Epoxy Garage Floor: What You Should Know
Turn that oily, dirty concrete slab in your garage into a shiny, clean showroom floor by adding an epoxy garage floor that will enhance the overall appearance of your garage. You and your car will feel as if you're driving into a showroom every time you open your garage door.
An epoxy garage floor will make your garage look as if it's brand new, but it also resists oil stains, beads of water and wipes clean like a kitchen counter when dirty. Your garage floor will always look sparkling clean and stay attractive for years.
Adding an epoxy garage floor is a fairly easy project, however the challenge is that not all concrete floors will hold a coating, and preparing concrete can be labor intensive and tedious. But the end result will be worth the hard work and time. It should take no more than a weekend.
Test Your Concrete and Analyze the Floor and Weather
Before you add an epoxy, check if your concrete floor is in good condition. Lift the corner of a plastic bag that's been taped to the garage floor for 24 hours. If it's dry underneath, you can proceed with an epoxy coating. If you see moisture under the plastic, don't coat the floor with epoxy; water pressure will break the bond and epoxy isn't suitable for the floor.
Also make sure the weather is good when you're adding the epoxy. The temperature of the concrete must be a minimum of 55 degrees F, with an air temperature between 60 and 90 degrees for optimum epoxy curing and drying.
If everything still looks good, make sure to prep the garage floor by removing oil spots, cleaning/degreasing the floor, etching it with a mild acid, and scrubbing, vacuuming and rinsing, as well as filling cracks before applying the first coat of your epoxy garage floor.
What Type of Epoxy to Use
The final critical decision is what type of epoxy to use. Epoxy garage floor paints are tough resins that come in two separate parts that you mix together just before you apply them. You can divide them roughly into three types: 100 percent solids, solvent based, and water based.
Once you have figured out which type of epoxy garage floor paint you will be using, make sure to also have the correct tools to get the job done right.
Materials usually needed for such a project include:
- epoxy paint (specifically formulated for garage floors);
- paint rollers with water-resistant and solvent-resistant covers;
- nylon paintbrushes;
- bleach or driveway cleaner;
- concrete etcher (if needed);
- concrete/mortar-repair compound or concrete patch;
- stiff-bristle brushes;
- pressure washer (optional);
- goggles or other eye protection;
- protective rubber gloves.
After your epoxy garage floor is done, and your car is sitting pretty on it, expect to do some routine maintenance to keep the floor looking its best. You'll likely need to do touch-up work on the heavy-traffic areas of the floor every year or so.