How To Select The Right Paint For Your Garage Epoxy Flooring

Are epoxy floors worth it?

The first thing you need to know is that garage floor epoxy coatings are not like regular floor paint and that all epoxies are not the same.

So exactly what are epoxy floor coatings? Epoxy floor coatings are usually two part solids based, solvent based or water based. Epoxy flooring consists of a Resin part and a Hardener part, much like epoxy glue. Regular garage floor paints are one part oil based or water based. High quality epoxy floor paints are neither one part, oil based nor water based and all epoxies are not the same and you need to know why so you don’t have to do your floor a second or third time.

 

Why Should You Epoxy Your Garage Floor?

When the compounds in epoxy are mixed together, a chemical reaction starts and unlike paint, epoxy doesn’t dry, but cures. But once it’s cured, the finish is unlike any other flooring you can get.

Besides its appealing surface, epoxy has a high tolerance to chemicals, stains, impacts, scratches, and chipping. If you drop something heavy on the floor you won’t see as much as a crack in the epoxy. And when that transmission fluid spills all over the garage, cleaning it off the hardened resin is much easier.

Another advantage of having an epoxy coating for your garage floor is the fact that it can cover any imperfections in the cement floor. Cracks and small holes, especially where the floor meets the wall are common in garages. And these can become homes to spiders and other insects. Epoxy covers all these holes and gives the floor a professional and clean finish.

If you live in a humid region or it snows a lot in your area, then moisture must be one of the problems you have to deal with in your garage. It leads to mildew and mold breakouts and attracts pests. Epoxy is highly resistant to moisture and you can clean road salts and icy brines off it with little effort.

 

Are epoxy garage floors worth the investment?

One of the most common questions that people ask when considering ways to improve their garage is whether an epoxy concrete floor coating is worth the investment. You may have seen a neighbor’s garage looking sleek and unusually clean, and they may have told you that epoxy is the secret to transforming their garage from an outdoor-area to sleek indoor-outdoor workspace.

But is it worth it? How much money will you save on garage maintenance by installing an epoxy floor coating? And how much more might your home sell for with an epoxy-reinforced garage floor? Today, we’re here to answer your questions on whether epoxy garage floors are really worth the investment.

No more cracking concrete maintenance

Concrete maintenance is the single biggest cost associated with your garage. Most garages have floors of poured concrete which looks smooth at first, but concrete doesn’t last forever. Concrete is actually porous and made of a gravel medium that eventually breaks apart. Concrete swells, cracks, and then contracts pulling the cracked edges away from each other.

You can pour time and money into filling these cracks and trying to refinish or repaint your garage floor surface, but a far more practical answer is to apply a thick epoxy coating. Epoxy both provides a sealant and is more flexible than concrete, helping you to fill cracks, hide, and prevent cracks instead of worrying about them.

Your garage becomes easier to climate-control

Concrete is fairly susceptible to the elements and during a cold winter, the cold seeps up through your garage’s concrete floor turning the whole area into a freezer. This is not just uncomfortable for the family, it’s bad for your car!

With an epoxy coat on your garage floor, your garage is far easier to climate-control. Because heat will not escape and cold can’t seep up as easily, any use of space heaters or even ACs in the summer will more effectively keep your garage at a comfortable temperature.

Stop worrying about insect invasions through your concrete cracks

When the ants go marching into the house at the turn of the seasons, your job is to track them back to wherever they’re coming from and spray so the invasions stop. You can get every doorway and the home perimeter and yard. But sometimes, insects come straight up from the ground through the cracks in your garage floor. An epoxy coating seals those cracks and prevents new ones from forming so you can finally stop worrying about insect invasions sneaking in through the garage concrete floor.

Epoxy floors are child-safe and easy to clean

For some families, the garage is a place for the whole family. Maybe it’s where you keep your kid’s bikes and sports gear, maybe you host indoor-outdoor barbecues for the whole neighborhood out of your garage. Maybe you’re teaching family members the secret arts of automotive care. Some families even keep the dog kennels in the garage.

Epoxy floors make your garage even more welcoming to the family because the floors are easy to clean perfectly. Automotive chemicals and oils won’t soak in because of the smooth plasticky surface and when you run a mop over that epoxy, everything comes up. You could let your toddler play on an epoxy garage floor when you’d never be comfortable letting them sit on the dirty gravel and motor oil covered concrete.

 

Pros of Epoxy Floors:

Appearance

Compared to an average garage floor, epoxy floors are bright and professional. Their appearance alone makes them enticing to use. The smooth and even surface is also very easy to sweep and maintain. Since not much sticks to this type of flooring, cleaning up a mess a very easy.

Affordability

Compared to other types of flooring, the per square foot cost of epoxy floors are tough to beat. Since it can be installed directly over concrete and other flooring types, the installation costs are quite a bit lower than the others. Pricing remains one of the biggest and the most immediate advantages you’ll find with epoxy flooring.

Resistance

Epoxy floors are highly resistant to just about everything – oil, gasoline, bleach, transmission fluid, cleansers and more. This is one the main reasons they’re frequently used in garages and within the automotive industry. Besides withstanding chemical spills/cleaners, epoxy floor coating is also heat and water-resistant. They are almost impervious to most chemical spills without any negative effects on the coating.

Another pro is that these floors also resistant to bacteria and germs, which makes them very easy to sanitize. This is why epoxy is an excellent choice for hospitals and clinics.

Durability

Distinctly valued for their durability, epoxy floors have a longer lifespan than many other floor types. Concrete is the only material that beats it, but it needs to be properly sealed and maintained. Besides, an epoxy floor coating required concrete beneath it anyway. Epoxy floor coating makes renders concrete exceptionally durable. They also offer benefits of anti-fatigue and can be easily rolled-out on the cement without mortar or glue. But if you wish to go that extra step to care for your floors, consider getting yourself epoxy resins for wood on woodimprove.

 

Cons of Epoxy Floors:

Temporary

One of the major disadvantages of using epoxy on your floors is that it’s a temporary flooring solution. Though durable and resistant, you will have to replace it eventually. Unlike some other flooring solutions, everyday wear and tear takes it toll on epoxy floors. To keep things looking good, you’ll have to put down a new coat of epoxy. This is inevitable especially if heavy things are dropped on the surface of the floor.

pros and cons of epoxy floors

Cracks can develop and chipping is a very common issue. Thought chips can start out as a small annoyance, eventually they can lead to a large area of the coat peeling off of the floor. Wheeled carts and toolbox wheels also get caught catch as they are rolled over the damaged spot. The floor has to be repaired when this happens.

Slippery

Epoxy floors are relatively skid resistant. This con is not universal. It’s specific only to oil-covered epoxy since that can be very slippery. But they can also become very slippery when wet, which creates a dangerous situation. They are not a good choice in areas that may be prone to spills or water on the floor. This is another drawback. However, you can mitigate this risk, at least to some degree, if you’re able to texturize your floor.

Preparation

Getting the existing floors ready for applying epoxy is tedious. A significant amount of effort goes into it to. The concrete floor has to be clean and free of any grease, oil, or solvents before the epoxy coating is applied. Cracks will need to be filled as well. Cleaning concrete floors requires multiple attempts. All this preparation work required is a drawback.

The good news is that with the advancements in the manufacture and application methods, homeowners will find it relatively easy to apply using hand tools in a minimum amount of time.

Application

Apart from the extensive preparation that goes into getting the concrete ready, applying the epoxy coating is a time-consuming process. It also takes several days to dry properly. Additionally, the first coat of epoxy must dry completely before adding the next coat.

Benefits Of Epoxy Flooring Paint

Top 5 Recommended Flooring Options for Garages

  1. Polished Concrete Flooring – The Best of All
    Polished concrete flooring is the best option for garages. Concrete flooring is generally hard and resilient. They can perform under high pressure without any wear and tear. Concrete floors are less priced and are easily available for the customers with low budgets. Polished concrete surfaces look graceful and elegant that compliments the entire semblance. Polished concrete finishes are generally stain resistant and easy to clean making it the best option for garage flooring.
  2. Epoxy Flooring – The Smart and Feasible Option
    Epoxy flooring is quite feasible and a smart choice for existing flooring. Epoxy is a tough and long lasting coating that can be used on any flooring. It can be used on concrete floors; stone floors any floor to increase its performance and durability of your garage floor. Epoxy flooring is available in many attractive colors and can be cleaned easily. Before trying to go for epoxy make sure your sub floors are resistant to moisture and no dampness is observed. Epoxy is not suitable for the floors that absorb moisture.
  3. Rubber Tile Flooring – Easy to Install or DIY Option
    Rubber tiles are available like flexible mat and tiles. This type of flooring can be easily installed and is a good option for DIYers. Rubber floor tiles are flexible and come in attractive interlocking patterns to provide extra strength and stability to the floors. These are mostly available in the dimensions of 12×12 inch or 24×24 inch. Rubber tile flooring requires less maintenance and can be cleaned easily. The most feasible option with reasonable price is rubber tiles. They can with stand any climatic conditions. These floors can be installed on any sub-floors especially concrete floors.
  4. Vinyl Flooring – For Low Traffic Garages
    Selecting vinyl flooring for garages is not at all a wrong choice. If your garage doesn’t face much traffic and heavy pressure then enhanced Urethane coated vinyl tile flooring is a best option. These tiles are flexible and comfortable. You can enhance a unique look to your garage by picking the multiple color shades and attractive vinyl composite tile flooring available in market. Vinyl flooring requires very less upkeep and cleaning is extremely easy and comfortable with the cleaning agents available at home.
  5. Stone Flooring – Excellent but Expensive Option
    Stone flooring like sandstone, graphite and flagstone are excellent choice for garages but are a bit expensive. Stone flooring are extremely cold in winters hence considering your budget and local climatic conditions is vital before going for stone flooring for your garage. Stone flooring is resilient and extremely hard and available in eye-catchy designs and pleasant colors.

 

 

How to Choose the Best Garage Flooring

The main things you want to look for are durability, loudness (more on this soon), look, cost, maintenance and installation. It’s up to you to determine the priority for each of these – maybe you have

It’s up to you to determine the priority for each of these – maybe you have really bad hearing and don’t care how loud your tiles are? Or, maybe cost isn’t a factor for you. Every garage is different and so is every person. Let’s dive a little deeper and discover what’s best for you.

Durability

I think this is a deal breaker for just about everyone. There’s nothing worse than getting your garage just the way you want it and having your floor fall apart right underneath your feet.In shocking new discovery: cars are heavy! So are tools. And oil, along with other automotive fluid, can be really tough on your floor. You need a beefy, brawny, durable floor that will stay sharp and intact through any amount of abuse.

Loudness

This one’s more of a personal preference. The truth is, traditional plastic garage tiles are a little noisy when you walk on them. There are some tips and tricks for reducing this (like underlayment – it’s the best!), but they will never sound as smooth and quiet as walking over a garage roll.  In fact, even something like epoxy has a certain degree of loudness. When you drop tools on a harder surface, they make a lot of noise. The softer the flooring material, the quieter your floor. Simple as that.

Look

let’s be honest; you want your garage to look sharp. Although functionality is important, you get garage flooring because you want your garage to look awesome. Most garage flooring options come in diamond, coin, smooth or vented patterns. And that’s just the beginning! If you choose tiles, you can do all sorts of fun patterns with your layout – mix and match colors, create that classic checkered look, or get real crazy with full on designs

Of course, epoxy is a whole other story, giving more of a speckled look. If you hire a pro, there’s a ton you can do with epoxy. However, it does require a bit more skill to get more than a basic wash, which, to be fair, still looks great!

 

Floor Epoxy

Epoxy floor coatings are sometimes regarded as a form of paint, since both are applied with paint rollers and paint brushes, but in reality the materials are quite different from a chemical and performance standpoint.

While paint hardens through the process of evaporation of its solvent, usually water or an oil-based liquid. True epoxy coatings, on the other hand, harden by means of a chemical reaction between a resin and hardener (catalyst). Genuine garage floor epoxy creates a durable, long-lasting, attractive coating for the garage. However, this product should not be confused with so-called “epoxy paint,” which is a one-part latex paint product with a small amount of epoxy added to it to improve the hardness of its finish. Epoxy paint is generally not as good as a true epoxy coating in overall performance.

 

Epoxy Paint

Popular epoxy floor paint is an extra-tough garage floor coating that resists marring, chemicals, oil and gasoline. It comes in many colors. Water-based epoxies are easy to apply and clean up with soap and water.

Applying an epoxy finish is a multi-step process. The floor must be clean and free of grease or oil, and holes and cracks should be patched. Next, the floor should be sealed with a primer made for concrete.

Epoxy garage floor coatings require premixing the base product with a hardener before applying. However, some manufacturer’s have simplified the product so it can be used right out of the can — mixing additives isn’t necessary.

 

Just like painting with latex

Applying epoxy—a type of paint containing a built-in hardener—requires that you patch, clean, and etch the floor if necessary. Then you blend your epoxy paint and hardener, and apply it to the garage floor—quickly, because the mix is viable for only two hours. Scatter color chips across the floor’s surface and seal with a clear coat to create a durable, long-lasting floor that resists oil stains and wipes clean easily.

Epoxy Flooring Is The Best Choice For Your Floor

Tips for Choosing the Right Epoxy Floor for Your Project

Think of Your Needs

If you’re putting a new epoxy flooring finish in your sleek office building, for example, choosing a big, bold color with a shiny metallic finish might not give off the impression you’re going for.

While you may love that muted overall tone with bright chips in it, depending on where you’re putting the floor and the feel of the rest of the space, it may end up being more distracting than attractive.

Before you ever think about a type of epoxy finish or a color, think first about its use and what you’re hoping for the space to feel like once the project’s complete.

A more professional space that will get a lot of clients and customers is going to need a very different epoxy floor than a personal-use garage or man cave. Spend a little time looking at examples of epoxy flooring in a similar space to yours to give you a guide on what to choose.

Choose Your Finish

At Armor Tough Coatings, we offer two types of epoxy floor finishes: Metallic and standard, or matte.

Metallic epoxy floors finish to a lava-like pattern that offers visual interest and can distract the eye from a mess, such as on a shop floor. This finish also is more shiny than a standard epoxy floor, adding extra brightness to the space.

Standard epoxy floors have a matte finish and, depending on the color chosen, aren’t going to be as good at hiding spills.

Both finishes can look gorgeous in almost any space, so choosing your finish really comes down to a matter of personal preference over any actual functional difference.

Choosing a Color

Color can make or break the look of your finished epoxy floor.

If you choose the wrong color for your room, like choosing the wrong carpeting, it could impact the look and feel of the space. However, the right epoxy floor in the right color can elevate a space to give it a sleek, modern feel.

Epoxy floors are available in a variety of colors and many installers can custom-mix colors to give you exactly the look you want.

When choosing the color of your floor, first decide whether you want something bright and bold or a more neutral color.

Different-colored chips also can be added into many epoxy floors, giving it a different look and amping up the style of a more neutral color.

Your epoxy flooring installer can help you select the right finish and color of epoxy floor for your space, finding a way to make it work well with the other fixtures in the room.

 

Epoxy Floor Coatings

100% Solid Epoxy Floor Coating

This is one of the most durable flooring systems you could ever install on your property. These types of coatings last over two decades with little to no maintenance because they are highly resistant to common and uncommon forms of damages. Even when subjected to high levels of foot traffic, heat, impact, chemical spills, or potent substances, 100% epoxy floors are there for you. So, if you’re installing epoxy floors in an area where exposure can be a big issue, consider installing this flooring. The initial installation price is more expensive than the counterparts we will discuss; however, the maintenance, durability, and longevity of your floors will repay that cost quickly.

Water-Based Epoxy Floor Coating

This is what you find when you go to a store and try to purchase and install a DIY kit. Professional installers have the access, training, and licensure to prepare, design, and install longer-lasting and much more durable floors. If you’re just using this type of coating in an area that does not need protection, if you don’t mind constant maintenance, or if you just need a primer, then this is the flooring for you. This will give your floors a glossy smooth finish but will not protect your floors from damages. These floors have a much lower overall cost but should be noted that the surfaces will not be around for very long so more money will have to be spent on repair, placement, or some other form of flooring.

Solvent-Based Epoxy Floor Coating

This is a great floor sealer and primer that contains about 30% to 70% epoxy-based solids. This is rarely used and is a topic that should always be discussed with a professional.

Epoxy floors are great systems that can take your flooring to a completely new level of design and functionality. Do your research and discuss options with credible professionals!

 

Contractor Wisely

RESEARCH

This does not mean search for a contractor in your area, this means to learn about the different epoxy coatings, soak up as much knowledge as you can about different products and what they do. Keep in mind while researching, you are wanting your epoxy installed in a specific place, make sure this epoxy would be long-lasting and well suited for that area, then see who is near you.

LICENSURE AND INSURANCE ARE IMPORTANT

The best time to talk about a license and insurance is the first talk. This is an important topic and should never be ignored. If you don’t want to ask in person or over the phone, the internet is a lovely place, and you can search to ensure that the company that is promising you the world has the knowledge to do so.

REPUTATIONS SPEAK LOUDLY

Guess what? You don’t have to take the business you’re interested in at their word! You can check online once again! If you’re satisfied with the aforementioned steps and questions, then make sure to check with either the consumer protection agency of your state or you can check on other search engines for customer reviews.

 

an Epoxy Contractor

Know your coating

Yes, do your research on specific epoxy coatings that are popular for properties like your own. This will help you narrow down if a company can even be of service to you. Knowing and learning the differences between coatings can protect you and your best interest, in the long run, so do your research. By the end of your research, if you’re still not convinced on the best coating for you, that is okay because you’ve gained a general understanding of epoxy itself and that will help you find the contractor that will suit you.

Check if they’re licensed and insured

Honestly, the best time to ask is on your first date. Don’t wait until you’re about to sign paperwork to ask if your contractor has a license or if the company is insured in case any damage comes to your belongings. If they don’t present this information immediately, move on. Don’t forget, this is not a boy scout system, ask for copies of everything, including verbal agreements, have everything written down, copied, and on paper.

Reputation, it’s not just a Taylor Swift album

If you’re satisfied with the contractors’ legal requirements, move on to the next important steps, their reputation! What do others, who have worked with your potential contractor in the past have to say about her/his work? How they leave a past client is a telling factor on how they will treat you. It is important to also be forming your own opinions, however, it is better to be safe than sorry. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau and look up reviews that have been written before or simply ask for references.

How long have they been running?

Not literally, but you get the point, how long has this contractor been working with or in the business? The best ones haven’t always been around for decades, which takes us back to the aforementioned statements, ask for references.

 

How to Choose the Best Epoxy Floor Coating

Two-Part Epoxy Floor Coating With 100 Percent Solids

Two-part epoxy floor coatings are described as “100 percent solids” because they do not contain any traditional solvents. Two-part epoxy coatings offer the very best surface for concrete, a thick, hard, and attractive finish. These epoxy kits are often used with decorative chips that are sprinkled over the surface while it is hardening to provide a texture and attractive finish. The surface will be fully hard fairly quickly, within about 24 hours of application.

True 100-percent-solids epoxy is also the most expensive option, and it is a bit more demanding to install when compared to other types of coatings. These products emit intense fumes when applied, requiring thorough ventilation. But installing 100 percent epoxy floor coating can be done by DIYers. You can buy a kit for a one-car garage for $250 to $300, which includes application tools. EpoxyMaster, which is available from Costco or online retailers, maybe the easiest product to find.

Two-Part Water-Based Epoxy Floor Coating

Quikrete, and Rust-Oleum (EpoxyShield) offer popular DIY two-part epoxy floor coatings that are readily available at many home improvement, paint, and hardware stores. These are hybrid products that have the components of genuine epoxy (resin plus hardener/activator), but they also include water as a solvent. You can identify these products because they consist of two parts that are mixed together, but are cleaned up (when wet) with soap and water. They may also be advertised as “low VOC” or “low odor,” a striking difference to true epoxies, where thorough ventilation is critical.

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