If you are considering renewing the floor in your garage, then one of the best ways it can be done is by using an epoxy coating. It has proven to be one of the most durable and hard-wearing flooring finishes available, while at the same time it can help make a garage look for more modern and presentable than boring, grey concrete.
With professional looking flooring in your garage, you also have an advantage if you ever decide to sell your property, not just in terms of reducing the time it may take to sell it, but also with regards to the asking price.
What Is Epoxy Flooring for Garages?
Before we make it all sound too easy, we must point out that using an epoxy coating to cover your garage floor isn't the same as merely painting a bedroom wall. It makes sense for you to fully understand what epoxy coating is and on a more practical level, how you should properly prepare your garage floor so that the finished work is as it should be.
Epoxy floor coating is actually a combination of two different compounds, and also must not be confused with an epoxy floor. An epoxy floor is thicker, with a depth of at least 1/16 inch and tends to be used in industrial and commercial premises.
An epoxy coating is created by mixing equal quantities of epoxide resin and a polyamine hardener. When mixed the two components react chemically and this process creates the extremely durable and strong properties of the epoxy coating.
Benefits of Epoxy Coating for Garage Floors
We touched on a couple of general benefits of epoxy coating your garage floor, but let's look at some of those benefits in more detail. The first is the durability of epoxy coating and its ability to withstand some of the more potentially damaging things that can happen in a garage, compared to other rooms in the house.
Impacts, such as dropped tools are less likely to cause any damage, such as a chip in the surface, as are abrasions from equipment being dragged across the floor. Chemical spills are also withstood so neither damage nor staining should occur should anti-freeze, motor oil or gasoline be spilt.
Epoxy coating also leaves a smoother surface, and imperfections such as small ridges, flaws, and cracks underneath will almost be made invisible. The smoother surface also makes it easier to sweep with a soft broom and to mop the floor to keep it clean.
Prepping Your Garage for Epoxy Coating
Any DIY expert will tell you, the best way to do get any job right, is by ensuring you properly prepare for it, and applying an epoxy coating to your garage floor is no different. Obviously, the main area for preparation is the garage floor to make sure it is clear of all dust and debris and to prepare its surface so that the epoxy coating properly bonds. Here are the steps you should take to prepare.
Remove all items from the garage that not fixed. This includes tool chests, bicycles, and stored items. For any fixtures which are in the way, if they can be removed safely then do so. If you wish to protect the walls of your garage, you can tape plastic sheeting to it, ensuring you leave a gap at the bottom so that the coating does not bond with the sheeting.
For painted floors
If your existing garage floor is painted, you need to de-gloss it by using a sanding pad. Ideally, you want a sanding pad which is on a power tool, as this will be quicker and less work.
- Sweep the floor to remove dust
- Scrub the using a bristle broom and floor-cleaner.
- Thoroughly rinse the floor, and allow to dry for at least 3 hours
For all other bare concrete
- Sweep the entire garage floor, and if possible, use a vacuum cleaner to remove as much dust as possible. For difficult to reach corners, an at the edges use an old paintbrush.
- Etch the floor by mixing water and etching solution in a watering can
- Wet the floor with water and then pour etching solution in a 10ft. x 10ft. foot area furthest from the main garage door.
- Use a bristle brush to scrub the floor with the etching solution.
- Continue etching additional areas until all floor has been done.
- Rinse with water and allow 4 hours for the floor to dry.
At this point, your garage floor is prepared, and it is now time to start mixing your epoxy coating. Follow the instructions on the two solution tins very carefully.
When the solution is ready, start at the edges using a paintbrush, then proceed to coat the rest of the floor using a roller brush. When completed the coating may need up to 24 hours to dry.