All About Garage Floor Coatings
Garage floor coating is a popular option for homeowners who want to get more out of their garage space. Some who choose floor coatings want their garages to look like a showroom for their cars. Others just like the durability of sealed concrete We’ve examined all of the different types of garage floor sealants, paints, and epoxies, to help you decide if a floor coating is right for your garage.
Why Choose a Garage Floor Coating?
Garage floor coatings can improve your garage in 3 ways:
- Floor coatings make your garage more attractive by adding color and patterns to the concrete and eliminating imperfections like cracks and stains.
- Floor coatings can make your garage more durable and resistant to tire marks, oil, and dirt.
- A sealant can extend the life of the garage floor by keeping dirt, debris, oil, and water from getting into the concrete.
Preparing For Application
There are several different types of floor coatings for concrete slabs in garages. Each type of coating has its pros and cons, but all of them share one thing in common: they all require extensive preparation before they are applied. You cannot apply a garage floor coating to concrete that contains moisture, dirt, oil, or chemicals. Make sure to thoroughly clean and dry your garage floor before attempting to apply one of these coatings. Most coatings will include specific directions on the packaging, so follow them closely.
In some cases, sweeping, brushing, and rinsing the garage floor will be good enough for preparation. But, for some coatings, the product may require heavier cleaning which may include pressure washing or cleaning with chemical solvents. Most coatings will also require that a sealant is put down first so that the concrete doesn’t absorb the coating.
Types of Garage Floor Coating
Epoxy Floor Coating
Epoxy garage floor coating is a popular choice among homeowners since it is both durable and cosmetically pleasing. Epoxy treatments are most easily identifiable by their speckled appearance created by paint chips added to the coating mixture. Most epoxy coatings feature four parts:
- Base coat
- Decorative paint flakes (optional)
- Antiskid texturing (optional)
- Top coat
When applying epoxy floor coating, make sure to follow the directions carefully. Most brands require 12-48 hours of dry time, then an additional 72 hours before you can park a car on top of the new floor.
Concrete Floor Paint
Concrete floor paint is typically the cheapest option for coating the floor of a garage. The paint (and the process of application) is very similar to standard house paint, but it tends to be more durable. There are two types of concrete floor paint available:
- Latex-based: Latex floor paint is the easiest type of application, and dries into a low shine, flat finish.
- Oil-based: Oil based floor paint is a bit more time consuming to apply, since it requires a primer coat. Oil based paint will dry with a high shine, glossy finish.
Floor paint is a good option if you are looking for a quick solution to protecting your floor. The paint comes in a wide variety of colors, but most homeowners choose neutral grays to avoid showing dirt and grime. Painted garage floors will need to be touched up every 2 or so years.
Concrete sealer is very similar to floor paint in price and application, but it is typically a clear coating rather than an opaque colored coating. Concrete sealer comes in a variety of sheens, ranging from clear satin to semi-gloss.
Concrete sealer can sometimes be used in combination with floor paint or epoxy paint as either a primer coat or as a high gloss finishing coat.
What Kind of Coating is Right For You?
There are several factors to consider when deciding which type of floor coating to use in your garage:
- Durability: Epoxy floor coating will be the most durable and will require the least amount of maintenance. Floor paint and cement sealant are less durable and should be touched up every two years.
- Price: Concrete floor paint will be the cheapest option at .20 cents or less per square foot. Concrete sealer will be the next cheapest option at .20 to .50 cents per square foot. Epoxy paint will be the most expensive option around $1 per square foot and requires multiple coats.
- Time: Epoxy paint will require the most time to apply since multiple steps and coats are required. Epoxy will last longer than other options and will require less maintenance and touch ups over time. Floor paint and concrete sealer can be applied more quickly, but will require touch ups within 1-2 years.