By: Custom Coatings on April 13th, 2021
Custom Coatings Comparison: Polished Concrete vs. Epoxy Coated Concrete
concrete coating | Concrete Polishing | garage floors | Residential Painting
If you’re thinking about painting, coating or sealing your home’s concrete floors – whether that’s your garage, basement or other auxiliary space – you have a few choices to make.
The two most common concrete finishes for homes are polished concrete and coated concrete. Both are beautiful, durable, and inexpensive when compared to other types of flooring. But both have different benefits and use cases. So, let’s take a look at them side by side based on a few common criteria you might be thinking about.
Both polished concrete and epoxy coated concrete are ultra-durable, especially for use in a home, and will last for 7 to 10 years if taken care of.
Polished concrete will hold up to chips and deep scratches better than coated concrete, since there isn’t a layer of epoxy to scrape off if something heavy or metal is accidentally dropped on the floor.
Coated concrete can fail if it is damaged. We’d recommend if you’re thinking about coated concrete to go with a three-coat system that adds a tough urethane top coat to two coats of epoxy to ensure the best durability possible. On the upside however, coated concrete won’t stain if it’s exposed to chemicals, gas or oil. Polished floors tend to suffer from permanent dark spots where corrosive or staining materials have been spilled on them.
Polished concrete is a bit more rustic or industrial in feel, as the process brings out the natural colors and patterns already inherent in your concrete. It can be done in matte or shiny with regard to sheen, and depending on what your concrete’s components were originally, can end up looking grey to beige to almost red in color. Polished concrete can also be tinted with semi-transparent acetone dyes. Every piece is unique.
Coated concrete offers a bit more control in terms of aesthetics, so if you have a very specific color or look in mind, this might be the way to go. Epoxy coatings come in every color of the rainbow from deepest black to pure white and can also be impregnated with broadcast materials or flakes – everything from metallic powder (to create a mirror-like finish) to tiny colored pellets and quartz chips. Broadcast floors are gorgeous, have a lot of depth, and also offer traction in some cases, making a floor safer to walk on in wet areas or where chemicals might be spilled.
Both polished concrete and coated concrete floors are exceptionally easy to clean. Just soap, water and a mop will typically do it.
Polished concrete is the most economical option, with a cost of around $3.00 to $3.50 per square foot for a relatively good-sized space without major repairs needed to the floor.
Coated floors vary a bit more, with two-coat floors coming in around $4.00 – $4.50 a square foot, and three-coat floors with urethane top coats costing about $6.00 a square foot and up, with broadcast and other add-ins compounding the price.
Which will you choose?
Polished or coated, you’re making a cost-effective, long-term choice for your concrete floor. Both options will, when cared for properly, last you 7 to 10 years, and either has the potential to turn forgotten or unused space into beautiful, usable area in your home. Our only other advice? Don’t DIY your concrete floor. While it’s tempting to buy an out-of-the-box solution from your home improvement store, the added hassle will most certainly outweigh the cost savings.
At Custom Coatings, we’ve installed hundreds of polished and coated concrete floors, and in full disclosure, many were re-dos of floors DIY’d by homeowners. So, cut out a step and give us a call today. Your new garage or basement is waiting.
Ready to get started sprucing up your concrete floor? We’re here to help. Contact us at email@example.com or visit our website to fill out a contact form. Need more helpful tips and information on what we can do for homeowners? Check out our residential series on our blog, including articles about polished concrete for garage floors and pros and cons of coated concrete floors.