Concrete Polishing vs Epoxy: A Quick Comparison

If you have a concrete floor in your garage, showroom, kitchen… pretty much anywhere, odds are it’s seen better days.

Thousands of footsteps, wheels and impact damage can remove the lustre of a concrete floor and leave your residential or commercial space looking a little worse for wear. But there’s a difference between knowing your concrete floor looks dingy and knowing what to do to bring it back to life. This is especially true if your floor is looking cracked or uneven – or if you simply want to upgrade your space. 

If this is the case – and you don’t want to tear out the floors and start from scratch – you have two obvious options to upgrade your floors, add durability, and enjoy an aesthetic upgrade too: 

  • Concrete polishing
  • Epoxy coating 

But which one is the best for your situation? 

Here’s everything you need to know about the pros, cons, and differences between concrete polishing and epoxy. 

Comparing concrete polishing and epoxy floors

 

The best way to figure out the right floor for you is to compare them, so that’s exactly what we’ll do!

Here’s what you need to know about these popular flooring finishes. 

Concrete Polishing 

Polished concrete is an affordable, attractive, and environmentally friendly option for many with concrete floors. As the name suggests, polished concrete is created by first grinding the concrete floor to remove imperfections, and then polishing with diamond polishing pads to create a smooth and durable surface. 

 

Polished concrete can be fairly customisable, as you can achieve a low lustre matte look, a high-gloss shiny final product, or anything in between. If you need even more reasons to choose a polished concrete finish, this flooring is: 

  • Durable (it is concrete, after all) 
  • Easy to install 
  • Dust and allergen resistant 
  • Easy to maintain 
  • Long lasting 
  • Light reflective 

 

Polished concrete is also ideal for commercial settings because it is fairly customisable. Long gone are the days when concrete was drab and dull. Today, you can add branding, scoring, stains, and other eye-catching finishes to improve the aesthetic effect. 

 

Pros Cons
✓ More cost effective, costing about half of what epoxy costs 

✓ Longer lasting with normal wear 

✓ Easier to clean than epoxy flooring 

✓ Suitable to lighter traffic areas 

✓ Great for increasing resale value 

✓ Able to provide a modern look at a relatively low cost 

✓ “Green” and sustainable, as it does not require any coatings that could be negative to the environment 

✓ Attractive as it wears 

✗ Less durable than epoxy 

✗ Not suitable for areas with heavy foot traffic 

✗ Not suitable for areas with chemical spills 

✗ Slippery 

 

Speaking of longevity, find out how long a new polished concrete floor lasts (you’ll be surprised!!!)

 

Service Average Cost
General polished concrete  $60 per square metre 
Grind and seal polished concrete  $100 per square metre 
Mechanically polished concrete  $120 per square metre 

 

Epoxy Coating 

Epoxy coating, on the other hand, is created by combining epoxy resin and chemical hardener to create a durable, extremely resistant floor coating that is thick, shock resistant and chemical resistant.

 

With highly durable characteristics, an epoxy coating is ideal for areas with high volume foot traffic and machinery, like automotive workshops or factory floors. As an added bonus, the coated and hardened resin is mould, mite, and allergy resistant so you’ll be supporting the air quality of your home or business.

 

If you’re a business owner, odds are you also take maintenance into account. No one wants to be dealing with dents, scratches or frustrating cleaning requirements and with an epoxy coating, you won’t have to!

 

Epoxy flooring is easy to clean, waterproof and can last up to two decades or more with minimal upkeep. Oh, and as an energy efficient finish, epoxy can increase light reflectivity too. Finally, epoxy flooring can also be aesthetically appealing, as many additives can be added to change its colour, add a metallic effect, add a speckled flake effect, and more. 

 

Pros Cons
✓ More durable and stain-resistant 

✓ Ideal for floors that have been scratched, cracked, or marked 

✓ Long-lasting 

✓ Aesthetically pleasing 

✓ Great for allergies 

✗ More expensive than polished concrete 

✗ More difficult to install 

✗ Difficult to maintain 

✗ Not heat resistant or UV resistant 

✗ Costly to replace or remove 

 

Leaning towards demolition instead? Get a full price run down in our Official Price Guide

 

Service Average Cost
Self-leveling epoxy flooring  $40-$65 per square metre 
Residential epoxy flooring  $30-$35 per square metre 
3D epoxy flooring  $50-$100 per square metre 
Metallic epoxy flooring  $100-$150 per square metre 

 

How to choose the right finish: Location guide

With all of that in mind, we can say overall that concrete polishing is more appropriate for floors that will face light to medium usage, including: 


  • Homes
  • Retail spaces
  • Offices 
  • Locker rooms 
  • Grocery stores 
  • Showrooms 

 

Epoxy coating, on the other hand, is for spaces that will need to withstand exposure to heavy machinery, harsh chemicals, or dangerous substances, including: 


  • Warehouses 
  • Auto shops 
  • Factories 
  • Hospitals 
  • Car dealerships 
  • Food processing plants or manufacturing plants 
  • Garages 

 

Epoxy is also more suitable if you need to protect your floor against water, moisture, or stains. Additionally, epoxy coating makes sense if your existing concrete floor is already damaged, as it can cover up even significant cracks and create a smoother, more perfect space. 

 

Which flooring is right for you?

 

That depends on your needs.

 

Both epoxy coating and polished concrete are great concrete finishing options that ultimately help to improve the aesthetic appeal, durability, and cleanliness of your concrete floors. 

 

The choice really comes down to the type of space and the ways you will be using that space. In many instances, like if you have a home with low foot traffic or a retail space like a department store, polished concrete is the simpler and more suitable choice. 

 

If you work in a more industrial or trafficked setting, however, epoxy coating may make more sense. 

Need a little help from Perth’s trusted concreting experts?

Here are a few key takeaways: while both epoxy flooring and polished concrete are great flooring options, it’s important to keep in mind a few deciding factors, like your budget, the activities that you will carry out in the space, and your aesthetic goals. 

 

If you have any questions about concrete polishing vs epoxy coating – or you’d like to get an estimate on concrete floor finishing for your space, feel free to reach out to us directly on (08) 9408 6096 or by filling out the form here. 

 

We’re always happy to help!