How Durable Are Epoxy Countertops?
Up until a few years ago, most people did not even know what epoxy was. Today, it has become a popular product for many DIYers, woodworkers, crafters and artists for the use on many household items and furniture. One of the most popular ways to use epoxy in the home is for tables, countertops and bar tops for creating beautiful, glossy clear coats or mixing with pigments to create the look of marble and granite.
Our Favorite Coating Epoxy!
With that being said, one question we get frequently is about the durability of epoxy on countertops. Can it hold up against heavy use in the kitchen? Many people worry about scratches, yellowing, and withstanding temperatures from hot pans and mugs. These are all important factors to consider before diving in head first and applying epoxy to your expensive countertops.
Choosing the Right Epoxy
There are several different types of epoxies available. They each have specific uses and are usually more beneficial for one type of project or another. Coating epoxies are often referred to as "table top epoxies", indicating this is what they are often used for. However, we encourage you to always read the labels before you buy to make sure you have the right one for your project.
Below are some of the 4 key features to consider when purchasing a countertop or table top epoxy.
Self Leveling Abilities
A self-leveling epoxy is critical because it makes it easy for you to get a smooth, flat and even finish. You simply pour the epoxy over the surface and allow it to flow. You can assist the flow with a spreader to speed up the process but its not necessary. If your epoxy is not self-leveling, you could end up with high spots, low spots, and other problem areas.
Its important to know how much heat the epoxy you are using can withstand. High heat epoxies do exist, but your typical DIY epoxy kit is not going to withstand high temperatures (above 150 F). High heat epoxies are typically quite a bit more expensive. While many table top epoxies are advertised for counter tops, many of them are not actually high heat epoxies. This does not mean that you should not use these products for your countertops, but you must be aware of the temperature that the epoxy will start to soften. You will also need to remember to use trivets and/or coasters for hot pots, plates, and mugs to protect your finish.
Your kitchen is a workspace and a high traffic area. No one wants countertops that are susceptible to everyday wear and tear. You need to make sure that when cured your epoxy coating will be strong and will not scratch easily. The end result of not double-checking is that your countertops will be imperfect much too soon.
How Much Will You Need?
Some epoxy brands come in only small amounts, and some brands are much more costly than others. When purchasing epoxy for your countertops, its important to consider how much you will need and how much you have budgeted for your project. You will need to make sure you have plenty of epoxy on hand so you do not risk running out in the middle of your project. Otherwise, you will have to sand your surface and pour again. In most cases, you will need at least a gallon (often more) to complete your kitchen countertops right. Most gallon jugs will tell you approximately how much per square feet that gallon can cover.
How to Maintain Maximum Integrity
Epoxy, as a general rule, is very durable. If you choose the right kind for your project, it should last a very long time without issues. Epoxy for countertops is moisture-resistant, scratch-resistant, and heat-resistant (to a certain extent). If properly maintained, your countertops will last for a long time. All it takes is for you to do a few minor things to keep it looking fantastic!
First: Keep them clean! Warm soap and water is the best way to clean your epoxied table tops. Alternatively, a simple wipe down with Windex will keep them looking sparkling clean.
Additionally, make sure you dry any moisture that may be left behind. You wouldn’t want your maintenance to be wasted by leaving it damp.
As mentioned prior, keep your counter top coatings protected from heat by using trivets and coasters.
Lastly, keep in mind that all epoxies will yellow over time. To prolong that beautiful clear coat, be sure to use a quality epoxy with excellent UV resistance. Furthermore, keep your countertops or bar tops out of direct sunlight. While many people utilize epoxy for their outdoor bars, most epoxies are not meant for exposure to UV rays.
Enjoy Showing Off Your Countertops!
Epoxy is a great product that can take your counters and bars to the next level. And while epoxy is widely advertised for beginners, keep in mind that there is an art to using epoxy and its important you read and follow the directions precisely. We always recommend practicing before attempting a larger project, like tables and counters. Its always best to test a sample area or test piece similar to your final project so you can be sure you achieve the results you desire.
Also take your time to find the right product for your project. And when in doubt, check with the manufacturer with any questions you have prior to your pour.