Your garage is one of the hardest working areas of your home. Oil leaks, chemical spills, cracks, vehicle traffic, road salt, moisture and dramatic changes in temperature and humidity can mar its surface. A garage floor needs a durable protective overlay. What type of coating is best? There are several options and all have their advantages and disadvantages.
- Polyaspartic floor coating is a high-performance, long-lasting coating made of professional-grade materials that are applied by trained professionals using specialized equipment. This coating actually penetrates the concrete making it impermeable to water, chemicals and other elements that can cause floor damage. Decorative coloured flakes are broadcast across the floor before the topcoat is applied obscuring dust and adding flair to your garage’s interior. However, this option is expensive.
- Epoxy coating is waterproof, durable, easy to apply, comes in many colours, is affordable, and simple to maintain. You can even blend colours to make it look like stone. If you don’t mind the intensive prepping required (grinding or scarifying) and can bear the smell when applying, an epoxy coating is a good choice. Two-part epoxies require that you mix a separate hardener/catalyst with a base material/resin and apply it quickly. Most epoxies need to dry for 24 hours before you can walk on them and some take a week to fully cure before you can park your car. However, they last for decades! Epoxy flooring is both attractive and practical.
- Rigid garage floor tiles are budget-friendly, easy to install, simple to replace, come in a variety of colours and styles and cover-up an unattractive surface while minimizing further damage. These tiles are made from plastic materials and usually require adhesive or mortar, though interlocking styles are available. However, the seams of the interlocking versions are not airtight allowing liquids to seep beneath and cause mould problems. Tiles offer a strong stable base, can withstand heavy weights and are resistant to chemicals, oils and grease. They come with a 10-year residential warranty.
- Concrete resurfacers are made from a mixture of sand, cement, polymer materials and additives and are applied with a trowel, brush or squeegee. This product can be enhanced with decorative pigments but its floor protection benefits are modest. The coating is actually fairly thin making this product good for floors with only light, superficial damage.
- Floor sealer is inexpensive, easy to apply and protects from stains and water damage. However, floor sealers do not have the same level of performance as polyaspartic and epoxy floor coatings. Floor sealers bond poorly with concrete, quickly wear away, and don’t hide blemishes and repair patches. Tints can be used to produce a better look.
- Concrete paint is simple to apply, easy to clean, affordable, available in many colours and helps prevent the diffusion of water. However, it won’t stick to an unprepared floor making some surface preparation necessary (acid etching, repairing cracks and other damage, using a heavy-duty degreaser). Concrete paint products do virtually nothing to protect a garage floor. They chip and flake quickly and are therefore only a short-term solution. Despite this, they’re one of the most popular options for homeowners looking to spruce up their garage.
- Concrete stain soaks into the concrete and is finished with a protective sealant. It is inexpensive, long-lasting (several years), moisture resilient and can be used to create interesting and unique patterns. However, it will not hide cracks and blemishes and requires intensive preparation (use of TSP and aggressive scrubbing). Concrete stains do little to protect your garage floor and so are used mostly for decorative purposes.
There are many options for coating your garage floor. Your budget, the condition of the floor, what use you make of your garage and the heat and humidity levels in your area are all factors to consider when choosing a flooring product. Once you’ve decided what coating works for you, contact a residential painting contractor who has experience with garage floor finishing. He will have the knowledge, experience and expertise to make finishing your garage floor a smooth process.
Not sure which garage floor coating is right for you? Need help coating your garage floor? Call the Calgary residential painting experts, Cal Res Coatings at (403) 835-4817. We’re a residential painting contractor that strives for quality, has an eye for detail and colour, and will not rest until your job is done to your satisfaction. Request a free quote today.