Epoxy resin is a versatile material. In its liquid form, it can seep into pore and grooves before it cures, hardening into an ultra-strong substance often used as a sealant. This ability to flow into tiny spaces allows it to form a powerful bond with substrate materials, such as wood, laminate, granite, and more.
While epoxy resin can bond to almost any material, some are particularly good options for it, and a select few are decidedly not. The ability to bond well with epoxy, along with desirable pleasing aesthetic traits, are what form the basis for many epoxy users' substrate choices.
In this article, we'll explain which materials can bond best with epoxy resin, and which materials do not.
Which Materials Bond Best with Epoxy?
Epoxy resin is very good at establishing a bond with substrate surfaces. Almost any surface that other sealants can be applied to will also work well with epoxy.
Let's take a look at some of the most common choices, typically featured as fixtures in homes and commercial establishments.
Common Substrate Materials for Epoxy
Here's a list of some of the more practical substrates often chosen by epoxy users:
Wood is undoubtedly the number one choice for a substrate, and has been so since the beginning. With its receptive porous surface, alongside the sheer number of benefits it garners from an epoxy finish, wood is an exceptional choice as a substrate for epoxy.
Epoxy table tops, countertops, bar tops, trays, chairs, resin art, and so much more are all frequently made with wood.
Another great option is marble, which tends to be less common than wood simply due to its expense. Yet, make no mistake, marble and epoxy are a terrific pairing.
Marble is a highly porous rock, typically featuring a beautiful palette of neutral tones that provide an atmosphere of elegance to any suitable room. Because it has high porosity, it's incredibly susceptible to staining. It also isn't as durable as some of the other substrate materials, leaving it vulnerable to scratches, chips, and other forms of physical damage. Thankfully, those forms of damage are exactly the types that epoxy safeguards against.
Epoxy resin is waterproof, protecting liquids from permeating its surface and preserving any substrate underneath. Humidity, rain, spilled drinks, and other sources of moisture become a non-issue for materials with a cured epoxy coating.
Working in tandem with that is epoxy's incredible durability. Because epoxy is highly resistant to impact, scratching, and similar forms of physical damage—combined with the fact that it's easy to restore—it makes for one of the best possible sealant options for marble substrates, such as the evergreen marble kitchen countertop.
Next for consideration is granite. Granite is less expensive than marble, and features a higher durability. However, granite is—much like marble—highly porous.
An epoxy coating on a granite surface will provide waterproofing and heavy physical protection. Preventing stains and other blemishes allows one to showcase the beauty of their granite surfaces, whether they be a table top, countertop, or something else entirely.
Quartz is yet another beloved material for fixtures such as countertops and bar tops, as well as the occasional table top.
Quartz as a name is actually shorthand for "engineered stone quartz". This material is made from crushed quartz mineral and already contains some type of resin—often, but not always, epoxy—which binds the crushed particles together.
Because of the resin binder that quartz has, it exhibits much less permeability than other conventional countertop materials. A coating of epoxy on top of this brings it to an impenetrable state with regard to liquids and stain potential.
Quartz is also highly durable, much like epoxy, making it the least dependent substrate, but it can still benefit from an epoxy coating thanks to the highly customizable elements of epoxy resin, which enable you to play with different aesthetic effects through the use of embedments, pigments, dyes, and more.
Less Conventional Substrate Materials
Alongside the best known materials are a number of less common choices, which despite their beauty aren't see as frequently.
Stainless Steel & Copper
Stainless steel and copper are each an interesting choice for an epoxy resin coating. At first glance, you might think the benefits of steel are lost to an epoxy coating, such as its super high heat resistance, but the beauty of stainless steel can be marred by other weakness such as staining and even eventual rusting from corrosion.
A clear epoxy coating compromises a little on the heat resistance to provide steel substrates with a surface that is more much tolerant toward certain types of chemicals and moisture in general.
The good news is that all an application requires is a little extra prep.
Bamboo pairs quite nicely with epoxy resin. It's a rare material to see in combination with such a heavy sealant, but when handled properly can be remarkably attractive as a piece of furniture or art.
Concrete and Stone
While concrete and stone are mostly seen as structural materials, they do still have a niche role as countertop or bar top materials—among other things.
Both of these options are highly durable but terribly porous. A coating of epoxy will accentuate their natural durability while also shoring up the porosity issue to give any concrete or stone substrate a waterproof exterior.
Additional Materials Epoxy Will Bond With
In addition to the materials already discussed, epoxy can also bond with:
- And other types of metal.
So Which Materials Can't Epoxy Bond With?
While epoxy can bond with almost anything, there are a select few materials that reject it.
Here's a list of the most relevant ones:
You can learn more about this in our FAQs article here.
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