Recently, epoxy countertops have gained popularity amongst daring DIYers. This is mainly attributed to their relatively cheap cost compared to other countertops. Additionally, they are well known for their durability due to epoxy resin.
Perhaps, you could be considering whether or not to install an epoxy countertop in your kitchen or bathroom. In this article, I will walk you through the advantages, disadvantages, cleaning and installation of epoxy countertops. This information will help you in deciding on your purchase.
So, let’s begin.
- What Are Epoxy Countertops?
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Epoxy Countertops
- How Do You Make Epoxy Countertops?
- The Best Epoxy Countertop Kits
What Are Epoxy Countertops?
Epoxy is primarily used as a refinishing product.
You can use it to revitalize or restore old, worn, or out-of-fashion kitchen countertops, bathroom countertops, and floors.
It is a favourite choice for refinishing due to the durability of the epoxy resin – It can withstand scratches and offers years of use before the surface dulls.
Additionally, it can withstand most cleaning materials without losing its lustre.
You can apply epoxy over several countertop materials such as:
Although it is rarely used on granite or marble countertops, it is still possible to use it on such surfaces. Most homeowners prefer not to avoid covering their pricey marble or granite countertops, which add more value to their home than epoxy or any other type of countertop.
There are many epoxies and brands out in the market, but some are much better for countertop projects.
We recommend these epoxy pigments and products for ease of use, durability, quality, and best results:
- Pro Marine Epoxy
- Crystal Clear Epoxy
- Epoxy Color Pigments
Advantages and Disadvantages of Epoxy Countertops
There are several excellent reasons to consider applying an epoxy finish to your bathroom or kitchen countertops.
However, you need to carefully consider the disadvantages of epoxy countertops before moving forward with your project.
Let’s have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of Epoxy countertops.
Advantages of Epoxy Countertops
1. Non-toxic and food safe
Most epoxy products are non-toxic and safe for food once the epoxy resin has been applied and cured.
The chemicals that combine to create the hard surface contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). As such, you need to provide proper ventilation during application and a few days after to allow the VOCs to evaporate.
The three brands of epoxy products that I have recommended have worked hard to limit the presence of these harmful substances.
2. Easy to Clean
You can use any cleaning product to clean your epoxy countertop without damaging it. Also, its non-porous surface is resistant to mould and bacteria, ensuring safety in your kitchen from these harmful organisms.
You can use a Purify cleaner to clean your epoxy countertop. It is natural, non-toxic, and effective for cleaning all types of grime and grease. You can get it at your local store or in online shops.
3. Heat Resistant
Epoxy resin is resistant to heat. You can place a hot dish on the surface of your epoxy countertop without immediately damaging it.
However, it is not heatproof. If you keep a hot coffee carafe or a heated baking dish on a layer of epoxy, it will damage the surface.
You can use trivets for hot pots to protect your countertop from heat damage. You can get it at discounted prices from online stores.
Epoxy will give you a seamless surface for continuous pattern and colour.
6. Unlimited Design Potential
Epoxy is presumably the most versatile countertop material for design possibilities. You can create any pattern or colour you can dream of.
7. High-Gloss Finish
If a super-shiny and glossy polished finish is your thing, then epoxy is your drug. Of course, it wears down after some time, but you can maintain the high-gloss look by applying mineral oil periodically.
8. Durable Resin Finish
When epoxy hardens, it forms a solid surface that can last for years giving your countertop a long-lasting shine.
Different from varnishes and other coatings, you do not need to reapply the material when it begins to dull continually.
The durable finish holds up well compared to other countertop coatings and materials. It is highly unlikely that your epoxy countertop will easily crack or get damaged.
Disadvantages of Epoxy Countertops
1. No Second Chances
Creating the pattern and colours of an epoxy countertop is done live on the fly. You are winging it and hoping that you will get your desired outcome. Now, this is both a pro and a con of epoxy countertops.
On one side, you are creating an individual and unique piece of art.
While on the other hand, maybe you get a bit crafty, and the outcome looks like a kid just learning to colour. Still art, but most unlikely the outcome you had in mind.
You can redo it, but at the expense of more money, effort, time, and even more mess.
Consider keeping it simple with the designs and colours if you are doing it for the first time.
2. Time-Consuming to Apply
Apart from being problematic to apply, epoxy resin is also labour-intensive and time-consuming. You need to spend time sanding and removing stains from the surface.
In addition, you need to cover the entire interior of your house with plastic sheeting. You will also need to mask off with tape and plastic sheet everything close to the countertops, and even add boards around the edges of your countertop to catch the drips as the epoxy flows over the edges.
If you have less time on your hands, consider getting pre-taped plastic sheeting to apply and cover walls, cabinets, etc. You can use heavier tarps for the floor to avoid tripping or tearing over the plastic.
Apply it carefully to avoid air bubbles or defects. Curing may take up to 24 hours.
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3. Challenging and Messy to Apply
You can make stunning designs and colours with epoxy countertop kits. But it is not as easy, even for a fearless DIYer.
Applying an epoxy finish to an existing countertop is complicated and messy, especially if you have never worked with the material.
You may need to practice before handling the first significant project that you don’t want to mess up.
Epoxy needs even application to prevent air bubbles and a lumpy surface.
Most epoxies are “self-levelling”, which flow across the surface and over the edge. This is how the epoxy becomes level. As such, you will experience lots of dripping off the countertop edges.
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4. Prone to Staining
Although epoxy is durable, it easily stains if spills are not adequately cleaned.
Always clean drink or food spills immediately to reduce the risk of permanent stains.
5. Inconsistent Quality
Not all epoxy products give the same results.
I have landed on many inferior products that are either less heat-resistant or more brittle than some recommended brands.
You can find out the quality of the epoxy as soon as you begin pouring.
The poor quality epoxies are runny, while suitable quality epoxies are thick.
With an inferior quality epoxy, you will get a thinner layer that may not hold up as well compared to the better products.
How Do You Make Epoxy Countertops?
DIY epoxy countertops are made by blending epoxy resin with a hardener. These two substances are solid in liquid form and turn solid when blended.
Based on how much epoxy you’ve used, you can add about one-eighth of an inch of shiny protective coating.
Tips for Applying Epoxy Resin
The process of applying epoxy entails careful preparation, mixing, and application of the epoxy resin across countertops.
Here are some tips to make sure you get the best outcome:
1. Thoroughly Clean the Old Countertop Surface
Clean your countertop surface thoroughly. Any debris left on the surface may get sealed in place and create uneven surfaces or become visible.
2. Protect Floors and Cabinets with Plastic Sheeting
Epoxy flows like honey.
While applying it, be careful not to allow it to run off the edges of the countertop into the sink or onto the floor.
You can use a piece of wood around the edge to keep the epoxy mixture from running to the ground.
3. Begin with a Thin Layer to Create a Seal
Blend the hardener and the epoxy resin in a container before pouring them onto your countertop. Apply a thin first ‘Seal’ layer to minimize the risk of bubbles. This process is also known as flooding.
4. Epoxy Hardens Quickly After Blending it With the Hardener
It takes about 20 to 30 minutes before the liquid mixture begins to harden.
In case you spot any bubbles, get rid of them immediately using a torch or a blow dryer. These tools will cause the bubble to heat and rise to the surface.
5. Allow the Epoxy Resin to Harden Before Adding a Second Layer
After a few hours, your epoxy finish will be hard enough to add another layer.
You can then cure the countertop for a minimum of 24 hours.
The Best Epoxy Countertop Kits
Epoxy is a durable material that can withstand a lot of wear and tear. It’s also resistant to heat and stains, making it a great choice for kitchen countertops.
There are a number of epoxy countertop kits on the market, and it can be tough to determine which one is the best for your needs.
Here are some of the best epoxy countertop kits available today:
1. The Armor Resin Kitchen Countertop Epoxy Kit
The Armor Resin Kitchen Countertop Epoxy Kit is a great way to add a new look to your kitchen.
This epoxy kit is easy to use and can be applied to a variety of surfaces, including countertops, tabletops, and more.
The Armor Resin Kitchen Countertop Epoxy Kit is an affordable way to update your kitchen on a budget. It is available in a variety of colours so that you can find the perfect match for your kitchen.
2. The Giani Granite Countertop Paint Kit
The Giani Granite Countertop Paint Kit is another great option for homeowners who want an epoxy countertop on a budget.
This kit includes all the supplies you need to paint your countertops with epoxy resin, including primer, sealer, paint, and topcoat.
It’s an easy way to give your kitchen a fresh new look without spending a lot of money.
3. The J-B Weld 8265 KwikWeld Epoxy Syringe
The J-B Weld 8265 KwikWeld Epoxy Syringe is perfect for homeowners who want to do their own epoxy countertop installation.
This syringe allows you to easily apply epoxy resin to your countertops in a controlled manner. It’s also very easy to use, making it perfect for beginners.
These are just a few of the best epoxy countertop kits on the market.
With so many great options available, you’re sure to find the perfect one for your needs.