Your garage floor needs a makeover after several years. It is usually susceptible to oil or coolant leakage, heavy tool dropping, uninvited rodents, etc. If you have a concrete garage, it will expand in the summer and contract in the cold months. The continuous expansion and contraction over the years causes cracks in the garage floor.
Most car drivers want their garage floor to feel like a showroom when they drive inside their garage. It can be possible by applying epoxy coating on your garage floor.
The epoxy coating can withstand high temperatures, chemicals, oil, bleach, and many more without rusting for many years. The smooth and shining appearance of the epoxy coating can give a stylish look to the garage. They are even cost-effective and easy to maintain.
The article discusses step by step guide on how to epoxy garage floors. So, you can keep reading this article to know the procedure by which you can easily apply epoxy coating on garage floors and give them a stylish and professional look.
Tips For Epoxy Floor Coating
- The epoxy floor coating is usually sold in kits. It includes an etching solution, epoxy, and colored chips.
- The color of the epoxy coating is usually grey.
- It’s best to apply epoxy to the new concrete floor, which is appropriately level and has negligible cracks.
- You can apply epoxy coating on old concrete floors with minor cracks. But the crack needs to be repaired first by the concrete poaching compound. The patching compound needs to completely dry and cure before applying epoxy coating on the floor.
Safety Tips For Epoxy Floor Coating
You need to follow a few safety tips as you will apply epoxy coating on your garage floor. The tips are listed below.
- Always wear personal protective equipment while working on this project.
- Always keep the garage well-ventilated, especially while applying degreaser and epoxy coating.
- Avoid smoking while working.
- Switch off the heater supply or any other appliances while working on this project.
- Keep your children and pets away, especially while applying an epoxy coating.
How To Epoxy Garage Floor?
An epoxy garage floor can give your garage floor a smooth and shiny appearance. The best thing is that you don’t require professional help applying an epoxy coating.
So, do you want to apply epoxy coating on your garage floor and don’t know where to begin? If yes, then we are going to discuss step by step about how to epoxy garage floor.
1. Remove Everything From The Floor
Your first duty is to remove everything you have kept on the garage floor. An open space will allow you to analyze the floor thoroughly and apply the epoxy coating. You can find a temporary place to store all the garage items you have kept on the floor.
2. Determine Whether Your Floor Has Any Coating
The epoxy coating will not properly adhere to latex or polyurethane coatings. So you must find out whether your floor has any coating. If it has a coating, you must strip it off before applying epoxy coating.
3. Determine whether Your Floor Have A Moisture Issue
You need to find out whether your floor has moisture. Remember, if the floor has a moisture problem, the epoxy coating will not properly adhere to it.
Put a square piece of Visqueen or plastic on the garage floor. You need to secure all its edges with the help of duct tape. Allow the plastic or Visqueen to sit on the floor for almost 24 hours.
Remove the plastic after 24 hours. If the plastic is dry, you will follow the next step for applying epoxy resin. But if the plastic has water droplets, your garage floor has a moisture issue. You need to fix the moisture issue before moving to the next step.
4. Remove Dust And Dirt
Take a broomstick and sweep all the dust and dirt from the floor. The garage floor needs to be thoroughly cleaned to apply the epoxy coating.
You can stick duct tape strips on the garage floor after cleaning. If the duct tape comes off with dust after peeling, you must clean the garage floor again.
5. Look For Any Oil And Grease Stains
The lubricants from your automobile can sometimes spill on your garage floor. It usually leaves a residue on the floor, which you must clean before applying an epoxy coating. You can use a degreaser to remove the stains associated with lubricant on your garage floor. Try always to prevent asphyxiation while working on this step.
Next, you must look for grease or oil stains on your garage floor. You can easily remove these stains by using a concrete degreaser. You can easily purchase this from any hardware store.
You must pour some concrete degreaser on the affected site and scrub it. Allow the degreaser to sit for a few minutes, then start putting cat litter over it.
You can then grind the cat litter with the help of your shoe. Allow the cat litter to stay on the affected site for almost 24 hours and then sweep it.
6. Look For Rubber Residues
Your next duty is to look for any rubber residues, which can usually occur because of tire scuffing. Ordinary solvents cannot remove these residues. So, you need to remove these rubber residues by sanding.
7. Test Random Areas
You need to test random areas of your garage floor. Mix one part of muriatic acid with four parts of water properly, and then apply the solution in random areas of your garage floor. You need to pay close attention to the area, which will look different in color.
Remember, the solution will fizz slightly yellow if there will not be any coating on the floor.
But, If the solution will not fizz yellow on any spot, it has a coating. You need to remove the coating from the floor before applying epoxy coating. The process of coating removal depends on the size and area.
For example, if a small area has a coating, then you can use sandpaper or an aggressive sander to remove it.
But if any large area has a coating, you must use a floor grinder to remove the coating.
Repeat the muriatic acid and water solution test on random areas to determine whether the floor still has a coating.
8. Remove Dust And Dirt
You need to remove all the dust, dirt, and debris from the floor before proceeding to the next step.
9. Etch The Entire Floor
Etching is a vital process that you must follow before applying epoxy coating on the garage floor. The etching process will open the concrete pores so that epoxy coating can be applied on the floor effectively.
The process involves the application of muriatic or phosphoric acid solution on the floor and then using a hose to rinse the entire area.
So, follow the below steps for the etching process.
- Take your garden hose and water the entire garage floor. The floor must be moist while carrying out the etching process.
- Now you need to mix muriatic acid and water in a ratio of 1:4 and gently pour it on the floor. It must cover at least 70-100 square feet of your garage at a time. Now scrub the applied area with a soft bristle brush or a broomstick. Once you have done the scrubbing, you can move to the other garage floor area. You need to repeat the process to cover the entire garage floor.
- Allow the acid and water solution to sit for almost 20 minutes.
- Take your garden hose again, and then rinse the entire garage floor to wash the acid and water solution.
- Allow the garage floor to dry completely. Depending on the weather conditions, it may take almost 24-48 hours. Applying the epoxy coating on a moist floor can weaken the bond between the epoxy coating and the concrete surface.
- You must test the floor’s dryness with either vinyl board or plastic. You can purchase a vinyl floor tile from any home center nearby and leave the tile on the garage floor overnight. You can then check the vinyl floor tile the next morning. If there is any condensed water on the tile, then that indicates that the floor is still moist and you need to dry it further.
- You can even lay plastic on the garage floor. Secure its edges with the tip and leave for almost 24 hours. After 24 hours, check the plastic. If there are any water droplets, then it indicates that the floor is still moist.
- Foot traffic must be limited as much as possible during the drying time to prevent dust and dirt accumulation on the floor.
10. Select The Epoxy Coating
The constituents of the epoxy coating vary depending on the manufacturer. But most of the epoxy coating consists of three ingredients. We are listing them below.
It is usually a clear, viscous fluid available in either quart or 5-gallon bottle.
It is part B of the package, whose primary duty is to harden the catalyst. You need to read the manufacturer’s recommendations carefully to mix in proper proportions.
Epoxy is a colorless material. So a pigment can be used to color the epoxy coating.
Applying only epoxy coating can slip your foot. So you need to add some texturing materials like PVC plastic granules.
11. Mix epoxy
Epoxy does not cover much surface area like coatings or paints. You will require one gallon of combined material to cover almost 200 square feet in your garage. But you need to read the manufacturer’s recommendations thoroughly before mixing. Try to wear a respirator, safety gloves, and glass before mixing.
Now you have to mix the epoxy. Take a plastic container or bucket wide enough to fit the paint roller.
Follow the steps below for mixing epoxy in the plastic container.
- Add resin twice the amount you pour the epoxy resin into the plastic container and stir it.
- Add the catalyst to the plastic container.
- Mix everything thoroughly by using a paint-mixing paddle
- But don’t mix at high speed as it creates air bubbles.
- Apply immediately on the floor because the epoxy coating will harden up after two hours.
- Always apply epoxy coating on the garage floor in small batches.
- Never add colored chips or PVC plastic granules to the mixture.
12. Start Applying Epoxy Coating
Now you have thoroughly mixed the epoxy resin and catalyst. Apply a paintbrush first on the edges of the garage floor. You can then paint the rest of the floor by using an extension paint roller. It will make your easy.
You can finish a two-car garage floor within 30 minutes. Listen to the sound of the roller from time to time. If the roller is making a loud sound, the epoxy coating application on the garage floor is thin.
But if the roller is quiet during application, the epoxy coating on the garage floor is thicker.
13. Start Applying Chips Or Plastic Granules
After applying epoxy coating on one square meter of your garage floor, you can sprinkle chips or plastic granules. Stop every time after you paint one square meter of your garage floor and then start sprinkling chips.
You can continue to paint another 1m2 of your garage floor and then sprinkle chips or PVC plastic granules.
You have to repeat this process until you paint your entire garage floor.
14. Allow The floor To Dry
The garage floor will take almost 24-48 hours to dry thoroughly, depending on the temperature or humidity of your application. Avoid foot traffic as much as possible within these hours.
You can park your car after 6-7 days. The epoxy coating usually takes one month time to cure fully. Your garage floor will now look completely new and stylish.
How Much To Epoxy Garage Floor?
The epoxy garage floor will cost you approximately $1447 to $3000, averaging $2225.The labor cost you need to spend is usually between $1 to $7 per square foot, and the material and equipment cost will be between $2 to $5 per square foot.
So, in short, the epoxy coating will cost between $3 to $12 per square footage.
Sloid epoxy requires less maintenance and is durable in comparison to water-based epoxy.
So, if you are a homeowner with a large garage floor and plan to use solid-based epoxy, it will cost you more.
But if you consider this a DIY project, it will cost almost $2 to &5 per square footage of your garage floor.
Factors Involved In Calculating The Cost of Epoxy Garage Floor
Below are a few factors involved in calculating the cost of the epoxy garage floor.
1. Size Of Your Garage
If you have a much larger garage, then you will require much epoxy coating to paint, which will increase the price.
A 250 square feet garage floor will cost between $800 to $3000 for epoxy coating.
2. Labor Cost
The labor cost will average between $2 to $8 per square foot. The labor cost is quite high because it will take almost one day to prepare the concrete, another day to apply an epoxy coating, and the next day to seal.
3. Labor Equipment
Some professionals require a trowel or sprayer while applying the epoxy coating, while others require a roller. So you need to talk to your professional before applying. The cost will vary depending on the equipment used.
If you plan to use solid epoxy, it costs $2 per square foot. But if you wish to use water-based epoxy, it will cost you $0.5 to $1.30 per square footage.
5. Floor Preparation
You need to do a slight floor preparation before applying an epoxy coating. You need to etch your concrete floor or apply an acid solution before applying the epoxy surface. Buying muriatic acid will cost you $50 for three gallons.
6. Additional Cost.
- You need to store your tools and other materials which you usually keep on your garage floor. If you rent some space, then it will cost $20 to $400 per month.
- If your concrete is too old and has cracks, you must repair it before applying the epoxy coating. The patching cost varies between $100 to $200. If the cracks are because of a foundation problem, the repair can cost more, i.e., from $10,000 to $30,000.
Do you want to update your dull concrete floors? If yes, then the epoxy coating on the garage floor is one of the best options. Epoxy flooring is durable, chemical resistant, and can transform your dull garage floor into a shining, professional one.
If you opt to hire a professional contractor for this project, it may cost $12 per square foot of your garage.
But if you have sufficient time and patience, you can easily apply epoxy coating on the garage floor. It will cost only $2 to $5 per square foot.
We have discussed the above step by step regarding how to epoxy garage floor, and you can follow them to complete the project.
Thank you for reading this article.
FAQ : How To Epoxy Garage Floor
Q1. Is epoxy a good idea for the garage floor?
Ans ; Yes, epoxy coating is one of the best ideas for your garage floor. It is durable and chemical resistant. It can be cleaned easily if any lubricant or oil spills on the epoxy coating and sit for a long time. It will not produce any stains on the epoxy coating.
Q2. How long does the epoxy floor last?
Ans ; The longevity of an epoxy floor depends on various factors, like how you use it and the thickness of the epoxy coating used on the floor. But it usually lasts 10-20 years, much longer than a painted concrete floor.
Q3. Can you apply it on an epoxy floor?
Ans : Yes, you can walk on an epoxy floor. But you can walk after 24 -48 hours of application of the epoxy coating on the floor.