07 Apr Epoxy Flooring vs Tiles for the Home: Which is Best?
If you’re thinking about updating your flooring, you’re probably debating the type of floor that you should get. In terms of durability, looks and affordability, is epoxy flooring a better option than tiles? Here’s a quick comparison.
Firstly, what is epoxy flooring?
Epoxy flooring is made with a resin mixed with a hardening chemical. The chemical reaction turns the mixture into a hard floor that is very resistant to things that would damage other types of flooring. For this reason, epoxy flooring is popular for medical, industrial and commercial facilities, along with home garages. New types of epoxy are also now being used instead of tiles for outdoor and living areas.
1. Epoxy flooring vs tiles – which looks better?
We all know how beautiful tiles can look, but the aesthetics of epoxy floors should not be underestimated. Epoxy comes in a wide range of hues, textures and designs that are easy to customise – from marble to terrazzo looks. The recent trend to add flake or quartz to epoxy is a fantastic way to spice up your floor and it looks beautifully textured and modern. Epoxy can also make a space look bigger as it is a seamless option, while tiles have grout lines that visually break up a floor and can make the area appear smaller.
When it comes to durability, no tile is really in the same ballpark as epoxy flooring. And did you know that epoxy flooring is actually stronger than concrete? Epoxy will hold up to heavy-duty wear and tear, such as vehicles, tool boxes being dragged over it or heavy items being dropped on it. This is a significant factor if you are looking at installation in garages or high-traffic areas where tiles would chip or crack. Note that epoxy is not indestructible though. If abused, it can still chip or crack – and it is not suitable for substrates with dampness or movement issues.
3. Stains, dirt and maintenance
If you’ve been dreaming of a white floor but are concerned about maintenance, epoxy may be your answer! You don’t have to worry about staining as epoxy flooring is resistant to oil, gas, bleach and most other chemicals and materials. Ceramic tiles may look sparkling when they are first installed, but over time dirt accumulates in the grout lines, becoming a breeding ground for bacterial growth and making them hard to clean. Epoxy floors are free of joints so bacterial growth isn’t a problem and cleaning your epoxy floor is a breeze – just vacuum and mop!
Epoxy flooring is usually cheaper than tiled flooring, but it depends on the qualities and finishes of what you compare. Epoxy can cost anywhere between $30-$100 per sqm installed. The price range for vinyl tiles is similar, while for ceramic tiles the average cost is a lot more – $90-$150 per square metre. As with concrete flooring, the larger the room, the cheaper each square metre will cost so epoxy is more cost-effective for larger spaces.
5. Installation, repairs and removal
Getting the existing floors ready for applying epoxy requires a significant amount of preparation and applying the epoxy coating takes several days due to the drying time required, so installation of an epoxy floor can take longer than tiling. Also, once the epoxy is applied, changing the colour or design or removing the floor can be labour-intensive and costly. Like tiles, epoxy floors can be slippery when wet, so anti-slip additives need to be used when installing the floor to make the surface safer when wet.
Can you do it yourself?
You can attempt to install an epoxy floor yourself with the DIY solutions available but epoxy flooring is actually a fairly difficult process (not to be confused with simply painting a garage floor!). Solutions have to be mixed, the concrete base has to be prepared just right, and the drying and layering process must be precise. Any mistakes will result in chipping, uneven flooring or bubbles which can be difficult to rectify. It’s best to hire a professional installer with the equipment and training needed to ensure a long-lasting and beautifully finished job.
Epoxy flooring vs tiles – what’s the verdict?
If you want strong, low maintenance floors that will hold up over time, epoxy is the way to go. However, epoxy flooring does have pros and cons that need to be considered for each site. Our Signature Flooring specialists can conduct an analysis of your floor to evaluate the substrate’s suitability for epoxy and help you decide if it’s right for your home or business.
We also offer great package deals when you have your house painting and flooring done together. Note that Signature Painters are QBCC Insured, Dulux Accredited, a Master Painters Association member and an All Purpose Coatings recommended installer. Learn more about our concrete & epoxy flooring services or call us now to get a free consultation and quote.
Epoxy floors – designed for life.