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How to Epoxy Coat a Garage Floor the Easy Way

Before and after of an epoxy floor coatings installation in Maryland.

There are plenty of articles, videos, and discussion threads on the Internet about how to epoxy coat a garage floor. Basically, it comes down to one of two paths: have a professional install commercial-grade flooring products, or install pre-packaged kits yourself (or via a painter/contractor).

Let’s compare and contrast the two approaches.

Surface Preparation of the Garage Floor

Sure, you can rent grinding equipment in most metro areas. These rental grinders, however, do not compare to the abilities of a higher cost, higher performance professional floor grinding machines (like STRONGHOLD FLOORS' HTC 500s). You will not have the dust collection capabilities and will not achieve the same concrete surface profile required for optimal chemical bonding.

You can always just acid etch the floor. But, ask yourself: Do I really want to mess with mixing acid mixtures, protecting myself from acid fumes, and cleaning up the etched mess made by the acids? Do I want to risk messing up my driveway or wall trim?

DIY vs. Professional concrete surface preparation.

Any good professional floor coatings applicator is going to have the proper equipment to create the correct concrete surface profile for the coatings system to be applied. They will also have very efficient dust collection equipment so that the space is not compromised with silica dust. Read Grinding vs. Shot Blasting for more information on how we prepare concrete surfaces.

Conclusion: Hiring a professional coatings company like STRONGHOLD FLOORS is a much easier way to ensure the concrete floor is properly prepared.

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Using the Proper Coatings Materials on Your Garage Floor

In the DIY approach, you must ensure you have enough materials – don’t try to stretch the materials beyond the manufacturer’s instructions. Given that many kits are already EXTREMELY thin, drawing them out beyond the specified thickness will greatly increase the likelihood of the epoxy paint kit peeling up under hot tires.

Also, you must ensure proper application thickness on all areas of the floors.   The epoxy paint kits are not going to automatically level out to the proper thickness – it’s on you, the applicator, to get it right.

Kits come in many variations. If you choose to go the DIY route, you need to ensure you have the proper materials for the use of your garage. Many kits do not include the top coat materials required to protect the look and longevity of the DIY floor – they may be extras or just not be sold by that kit provider. They may or may not come with the repair materials needed to fill in cracks and surface imperfections. If they don't, you'll be required to spend more money to get materials which may or may not properly address your floor’s surface imperfections.

A decorative chip, epoxy floor coating in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
A decorative chip, epoxy floor coating in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. DIY coatings will never look this good, nor will they last in the long run.

Professional floor coatings applicators will pick from a wide array of repair and coatings products to ensure the concrete imperfections are adequately addressed and the proper system is installed. They utilize application methods specifically designed to ensure proper wet film thickness to all areas of the floor. For more information on how we deal with cracking and spalling in concrete, read: "What About the Cracks (Part One)."

Conclusion: Hiring professionals like STRONGHOLD FLOORS makes it easy to know you have the right coatings materials (applied properly!) to your garage floor.

Take the Easy Path to the Best Garage Floor Coatings

Since we are a garage floor coatings company, this article may seem self-serving at first. But you only need to read the reviews of these DIY products and the reviews of professionals to realize how big the difference really is. It's simple: Coating your garage floor with epoxy is only an easy process if you hire professionals.

  • While you may save some money on the DIY epoxy paint kits, you will NEVER get the same performance, durability, and look when doing it yourself. There's countless stories online about the DIY kit failures – many occurring within days to weeks of the kit’s application.
  • With the DIY approach, you are using your valuable time to attempt some tricky, messy tasks with little to no experience. You might be better at it the second time, as most DIY epoxy paint kits need reapplied every 1-3 years to look even somewhat decent.
  • You can get a real warranty from a company like STRONGHOLD FLOORS, or you can fight with the kit manufacturer/seller about why the floor failed (and you can bet they will blame the coating’s failure on your application, not their materials).

In the end, you don’t really save anything going with epoxy paint kits. Instead, do it right the first time with coatings from professionals like STRONGHOLD FLOORS. Click the button below to request a free quote!

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