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The Pros and Cons of Epoxy Kitchen Countertops


by Megan Varley

The Pros and Cons of Epoxy Kitchen Countertops

Epoxy is one of the most innovative refinishing systems that is on the market today.  Many times, epoxy can either go directly over existing countertops or a new solid foundation can be created.  This allows for an opportunity to have an existing space transformed into something amazing.

Pros

1. Epoxy can be applied over most countertop materials including Formica, laminate, ceramic, metal, wood and concrete to name a few.

2. Epoxy can act as a sealer.  It is a common way to finish concrete countertops because of its sealing properties.  The liquid soaks into the pores of the concrete to give it more strength and resiliency against stains.

3. Epoxy, by nature, is a high-gloss finish.  An epoxy countertop is the perfect choice to consider If you like the idea of having a glossy, polished surface for your kitchen or bathroom.  It is difficult to find a product that will give you as much shine for your money as this one.

4. An epoxy countertop offers unlimited design potential.  Epoxy countertops provide the most overall versatility when it comes to pattern and color.  The look of marble or granite can be replicated at a fraction of the price of the natural stone.  Because epoxy goes down as liquid then harden to a solid surface, the counter top is seamless allowing for a continuous pattern and color without creating interruptions.

5. Epoxy is a durable finish.  It creates a solid surface that will last for several years, providing a glossy, long-lasting shine that doesn’t need additional coatings to keep it looking fresh. Compared to varnishes or other coatings, there will not be fading or dullness. Epoxy is five times stronger than concrete, and shock resistant, meaning you can drop something heavy on the surface and it will not break.  Most other surfaces struggle to live up to the standards offered by an epoxy finish. 

6. Epoxy is heat-resistant.  Counter top epoxy is heat resistant up to 500F degrees (260C).  A hot pan or dish can be set on the surface without worrying about damage occurring to it.

7. Epoxy countertops are simple to clean.  Almost any cleaning product can be used on the surface without worrying about damaging it.  Because epoxy creates a nonporous surface, it will not attract bacteria, yeast, fungi or other microorganisms.  This makes it a safe place for food preparation. 

8. Epoxy is food-safe and non-toxic.  The correct counter top epoxy is considered to be non-toxic.  Once the curing process is complete, it is a food-safe surface as well.

Cons

1. This is not a DIY project.  It requires an expert hand to create positive results. Epoxy requires an even application.  It can also be messy and complex.

2. Epoxy can be time consuming.  There can be a lot of preparation time involved in an epoxy countertop.  Also, epoxy takes between 8 and 12 hours between coats then several days before normal use.

3. Epoxy products are not created equally.  The right product is needed for the right project.  Many contractors use in inferior product based on its price, producing less than desirable results.  Age of the product, heat resistance and quality of the epoxy play an important part in the outcome of your project.

4. It takes a skilled hand to recreate the look of natural stone.  You can’t hire just any contractor to create an epoxy counter to.  It takes the work of an artist to get the specific veins and swirls that natural stone creates.

Conclusion

While it is not recommended that creating an epoxy counter top as a DIY project, if you will spend between $12 and $15 per square foot for epoxy, and several hundred dollars on additional supplies if you go the DIY route.

Hiring a contractor to handle the work, factoring in the cost of labor and then costs go up considerably.  You may spend between $35 to $100 per square foot to hire a professional to coat your kitchen countertops with epoxy.

Remember, professionals can create some absolutely stunning designs.

Good luck with your project

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