Tired of plain simple concrete? Want to add a bit of class and protect it at the same time? Epoxy flooring is a paint-like substance that provide a chemical bonding to concrete, giving it an extra protective layer. There are many different types of epoxies available ranging from matte finish to high gloss surface that also have various benefits as well as disadvantages. This article guides you on how to epoxy a garage floor.
When epoxy garage floor is installed, the coarse particles are raised above the surface to create a textured finish. This also creates a slip-resistant surface when wet. The result is a very aggressive grip and protection from vehicles, oil, grease and chemicals among other things.
Simple concrete not only cracks after some time, it also stains easily, is cold and has little to no traction. Not the kind of place you want to work in. The epoxy coating on the other hand is impervious to moisture, sturdy, easy to clean and add a significant level of safety.
How long does it last? It depends on how much traffic is done in the garage. According to the experts, an average epoxy garage floor can last from 15 years up to 20 years depending on how well the job was done.
Epoxy Garage Floors: Is It Worth It?
Epoxy garage floors have been a very popular choice among homeowners and professional garage owners. With its many benefits it’s easy to see why epoxy coatings are preferred over basic paint and concrete.
Epoxy is a chemical-resistant floor coating, perfect for garages that hold vehicles, tools, hazardous chemicals and vapors. It provides a high degree of slip resistance, which is preferred for work areas.
It can be applied to other surfaces besides concrete such as steel, stone and wood. An epoxy garage floor can be applied to most any surface that you want to protect from spills, chemicals, dirt and anything else that falls in the garage.
Epoxy garage floors are fairly simple to install yourself, but you should read up on the methods and best practices before going out and doing it yourself. The cost of epoxy coatings vary depending on where you get it done at home or by professionals near your area.
When it comes down between DIY epoxy garage floor installation or hiring a professional service to take care of this project for you there are pros and cons with each one. This article will help give insight on how the process works, what to expect out of DIY epoxy garage job.
Also Read: 11 Benefits of Epoxy Garage Floor
How To Apply Epoxy Garage Floor
You will need both materials and equipment to apply epoxy garage floor coating.
Used to clean the concrete floor before applying epoxy.
Epoxy floor coating kit
This is a two-component system that contains powdered epoxy resin and a hardener.
Used to tape off the area around the garage that you don’t want the epoxy to touch.
Plastic sheeting (optional)
Used to cover items or furniture close to the project area.
Used to sweep up dirt and dust.
For cleaning up the work area.
To scrub the concrete floor to remove any dirt, dust, oil and other debris.
Safety precaution to protect your hands from chemicals and when working with epoxy.
Used to protect your eyes from chemicals, dust and other debris.
3-inch paint brush
To apply the epoxy on the garage floor.
9-inch paint roller with 1/2-inch-nap roller cover
An effective method to apply epoxy on the garage floor.
Roller extension handle
A tool to hold the paint roller and reach further areas on the garage floor that you cannot step on after application.
Steps to Follow in Apply Epoxy To Garage Floor
These instructions are basic for epoxy garage floor coating application.
1. Clean and Degrease the Floor
Epoxy can cannot be applied to a dirty surface and will need a thorough cleaning first. Sweep all loose debris, dirt and dust with the broom and make sure to get any odd bumps and cracks in the floor. If necessary you can even use a scraper to scrape the loose debris. This step is important because during application or otherwise, air bubbles and unevenness can form under the epoxy and ruin the surface.
Next you will need a concrete degreaser to remove oil, grease and other chemicals that may be on the floor. Once clean, a degreaser can be applied and scrubbed into the concrete with a stiff brush. Let the chemical sit for a few moments then sweep up any residue left behind before it dries off entirely.
2. Etching your concrete
You can even go further by etching the concrete floor before application. This will help promote a smooth and finer cured epoxy on the garage floor. If you skip this step then there may be a higher chance of air bubbles forming underneath resulting in an less than ideal appearance for your new epoxy garage floor coating.
For etching concrete simply mix water with an etching solution in a few buckets. Pour the diluted mixture all over your garage floor and use a stiff brush to work it into the concrete. Make sure you keep this substance wet for 30 minutes then rinse off the formation left behind with clean water. This solution can be repeated 2 to 3 times if necessary but make sure not to over etch the chemical into the concrete.
3. Preparing the Room
Now that the floor is clean and degreased you can start preparing the room for application. You will want to cover items or furniture with plastic sheeting if they are near the project area.
Use the painter’s tape and mask off the sides and corners of the garage so that epoxy does run over the edges of the flooring.
4. Mixing the Epoxy
Now comes the interesting part of epoxy garage floor coating application. Mix the epoxy and hardener in a container or plastic liner according to the manufacturer’s instructions on how much will be needed for your specific garage floor. The chemicals should be well mixed, but be fast because it will soon begin to harden and set once the chemicals come into contact and you will only have a few hours before it begins to set.
Mixing should be done in a well-ventilated area with proper safety gear. Gloves, eye protection and a dust mask should be worn to prevent injury. When mixing, these chemicals should have a milky color to them and after it has been well mixed, the epoxy should become uniform in color.
5. Apply Epoxy
Once the chemical is mixed it will need to be applied onto your garage floor right away. Use the roller extension handle and paint brush to apply to your concrete floor evenly and thoroughly so there are no patches where bare concrete is exposed. While the epoxy is wet, you may also want throw some decorative color chips and flakes to make your garage floor stand out.
6. Dry the Garage Floor
Now to let the epoxy garage floor coating curing process take place. This will go to completion in about 12-24 hours so it is best not to allow anyone or anything step on your newly applied garage flooring before then. Wait 24 hours for the chemical reaction to finish and clear your room of any fumes or residual epoxy chemicals with a cleaner like ammonia or acetone before you can allow traffic back into the area and be safe from harm again.
Once dry, the very last thing to do is apply a clear coat to give the epoxy a nice glossy finish. This can be done with a roller to get the job done evenly across the garage floor and let dry for a couple of hours as per manufacturers instruction.
Also read: How To Clean Oil Off Garage Floor
Frequently Asked Questions:
What are the disadvantages of epoxy flooring?
Epoxy flooring can be expensive and is also time consuming but the end result is something that will last for a long time and be a great addition to your garage.
How long do epoxy garage floors last?
Epoxy garage floors will last over 15 years and be a great investment for your home.
Are epoxy garage floors slippery?
No they are mostly very safe and will not be slippery unless extremely wet after a spill.
Epoxy flooring is a great investment for any garage that will last long and save you money in the future. Make sure to read instructions and do your research before applying this coating to make sure it is done correctly and safely for anyone and everyone to use. We hope you enjoyed this article and found the information helpful when making your choice to epoxy your concrete flooring.