Both absolutely beautiful and nearly maintenance-free, concrete and epoxy floors are ideal for businesses. While not all retail businesses are the same and so, their flooring expectations vary, one thing everyone needs is hardness – hence, durability.
Retail stores, garage floors, and all commercial facilities experience quite some traffic. But then, the requirements in each building are different. In shops with food and beverage and in environments where there’s constant traffic or any processing at all, the higher the durability and resistance the better. To decide on the right floor for your retail business, you must know a few things about these two great options for commercial flooring.
Concrete – it is for you?
Decorative concrete is an excellent choice for businesses, which seek durability without paying a high price. Concrete is affordable and long-lasting. Above all, it’s durable and holds up well under traffic.
Concrete is basically made of aggregates, water, and cement to create a monolithic slab, durable and tough. It can be stained and polished.
Polished concrete is even more durable than the original concrete slab. That’s due to the process of grinding the material to smooth all imperfections and then smoothen the surface with the help of a concrete polishing machine. The floor can become glossy, satin, or matte based on your needs. Concrete floors can be stained to mimic marble, natural stone, and other high-end materials. And this is a good thing.
You see, retail stores must attract customers. And the floor of the shop makes the first impression. Its style, pattern, and color must reflect that of the shop. And concrete makes that easy since it’s versatile, in terms of appearance, without being expensive.
Polished concrete floors are environmentally friendly. Since it is resistant to moisture – when properly set up and sealed, it’s also resistant to mold and all sorts of allergens – elements vital for retail stores. But the fact that it must be resealed – although the only maintenance requirement, might put you in some hassle. That’s if you have to move many things from the store or work 24/7.
Overall, polished concrete is a great option as long as it matches the style of your retail store. It is also durable and highly resistant. And so, ideal for constant foot traffic or even more demanding environments where there’s use of strollers and shopping carts.
Its main disadvantage is that it will require resealing to remain resistant. Also, it’s quite susceptible to cracking. And although the latter may not be a good thing for a high-end store, it may be an attractive feature in businesses which sell home or sports products.
Epoxy floor – is this one for you?
Since the key components for choosing retail flooring is durability and beauty, epoxy flooring is another great option. Now, aesthetically speaking, polished concrete is often considered finer than epoxy. Unless we talk about garage floors, hospitals, and pharmaceuticals. When we focus on retail, where appearance matters, epoxy will look good if it’s mixed with flakes for a more vintage look.
Epoxy coatings are applied on concrete subfloors and contain resins and hardeners – hence, their strength is taken for granted. They are a great solution for environments where there’s high foot traffic, lots of shopping carts, wheelchairs, and machinery. Just like concrete, it is resistant to all allergens. And hardly needs maintenance.
Polished concrete vs epoxy floors, which one to choose
While it depends on the nature of your retail and all things about your business, you still need a floor that will make your place look great without giving you a hard time. If we want to compare the two materials side by side, we would say the following.
• Durability – although epoxy is very strong, polished concrete is even stronger – hard as a rock. Yes, it may crack but not easily.
• Cost – both floor options are affordable. In just about the same price tag. The price goes up if you want to add decorative elements.
• Maintenance – both materials are easy to clean. And both can be damaged if you use acidic agents. You will need to do some concrete polishing down the road, though.
• Resistance to moisture – polished concrete is resistant to moisture as opposed to unpolished concrete. As for epoxy, it is resistant as long as it is not damaged.
• Resistance to slipping – both materials can be slippery when wet, especially epoxy floors.
Both can be used in all spaces, making a difference in interior design offices, showrooms, and all retails – as long as their style matches the shop’s style.