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Is commercial epoxy flooring better than vinyl?

By Jack Josephsen

Vinyl flooring has been the system of choice in many commercial facilities for a long time. From foyers and dining areas, to commercial kitchens and even some wet spaces, it’s been called upon time and time again.

With such widespread use and long-term popularity, it’d be reasonable to assume that this type of flooring had offered trouble-free service across all these applications during that period. The truth is it hasn’t. While some areas have been a success, others have caused regular headaches. 

So, what does that danger zone look like for vinyl flooring?

Well, there are a number of factors that can make life pretty tough. For example, any time a floor is going to cop repetitive, abrasive traffic, there are doubts on whether the wear resistance of vinyl will hold up. If there’s heavy vehicles/machinery, or impact from sharp, heavy objects, you start to wonder if the floor will suffer from indentation and gouging.

Likewise, if there’s exposure to aggressive chemicals, the concern for vinyl flooring is about chemical and stain resistance. Lastly, if the environment is constantly hot and humid/wet, delamination and hygiene issues can come into play.   

The benefits of commercial epoxy flooring

So, if vinyl flooring isn’t the answer in the situations described above, what is? What type of flooring is better equipped to handle harsh commercial flooring conditions with high traffic, heavy impact, aggressive chemicals, heat, and humidity?

The answer is commercial epoxy flooring.  

Here are six benefits of using epoxy flooring for commercial areas:

1. Commercial epoxy flooring means no cuts or welds

As epoxy floors are applied as a liquid, they’re able to flow around any angles or curves that may feature in certain rooms. This property also makes them a great solution for drains, fixtures or penetrations, all of which are very common in commercial kitchen flooring.

Seamless commercial epoxy flooring running throughout a commercial kitchen.

2. It means better coving and verticals

The aim of installing coves and vertical sections is to remove any corners or creases that can harbour dirt, moisture, bacteria and mould. Unlike vinyl that relies on extra sheeting and adhesives, resin flooring allows these features to be done in a continuous manner that leaves nowhere to hide.

Coving installed on a commercial epoxy floor showing the smooth, curved transition at the joint between floor and wall.

3. It means easier repairs  

In high-impact zones such as a commercial kitchen, a soft film is prone to gouging and cuts, which can lead to bigger problems if not effectively repaired. Epoxy flooring offers two advantages on this front. Firstly, the films are much harder and more impact resistant (which can be further enhanced using thicker films and/or specialist additives). Secondly, they can be more effectively repaired, so damage doesn’t propagate and lead to other issues.

Repairs being performed on a commercial epoxy floor using a small roller.

4. Commercial epoxy flooring means easier maintenance

Part and parcel of keeping a vinyl floor looking clean and shiny is the regular use of polishes, which represents a significant investment in time and cost. Epoxy floors can be polished if desired, but the excellent wear resistance means they do a much better job of holding up without having to actively manage it. That doesn’t mean that epoxy floors don’t need cleaning at all. It simply means they tend to show wear and tear less, and measures like polishing are often not required.

Close up of a chef standing on a commercial epoxy floor in a commercial kitchen.

5. It means effective slip resistance

Stopping slips and falls on commercial kitchen flooring, for example, isn’t as simple as putting down a textured surface. In fact, the wrong level of non-slip can lead to even more accidents, not to mention potential problems with cleaning etc. With non-slip epoxy flooring you can easily start, stop and adjust the slip rating as required.

A commercial epoxy floor in a bar with a smooth, glossy section next to a non-slip section.

6. It means more choice

One of the big advantages epoxy flooring has is a virtually unlimited range of colours and designs. Through the combination of solid colours, flake chips and/or metallic pigment, just about any look is possible. You can create the strong and bold look of granite, or the timeless elegance and style of marble – all for a fraction of what it would cost for the real thing. For those that have grown accustomed to the retro look of vinyl, you can even get something that looks almost identical, but has all the additional benefits of epoxy flooring mentioned.

A composite photo showing four different types of commercial epoxy flooring.

Vinyl or epoxy flooring - no floor can do it all

It’s important to point out this isn’t about trying to prove one flooring system is better than another. Such an exercise would be a waste of time anyway because they ALL have their pros and cons, and there isn’t one system that can do it all.

In the case of vinyl flooring, it offers a good mix of durability and versatility for the cost. Perhaps the most well-known feature of vinyl, however, is the feel it provides under foot. The aerated construction gives it a nice level of cushioning and a degree of insulation or warmth.

When thinking about those features and benefits, you can see why vinyl has become the “go to” option for what could be described as light to medium-duty service. For example, the soft feel makes it a great choice for any space that people need to walk or stand on for extended periods of time. It also makes it well-suited to foyers or dining areas that handle foot traffic, light trolley traffic, and even the odd spill or two.

What this was trying to do, on the other hand, was uncover what appears to be an over-reliance on vinyl in commercial kitchens and other commercial flooring areas and shine the light on the fact there are better options when it comes to these types of flooring areas.

One of those is epoxy flooring.

The information above has been adapted from our report, “Which flooring is better than vinyl for aged care”. If you would like a free copy,
please get in touch through info@realworldepoxies.com

Frequently Asked Questions

Proven Commercial Epoxy Flooring Suppliers

Real World Epoxies has formulated, manufactured and supplied high-quality commercial epoxy flooring systems for more than two decades. We stand behind our products because we only use proven, high-quality materials that we know will perform as expected. You can trust our commercial epoxy flooring systems for your epoxy flooring project.

Let us help you with your commercial epoxy flooring needs when you fill out one of our contact forms or call us on 1300 EPOXIES (1300 376 943).

Our Vision

To help build a strong resin flooring industry that sits alongside timber, carpet, tiles and vinyl as a mainstream flooring option.

Our mission

To  eliminate preventable failures
that hurt the resin flooring industry
and prevent it from reaching its full potential. 

Our Promise
To only supply proven, reliable, safe products, with no sales talk, and a commitment to help get the best possible outcome for their projects.
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