Untreated concrete is vulnerable to moisture, wear, dust, and stains meaning it will deteriorate, and change texture over time.
This is where the different treatments for concrete surfaces come into action.
What are the advantages of concrete surface treatments?
- Greater durability.
- Protects from water penetration.
- Facilitates cleaning.
- Reduces abrasion.
- Enhances its aesthetic appearance.
What types of concrete surface treatments are there?
The 2 most common treatments for concrete surfaces are the following:
- Polished concrete
- Epoxy coating
The first difference between the two is that the epoxy coating consists of a layer that goes on top of the concrete, while polished concrete has the advantage of treating the concrete directly (without adding a layer on top), being more economical and lasting much longer (when applied only once).
This treatment for concrete surfaces is in 1st place on the podium of concrete surface treatments if what you are looking for is to have a practical and durable surface. It’s a treatment focused on industrial flooring due to its advantages in resistance, durability, and being anti-dust.
Going deeper, it must be said that it is a very complete treatment that is made up of several phases in its application, each one of them as important as the other.
- Firstly, we have a concrete sanding process.
- Secondly, a concrete hardener is applied, which as indicated hardens the concrete, avoiding the concrete surface to wear and nor to produce dust, increasing its resistance to chemical products.
- Thirdly, the use of a sealer helps reduce water absorption and also protects the concrete from surface damage, corrosion, and stains.
- Fourthly, the final finish is obtained by sanding, which will result in an appearance to suit the client which can either be matte, glossy or anything in between.
When we talk about this surface treatment, we refer to epoxy resin, not epoxy paint (which is another treatment).
Epoxy resin is a semi-liquid product that is applied to a surface, which can be concrete, and has self-leveling properties and a smooth finish.
In itself, this resin is transparent, but one of the advantages of this coating is that it allows you to give the floor any colour you could want.
The result is a resistant and hard layer over the concrete base, with good mechanical resistance, being mainly focused on sectors where there may be chemical and liquid spills, as it is also resistant to abrasion.
In any case, unlike polished concrete, and this is a very important fact, it’s much less durable, so it requires a maintenance application every few years and, on top of that, it is MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE.
Therefore, this treatment would be one position below the polished concrete option.
Simply so that you know more about all the different types of treatments you can use on a concrete surface, below we mention other possibilities, such as the following:
- Epoxy paint
- Acis stained concrete (resistant to UVA rays)
- Decorative concrete
But these options don’t compete with the 2 main ones mentioned before, these treatments have less practical performance or are simply more decorative.
Conclusion: What treatment should you choose?
This decision will be determined by the requirements, but as we have explained in the article, commercial polished concrete is normally presented as the best option, due to price, resistance, and other characteristics.
Only in cases, such as those that need the for the floor to be a certain colour, or in a sector in which the floor is always wet (industrial meat sector) would the epoxy be a better option.