes instead of epoxy.
Furthermore, it should be mentioned that epoxy is not a breathable surface, unlike concrete. It is possible for moisture to become trapped and build up in the layer under the epoxy, potentially causing it to crack or deform. This problem is especially prevalent in more humid environments.
As mentioned before, concrete resurfacing comes with options for an aesthetic finish that matches your home’s look and feel. The wide number of customisable finish options to choose from adds an element of personalisation to your flooring, giving you more freedom in designing your home.
The appearance of epoxy flooring is more limiting, restricted to duller matte finishes that are not as reflective as polished concrete, nor as customisable as concrete stamping or stencil finishes. Epoxy resin is also known to yellow over time as it is exposed to UV rays, resulting in a worn or old look after some time.
At first glance, there is a distinct difference between the lower initial upfront cost of epoxy flooring when compared to that of concrete resurfacing. While this is true, what many homeowners fail to factor in is the ongoing cost of maintenance.
Being easily chipped and scratched, epoxy flooring tends to require more frequent maintenance. In some cases, epoxy flooring will need to be redone or replaced altogether due to the extent of wear and tear. To add to this, epoxy flooring can also “delaminate” when not properly bonded to the foundation surface, leading to large patches of peeling material.
While the cost of concrete resurfacing may seem higher initially, it pays dividends throughout its long lifespan by requiring little to no maintenance and being resistant to damage even under high traffic conditions.
Is Epoxy or Concrete Resurfacing The Better Choice?
So, is epoxy or concrete resurfacing the better choice for your home’s outdoor flooring? All signs point to concrete resurfacing as the better long-term option, while epoxy remains a viable alternative, but mainly as a temporary solution.
As accredited master builders, we want to help homeowners like you enjoy your home to the fullest without having to worry about flooring issues cropping up every now and then. That is why we offer high-quality concrete resurfacing services for all types of home flooring applications, from driveways to pool surrounds, pavements, garages, and more. If you’d like to find out more about how our concrete resurfacing services work, give us a call today!