THE PROS AND CONS OF A PROFESSIONAL EPOXY GARAGE FLOOR MAKEOVER
Due to readily available low-quality garage floor kits, flake epoxy floors are a misunderstood garage floor installation. DIY big-box retail products do not offer the same benefits that high-quality epoxy garage floor coatings.
Downsides of DIY Garage Floor Epoxy Coating Kits:
LOW QUALITY, WATER-BASED EPOXY
For ease of installation, DIY epoxy garage floor coating kits use low-solids water-based epoxy floor paints. These products are not durable enough to withstand vehicle tire traffic. For this reason, these types of coatings will always fail in areas under which vehicles are parked.
EPOXY FLAKES ONLY PROVIDE AESTHETIC BENEFITS
Epoxy flooring is notoriously slippery when wet. In retail garage floor paint kits, only a tiny amount of flake is provided and is broadcast sparingly as an aesthetic detail. On properly installed garage flooring, we heavily apply epoxy flakes to increase slip resistance. In this application, the epoxy color chips are a slip-resistance additive used to ensure safe foot traffic, not simply an aesthetic detail. As garages increasingly become an additional living space, many of our customers choose a single color flake to provide a neutral-looking floor.
INSUFFICIENT CONCRETE SURFACE PREPARATION
Epoxy coatings require specific concrete preparation to ensure long service life. Coatings applied to improperly prepared concrete surfaces are prone to chipping and peeling and often have a low-quality appearance. Proper floor preparation for epoxy coatings requires industrial-grade equipment and specialized skills, so a professional installer should perform this task.
LOW RESISTANCE TO VEHICLE FLUIDS AND CHEMICALS
The purpose of an epoxy garage floor coating is to provide an aesthetically pleasing floor finish that can withstand tire traffic and vehicle fluids. However, home improvement store garage floor kits do not offer sufficient protection for these common sources of abuse. Fluids such as motor oil and brake fluid can degrade a retail epoxy coating, causing it to separate from the underlying concrete.
HIGH COST, LOW VALUE
All in, DIY materials for a two-car garage typically cost around $1.50 per square foot, or roughly $600. This installation will take at least two days and will last a few years if you’re lucky.
The cost of a luxury epoxy flooring installation will typically start around $5.75 a square foot and offer at least five times more service life. Not only is this a better value, but it will look and feel better throughout its life as well.
At the time of writing this article, the most popular Home Depot garage floor paint kit only has 3 out of 5 stars with over 1,000 reviews–not a great indicator of value!
Benefits of High-Quality Epoxy Garage Floor Systems
At Craftsman Concrete Floors, we only use the highest quality materials on our garage floor installations. While this is undoubtedly more expensive than other systems, our floors can provide decades of maintenance-free life, even in heavy use environments.
EXTREMELY HIGH DURABILITY
At Craftsman Concrete, we install a three-part flake epoxy floor coating system. Our flooring system includes a 100% solids epoxy base coat, epoxy flakes applied to complete rejection, and a non-yellowing polyurethane topcoat.
The epoxy basecoat provides extreme adhesion and chemical resistance, while the epoxy flake broadcast increases slip resistance. The high-solids polyurethane topcoat encapsulates the epoxy flakes to increase durability and provide an easily cleanable, gloss finish.
EXPERT SURFACE PREPARATION
While companies specializing exclusively in garage floor coatings generally use hand grinders to prepare concrete surfaces for epoxy coatings, we use large, planetary concrete grinders. Our grinders create a flatter, more consistent floor while better capturing any dust from the preparation process. Our process provides better-looking, longer-lasting garage floors with less clean-up.
UNLIMITED AESTHETIC OPTIONS
A flake to rejection system offers an unlimited number of custom colors and flake sizes for your project. While our customers generally choose muted colors in smaller-sized flakes, we also install team color, glow in the dark, and even UV reactive flake floors. Contact us for a custom-color consultation.
Need More Information About Epoxy Garage Floors?
Our epoxy garage floor page has articles, resources, and galleries to teach you about the products we install. As always, give us a call for a free consultation.