4 Options For Garage Floor Coatings

There are 4 garage floor coverings that just about anyone can apply in 1-3 days. Each solves various concrete flooring problems. Pricing ranges from $.50 to $3.50 per square foot with unlimited decorative results from basic gray to custom checkerboard patterns.

1. Interlocking garage floor tiles – Classic auto auctions like Russo and Steele seen on TV have popularized modular interlocking garage floor tiles. RaceDeck is the clear leader and pioneer of this product. A few advantages are

Ease of install – most 2 car garages are 450-500 square feet. Install is a few hours

Custom – 8-10 colors that can be mixed and matched

Durable – probably the most durable garage floor solution, long term warranties

Pricing – pricing about $3.50 per square foot, $1,600.00 for 450 square foot garage

2. Acid stained concrete – Acid stains come in various browns and greens. Garage floors need to be clean and free of any blemishes. Blemishes like paint, oil, drywall compound will show. Concrete needs to be porous enough to accept stain. Stains react with lime in concrete and create unique marblized results. If the floor is tight and power troweled the floor will need an acid etching to open up the pores of the concrete.

Install – stain can be applied in a few hours and then rinsed with water to clean off residue and neutralize reaction of stain. Critical to let floor dry overnight. Urethanes can be applied topically to seal and protect the floor.

Pricing – Stains, urethane, tools cost about 50 – $1.00 cents per square foot or approximately $325.00

3. Concrete overlays – when the concrete floor has blemishes, which is most of the time, overlays are a great simple solution. Unlimited colors, overlays can be stained and dyed and sealed with urethanes which will resist hot tires and chemicals.

Install – basic applications are 2 days depending on dry time. Overlays are 2 coat systems after priming the floor 1-2 times. If floor is stained and dyed add a day to project. Seal with urethane top coat. Not all urethanes work so make sure you purchase product that’s part of a proven system. If floor is clean no special prep is required

Custom – depending on your creativity floors can be basic colors or highly decorative. Durable – there are a few overlays that bond like iron to concrete surfaces and cure like rock

Pricing – Including all tools and product about $1.50 – $2.00 per square foot or $900.00 for a 2 car 450 square foot garage

4. Epoxy garage floors coatings – The best systems have a few coats of primer with urethane top coat. Typically about 6-8 colors. Epoxy is an industrial finish and has been used in warehouses for years. The basic epoxy paint in home improvement stores typically is not strong enough to endure the hot tires caused by road friction. It is critical to profile the concrete floor to give some “tooth” for the epoxy to bite onto. There are a few acid etching solutions for profiling the floor. One of the best is a gelled acid which is rolled onto the concrete and removed after 15 minutes. Provides results similar to shotblasting.

Epoxy systems – for garage floors a water or solvent based primer coat topped with a urethane. the strongest system is a primer coat with a second coat of 100% solids epoxy topped with a urethane. With this system colored quartz or color chips can be applied to the wet epoxy when on the floor. A second epoxy can be applied the next day with another layer of quartz or chips followed by a urethane top coat.

Install – 1 day for surface prep then 2 more days for basic urethane system. For advanced install with 100% solids epoxy allow at least an additional day for 1 coat or 2 days for 2 coats.

Custom – can be basic gray or for those who are experienced unlimited custom decorative results can be achieved. Metallic finishes are available but require professional installation

Durable – very durable. Resists hot tires and chemicals. Surface prep is critical for bonding to concrete

Pricing – Basic Urethane systems are approximately 75 cents per square foot or $350.00 for 450 square foot 2 car garage. 100% solids system about $1.00 per square foot or $450.00 for 450 square foot 2 car garage. High build quartz and chip systems run about $2.00 per square foot or $900.00 for a 450 square foot 2 car garage.

Mary J. Gibson

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