Epoxy vs Concrete Staining – Which Is Best?

If you have concrete flooring in your home or are using it in a building project or outdoor area, then you may be wondering how to make this flooring look good.

After all, plain concrete looks very dull and dirty and is not that nice to walk on.

So how can you cover it to make the flooring look stylish and modern? The answer comes in floor coverings, which are usually in the form of epoxy or concrete stains.

By applying these over your concrete flooring, you can dramatically change the look of the floor, and by extension the whole room or area.

Typically, epoxy is used in more industrial projects or spaces, as it is very durable is and can protect the floors from almost everything. It looks pretty good too!

Concrete staining, on the other hand, is often used to change up the look of home flooring.

The look is not the only thing you have to think about when deciding between epoxy vs concrete staining though. Here are some more important factors you should consider when making your decision.

Installation

Epoxy

One of epoxy’s advantages is how easily it sticks to cement particles, which makes it very easy to apply to your flooring. You won’t have to worry about the product coming loose after it dries either, as it will adhere to the floor if it has been thoroughly cleaned.

To install epoxy you must first apply a primer and allow it to cure before using epoxy resins. After that, an epoxy coat is applied and allowed to dry for one day.

Multiple layers of epoxy can be applied to the floor, which will enhance the overall look and durability. All layers can be applied with rollers. The finishing coat is then applied, which usually takes a few hours to dry completely.

The epoxy liquid will follow the shapes and fluctuating levels of your floor under any condition. After it hardens, you’ll have a brand-new floor.

The only downside to this coating method is how long you will have to wait before you can walk on the floor or use the area again.

Curing time will depend on the conditions of your floor, as well as other factors like the temperature and humidity of the room.

Concrete stain

When applying concrete stain, extreme caution is required. Cutting corners will lead to an untidy or ugly looking floor.

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The concrete underlying stains are frequently visible due to their transparency. To prevent this, ensure that any previous residues on the floor are removed before applying the stain.

After that, the stains can be sprayed or painted on. If you want to plan a specific pattern to make your flooring more unique, you’ll have to use a brush and do this by hand.

After applying the stain, clean the area and let it dry before applying a protective coat.  Take note that applying a concrete stain takes a lot of work and planning to ensure that you get it right.

Winner: Epoxy

Cost and coverage

Epoxy

It will be more expensive to install an epoxy floor. If you want a new covering, you’ll have to pay to have the old resin layers removed first which only adds to the overall cost.

Epoxy is often too expensive for most domestic applications like home renovation, yet it is the only option for industrial purposes.

Epoxy floors will survive longer in high-traffic areas than a traditional floor covering like a stain though, so if you have the money it might be a good option for you.

In terms of maintenance, epoxy flooring can be cleaned with water and a mop. Sometimes the resin may become blocked, which requires special detergents to be used to give it a deep clean.

These are not too expensive though and don’t impact the overall cost.

Epoxy’s high cost is partly due to its restricted coverage. Especially with foundation coats, one gallon of paint hardly covers roughly 20 square feet. Top coatings are more cost-effective at 50 square feet/gallon.

Concrete stain

The main cost associated with concrete staining is not in the installation but the maintenance. Typically, water is all that is required to clean a concrete discoloured floor as the smooth surface will repel dirt and grime.

However, if you care about appearances, you’ll have to polish these floors regularly. If you don’t, they’ll lose their luster.

Sealers must be reapplied to keep the top layers from wearing away. This will cost you both time and money.

If you are applying this flooring to light traffic areas, then you should not need to replace the staining for many years, which is why this is more suitable for a home.

Applying the staining is also a lot cheaper than applying the epoxy. Keep in mind that if you choose this option for high-traffic areas, you’ll need to replace or repair your floor regularly.

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Concrete stain can either be sprayed or painted on to floors. If you decide to paint it on, make sure that you are not applying thick layers as this can ruin the look of the flooring.

With just one gallon of stain, you should be able to cover at least 200ft of flooring, making it much more cost effective than epoxy.

Winner – Concrete Staining

 

Durability

Epoxy

Epoxy is a popular floor covering in a range of industries. Regardless of how much traffic passes through the area, the resin layers do not give way under a lot of weight.

It helps the cement flooring keep its shape for longer when compared to a section with no covering at all. Epoxy reinforces the floor and keeps the cement particles together.

Even acid and chemical spills are no match for it, which is another reason why it is popular in industrial buildings.

While concrete is a durable material in itself, epoxy is a super starting topcoat that can withstand almost anything.

Concrete stain

Concrete staining serves an aesthetic rather than a protective purpose. When used in high-traffic areas or with heavy equipment, the layers quickly become damaged. As a result, it has a lower durability than epoxy.

If you don’t take care of your floors, they will eventually wear out. To avoid this, you must apply a new sealant at regular intervals.

Winner – Epoxy

Takeaway

From the categories above, it is clear that epoxy is the best choice out of the two options. However, the right choice for you will depend on the purpose of the flooring and where it is located.

If you are building an industrial area then yes, epoxy flooring is the best choice.

But if you are renovating your home, concrete staining is the right choice as it is more suitable for homes, and is far cheaper to install and maintain.