If you are considering renovating your garage floor with an epoxy coating, you should start with proper planning.
The epoxy coating industry has progressed and innovated to the point where you can do anything with epoxy. If you don’t do the right research, your garage floor project can turn into a disaster.
Regardless if you have the classic bare concrete garage floor, you’ll want to start by deciding on the colors and designs you want, and then work backwards, starting with floor prep and making sure you have the right tools and application process to get the job done right.
But how do you choose the right coating? The market definitely isn’t short of options, so we’ll tell you what you should take into consideration.
Well, here you’ll learn all you need to know about finding the best coating. Before we get into all the features to look for, take a look at the best we’ve found.
Rust-Oleum needs no introduction. If you’re hunting for a premium-grade floor coating that will last for years to come, this might be your best choice.
Based on high-solids solvents, this epoxy coating will provide all the durability you need to ensure your garage floor stays neat-looking. You can cover up to 200 sq. feet with only 1 gallon, and it is easy to apply.
Just give your floor a good scrub to start and then prepare the mixture and leave it to set for 30-60 minutes. You can use a brush or edger to apply the coating evenly, after which it will be ready for foot traffic in no more than a day. In four days, you can park your car on the new garage floor.
Another thing that makes this coating great is that it’s not water-based. As such, it can serve as an effective waterproofing agent that protects your floor from any water damage.
Better yet, it protects the floor from chemicals so you can set up your workshop without the fear of damaging your garage floor. It’s resistant to scratching and peeling, so your garage floor should look great for years to come.
It has a semi-gloss finish, which can add quite some style to your garage, and you can also add decorative chips if you want to make the design a bit more interesting.
What makes this a great choice is the durability. Users have been very satisfied with the results, so you can expect the same.
The waterproofing is very good, and the coating can survive heavy traffic. Overall, it’s a high-quality product that is very likely to meet your expectations.
The first thing that might make you hesitant towards buying this coating is its price. Since it’s a high-quality product, it’s not exactly the most affordable, and you can certainly buy another good coating for less.
Still, it’s not that much of an expense if you think of it as an investment toward protecting your garage floor for a long time. If you’re willing to splurge a bit, this can be a great choice.
Another potential issue is the color consistency. Some users have noticed different-colored patches and areas, especially if you have to use more than one batch, but you may be able to avoid this if you follow the instructions closely.
If you want a high-quality floor coating for less, the Valspar Premium Clear Epoxy Kit can be a good choice. Not only will it save you some money, but it also performs great and only comes with a few minor drawbacks.
When it comes to strength and durability, rest assured that this one doesn’t disappoint. The reason for this is the advanced adhesion technology, which will make sure the coating feels like it’s always been a part of your garage floor.
If you’re into glossy finishes, this one will satisfy your needs. It’s glossier than most, so you’ll have that mirror-like look on the garage floor. When you combine this with the great adhesion abilities, you get a coating that is able to cover all kinds of surfaces.
Aside from concrete, it works on some wood floors and other surfaces, even those that have been damaged. The coating will give the floor a fresh look which should last for a long time.
Another thing that contributes to this is the coating’s heat resistance. Many other options out there can be quite ineffective against tire marks.
The Valspar is resistant to picking up tire marks even if the tires are hot and you drive massive vehicles with high curb weight. Aside from this, the coating has great peel resistance, so heavy traffic shouldn’t be a problem.
The hot-tire pickup resistance is among the main selling points of this coating. It’s a neat feature for making sure your garage floor maintains its shiny and clean look.
Aside from this, the adhesion technology is well-developed, so you can expect good durability and strength.
The main issue that users have encountered is associated with the hardening time. Even though the manufacturer states that it takes 4 hours, it might take much less than that.
This means that you’ll have to be rather quick with the application, otherwise the mixture will become too thick to use. An additional problem is the strong smell, which might linger for some time.
If you’re looking for a great bang for your buck, your search might stop here. The Coloredepoxies clear epoxy coating offers great value for the price and performs extremely well to boot. If you can live with a couple of minor flaws, it can be an excellent solution.
This 3-gallon kit offers 100% solids solvents that can do a great job of covering your garage floor even if it’s very large. You get a coverage area of 125-170 sq. feet per gallon, so 3 gallons should be enough to cover most 2-car and 2.5-car garages.
One of the main reasons behind its popularity is how versatile it is. Apart from concrete, it will adhere to wood and fiberglass as well, which is not that common for epoxy floor coatings.
The coating is also water- and UV-resistant and free of VOHAPs and VOCs, which means it’s completely safe for use, and it will do an amazing job of protecting your surfaces from water, mildew, mold, and a variety of other substances and contaminants.
The commendable abrasion resistance will ensure that the coating doesn’t wear off easily, so you can expect a long-lasting clear finish that will protect your garage from all kinds of environmental factors and heavy traffic.
The best thing about this coating kit is the amount you get. Most options come in 1-gallon sizes, and here you get 3 at a price that’s more than fair. It’s perfect if you have to cover a large garage floor area without having to spend a lot of money.
The main flaw that users have pointed out has to do with the thickness, or thinness, of the coating. Consequently, some people end up using more than one application.
The colors also might not be exactly as advertised, so keep that in mind if you’re looking for a specific color for your garage floor.
If premium floor protection isn’t your priority and you just want to give your garage a new look, this floor paint can be a great choice. Aside from giving your garage a makeover, it will also do a fair job of protecting the floor.
This concrete floor paint is durable that will ensure your garage maintains that clean look for quite some time. If you apply it properly, you can expect to not see any cracks or marks for a while. It’s very easy to clean and maintain, so your garage floor should hold its shine.
Since it is water-based, the paint offers no waterproofing. If this is what you need, you’ll have to go with an oil or petroleum solvent-based coating. On the flip side, the paint is highly resistant to stains from oil, gasoline, and a variety of other chemicals.
Bear in mind that the paint is only suitable for concrete, masonry, brick, and stone. You can’t use it on wood or similar surfaces.
The good thing is that you can use it on both coated and uncoated concrete, so if you’ve already protected your garage floor with a clear coat, it can be a good finishing touch.
Depending on the surface roughness, 1 gallon of this paint can cover anywhere from 300-500 sq. feet.
The paint is very well-formulated so you can expect great quality. If you properly prepare the floor for painting, you’ll get great results that can last for a long time. It’s very low-maintenance, so it will be much easier to clean than a bare concrete floor.
The biggest flaw of this paint is that it might be prone to hot-tire pickups. Even though many users found it to be very resilient, some complained about this.
If you store your cars in the garage all time, especially if you drive wide-tire cars and park them in the garage right off the road, tire marks might be an issue.
This waterborne two-component urethane coating offers pretty much everything you might need to keep your garage floor safe and fresh. If you can live with a couple of minor shortcomings, it might be the best garage floor coating you can go for.
The first thing worth mentioning is how well the SUPERCOAT adapts to certain temperatures. Being highly heat-resistant, it will make sure your floor is safe from hot-tire pickups in virtually all cases. So if you’re into long-distance travels and your tires easily get hot, this might be the best option.
Another thing most users will appreciate is the lack of odor. Two-component coatings often have an unpleasant smell which can linger in your garage for a long time. This one doesn’t suffer from that issue, so you won’t have to worry about unpleasant smells in your garage.
One of the best things about this urethane coating is the coverage. It can cover an impressive 500 sq. feet with a single gallon.
Great heat resistance certainly comes in handy in more than a few situations. With other garage floor coatings, an instant of hot tires might ruin the coating.
This one makes sure it doesn’t happen. Moreover, the drying time of 10 hours is quite impressive.
The only thing that you might have to be aware of is that this coating will end up uneven if you let it dry without applying it properly. Due to the short drying time, you need to perform all the necessary preparations well, as you might not be able to touch it up after applying.
Now that you’ve seen some of the best garage floor coatings, it’s time to go over everything you need to think about when finding the right one for you.
There are three main types of garage floor coatings. Each of them comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks, so you need to think about what it is that you’re trying to achieve. Here’s a brief overview for you to use as a reference:
This is the most durable of them all. It ensures incredible protection from chemicals, abrasion, hot-tire pickups and marks, and the good 100% solids epoxy coatings can last for up to 20 years after application.
Used more for cosmetic improvements than protection and durability. Water-based coatings spread out in a rather thin layer and are likely to wear down after long periods of heavy use.
Usually contains 30-70% solids solvents and provides protection to some degree. It’s important that you choose the manufacturer carefully, as many of these coatings may contain high quantities of VOCs that can damage your health.
It’s very important to pay attention to the coverage that your coating kit can provide. As you can see, 1 gallon of a certain brand and type can offer a specific area of coverage.
This is what you should compare instead of the volume of the kit. There are 1-gallon kits that can cover more area than 3-gallon kits.
You should always be able to see the coverage clearly on the kit. Compare that against your garage floor dimensions and area.
The last thing you need is to not get enough of it. People would be able to tell that you had to apply the floor coating twice.
In general, the epoxy thickness after it’s set can range from 0.2 mils to 250 mils (equivalent to 1/4”, as a mil is a thousandth of an inch). There are three main factors that determine the right thickness:
Naturally, higher traffic calls for thicker coating. Think about the weight of the equipment that you have to move through the garage, your vehicles, and the movement frequency.
The more damaged your floor is, the thicker the coating should be. Make sure to check for any cracks or other severe damage and decide on the thickness accordingly.
If you have a workshop in your garage, think about all the chemicals that the floor might be exposed to. Everything from cleaning agents to various chemicals used should be taken into account.
It’s important to understand that the amount needed can vary from one coating brand and type to the other. 1 gallon of a water-based coating won’t do the same job as a gallon of solvent-based coating.
Again, always have the area of coverage in mind. This should always be the deciding factor, as opposed to the amount or volume of the coating solution.
More often than not, you get what you pay for with garage floor coating. It’s one of those products where the price is dependent on the features you’re looking for.
In general, it’s always better to spend a bit more at first than to risk having to repair or redo your floor coating more often. The latter is going to exceed your initial savings over time, and perhaps even significantly so.
A garage floor coating kit should come with detailed instructions on how to apply the coating. Even though there can be many ways to do it, depending on the type of coating chosen, there are some general guidelines to follow:
Coloring 2-part epoxy resin can be quite tough, since you need to find the right mixture ratio to achieve the desired results. The first thing to keep in mind is that it takes very little color to tint epoxy, so make sure not to go overboard. Use a few drops of enamel hoppy paints for best results.
Once you’ve found your color, extrude the same amount of epoxy resin and the curing agent. Add the color to the mixture and mix with a spatula. Once it becomes uniform, you can apply the colored coating.
Epoxy coating means using epoxy compounds to coat or paint a surface. Most commonly, the epoxy resin needs to come into contact with a reactant that hardens it before applying. If you apply the coating properly, it’ll create a hard finish that’s resistant to chemicals and solvents.
There are all kinds of epoxy resins out there, each of them tailored to serve one or more purposes. The proper type depends on the problems that you’re trying to solve.
The application process can vary according to the product’s specifications. What’s extremely important to remember is that preparation is the key.
Once you know that the surface is ready, apply the primer by pouring the right amount of epoxy over a thin layer of water and using a rolling pin to make it even.
After it’s dried, apply the finisher epoxy and leave it to dry for a period of time as specified in the manual. Once dried, your coating is ready and you can safely walk and drive over it.
There’s a variety of damages that your coating might suffer from. This is especially true if you decide to go with a cheap option. Depending on the type of damage, there are many things that you can do to repair it.
The best thing you can do is contact your coating or flooring’s customer care. They’d know the product the best, so they should be able to guide you through the process of fixing various issues.
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of what it takes to find the best garage floor coating for your needs. Always keep in mind the area that you need to cover and the layer thickness that will deliver the desired results.
If you can manage to do this, you’ll likely find the right coating that will make sure your garage floor is clean and protected for years to come.
Don’t forget to also read our article on the “Best Epoxy Floor Coating of 2019 Complete Reviews with Comparisons“.