Your garage is more than just a place to park a car. Your garage can be a place for family activities, a place to store memories, a space for a number of DIY projects, a room to do laundry, and a place to store belongings such as bikes, kayaks, and other items. It is often the starting point for many a family adventure. Our guide to the best garage floor epoxy will be very helpful if you want the absolute toughest flooring available to residential and commercial clients.
Garages see the harshest conditions out of anywhere else in your house. Just think about it – hot tires on heavy vehicles, dropped tools, oil spills, chemical drips, equipment scuffs, and other possible accidents make it a hotspot for potential damage. The good news is that epoxy is one of the strongest flooring solutions around, so you’ll have no worries once you install an epoxy floor from a reputable garage floor epoxy company.
Who Uses Epoxy Products?
In short, epoxy used to be used only for industrial applications. It is an incredibly strong polyurethane resinous mixture that hardens once it is cured on a concrete surface. Once epoxy hardens, it becomes resistant to a number of industrial-strength solvents, hardeners, chemical cleaning solutions, and harsh liquids. That means that the oil spills on your garage floor will not seep into the concrete; rather, they will be easily mopped up if such a spill occurs.
You can find epoxy in industrial factories, power plants, machine shops, automotive factories, machinist shops, warehouses, and industrial garages. The bottom line is that it is durable. Very durable. It’s gained popularity in the commercial space as well: shops in the retail and food & beverage space have been using epoxy because it looks great and provides an anti-slip surface when the right additives are mixed into the finished product (such as epoxy flake). Many businesses now depend on this hard-wearing surface to get the job done. The minimal maintenance and repair costs of an epoxy floor will more than pay for itself when you compare it to a bare concrete floor.
What Is Epoxy?
Epoxy is a type of resin that is used for sealing, coating, insulating, and bonding materials together. When you mix the resin with a polyamine hardener, it will become tough, thick, and glossy through a process known as curing (essentially a drying process). Epoxy is a great choice when you need aesthetic appeal and functionality.
Here are just a few of the benefits of epoxy flooring for your garage:
> It looks much better than regular concrete
> It is non-porous, which means it will not absorb liquids
> Epoxy resin can be customized for color, gloss, color flakes, designs, and patterns
> It is a seamless surface, and can be seamless even where the floor meets the wall (essential for USDA-approved commercial kitchen flooring)
> It is very easy to clean. A thorough mop and vacuum every once in a while will be more than enough to keep your true epoxy floor working beautifully
> It offers resistance to a number of common concerns: scratches, abrasions, chemicals, oil spills, and more
> It is hygienic and is naturally antimicrobial. Bacteria has a hard time developing in a monolithic surface free of pores
If you know anything about flooring, it’s that grout lines in a garage eventually become impossible to clean thoroughly. The addition of a monolithic flooring solution to your garage will help solve your garage cleaning woes.
What’s the Best Epoxy Garage Floor Coating?
There are many different options you can choose from when you are thinking about a new epoxy floor. An epoxy floor is really a mixture of a two-part solution: a resinous formula and a sealant create a smooth, durable, and seamless surface. That means no absorption of fluids and no worries when it comes to cleaning. We’ll take a brief look at all of the options for your epoxy floor below:
Solid Epoxy Flooring
The solids content of an epoxy flooring mixture will determine how hard and durable it will be. A 100% solids content is obviously much harder to apply and requires a professional to do the job correctly. This type of epoxy is also known as a ‘true epoxy’. It has an incredibly resistance to chemical reactions, abrasion, and something known as “hot tire pickup”. Hot tire pickup is basically what happens to weaker floor formulas when hot tires are driven over it – i.e. the hot tires will “pickup” the resinous material and ruin the formula. The aesthetics and the actual coating will be ruined with something that is not a true epoxy.
As a warning: an epoxy paint kit that you can buy at Home Depot is much different than a commercially applied resinous epoxy formula. Epoxy paint will eventually chip, as it is much thinner than an epoxy mixture. Epoxy flooring is worth the money because it will not chip, scratch, or wear… and can last decades if taken care of properly. These are paint products that are not true epoxy. It does not have the protective properties of the real deal. Sure, it’ll add to your garage’s visual appeal and make it easier to clean, just do not expect it to last long. If you go this route, we recommend replacing it every year (which will begin to add up in the long run).
Two-Part Solvent-Based or Water-Based Epoxy
There is a high degree of difficulty when working with high-solids epoxy flooring. This called for the addition of a new type of epoxy to the market. The average pot life is 1 hour, which makes it great for DIY’ers. The trade-off to a two part mixture (meaning the epoxy is either mixed with water or solvent) is that for an easier application, you will be trading off some of the potential lifespan. It will not last as long as a true solids epoxy. For maximum longevity, we recommend an epoxy with a higher solids content.
To compare epoxy products, you need to look at two things: the coverage per gallon and the DFT (dry film thickness). True solids epoxy will have a DFT of 10+ mils. The two-part mixtures will have an average of 3 mils. You can see that the true epoxy is at least three times as strong as a two-part solvent-based or water-based epoxy.
For this reason, we recommend a professionally-installed, true epoxy flooring solution. It will save you more in the long run and your floor will last much, much longer.
Now, we’ll cover the different types of epoxy floors that you can choose from when you decide on a professional flooring contractor.
Epoxy Flake Flooring
An epoxy flake floor is just like a traditional epoxy floor, with the addition of epoxy floor flakes. The dried epoxy flakes will create a surface that is stubbled to a certain degree. This is great for floors that are prone to spills. It is a popular choice in commercial garages, as the floor is often slick with commercial automobile fluids and minor oil spills.
These decorative, multi-colored flakes not only make your floor look great, they’ll help to avoid repetitive patterns that are common in some floor patterns such as linoleum or tile floors. It will also look much better than a bare, dull, and grey concrete floor. No two epoxy flake floors are the same, since there is so much variance in designs. You can choose the colors, blends, and a coarser or finer approach based on the type of look you want.
Are you looking for a modern, minimalist look or a colorful, pop-culture attitude? Whatever tickles your fancy, epoxy flooring can deliver.
Metallic epoxy is just like a regular true epoxy floor coating, with the addition of a metallic pigment in the mixture. When this metallic pigment is mixed – or swirled – into the resin and hardener, it creates a design that has been described as a “lava flow” or a “pearlescent” design. The fantastic, multi-colored swirls will add a level of dimension to your floors that has to be seen to be believed.
You can choose from a number of colors, designs, patterns, and flakes. This makes every epoxy floor a truly unique and wonderful work of art.
Top Rated Epoxy Floor Coatings
Epoxy flooring is a resinous material that, once mixed with a hardener, provides an incredibly strong and seamless surface. It is a perfect solution for the hardest-wearing of environments such as residential garages, industrial factories, and large commercial buildings.
If you’re ready to have your floor work for you – and not against you – call the professionals at St. George Epoxy Flooring Pros. With decades of experience in the residential and commercial building industry, we know what it takes to deliver a true epoxy floor with no strings attached. If you are interested in finding out more about epoxy floors for your garage, visit our contact page today!