Concrete Sealer vs. Epoxy Coating: Which One Is Better?

Concrete is commonly used as a building material due to its durability and versatility. However, you need to keep in mind that it is not damage-proof, and it can be subject to cracking as it cures. If untreated, concrete can be significantly damaged by various chemicals, freezing water, foot and vehicle traffic, and other factors.

If you have an interior or exterior concrete surface at your garage, warehouse, factory, or another building, you should secure it properly with a sealant or coating. However, the choice of the right material may depend on particular conditions. 

Check out our concrete coating vs. epoxy comparison to learn which one is better in your case!

Concrete Sealers

A concrete sealer is a popular solution used to extend the life and improve the appearance of concrete surfaces. It plays an important role as a barrier that protects the concrete from stains, moisture, and everyday wear and tear. 

On top of that, such protection prevents oils and chemicals from penetrating the concrete surface. Its main function is to block the concrete’s pores to reduce the absorption of water and salts. 

Interestingly, concrete sealers can be either clear or tinted so they can also improve the aesthetics of your flooring.

What Are the Advantages of Concrete Sealers?

Here are some of the most common benefits associated with installing a concrete sealer:

  • Protection Against Liquids: Thanks to the blockage of the pores, concrete sealers prevent water and other liquids from getting into the surface. As a result, you are less likely to deal with mold, freezing damage, or other issues.
  • Increased Durability: As sealers protect your concrete surfaces against oils, stains, and chemicals, they extend their lifespan.
  • Long-Term Savings: By improving the durability of your concrete surfaces, you avoid expensive repairs and replacements, which offers you significant savings in the long run. What’s more, concrete sealing is a relatively inexpensive solution overall (typically cheaper than epoxy).
  • UV Resistance: Some materials used in concrete sealers, like polyurethane or acrylic, offer UV protection that helps to maintain the original colors and prevent fading and degradation caused by sunlight exposure.
  • Higher Aesthetics: Thanks to sealers, your concrete surface may look better with an added color and gloss. 
  • Protection Against Minor Corrosion: Chemicals and salt reaching the open pores in a concrete surface can cause corrosive damage. Fortunately, concrete sealers protect you against it and help you to keep the flooring intact.

The Most Common Applications for Concrete Sealers

In the epoxy vs concrete sealers comparison, you need to take into consideration what surface you need to protect. Concrete sealers are commonly used for such applications as:

  • Driveways and garages
  • Patios and pool decks
  • Basements
  • Other indoor or outdoor surfaces that do not have a lot of foot traffic

Epoxy Coatings

Epoxy coating is a high-performance material that serves as a protective layer for concrete floors and other surfaces. It consists of two main components: a resin and a hardener. Their chemical reaction forms a solid plastic material that binds amazingly well to most base layers, including concrete.

It is important to note that epoxy coatings are typically thicker than other types of floor sealants, which makes them highly resistant to chemicals as well as to everyday wear and tear. They create a glossy surface that can be customized with colors and patterns.

What Are the Advantages of Epoxy Coatings?

Here are some of the most important advantages of epoxy coatings worth considering in a concrete sealer vs. epoxy coating comparison:

  • High Durability: Epoxy coatings are appreciated for their ability to withstand even heavy foot and vehicle traffic. For this reason, they are often used also in industrial settings. Impressively, they can last even up to 10 years without replacement (if properly maintained).
  • Chemicals Resistance: As epoxy flooring is highly resistant to chemicals, it can be used in spaces where spills from oils, solvents, and other harsh substances often happen.
  • Simple Maintenance: A floor covered with epoxy is easy to clean and maintain. Namely, all you need to do is just sweep it regularly and mop it once in a while.
  • Customizable Aesthetics: You can choose a design from multiple options, with various colors and decorative chips or quartz available for a more visually appealing finish.
  • Safety Features: Thanks to anti-slip additives that can be included in an epoxy coating, the risk of accidents in wet and high-traffic areas can be significantly reduced.

The Most Common Applications for Epoxy Coatings

As epoxy coatings are extremely durable and can withstand both chemicals and increased traffic, they can be used in all kinds of applications, from residential through commercial to industrial ones. 

Here are some examples of epoxy coating uses:

  • Factories, warehouses, and other industrial facilities
  • Hospitals and laboratories
  • Commercial kitchens
  • Residential and commercial garages
  • Stores and other retail facilities
  • Institution hallways
  • Automotive workshops

Epoxy vs. Concrete Coatings – How to Choose the Best One?

When choosing between concrete sealers and epoxy coatings, you need to take their application into account. If you are going to cover a residential area that is not used that heavily, you can go for a concrete sealer and spend less money. However, keep in mind that it usually needs to be replaced every 5 years, while epoxy coating can last up to 10 years.

Epoxy coatings offer the most benefits if you are expecting heavy foot or vehicle traffic, like in retail spaces, warehouses, commercial garages, institutions, etc. Thanks to their high resistance to chemicals, they can even be used in laboratories, hospitals, and other spaces where various harsh substances are common.

However, it is not recommended to use an epoxy coating for exterior concrete surfaces if you care about its appearance. Even though it can still be useful, its aesthetics can be harmed when they are exposed to direct sunlight, as it lacks UV resistance, contrary to a concrete sealer.


Order Epoxy or Concrete Sealer Installation at Atlantic Concrete Design

At Atlantic Concrete Design, we can take care of both residential surfaces and commercial flooring (including industrial spaces) using various methods and technologies. 

Our professional team can help you with your concrete sealer vs. epoxy coating dilemma and advise you on the most suitable choice for your particular application.

Do not wait and contact our customer service now to get help or schedule your service!

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