Epoxy countertops make a glossy finish, that when applied correctly, can give the appearance of a luxurious finish similar to granite. While these self-applied countertops have many advantages, many people worry about whether or not they will be durable enough.
Epoxy countertops are known for their durability. They are easy to maintain and last most owners years when applied correctly. While highly durable, epoxy countertops are not immune to sharp objects, however they are much easier to repair than other types of countertops.
With epoxy countertops often being revered for their durability, they hold up differently based on how they are used. In this post, I will explain how epoxy countertops compare to other countertops depending on how they are used.
Strength and Durability of Epoxy Countertops
How do Epoxy Countertops Hold Up Over Time?
Lasting the length of time is the most difficult job for a countertop. This includes water, warping, heat, cleaning, and daily use in various ways.
Overall, epoxy countertops tend to do well over time. Epoxy countertops can easily last 10 or more years with proper care. Epoxy countertops do not scratch and are resistant to most causes of counter damage. They will definitely outlast laminate countertops and similarly priced products.
Many labs and kitchens have started using epoxy as their primary countertops, which has proven to be both sanitary and cost-effective when compared to other industrial-strength materials.
How do Epoxy Countertops Handle Heat?
One thing no one wants to do is place a hot pan down for a second and have their counter ruined immediately. While many stone countertops are fully immune to heat, standard wooden or laminate countertops will not be so lucky.
Epoxy countertops are largely immune to heat – many being able to withstand over 500 degrees Fahrenheit. While you do not want to leave a hot pot on them for long periods of time, they will not be ruined by allowing something hot to sit on them for a few minutes.
Overall, epoxy adds a heat-resistant layer to your countertop, allowing you to worry less about heat-related damages. Working with counter-specific epoxy will be made to withstand more heat than standard table-top epoxies.
How do Epoxy Countertops Work When Cutting?
Cutting is something that most homeowners are very careful not to do on their countertops – and for good reason. Cutting is one of the most damaging things done on countertops, as it leaves them permanently damaged in most situations.
Epoxy countertops are not made to withstand cutting. Sharp objects are able to leave blemishes in the surface that will be noticeable to the touch, or even the eyes if deep. Luckily, epoxy countertops are easy to fix, unlike their wooden and laminate counterparts.
While you still want to avoid cutting on epoxy countertops, you can at least have peace of mind that fixing the problem may not require a new countertop. Cuts into epoxy countertops can often be fixed with quick-setting epoxies that will leave the damaged areas looking shiny and new.
Fixing Damaged Epoxy Countertops
One of my favorite things about working with epoxy countertops is their ability to be fixed. Unlike laminate or marble, which both would need to be replaced (at least partially), epoxy allows itself to be repaired in most instances.
Most times I recommend having an expert do this as fixing just patches of a counter can be incredibly difficult to get just right. If you are redoing the entire countertop, or have experience with epoxy, you can follow these simple directions.
Step 1: Clear the Area
The first thing to do is make sure the counter you are working on is clear of everything. Put all food in the room into a sealed area as sanding epoxy can be toxic if ingested. It is best to look at the nearby areas of the counter to make sure nothing is going to be affected. This might mean removing a sink/faucets and putting down a drop cloth and tape as needed. It’s always best to clear more than you need when working with epoxy.
Step 2: Sand Down the Affected Area
The next thing you should do is sand any areas that need to have epoxy applied to them. This could be a large area or a short one. If the damage is deep, consider sanding down a “river” that you can then refill with epoxy to the height of the countertop.
Ideally, you will sand between 80-320 grit. If you go too high on grit, the epoxy may not be able to form as strong of a chemical bond. Some people recommend up to 650 grit. Follow directions of the company if they have them, if not I usually recommend 220 grit sandpaper.
Step 3: Clean off the Countertop
After sanding, there will be a lot of dust from the epoxy. To clean this off, use a commercial cleaner cut down with water (about 50% water is a good ratio). Make sure to be thorough and get everything you will be pouring on. This is crucial as you will have dust and possible bumps or stickiness if you do not do this well.
Step 4: Pour New Epoxy
Once it is dry from cleaning the dust, you can pour epoxy over the affected area. I suggest using clear, which will likely not show up at all other than as a thing, glasslike surface. Keep this pour very thin and try to blend it into the other areas if you didn’t sand enough for a shallow river of a pour. Epoxy is self-leveling, so you should have no problem getting a smooth finish without noticeable seams where you poured the epoxy.