Residential, commercial, and industrial property all require a certain standard of flooring to effectively serve their function. What is good for a commercial kitchen, might not be the best for a garage floor, a patio, or a warehouse floor. So you’ll have to make choices based on the characteristics of the possible flooring solutions. Epoxy floors and stained concrete are some of the common flooring solutions you’ll encounter out there as a property owner. Both options are inexpensive to install, durable, easy to maintain and offer a lot of design possibilities.

The two are not equals though. You still need to compare epoxy floors vs stained concrete to pick one that fits your flooring needs. That’s why Southern Illinois Epoxy pros have taken the time to put together this article to make your decision making simpler. So what difference is there between epoxy floors and stained concrete?

Epoxy Lasts Longer

Both epoxy floors and stained concrete last many years if you clean and maintain them periodically. They are both great as flooring solutions for commercial properties like restaurants, factories, garages, warehouses, and any other high traffic surfaces.

But you can trust epoxy to be less involving throughout its life and more durable than stained concrete. The reason is that while epoxy permanently adheres to the concrete surface, stained concrete uses a sealer over it, which wears out within months. So, you’ll have to seal stained concrete once or twice every year. That adds to your expenses over time. If epoxy is properly installed, it forms a surface that is resistant to abrasion, solvents, and capable of withstanding thermal shock, and remain steadfast during temperature changes.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Epoxy floors and stained concrete are both resistant to stain and only require a wipe if they get soiled. At worst, you’ll need mild soap, water, and a mop to get rid of the toughest soiling. The only difference is that epoxy is slightly textured than stained concrete and so requires a little more effort to clean. But you’ll hardly notice the difference when cleaning these two surfaces.

As the sealer on your stained concrete fades, you’ll have to bear with the chemical staining. If you take too long to reapply a sealant, you’ll notice changes in the color of your floor. These changes can be permanent. Taking care of the discoloration will need a lot more time and investment to get it back in shape.


Epoxy is much safer to install and use. On the other hand, the safety of stained concrete depends on which method you choose. Acid stains require a lot of care (use protective gear) during installation because they can easily cause bodily harm. You must also dump their waste carefully to avoid affecting the vegetation and plants. If it gets its way into a water body, you pose danger to aquatic life as well. Water-based staining is easier to handle and way safer to apply on concrete surfaces.

After installation, epoxy might look glossy but is not as slippery as it might seem. You can add anti-slip additives in the last coat of epoxy to make the floor anti-skid even in wet conditions. The same applies to stained concrete. Including these additives in the sealer makes the floors slip-resistant. Whether in a commercial setting or at home, you won’t need to worry about people falling and causing costly accidents.


Commercial, industrial, and residential property should look good. And that involves painting the walls and making the floors beautiful. For businesses, this is not just to impress guests but also to brand your space. Both epoxy flooring and concrete staining offer a wide range of colors and patterns you can use on the floors of your property.

From our experience, epoxy offers the best floor aesthetics. With the right contractor doing the job, you can achieve amazing 3D patterns on the floor and mimic anything you wish. Acid staining on the other hand will limit you to a few earthy colors because the chemical reaction only improves the existing concrete color instead of changing it. Water-based staining will on the other hand have a range of bright colors but nothing like the visual effects you get from epoxy.

Southern Illinois Polished Concrete Company


Even as you choose between epoxy floors and stained concrete, you should understand that stained concrete comes in two. Stained concrete can be achieved either through acid-based staining or water-based staining. The concerns about acid stains do not always apply to water-based stains.

Acid staining contains reactive components that chemically react with your concrete slab during installation. You have very little control of what happens when the stain meets the porous concrete. When the reaction occurs, you get improved earthy tones of color that are permanent. They won’t fade or peel. It’s the perfect choice if you want a mottled or marbled look on your floor.

On the other hand, water-based concrete staining contains water and color pigments, which you apply as paint over the concrete slab. Because the installation process is not reactive, you have control of the color, patterns, and how light or dark you want the floor to look. What you get here is not permanent. If you get a result you don’t like, you can easily get rid of it.

We can draw the conclusion that water-based staining offers a more eco-friendly, flexible, and productive flooring solution compared to acid staining. But that doesn’t mean acid staining doesn’t have its place. Those looking for lasting outcomes and love the colors that result from it go for this option.


The condition of your existing concrete surface will have an impact on which flooring solution you choose. Concrete slabs that have smooth and level surfaces don’t need much time and resources to prepare for an installation. As such, you can stain them or apply epoxy over them.

But if your concrete is a damaged old floor, the preparation process becomes tedious. The cracks and scratches will need to be repaired first before staining. That means grinding the floor down then polishing it before you stain it to get a smooth floor. On the contrary, epoxy would still work great on the initially prepared floor regardless of its condition. Because it’s a thick liquid, it will easily penetrate the cracks and scratches available on the concrete surface then form a smooth, impervious floor.

So epoxy repairs and refurbish your concrete surfaces, while concrete staining requires an already made surface to produce good results.


When it comes to floor paint vs epoxy coating, epoxy coating is the winner every time. After exploring the differences between these flooring solutions, you’ll have to make a choice which one is suitable for your property. Find one that works for you then invite a contractor to help you install a quality floor. At Southern Illinois Epoxy, we provide excellent floor surfaces – whether epoxy floors or stained concrete. Contact us now so we can discuss your project in detail.