3 Reasons To Consider Polishing Your Concrete Basement Floor Instead Of Applying An Epoxy Coating To It

Posted on: 25 May 2021

If you've been researching ways to improve the appearance of your basement floor, you may have considered applying an epoxy coating to it. Epoxy coatings are frequently used in garages in order to give the floor a shiny, high-gloss appearance and make the floor more durable. However, they may not always be the best choice for basements. Epoxy coatings are difficult to remove and can release hazardous volatile organic compounds (VOCs.) You've likely seen polished concrete floors before, since they're commonly used in big box retail stores; their sheen helps stores look brighter and more inviting.

Why should you consider concrete polishing for your basement instead of applying an epoxy coating to it? Read on to learn three reasons why it's usually better to polish your concrete basement floor instead of coating it with epoxy.

1. Epoxy Coatings Are Very Difficult to Remove Once They're Applied

One of the biggest reasons to polish your concrete basement floor instead of coating it is that an epoxy coating is very difficult to remove. An epoxy coating will slowly degrade over time. It eventually becomes brittle, and it will begin to flake off. At this point, you'll need to remove the coating and apply a new one. Unfortunately, the only way to remove an epoxy coating from concrete is to grind down the entire concrete surface, and that's a time-consuming and expensive task.

When you polish your concrete floors instead, you don't have to worry about removing cured-on epoxy from the concrete before you can do anything else to your floor. If your polished concrete floor begins to look worn, you can simply have a concrete polishing service come out in order to polish it using a high-grit concrete buffer. Resurfacing a polished concrete floor is significantly less expensive than removing and reapplying epoxy.

2. Basements Don't Typically Need the Level of Chemical Resistance Provided by Epoxy

One of the reasons why epoxy coatings are commonly used in garages is that they can repel motor oil and road salt. Both of these substances can quickly damage concrete floors, so protecting a garage floor from them is important. However, there's rarely any need to protect your basement floor from road salt or motor oil, and polished concrete can withstand many other stains just as well.

When polishing concrete, a densifier is added to the surface before the final polishing step. This makes the concrete less porous, which reduces the chance that it will be stained by liquids compared to unpolished concrete. Any stains on your polished concrete floors can be easily mopped up without worry. The added protection against road salt and motor oil is a major selling point for epoxy coatings, but it's rarely relevant for a basement floor.

3. Polishing Your Concrete Floor Doesn't Introduce VOCs Into Your Basement

Finally, polishing your basement floor instead of coating it with epoxy will limit the number of VOCs in your basement. VOCs can reduce air quality, especially when they build up in an area with poor air circulation, like a basement.

Most epoxy coatings contain a substantial amount of VOCs, which is why workers wear masks when they're applying them, and coatings can continue to emit VOCs well after they have cured to the concrete surface. When you polish your basement floor instead of applying an epoxy coating, you'll avoid using chemicals that contain VOCs, which can help improve the air quality in your basement.

If you're thinking about applying an epoxy coating to your basement floor, you may want to consider concrete polishing instead. Polishing concrete creates a high-gloss surface that makes your basement more inviting, and it's typically less expensive than having an epoxy coating applied. In addition, you also don't have to worry about the hassle of removing an epoxy coating once it begins to deteriorate.