Article Navigation

Back To Main Page

Click Here for more articles

Garage Floors - Let's Look at your Options
by John K. Groom
Garage Floors have come a long way. During the last decade the advances in plastics, paints, epoxies, polymers and many other related products has led to the introduction of a whole new arena of products that may be used to coat, cover and enhance your garage floors.
In this article we will look at several categories in general and we will go into more depth so you can pick the application you are most interested in and investigate it further. Alternatively, if you like, look at all your options to make the most informed decision you can.
We will also try to give a general idea of the cost of these applications to see if they fit into your budget or if you would like to see, what other options are available for your garage floors. Prices quoted are for professional installations, so you can see how much you might save by doing it yourself.
We have been in the decorative concrete and remodeling business for two decades and have seen and used numerous products for the home and in commercial and industrial settings. The quality and durability of these products vary greatly and the old adage still applies, "You get what you pay for". While many products promise longevity, only a few actually deliver. We will assist you make the right decision and if something is out of your budget we'll take a look at alternative products and give you a reasonable expectation of their durability.
Garage floor coatings and paints: As a rule, I am not a big fan of most of these types of applications. Reason #1 is that they do not contain enough solids to stand up to vehicular traffic or hot tires. What this means is that when applied, let us say you have a 25% solids products, the amount of actual material left on the surface is 25% of what was applied. The rest evaporates or is eliminated through the chemical or moisture curing process. This is a fancy way of saying you really were not left with enough product on the garage floor for it to do its job. This category would also include most "concrete stains" for your garage floors. $1.50-2.50 sq. ft.
Another reason for failure of these products is there is usually not enough prep work done to the floor before application of the product. A good acid etching at a rate of about eight parts water to 1 part muriatic acid followed by a neutralization of eight parts water to 1 part clear ammonia is a good start. Where many product recommendations fall short in this procedure is they do not recommend a complete rinsing and vacuuming of the concrete. Testing for hydro static pressure is also necessary, to make sure there is no moisture coming up through the slab which could cause delamination.
Epoxy garage floors: Epoxies in general carry more solids than their paint counterparts. As discussed above this enables them to handle more vehicular traffic and to stand up to hot tire pick up. There are several types of epoxy also, we recommend 100% solids epoxy as we have found this is the only kind that truly lasts over a period of several years. $3-4.00 sq. ft.
Epoxy chip floor systems: These flooring systems are used when you want to add a little decorative touch to your floor. These flooring systems can be achieved in two ways. In both systems, the first coat of epoxy is applied and then you can apply a second coat and sprinkle in the chips or you can apply a second coat, sprinkle in the chips, and then apply a clear coat of either clear epoxy or urethane. $4-6.00 sq. ft.
Epoxy quartz systems: These systems are extremely durable and sometimes a little more than the average homeowner will want to tackle on a DIY basis. A very thick coat of 100% solids self-leveling epoxy is measured and rolled out and then colored quartz sand is broadcast into the epoxy until rejection, meaning it cannot take in any more. The system is left until the next day or whenever the epoxy is at a certain cure stage and the quartz is swept off and vacuumed and you have a beautiful flooring system. $6-9.00 sq. ft.
Modular Flooring systems: Theses floors are one of the great inventions we discussed earlier with the advances of science, manufacturers have been able to produce "plastic" tiles that snap together and lie directly on the floor. This eliminates the need for floor prep and allows just about anyone to install these systems in a few hours. While a little pricey they are also portable, so when you move to a new home you can take it with you. $2-4.00 sq. ft.
Garage floor mats: These mats can be used in conjunction with lower quality paints to sometimes prevent hot tire pick up. There are also some that have a "speed bump" if you will to allow you to know how far to pull into the garage and not bump the wall. What a great idea for those of you with a big vehicle or a smaller garage. N/A
Garage floor tiles: In some respects, these are about the same as the modular systems but not quite as pricey. They can be installed, (DIY) for about the same price, as you would pay someone to install an epoxy floor. The only drawback we have seen to these and the modular systems is; while they are designed to be washed off and usually have the proper clearance above the floor to do so, moisture could become trapped underneath. These could cause some mold problems. This is not necessarily the fault of the manufacturer but the "flatness" of your concrete and its inability to drain properly. Keep this is mind when looking into these systems. We will discuss possible ways to check for this problem and remedies for the problems if they arise. $1.50-3.00 sq. ft.


Links Epoxy Home Terms Contact Related Links
Site Map
Copyright All Rights Reserved