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Garage Floor Coatings Criteria Part IV: Selecting the Coating System

Selecting the proper coating system for your project

We are now in the home stretch. So far, we have covered:

  1. Evaluating the Current Condition of the Garage Floor

  2. Defining the Performance Requirements for a New Garage Floor Coating

  3. Choosing the Desired Look of the New Garage Coatings


We have only one part to go.   Let’s get to it.

Evaluating floor performance criteria

Selecting the Proper Garage Floor Coating System

This step is often the most difficult, as there are so many systems to evaluate and compare. The systems differ on look, performance and price. Some systems are sold as Do It Yourself. Others are installed by professionals (be careful, as many non-coatings companies or independent tradespersons attempt to subsidize themselves by dabbling in coatings applications).

While there is no one right answer for selecting a garage floor coating, the following are four popular choices:

Floor Coating System

System characteristics

Decorative Chip/Flake

  • Hides dirt and debris
  • Emulates the look of real terrazzo
  • Available in hundreds of combinations
  • Available in many sizes of chips/flakes
  • Easy system to maintain
  • Hides normal wear & tear longer than most systems


Solid Color

  • Great for “working” garages where small items may be dropped
  • Available in many colors
  • Typically the least costly system
  • Shows dirt and debris


Metallic Pigmented

  • Creates a one-of-a-kind floor
  • Available in hundreds of color combinations
  • Typically requires several days for installation


Clear, Thin-Mil “Nude”

  • Emulates the look of Polished Concrete
  • Give a natural look but is truly protected; far superior to sealers
  • Shows dirt and debris


Why is a decorative quartz coating not listed?

Decorative quartz coatings have long been the workhorse of commercial, decorative coatings, but they are losing ground to decorative chip and metallic epoxy systems.  For the garage, a quartz floor has too many issues:

  • If only done in a single broadcast of the decorative quartz, the system will be prone to:

o   Inconsistency in finished look

o   Crack repairs showing through

  • Whether a single or double broadcast, quartz coatings will:

o   Show dirt and debris quicker than a decorative  chip coating

o   Cost far more than a decorative chip coating

o   Show wear and tear faster than a decorative chip coating

Final items to consider when choosing your garage floor coating system

  • Is the floor coating system widely used or installed in residential garages?
  • Can the floor coating system be seen at customer sites? Are the floor coating shown in the model homes of reputable builders?
  • Has the system been applied in residential garages long enough to evaluate its expected lifespan?
  • Does the coatings application company have a good reputation in the community and on the web?
  • Do local residential and/or commercial builders use the installation company?
  • Does the coating system carry a warranty that actually has real meaning?
  • Is the warranty provided by the installation company, not just the coatings manufacturer?

Before and after Stronhold Floor garage project

Wrapping It All Up

Purchasing a garage floor coating system is not simple.   We hope this 4 part series has helped you in the decision making process.

A garage floor coating should not be overly expensive. If it seems costly, compare it with other professionals.

A garage floor coating is not cheap either. If it seems cheap (like the kits sold at the big box stores), it won’t last. If it’s a kit sold in a paint store, it’s probably not real, high solids epoxy.  

For most homeowners, a DIY epoxy kit is not going to be a good answer.   Nor is just applying sealers or ignoring the unprotected surface.

There a many good, professional garage floor coatings companies in the mid-Atlantic region.    If you are in our service area, we hope you will give us a call. We’re here to help.

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Want to learn more?  If you are in our service area, contact us to get a free quote.   We have assisted thousands of homeowners in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C.   Our team will be happy to assist you in proper system selection.