Epoxy countertops are easy to install and have been popular these past few years among households looking for something elegant.
Who doesn’t want a fancy-looking house without having to spend a fortune? But, because they are inexpensive, they have several challenges that can make them impractical for some lifestyles.
Will epoxy countertops scratch? While mineral-based countertop materials score highest on the Mohs hardness scale, epoxy is vulnerable to damage from stainless steel utensils. Even the best quality of epoxy will accumulate scratches and stains over time.
The relative softness of epoxy also means that you can polish scratches. So, it is not all bad news. Read more to learn more about epoxy countertops and their issues aside from scratching so easily.
What Are Epoxy Countertops?
In contrast to laminate, granite, or quartz countertops, epoxy doesn’t come in premade slabs. Instead, it is a type of refining item that you buy.
It comes in the form of an epoxy countertop kit and is then used to refinish an existing material.
Typically, an epoxy countertop kit comes in a box and has the manufacturer’s instructions for applying it.
Several forms of epoxies are available, but they all blend resin and hardener to create a clear, sturdy solid.
Typical instructions are to flood the countertop material with a thin film of epoxy as an initial seal.
This avoids the development of bubbles when you add thicker coats later in the process.
You can apply epoxy over materials such as:
It is not practical to use epoxy on granite or marble countertops because these materials are much more expensive.
For that reason, it is rare to find homeowners using epoxy on granite and marble. These two materials also add more value to one’s home compared to other materials, including epoxy.
The best way to refine these types of surfaces is through traditional natural stone restoration.
Issues with Epoxy Countertops
1. Epoxy Stains Easily
Not only can epoxy countertops scratch easily, but they stain a little easier than quartz-like countertops.
Certain epoxy materials can be susceptible to discoloration over a long time. This can make the countertop look dusty as it ages.
2. Epoxy Is Not Very Heat-Resistant
Many epoxy countertop kits are equipped to withstand temperatures below 150 degrees.
While you would assume that the surface will return to its hard nature once it cools down, that’s not always true.
Often, certain spots can remain rubber-like, creating more scratches and teeth.
3. Finding Good Kits
There are many epoxy kits available, but before you buy one, visit the store or warehouse.
Inspect and test the slabs to make sure the quality is good. You can’t say that the quality will fit you just because one review says that it fits them.
The quality will depend on the available material.
Repairing Scratches on Epoxy Countertops
Epoxy materials have earned their status of being one of the most used primary building materials in countertops.
If this material is mixed and applied correctly, the coating will suffer less damage but is still susceptible to it.
Removing small scratches is easy. All you need is a good drill, polishing pads, and polishing paste.
- Apply a small amount of the paste as directed on the packaging.
- Use the polishing pad attachment on your drill to buff the surface of the epoxy.
People usually make furniture polish repairs in the area affected. This helps only with light scratches, though.
Bigger scratches may require sanding. Although the epoxy coating is uniform over its depth, much damage can be sanded off to expose the undamaged surface underneath.
- Pour a quarter-size amount of polish on a piece of clean linen. Apply the polish on any minor scratches on the top of the counter. Rub the surface of the polish to incorporate the scratches with the surrounding epoxy surface.
- Fix large scratches with wet/dry sandpaper. Saturate a 660-grit sandpaper sheet and sand down the scratch. Move the sandpaper back and forth parallel to the scratch line until the scratch line has been eliminated.
- Turn to fine-grit sandpaper and use a small, circular motion over the sanded area. It will incorporate the sanded portion into the surrounding area of the countertop.
- Wash the countertop’s surface with a clean cloth and some water. Pat dry and paint with the furniture to better blend the patch.
- Clean all the chipped parts of the bar top with a clean cloth soaked in alcohol.
- Mix a small batch of transparent two-part epoxy resin in a cup using a wooden stirrer and a mixing ratio suggested by the maker.
- Cover the chipped region with epoxy resin with a small putty knife.
- Scrape around the top with the point of a knife to level the patch. Wait 24 hours for the patch to dry.
- Sand the patch on the countertop using 660-grit sandpaper.
- Mix the patch with the rest of the bar top using fine-grit sandpaper.
- Wash the surface with clean water and polish it.
Things to Remember When Dealing with Epoxy Countertops
When sanding the countertop, you can use either dry sand or wet sand on the surface. It will depend on whether you have dust in your work area.
Working in small, circular movements, sand the countertop surface, then wipe away any dust or residue.
If the matte finish is completed, seal the product with epoxy wax and work in a circular motion with a clean cloth.
Ways to Prevent Yellowing on Epoxy Countertops
One of the main drawbacks of using epoxy is that it is vulnerable to staining.
Suppose that you spill food or liquid and the mess is not promptly cleaned up. You will likely have to deal with the consequences of staining the epoxy base.
Epoxy is mostly used on kitchen countertops. Spills could happen regularly and cause the epoxy coating to lose shine and consistency.
You can help avoid this by washing all spills as soon as they happen. Use a wet cloth or water and soap to get food or drink off the counter.
It will avoid, or at least lessen, the risk of discoloration. Also, the mineral oil will protect the shine of the epoxy that could be used after cleaning.
How to clean your epoxy countertop is slightly different from how you’ll clean other countertops because of the glossy surface.
Because it is prone to scratches and stains, it is essential to find a cleaner that leaves no marks when applied!