Concrete Floor Coatings vs. Polished Concrete

calander Nov 12 , 2020 user-iconAnderson Painting
Freshly polished industrial flooring

Concrete floors deserve proper protection from dust, debris, moisture, impact, pressure, and all other common threats. The question remains, though: how will you decide to safeguard your floors? While there is no shortage of options on the granular level, the two main choices to contend with are concrete floor coatings and polished concrete. Both options offer unique benefits while harboring a few caveats -- knowing these details will help you decide which floor protection program is best for you.

The Difference Between Floor Coatings and Concrete Polis

Floor Coatings and Polished Concrete: What’s the Difference?

Whether you coat your floors with commercial floor paint or polish them, the main goal remains the same: to bolster the flooring’s durability, longevity, safety, visibility, and aesthetic appeal. Polished concrete and concrete coatings simply go about achieving these aims in different ways. Concrete polishing involves grinding down the concrete (typically with high-powered coarse diamond grinding tools) until it is smooth and burnished, before applying a concrete densifier to seal the deal, so to speak. On the other hand, when coating a concrete floor, various layers of adhesive coatings are applied to the floor, sealing pores and cracks and adding color and sheen.

Put another way, concrete polishing strengthens and beautifies concrete by removing material while concrete coating does the same by adding material on top of the concrete. That said, one option might be better than the other depending on the environment and other relevant factors.

When to Choose Concrete Floor Coatings

Commercial polyurea floor coatings and other coating options offer key advantages when it comes to visual variety, resistance to chemicals, and maintenance concerns.

Concrete coatings allow you to transform your floor in multiple ways. You can choose from a variety of colors, thicknesses, textures and broadcast options, and more. So, if customization matters to you, you might lean toward concrete floor coatings. Additionally, concrete coatings can offer strong chemical resistance (as well as resistance to UV radiation, moisture, and more), which polished concrete lacks. Industrial facilities, kitchens, garages, and other places that handle various chemicals need floors that can withstand these materials on a regular basis, and concrete coatings deliver. Lastly, the smooth surface and stain resistance provided by quality concrete coatings make them easy to clean, reducing any business’ maintenance costs.

Why Polished Concrete Floors?

Generally speaking, concrete polishing is less expensive than concrete coating. Moreover, polished concrete floors can last several decades when properly maintained. Polished concrete floors are also highly visible, increasing the floor’s reflectivity by a significant margin, which increases safety and brightens up the interior. You might also prefer polished concrete if you’re concerned about your flooring’s environmental impact -- unlike floor coatings, concrete polishing on its own does not use any harsh chemicals or emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). And while concrete polishing doesn’t yield as many visual options as other floor paint, you can still enjoy various stain colors, scoring, and banding choices, and a 15-year warranty.

The Verdict

There is no concrete winner in the battle between polishing and coating your concrete floors. Both options will increase the strength, lifespan, and appearance of your concrete floors. Your decision will ultimately come down to your personal preferences, budget, and specific needs. And no matter how you decide to protect and improve your concrete floors, sticking to a proper maintenance routine is key to keeping your floors strong, safe, and beautiful.

The flooring experts at Anderson Painting are happy to install, repair, replace, and/or maintain your concrete floor coatings and help you choose which protection option is best for you. To learn more about us and all we do, call today at 919-610-1855 or email us at!

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