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Pros and Cons of Epoxy table or countertops

Updated: Feb 20

In recent years, epoxy countertops have gained popularity due to their unique benefits and eye-catching appearance. From exceptional durability to the freedom of creative expression, epoxy countertops have become a go-to option for many homeowners and DIY enthusiasts alike. However, they also come with their fair share of drawbacks. It is important to weigh the pros and cons in deciding what’s best for your home. We have laid them out below to help you make that decision.


What is Epoxy?


Epoxy is a versatile resin coating widely used as a refinishing solution to breathe new life into aging bathroom countertops, kitchen countertops, and floors. Unlike conventional materials such as laminate, granite, or quartz, epoxy doesn't come in premade slabs for installation. Instead, it is purchased as an epoxy countertops kit and applied on-site to existing surfaces that require restoration. By doing so, users achieve a glossy, polished finish while also safeguarding the underlying material.


Pros of Epoxy Tables

Durability


Successfully made epoxy countertops provide long-lasting, durable surfaces that rarely crack. They are resistant to heat and their non-porous nature makes them resistant to moisture. You will not need to reapply additional coatings of epoxy, giving it the upper hand over other varnishes or coatings in the long run.


Glossy, Seamless Finish


A major draw to epoxy countertops is their glossy, seamless finish. Adding epoxy to cheap materials like laminate or old wood adds a polished luster that is not easily replicable. Note that this glossy finish does wear down over time so periodic applications of mineral oil are recommended to maintain its unique look.


Creative Freedom


Epoxy can be a great way to make creative ideas come to life. Its versatility gives users the freedom to create any color or pattern they desire. It allows for the replication of marble or granite countertops at a fraction of the cost, and, once again, with no seams.


Heat resistant


Key word: resistant. An epoxy countertop can withstand the heat from a dish or a coffee mug placed on its surface for a moment. However, repeated exposure to hot surfaces over extended periods of time will cause damage to the countertop. They are not heat proof.


Non-Toxic, Food Safe


Once their resin has cured, most epoxy products are considered non-toxic and food-safe. This even applies to resin tints and glitters as well as some metallic powders if you've chosen to add any to your epoxy resin.


Easy to Clean


Virtually any cleaning product can be used on epoxy countertops. Additionally, their nonporous surfaces make them resistant to mold and bacteria growth.


Compatible With Many Countertop Materials


Epoxy can be used to refinish wood, ceramic, metal, formica, laminate, and concrete.



Cons


Challenging, Messy Installation


Installing epoxy countertops is no easy feat. Even the most experienced of the DIYers may likely end up with lumps or bubbles in their table. It is also important to note the “self-leveling” quality of many epoxy kits. This means the resin will flow to the ends of your counter, dripping off the edges. Furthermore, creating intricate designs and replicas of natural stones is difficult without a trained artistic eye and hand.


One Chance to Get it Right


Ironically, though epoxy does allow for much creative expression, it is not as forgiving in the trial and error part of the creative process. Because it is not sold in slabs like other materials, making a mistake can mean buying a new kit as well as a whole new surface to apply the kit to. As you can imagine, this process can become quite expensive and time consuming.


Inconsistent Quality


Not all epoxy counter kits are created equal. Less expensive epoxies come out runny and can result in a thinner, more brittle, and/or less heat resistant countertop. For this reason it is a good idea to read reviews and research epoxy brands before deciding which is the right one for you.


Prep Time


Applying epoxy is also a fairly time consuming and labor-intensive process. Prep includes sanding countertops, removing surface stains, and covering the interior of your kitchen or bathroom with tape and plastic sheeting. (Side note: pre-taped plastic sheeting for floors, walls, cabinets, etc. can ease this process.) The curing time takes up to 24 hours.


Cost


Epoxy countertop kits cost anywhere from $100 to $200, sometimes more. DIYers typically end up spending anywhere from $3 to $8 per square foot—if they get it right the first time, that is. However, because of the various aforementioned reasons, many people opt to hire someone else to do the dirty work. The cost of labor combined with materials adds up to between $25 and $100 per square foot. This pricing is similar to more durable countertop materials that are easier to install.


Prone to Staining


Spills left for too long can damage the surface of an epoxy table permanently. Epoxy is quite durable, but requires immediate attention to spills in order to avoid staining.


VOC Release


The chemicals that combine to create the end product of an epoxy countertop contain some volatile organic compounds (VOCs). When curing epoxy it is important to ensure that there is proper ventilation in the room to allow VOCs to evaporate. You may also need to avoid using the space for up to a week to ensure the area is free of the pollutant. As a reminder, epoxy countertops are food-safe surfaces and after this process is complete, they should pose no health risks.



Where to Buy Epoxy Countertop Kits

Kits are sold at virtually any home improvement store like Home Depot, Lowes, and Menards. A wide array of kits can also be found on amazon, along with reviews that are helpful to check out.


How to Remove Epoxy


Hopefully you won’t have to worry about this step… but it isn't unlikely.


From Wood or Concrete:

  • Soak a soft cloth with acetone and gently rub it on the target areas

  • As the epoxy loosens, carefully scrape the resin off with a knife or other scraping tool


From Metal (and Other Non-Porous Surfaces):

  • These surfaces require a chemical adhesive remover as well as a mask, safety goggles, gloves, and good ventilation

  • Chemical adhesive removers are typically sprayed on or spread with a rag

  • Chip at the epoxy with your scraping tool, never scraping towards yourself


Conclusion

Epoxy countertops offer durable, creative, and chic glossy surfaces, but it is evident that they come with some challenges. Potential buyers should consider their needs, artistic skill, and budget carefully before choosing epoxy for their homes. Researching epoxy brands and understanding the process can lead to a successful installation and a stunning, resilient addition to your home.





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