When it comes time to redo the floors in your industrial facility, you’ll likely have to choose between the two most popular options: polished concrete flooring and epoxy flooring. What are the differences, and which one makes the most business sense for you?
Both polished concrete and epoxy flooring use a concrete slab as the foundation substrate, but that’s about where the similarities end.
Polished concrete flooring is made by running a specialized grinding machine with polishing heads across a treated concrete slab to create a smooth surface.
Industrial epoxy flooring typically consists of multiple layers of coatings that are fluid-applied to a mechanically prepared concrete base and allowed to chemically cure.
What to Know About Polished Concrete Flooring
Polished concrete flooring is typically used in areas that won’t be exposed to harsh chemicals, extremely acidic or alkaline substances, wet processing, food production or packaging, toxins, and other environmental contaminants. Install polished concrete in medium-traffic areas that can be closed or rerouted for regular re-polishing and other routine maintenance.
When installed correctly, polished concrete flooring:
- Can improve air quality by minimizing concrete dusting
- Can increase floor’s light reflectivity
- Is economical, attractive, and environmentally friendly
- Is low maintenance and easy to care for
However, if polished concrete flooring isn’t performed correctly, it can come with drawbacks:
- If not sealed correctly, it will be susceptible to moisture, which can lead to mold and mildew.
- It can become slippery when wet, which can make it a risky choice for high foot traffic areas.
How Industrial Epoxy Flooring Works
Epoxy flooring is a great option if polished concrete doesn’t meet all of your requirements. The right high-performance epoxy coating system can increase the concrete slab’s weight-bearing capacity, improve impact resistance, chemical resistance and provide static control. Epoxy can stand up to the extreme conditions commonly found in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, and chemical processing.
Unlike polished concrete, epoxy systems can be applied to surfaces that are in very poor condition, making it a more versatile option. Because it is applied in a liquid state that chemically cures, it creates a surface that is seamless and tough enough to resist concentrated solvents, acids, and alkalis.
An industrial epoxy flooring system also provides the following benefits:
- Improved air quality thanks to reduced allergens and mold
- A variety of aesthetic options that can be customized
- Versatile enough for use indoors and outdoors
- Can increase light reflectivity
- Is environmentally friendly and great longevity
- Is slip-resistant
- Requires almost no maintenance besides routine cleaning
- Clean epoxy floors with water and detergents.
- Use a microfiber cloth to remove dust and debris from polished concrete. Mop with water, and use an auto-scrubber to restore shine.
- Epoxy floors can last several years in industrial environments when properly installed and formulated for its intended use.
- Polished concrete can last many years before refurbishing is required
- Epoxy floor coatings resist chemicals, acids, and alkalis commonly found in laboratories, food and beverage facilities, and industrial warehouses.
- Polished concrete flooring is not chemical resistant without additives, so it isn’t recommended for those environments.
- Epoxy flooring can reflect light and enhance visibility. They are also slip-resistant and seamless, which can reduce accidents and falls.
- Polished concrete can also reflect light and improve visibility.
It sounds great, but keep in mind that the industrial epoxy flooring system must be properly installed to reap these benefits. Improperly installed epoxy can fail and won’t provide the protection and durability you expect, so make sure you’re working with an experienced industrial painting contractor for your installation.
Final Comparisons: Industrial Epoxy Flooring vs. Polished Concrete Flooring
Before you decide which flooring type to go with, consider these final comparisons between industrial epoxy flooring and polished concrete flooring. If you’re still unsure about which is best suited to your facility, the team at A&K Painting can help you make the best choice.
To learn more about which option would be best for your industrial facility, reach out to A&K Painting today and schedule a consultation.