Comparing various concrete floor finishes — Which is the best choice?

epoxy vs concrete floor finish

No matter whether you have a residential, commercial or industrial property, you have a range of flooring finish options to choose from. If you’re debating whether concrete floor finishes are better than epoxy resin, there’s a number of factors to consider first, including style, maintenance, budget, durability and usability.

Factors to consider with concrete floor finishes


Concrete floor finishes, while not as customisable as epoxy floor resins, can look attractive and brighten up a space. The final effect you’ll get from a polished or acid-stained concrete finish will depend on the original state of the concrete; any finish will be unique based on the natural variation and state of the floor in the first place. 

It’s possible to achieve the colour of your choice with acid-staining or dyeing, and scoring will also create a tile-like effect. However, again, the final effect you’ll achieve will depend on the concrete’s original condition. And, unlike epoxy floor resin flooring finishes, you won’t be able to achieve any of the more creative or interesting finishes - such as a metallic or flake finish – with a concrete floor finish.

metallic epoxy floor finish vs epoxy flake finish


A concrete floor finish is a treatment that adds additional protection to the concrete, helping seal it against penetration from water and other liquids by forming a protective layer over it. This has the added benefit of making it easier to clean than unfinished concrete. However, if the concrete hasn’t been well prepped and the treatment is not applied carefully enough, the seal will be imperfect and moisture will permeate it, causing bacteria and mould to build-up over time.

Budget and Durability

One of the benefits of concrete floor finishes is that they can be more budget friendly, although the catch here is its likelihood to be less durable than an epoxy resin floor finish. This is especially true in high-wear areas, so by choosing a concrete floor finish over an epoxy resin one, you may find yourself needing to revisit your flooring choice sooner than you’d like. This will cost you more in the long run.

Choosing to simply paint your concrete is a particularly cheap way to freshen up a floor you don’t want to over-invest in – provided you don’t mind having to touch it up regularly and can live with pitted imperfections. Other concrete floor treatments will be more expensive as they require grinding and polishing of the original concrete to remove imperfections before the treatment, and to achieve the level of glossiness that you want. 


One of the key factors to bear in mind when considering concrete floor finishes is usability. Some areas may need added protection like slip resistance due to being a high foot traffic area, as concrete (especially polished) can be very slippery. This can be hazardous in premises where you’re likely to have people walking over it, whether residential, commercial or industrial. 

If you’re looking at a concrete floor finish in a garage or industrial area, bear in mind that an epoxy resin flooring finish will stand up better to heavier use, making it much more usable and functional.

Benefits and disadvantages of concrete floor finishes

epoxy floor finish

Deciding between a concrete floor finish and an epoxy resin one for your space is a matter of weighing up the pros and cons of each. While there are certainly some pros, there are some significant cons to consider.


  • Adds interest and style to a plain concrete floor
  • Gives more protection than standard concrete, which is porous and soaks up water and liquid and stains easier
  • Low maintenance and easier to keep clean than unfinished concrete
  • Can be a cheaper flooring finish than epoxy resin, although not necessarily in the long run due to is lower durability


  • The finish you’ll get will depend on the condition and age of the original concrete – so the final result may be unexpected
  • If the finish isn’t done to a high enough grade, the seal will not be perfect. This means that moisture can still seep in and lead to a build up of bacteria and mould
  • Durability isn’t as high as an epoxy resin flooring finish, especially in areas that have high traffic
  • You have much less customisation options in the finish than you have with epoxy resin 
  • Concrete, especially polished, can be very slippery when wet. This is something to consider seriously in areas that see foot traffic, especially in commercial or industrial sites, as well as in your own home

At Tough Floors, we understand you have a choice in your flooring finish, and that it is important to balance style, maintenance, budget, durability and usability. We’ve worked with many clients over the years and choosing an epoxy resin floor finish is one that is seldom regretted. It’s durability, ease of maintenance and usability – not to mention its style – makes epoxy resin a great choice for flooring in any setting. Get in touch with us today and see what your options are – we’re always happy to chat.

Avatar for Euan Bennett

About Euan Bennett

A self-confessed epoxy flooring nerd and dog lover, my great team and I just love transforming an ordinary floor into a thing of beauty with a carefully applied epoxy finish.