How Should a Garage Floor be Coated with Epoxy?
Epoxy coatings are durable layers that bring protection and beauty to the floors. Besides, it comprises two different elements: epoxy resin and polyamine hardener. Although the epoxy coating is used for various purposes, it is known for coating garage floors because it hides cracks. However, it works great on a concrete floor that is free of cracks. One needs certain equipment and materials to epoxy coat the garage floor, such as brooms and concrete degreasers.
Furthermore, an individual has to follow all the instructions, which start with washing the floor and end with the floor being dry. In contrast, epoxy garage floors are easy to clean and slip-resistant. Nevertheless, the drawbacks of epoxy garage floors are that hot tires can harm floors and that epoxy coatings cannot withstand UV light.
An individual must clean the floor thoroughly and fill in all the cracks with concrete patching products. Following this, ensure that patched areas are completely dried and cured before covering them in epoxy.
After the floors are repaired and dried, be sure to check once again since one might overlook some cracks. Next, verify that the concrete has been adequately etched and degreased.
- Eye protection
- 3-inch paint brush
- Paint roller
- Wet/dry shop vacuum
- Work gloves
- Garden hose
- Stiff brush
- Roller extension pole
- Sheets of plastic
- Tape for painting
- Epoxy floor coating kit
- Concrete degreasers
1. Prepare and Clean the Floor of the Garage
- With the help of painter's tape, attach plastic sheeting to the walls at the height you plan to do so to use the epoxy up the walls.
- Clean dust and waste from the floor using a broom, and with the help of a degreaser and a stiff brush, remove grease. Using a garden hose, wash the degreaser, and later, let the floor dry.
2. Etch the Floors of the Garage
- Mix the etching solution, which will be given in the epoxy coating kit, with water for fresh or bare concrete, as advised in the manufacturer's directions.
- While using chemicals, make sure that you are wearing safety glasses, protective gloves, and rubber boots, and wet the garage floor with the aid of a garden hose.
- Pour the solution on the garage floor and then scrub the region with a bristle broom in one direction and go back over it in the opposite direction.
- Keep etching the garage floor in little sections. After finishing the whole garage floor, rinse the floor using a garden hose. Give it time to dry completely; this could take over 4 hours.
3. Epoxy Paint Should be Mixed
- Opening the epoxy paint and catalyst cans is the first step. After this, before pouring the catalyst (or hardener) into the epoxy paint, start stirring the paint for a while until they are completely mixed.
- Put the lid on the can for the given amount of time, as provided by the manufacturer. However, the timing solely depends on temperature. Conversely, you may feel the can warm due to the reaction between the chemicals.
4. Put the Epoxy on
- After the epoxy mixture is ready, one has about two hours to use the epoxy, and in hot weather, you will have less time. When you work, ensure that the garage is sufficiently ventilated.
- One needs to pour the epoxy into the roller tray, which must be fitted with a liner. With the help of a 3-inch paint brush, slice into a line of epoxy around the perimeter of the region to be covered, and epoxy should be painted into corners and seams.
- With the help of a 12-inch nap roller with an extension handle. One must be aware of this when working in a 10-by-10-foot area with epoxy. Besides, compared to normal house paint, epoxy must feel a little thicker and stickier.
- After the epoxy is thicker and stickier, you must wet the roller again and go over the area perpendicularly, feather out errant lines again, and keep coating the floor area by area.
- In case one intends to apply two coats, first complete the whole floor and let the floor dry for 12–24 hours (it takes a large amount of time in humid or cold weather); later, recoat the floor in the same way.
5. Use the color flakes
- After one puts the topcoat of paint on each section, pause to add color flakes while the surface is still wet.
- Next, one needs to sprinkle the color flakes while spreading them on the surface and then gradually increase the distribution until and unless an individual has the appropriate coating. On the other hand, always remember to shake the color flakes thoroughly with your hands.
- After the whole garage floor is covered with epoxy paint, let the floor dry for 12–24 hours. However, it consumes a lot of time in cold or humid weather.
6. Preparation of the Top Coat
- Put the hardener (catalyst) in the clear topcoat and mix the blend for about 3 minutes until the mixture is completely mixed. Then, you should put the lid on not so tightly and keep the can away from the sun for about 30 minutes.
- A minute before an individual is prepared to put on the top coat, he or she is advised to mix the mixture for one more minute. If you intend on adding anti-skid granules, use them now.
7. Put the Top Coat on
- The mixture can only be worked with for around 2 hours. Cut in along edges, seams, and corners with the help of a clean paintbrush. After this, you need to commence far off the exit point with the help of a 3/8-inch nap roller. In 10 x 10-foot sections, you need to apply the clear coat, following the same procedure you used for the epoxy paint. In the beginning, the layer will seem white or milky, although it will dry out clearly.
- It requires around 24 hours to dry for foot traffic and about 72 hours before you park your car (more time is needed during cold or humid weather).
Advantages of Epoxy Garage Floors
Epoxy garage floors consist of many layers of durable concrete coverings, as they are intended to protect the floor and increase the performance of the surface.
Besides, there are several advantages to having epoxy garage floors. Brief information about the benefits is given below; let's look at it:
Durable and Resistant to Chemicals
- The primary reason customers choose epoxy flooring over other floorings is its durability. Besides, epoxy flooring provides chemical resistance to various oils, such as motor oil and gear oil. The best benefit of the flooring is that even if oil or any other fluids are present on its surface for a long time, one can clean it without leaving behind any stains.
- Epoxy coatings are extremely hard and thick, which offers resistance to abrasion from various garage tools, for instance, floor jacks and jack stands. Moreover, when a heavy object falls on the surface, epoxy flooring protects the surface from being damaged since epoxy coating has the attribute of high impact resistance.
- The epoxy floor's appearance solely depends on the color and style of the flakes. Additionally, there are several sizes of epoxy flakes, such as 1/32" to 1" or larger, as the size plays an integral role in the end product.
- Flakes that are small in size have an attractive appearance. They look modern with a mix of colors using several colors. On the other hand, large flakes have the best appearance when installed as single-color.
- In times past, people used 3/8" flakes for epoxy flooring with different colors, for example, white and black. Hence, the floors were extremely aesthetic in the past. On the other hand, individuals use smaller flakes and a more neutral color scheme, for instance, three shades of gray in modern times. The aesthetic transitions are suitable for a contemporary home's interior design as they appear less commercial.
- The epoxy coating protects the concrete, which is present below, thus making the cleaning easy. Remember that this installation was designed for important business installations like manufacturing.
- The main aim of the broadcast flake is to improve the slip resistance of the epoxy floor covering. When we apply epoxy flakes on rejects, it gives the surface an orange peel texture. Hence, the texture improves the slip resistance of flooring, particularly when wet.
Disadvantages of Epoxy Garage Floors
There are a few disadvantages to epoxy flooring, although the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
Hot Tire Pick-up
Hot tire pick-up can happen when an individual parks his or her car on epoxy flooring; due to this, the coating can become weak and soft.
Epoxy is not UV-resistant
Epoxy coatings cannot withstand UV rays. It turns amber when it is exposed to the sun. An individual needs to apply a polyurethane or polyaspartic topcoat, and he or she must install epoxy flakes to complete rejection to solve this issue.
The epoxy coating procedure is lengthy but interesting, and you can do it yourself. Before you start the procedure, remember to take the necessary precautions, like wearing a mask and wearing protective clothing. Overexposure to epoxy may lead to respiratory irritation and burns. Conversely, epoxy coating is a benefit for garage floors, as it protects and makes floors look attractive. However, the disadvantage is that it is not UV-resistant.