In recent years, the amount of things you can do with concrete floors has exploded. There are so many different options for concrete floors sometimes you don't know where to start. Should you go with a concrete stain? If so, what's the difference between concrete dye and concrete stains? Or many you should choose an epoxy for your concrete floors? If you do, should you go with an epoxy paint or an epoxy coating... and what's the difference anyway?
With the developments in technology, even a normal grey concrete floors can come alive. We have different guides on our site for the best garage coatings but we break down everything you can do with concrete in this article from different staining options, epoxy floor coatings and even tiles and different floor shields if you don't want to go with traditional carpet, vinyl, or hardwood flooring.
What should you do with your concrete floors?
So should you go with traditional wood floors over your concrete floors or coat them to make them more durable and good looking?
There are a few reasons why many homeowners choose to keep their concrete floors instead of opting to install something completely different. The first is because there is a wide range of finishing alternatives available. The other two essential benefits of using concrete flooring are,
Durability-Concrete is resilient and can withstand pressure from many things, including high heels, furniture legs, and more.
Low maintenance-Despite the fact that some finishing options will require occasional waxing or sealants, concrete flooring on its own is deficient maintenance. These floors are incredibly resistant to moisture and chemicals and thus make cleaning the floor an easy task.
Concrete floors can be used throughout the home. They are best for living areas, garages, and basements.
Top concrete finishing options.
Below is a list of some popular concrete floor finishing options.
Top concrete floor finishing options.
Below is a list of some popular concrete floor finishing options.
For a concrete stain, it gives off a very bold look to the floor. It is quite recognizable by its mottled appearance and highly variegated finish. Once it reacts with your floor, the color becomes quite durable and will not fade peel or chip. Acid stains will offer an array of vibrant tones, such as blue-green colors, browns, and tans. However, the color produced by an acid-based stain will vary depending on the color and condition of the substrate it is applied to.
If you intend to look beyond The subtle color palette of an acid stain to the full spectrum of hues, this stain is the way to go. These stains tend to be a bit less vibrant. However, there are dozens of colors that you can choose from, including metallic tints. These stains are low in volatile organic compounds and are safer to use and apply. It should be noted that a different chain reaction occurs during its application, and this makes the final color fairly consistent throughout.
This is fast-drying and eco-friendly. It offers a flecked appearance and, similar to the acid stain, a highly variegated finish. The fast stain is a great option for polished concrete and can be used on its own or in conjunction with an acid or water-based stain.
Acrylic sealers will provide a thin protective film on the surface of a concrete floor. This option comes in an array of sheens and will provide good protection against moisture. It also provides a very uniform coat in color. It's relatively hard with a slight flexibility and an amazing matte finish. If you are dealing with a dowdy looking concrete floor, are on a limited budget, the floor sealer will be an affordable option that should be enough to make a difference. The concrete sealer itself will ward off future stains, offer a slight sheen, and make your floors look more stylish and a little bit fresher.
You will be required to choose between water and a solvent-based sealer. The solvent-based will offer the best protection and will last longer. The former will release fuel chemicals into the air, which is worth considering if the concrete space you're working on is not well ventilated. The concrete sealer is an affordable DIY(easy to apply) option. However, there are a few cons to bear in mind. The resulting floor can be slippery, a disadvantage to your garage floors, and a poor choice of garage flooring options. The floor will also need to be resealed every few years as it is not a long-term solution. Concrete sealers should set you back a cost of 0.1 $5 to 0.25 dollars per square foot of the floor. This is also a job that will offer you no hidden expenses.
The manufacturer will warrant the quality of the product upon installation. It is, however, unlikely to be accompanied by any further warranty. A concrete sealer will not revolutionize your concrete garage. However, if you have issues with your floors you do not have the budget to deal with them, this will be a preferred option. It should be noted that this type of finish wears faster than some other coating options. You may need to pair the finish with regular waxing prevents marks on your home surface.
Concrete floor paints
If your main concern with your garage floor is the aesthetic bit rather than any actual damage, the concrete floor paint is among quick and affordable floor options that will give your garage flooring a dramatic facelift. You will be required to prepare your garage floor before applying the floor paint, naturally, which means cleaning and filling up any cracks if any deep oil stains won't come up completely. Garage floor paint can cover them up. The painting itself should be a DIY job on your garage flooring, and all you will need is a paint roller and the right kind of paint. You will need to choose between oil-based and latex paint. It is easier to apply latex floor paint as it is efficient to use it out of the can. It also dries with a matte low-sheen coat. Oil-based paint will give you a high gloss finish, but you will need to use a primer coat. The resulting floor coating will be stronger than what you will get with latex. Whichever option you decide to go with, ensure to pick an alternative that offers a non-slip coat.
Concrete floor paint is a simple and affordable way to give your garage floor an easy facelift. However, it won't last. Paint is naturally susceptible to salts, solvents, and other caustic materials. You should expect to have to retouch your painted space every one to three years. This paint's cost is between 0.15 dollars to 2 dollars per one square foot, depending on the type you go for. A simple generic color will be much cheaper than a high gloss metallic coat. However, the floor paint's beauty is that you have many options to choose from, and that's something for every taste and budget.
There are two different types of epoxy. Epoxy paint and epoxy coatings that are 100% solids epoxy. The level of durability and application process varies greatly based on which type you choose. For more information, you can reference our epoxy paint vs epoxy coating guide. If you search for the most durable coating for your floor, look at epoxy. Similar to paint, it comes in different colors and style options. Some of these are high shine or matte, and this makes it an attractive and practical solution. Epoxy is generally applied like paint. It, however, works quite differently and therefore delivers varying results. As the paint hardens through the process of evaporation of its solvent, epoxy coatings usually harden when a chemical reaction between a resin and hardener takes place. This results in a long-lasting and durable coating.
Two types of epoxies are available for coating garage floors.
Two-part epoxy with 100% solids
This is the best quality of epoxy floor coatings as it does not contain any solvents. This ensures a heavy-duty, more durable, and thicker coat. It also dries quickly with a high-sheen finish within a day. The chemicals used are much stronger than in the other varieties, so make sure that you have good ventilation. This is the most expensive epoxy available.
Two-part water-based, one-part epoxy
This is a good alternative if you're in search of a lower chemical output. This is a good choice if your surface is not well ventilated. It will, however, take longer to dry in about 2 to 3 days. The resulting court will be thinner and less durable. It is cheaper, and you will need to refresh your floor more often. You can choose a solid color or add extra slip resistance and character to the floor with some color flakes specially designed to work with the two alternatives' epoxy coating. All you're required to do is sprinkle them evenly over your surface while the epoxy is still wet. You can sweep off the loose flakes afterward, then scrape the floor with a metal scraper to get any remaining flakes that are sticking up.
Depending on the choice of epoxy coatings you choose, the epoxy floor coatings can make your garage floor up to eight times stronger. You will only be required to refresh the coating every 7-20 years. It is fire-resistant, water-resistant, and also resistant to germs and bacteria. However, the toxic fumes that can accompany epoxy flooring should not be undermined. It can also be very slippery when wet.
Epoxy coatings are generally more expensive than paint, and the cost is $3 to $7 per one square foot. Solid options are at the top end of the range, and water-based alternatives at the lower end of the range. However, you can save money to do it as a simple DIY(easy to apply ) project. Look up tips on these projects online or contact us for the same. Many manufacturers will offer a five-year limited residential warranty when the epoxy is applied in indoor spaces. If you're interested in providing serious protection for your garage floor, as well as a funky new appearance, an epoxy coating is by far the best alternative for coating on the market.
Below are the varieties of epoxy available in the market discussed.
For floors that experience high traffic regularly, a standard epoxy coat will be ideal. This type of garage floor coating is usually limited to indoor use and will provide an amazingly glossy appearance. An epoxy coat is abrasion resistant, durable, and chemical resistant. The finished result will be a nice inform color.
Like standard epoxy floor coatings, metallic epoxy is incredibly hard and durable e. g. for use as a garage floor coating. This alternative offers a brilliant metallic effect and gives a unique flow and color to your garage floor. Many homeowners will choose it from many garage floor coatings as it provides a unique finishing.
Granite epoxy or terrazzo
A granite epoxy or terrazzo glaze is an amazing way to add texture and a unique appearance to your garage floor in your home. These garage floor coatings are methods that have a similar look and are both extremely durable and effortless to clean.
This type of garage floor coating applies decorative color chips embedded into a liquid epoxy in their flooring options. The chips allow for a great variety of color combinations and patterns in their application.
Quartz sand epoxy
If you're searching for an extra heavy-duty surface, for example, in your garage, quartz and epoxy are definitely what to apply. This is a colored finishing option that will provide excellent wear resistance, chemical resistance, and sanitation. It is very smooth but offers a slip-resistant surface.
Rigid floor tiles are a great example of floor coverings laid over a floor as they offer a stable and strong base that is hard underfoot in the home. They are easy to install and easy to clean. These floor tile coverings are made from a hard type of plastic such as PVC, which can withstand heavyweights such as those that might be exerted when you employ a kickstand. This covering is also resistant to chemicals, grease, and oils. These floor tiles are common floor coverings on the garage floor as it offers a good degree of protection.
These tiles also tend not to expand or contract a lot with the change in humidity conditions and heat. For example, this is important in the garage floor area, as the covering on these floors may not be well insulated against the elements as with the rest of the house. Most rigid plastic tiles coverings will come in sizes from 12 x 12 to 24 x 24 inches with a thickness of about 1/4.
These coverings are made to snap together, and this means that they are both easy to install over a concrete floor and removed. There are various styles available, and they can be used to create a very dramatic outlook. A big problem associated with these styles is that the snap lock seams feature is not airtight. This means that liquids may seep underneath and cause a mold problem between the tiles and the concrete, and this may not offer proper protection to the floor.
These flooring coverings are also expensive. The cost is about 2.5 $ per square foot for the most generic option and only goes up there. The average cost for the tiles is closer to the 4.25$ per one square foot mark. Do expect these styles to come with a 10-year residential warranty. If you're dealing with a cracked floor, rigid tiles are a great option to work with as a coating may not be enough protection. However, be wary of proper installation to ensure that you don't have moisture issues between the tiles.
If you have a garage that is more of a workshop, dealing with a hard floor, underfoot can be a killer on the joints after a few hours. In such a situation, a flexible tile covering will be a better option. These tiles work similarly to rigid tiles. They are, however, made from flexible rubber or plastic. These are also available in fancy colors that resemble LEGO bricks.
They are interlocking tiles with a simple snap-together feature system that is more watertight than with rigid tiles. This means that you are less likely to have a problem with water seepage and mold. They are also not slippery. These flexible tiles, however, are susceptible to contraction and expansion in changing temperatures. This is something to note when maintaining the temperature of your garage floor.
Ready to explore these options?
Whatever finishing option you prefer to go with, your concrete floors' long-term and high-quality appearance will be dependent on proper surface preparation. You can sign up with your email address to get tips on popular DIY floor installation sites or go-ahead and contact us.