The truth about epoxy garage floors
A valuable addition to your home
Epoxy garage floors are listed by realtors next to the number of bedrooms and bathrooms in a home. They increase the value of your home. It is also much more pleasant to come home to a room which looks as nice as the rest of your home than to come home to a gray, cracked and/or oil-stained floor.
Your newly improved garage can also serve as a home office, gym, kids play room or entertainment center.
Not all epoxy floors are the same
This should give you some guidance on the differences
Some epoxy floor systems contain low quality, 1 part water-based epoxies which are cheap. You can buy a $99 two car kit from Home Depot, Lowe's, Sears, Menard's or other places (probably even from Target). You can also buy 1 part water-based epoxy paint alone for about $35/gal.
Professionally applied epoxy systems use industrial-grade 2 part resin-based materials. They cost the installer $80 - $120 per gallon but they look far better, carry the manufacturer's 10+ year to a lifetime warranty and are FAR easier to clean and keep looking great over time.
I'm sure you would prefer to drive into your garage and see a floor that complements the rest of your home rather than being an eye sore.
You could do it yourself
The $99 DIY kits give you low grade epoxy which is watered down to keep the cost of the kit low. The kit usually contains 2 pounds of 1/32" decorative chips which are difficult for even a professional to spread evenly over 400 sq ft. These kits also do not include a tough sealer and carry no warranty against peeling (hot tire pickup) or fading.
Unfortunately these kits do not give you much guidance on the proper preparation of the concrete surface either. Any coating needs to sink down deeply into the pores of the concrete to adhere properly. That means that oil and other automotive fluids, old sealers, paint, tile adhesive etc MUST be removed to restore the porosity of the concrete. They frequently do include a packet of mild citric acid but this WILL NOT clean out oil stains, adhesive, paint etc from the pores in your concrete floor.
They also give you no guidance or materials on how to deal with cracks, holes or efflorescence (white powdery areas on the concrete which indicate water intrusion into the slab.) These thin $99 kit materials WILL NOT cover these flaws.
Don't expect the new floor coating to look super or to look the same for more than a year or so.
An inexpensive installer
Don't be taken
You can probably find an installer willing to put down an 'epoxy' floor in a 2 car garage for $600 - $800. They are using an inexpensive water-based epoxy which carries NO warranty. You'll never find them again when you have a problem with the floor after they pick up the check from you .
A professional epoxy floor installation
Professional epoxy floor installers take into account the condition of your existing concrete floor, fix cracks, eroded concrete areas and deal with any oil and chemical stains.
Proper surface preparation is a primary concern. The coatings that professional installers use will sink deeply into the concrete surface to provide you a long warranty against peeling or 'hot tire pickup'.
Professional installers use industrial-grade epoxies and sealers which cost up to $120/gal. They also use 35-50 lbs of 1/4" decorative granite-like chips which provide a rich-looking uniform surface and give you a slip-resistant surface.
A professionally applied epoxy floor might cost you double what a cheap coating would cost but your floor is going to look far better and will last virtually forever.
Our other epoxy floor web pages
More free information about epoxy floors
- Epoxy floor preparation
Steps necessary to ensure the beauty and durability of an epoxy floor.
- Epoxy floor maintenance
How to maintain the good looks of an epoxy garage floor.
- Epoxy floor repair
How to repair a damaged epoxy floor.
- Epoxy floor durability
What factors affect the durability of an epoxy floor.
- Can you install an epoxy floor yourself?
Some things to consider.
California Concrete Restoration, Inc.
Laguna Hills, CA
If you are outside our normal operating area of Orange County, CA, we can usually give you a reference to a professional installer in your area. E-mail us with your contact information, the size of your project and what you want to accomplish.