Why Coat Your Garage Floor? Benefits, Tips and Insight from the Pros.
So, you’ve finally got the potential to have the garage of your dreams. Storage galore. Space for all your toys and tools. Maybe even a permanent home for that vintage coupe you’ve had your eye on. It’s all coming together. And choosing a coated garage floor might just be the foundation to build it all upon.
A coated concrete floor is a generic term for concrete that has been covered in a liquid coating that hardens through chemical reaction to create a solid, continuous surface. The most popular and well-known type of concrete floor coating is epoxy. Unlike a polished concrete floor, a coated floor involves chemicals mixed on-site at your home that come together to form a self-leveling goo that is spread over your existing concrete to seal and protect it. Epoxy comes in just about every color, can have a surface texture from matte to mirror-like shiny, and can even have aggregate added to it for design purposes or to make it rough and non-slip. It is incredibly versatile, and very popular.
So, why would you want to coat your floor instead of polishing it or leaving it as raw concrete? With hundreds of coated floors under our belts, we at Custom Coatings have a few tips on why you might want to choose this method to keep your new garage or other concrete floored room looking fresh, clean and stylish.
Why coat your concrete floor?
You need chemical and stain resistance
While a polished concrete floor might feel natural and effortless, polished concrete will stain if exposed to oil, gas or other chemicals. So, if your car has a leaky oil pan, you get a bit of two-cycle fuel on the floor when winterizing your lawnmower, or you drop a can of 10w40 on your polished concrete floor, you’re going to be upset with yourself. Do that on a coated concrete floor and you’ll just need to get out some degreaser (or other cleaner) and mop it up.
This protection makes coated floors particularly useful for spaces in which liquid chemicals are around and actively in use, and why many industrial concrete floors are coated rather than polished. Think body shop, the space you do your crafting in, or any location where oil might be poured.
You want to change its texture
With a polished concrete floor, in terms of texture, what you start with is going to be pretty close to where you end up. If your floor is slightly bumpy or wavy, you’ll grind a bit of that off and come away with a shinier, more sealed surface, but by and large, whatever roughness your concrete was to begin with, it’s not going to change much.
Epoxy or coated floors however can be as smooth or as bumpy as your heart desires.
Go with straight-up epoxy for a super-smooth surface. Or your coatings contractor can add a broadcast or flake to your floor’s coating between the layers to add dimension, color variation, or even traction. Aggregates from tiny, almost glitter-like reflective bits to gritty BBs to shimmery quartz or marble flakes can be added to change your floor’s appearance and give it depth and grip. The benefits go beyond aesthetics, too: a broadcast floor is even more durable than epoxy alone, and if a chip or scrape happens, it’s much more difficult to pick out the damage on a floor that’s multi-dimensional than on a solid-color one. Broadcast floors of certain types are also excellently non-slip, adding safety to the mix too.
You want it to be a showstopper
Epoxy floors are the chameleons of the coating world. Concrete coatings come in every color of the rainbow, from deepest black to pure white – a color we’ve seen requested more often recently. (Seems it’s easier to find small, misplaced screws and nuts on a clean, white floor; essential for the hard-core hobbyist.) When coated, these colorful floors can be super shiny, making them a glass-like centerpiece of a bold space. Epoxy can also be impregnated with reflective powder that when mixed, settles into a cloud-like mirrored coating that’s simply stunning.
You need a durable, well-priced alternative to fancier flooring
Epoxy coated floors cost a bit more than polished concrete floors, but certainly not as much per square foot as materials like tile, stone or hardwood.
These coatings come in two and three-layer systems, which affects the price a bit. We typically recommend the more durable, longer-lasting three-layer coatings, which include a tough urethane top layer that resists chips and gives homeowners an extra layer of protection, and a layer that can be more economically replaced than the entire system over time. Two-layered coated floors cost about $4.00 to $4.50 a square foot. Three-layered systems cost somewhere between $6.00 and $7.00 a square foot, depending on if you’ve chosen any add-ins or aggregates.
Count on Loving Your Coating
One final note: you can walk into your DIY home improvement store and walk out with a rented concrete buffer and an epoxy coating system in a box, but we wouldn’t recommend it. Why? You might get a good result, but more likely you’ll get a headache and a garage that’s torn up for much longer than you’d bargained for.
Concrete coating is one of those tasks that’s just best left to the pros (and is inexpensive enough to justify the cost of hiring someone to do it for you). Our experienced painting and coating contractors have the professional equipment, the experience, and the process of mixing and agitating these particular chemicals together down cold on this type of work. (Ever seen a concrete floor with bubbles in it? Someone over-agitated the epoxy, whipping air bubbles into it.) You might save a few bucks, but we also might get you as a customer anyway: the majority of the residential concrete sealing and coating jobs we do are re-dos and repairs made to floors where homeowners decided to DIY it.
So, looking for a show-stopping, durable floor that’s high-gloss and high-style but low on hassle? Call the professionals at Custom Coatings to come and coat your concrete. You won’t regret it.
Ready to get started sprucing up your garage or basement floor? We’re here to help. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website to fill out a contact form. Need more helpful tips and information on what we can do for homeowners? Check out our residential series on our blog, including articles about polished concrete for garage floors and a comparison of floor coatings for your home.