The Truth about Shiny Floors

January 26, 2021

It takes only one google search of the term epoxy coatings or polished concrete to yield thousands of images depicting bright beautiful shiny floors. Typically these photos are then passed along from customer to architect/contractor with the message – “We want ours to look just like this!!”.

Like most things on the internet these days we can not always assume all that glitters is gold…

As we continue on, let us remember that not every floor or situation is a candidate for a shiny beautiful offering. Of course we could just as easily craft a proposal, send pictures of something great, complete your job, cash the check and never answer the phone again when you have a problem like most contractors. We take a different approach here by EDUCATING and it starts first and foremost with how these floors are marketed.

Edited Photos:

Yes sadly, it’s true. Those beautiful photos of finished projects you find on your favorite social media sites are often edited or highly “selective”. Edited photos can erase floor blemishes, patch ghosting, color/aggregate variations , as well as the edit of actual light and brightness of the room. These photo edits are usually always on a high end residential floor coating or polishing job. The images then set the precedent of “We want ours like this!!” and unreasonable expectations can follow suit. “Selective” can be classified as anything with an angle or small crop of a perfect area on a larger imperfect floor. These doctored and selective photos are most often found on Pinterest and Instagram.

Photo Timing:

Almost 99% of these photos are taken immediately on the day of placement or completion. This is done for the obvious reason of catching the floor in its cleanest most perfect and shiny state. The reality is that most floors are improperly cared for and abused with regular everyday use. A high gloss surface on epoxy is prone to micro scratches which can quickly cut down on the visual “sheet of glass” often portrayed. The key here is then to create a floor surface that still looks great while being improperly cared for and abused.

The marketing sets the unrealistic expectation of a product finish that will last and look that way for a long time. Without proper finish selection and routine cleaning, that floor will only stay that way for a couple weeks!.. Not years…

The solution:

The warnings above are strictly meant for expectation management. It’s for the reasons above that we suggest always going towards something with more of a satin (Sheen) finish as opposed to a high shine surface UNLESS it is a polished concrete surface. A satin finish on an epoxy system uses a wear inhibitor that doubles as durability and traction. This results in an extremely durable and scratch resistant surface. The additives reflect the light and break up the high gloss visual which helps to hide floor inconsistencies and micro scratch damage and abuse.

Still want a Shiny floor? Here are the circumstances where we give the green light:

  • Light foot traffic (Epoxy) – Small cafes, restaurant front end
  • Need for High light reflection (Epoxy, Polished Concrete) – Pharmaceutical, Lab setting
  • You have realistic expectations on use and abuse!
  • You have a structured maintenance plan in place!

Our expert opinion on high gloss epoxy coatings and polished concrete surfaces:

At CustomCrete, we always look to longevity in our offerings. When discussing a surface finish of gloss or satin, we go satin every time. The floors we install today need to look good years from now, and a satin finish is key to maintain that appearance. The one exception to the gloss rule is with polished concrete. We are comfortable with using a high gloss finish here as the surface is extremely scratch resistant and hard. With a regular maintenance plan, that polished concrete will stay that way for the next 20-30 years. It all starts with care and protection of your investment.

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