Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

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four7s
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Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by four7s »

We will be moving into a new home this summer and will want to cover the concrete garage
floor with either an epoxy finish or a painted finish. Has anyone considered the same alternatives and which did you choose?
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FrugalInvestor
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by FrugalInvestor »

Epoxy is much more durable and long lasting than paint. You can do the epoxy yourself but you need to do your research first to make sure you get quality materials and understand how to apply it. Hiring a professional is probably your best bet.
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by RickBoglehead »

Painting a garage floor is a waste of effort.
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Cheez-It Guy
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

Painting seems like it would be a mistake.
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by Normchad »

RickBoglehead wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 12:49 pm Painting a garage floor is a waste of effort.
Exactly. No comparison. Don’t paint your garage floor. It will suck, and not only that, but you won’t be able to change your mind later.

Epoxy on the other hand is awesome. I highly recommend it.
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Godot
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by Godot »

Normchad wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 1:04 pm
RickBoglehead wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 12:49 pm Painting a garage floor is a waste of effort.
Exactly. No comparison. Don’t paint your garage floor. It will suck, and not only that, but you won’t be able to change your mind later.

Epoxy on the other hand is awesome. I highly recommend it.
Agreed, and also not very hard to do. Tons of YouTube videos describing the steps. I used Rust-Oleum Epoxy Shield.
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BIGal
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by BIGal »

Epoxy, hands down is the best. I have seen the DIY outcomes and do NOT recommend that method. Do some research and if possible, go see one that the professional has done. We did ours about 5 years ago and it still looks as good as the day it was finished.
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by quadog »

Epoxy installed by a professional is the way to go. I’ve seen DIY results that were OK but I guess it’s a hassle.
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by friar1610 »

BIGal wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 1:42 pm Epoxy, hands down is the best. I have seen the DIY outcomes and do NOT recommend that method. Do some research and if possible, go see one that the professional has done. We did ours about 5 years ago and it still looks as good as the day it was finished.
I did mine last fall with the help of a neighbor. He is really into epoxy as he is retired from a company that manufactures and applies epoxy finishes for stores, factories, clean rooms, hospitals, etc. On his recommendation I used RustOleum. I’m happy with the result although the floor does not look as good as his (which some of the pros from his company did). That was partly because of my less than stellar crack patching before doing the job and partly because of our application. Once you open the packages of epoxy you have to work fast or the epoxy will begin to harden before it’s applied. Also, it was more expensive than I would have expected - something like $300 in materials for a 2-car garage. Don’t even think about just painting the floor - it won’t last.
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by JS-Elcano »

four7s wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 12:31 pm We will be moving into a new home this summer and will want to cover the concrete garage
floor with either an epoxy finish or a painted finish. Has anyone considered the same alternatives and which did you choose?
When I moved into my (then 15-year old) house the garage floor was painted and was already starting to peel in high traffic areas and under the car's wheels. It was a pain to keep it even remotely clean. Two years ago I bit the bullet and had a company install epoxy flooring. It's amazing. Initially I was a little worried because the little paint chips they spread on the epoxy were sticking out a bit and it was not as smooth as I had expected. But that was just a question of time until it wore off. Super easy to clean (I just hose the inside of the garage down and then use a scrubber on some dirt spots; everything comes off easily and looks like new). The company that installed it also said the would come out and repair it if any area deteriorates (no sign of that).

I would recommend to have the epoxy go up a few inches on the walls. It looks like a better finish and easier to keep clean. My neighbors did not do that and they regret it.
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by LadyGeek »

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (garage floor).
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Rex66
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by Rex66 »

I’ve done epoxy

It looks reasonable

Probably would have an expert do it if I needed to do it again to a new house

Paint was a crazy idea
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by White Coat Investor »

four7s wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 12:31 pm We will be moving into a new home this summer and will want to cover the concrete garage
floor with either an epoxy finish or a painted finish. Has anyone considered the same alternatives and which did you choose?
Loving my epoxy floors in my garage. Wish I could have the same on my driveway.
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VanGogh
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by VanGogh »

I recommend epoxy applied by a professional. I love our garage floor. It took two days of work, and the cars stayed outside for five days.
Wricha
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by Wricha »

I went back and forth on this and ended up with:
https://www.swisstrax.com/

Installed myself a 3 1/2 car garage took about six hours pretty straight forward. I have no connection to these folks. In my opinion, it looks much nicer.
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by sidartvader »

Normchad wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 1:04 pm
RickBoglehead wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 12:49 pm Painting a garage floor is a waste of effort.
Exactly. No comparison. Don’t paint your garage floor. It will suck, and not only that, but you won’t be able to change your mind later.

Epoxy on the other hand is awesome. I highly recommend it.
+1
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by Carter3 »

BIGal wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 1:42 pm Epoxy, hands down is the best. I have seen the DIY outcomes and do NOT recommend that method. Do some research and if possible, go see one that the professional has done. We did ours about 5 years ago and it still looks as good as the day it was finished.
^This. Professional commercial grade epoxy is the only way to go
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by livelovelaugh00 »

RickBoglehead wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 12:49 pm Painting a garage floor is a waste of effort.
+100
Well said in plain English.
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by runner540 »

Following.
What is the right trade or person to look at driveway/drainage/garage floor issues, and do a fix?
killjoy2012
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by killjoy2012 »

Epoxy is the way to go on a new, or relatively new, garage floor.

If you're thinking of doing this on an older floor/home, you need to really assess the the cracks, crevices, and other imperfections that will need to be corrected/addressed before you can epoxy it. If you're talking a 50+ year old garage floor, I'd probably favor tiling it instead. Home Depot and Costco sell 'cheap' tiles. If $ isn't a concern, look at RaceDeck.
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snackdog
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by snackdog »

We just had a commercial flooring company (think auto repair garage flooring) epoxy our garage. It was five dollars per square foot. It looks amazing compared to the 50 year-old bare concrete. It took three people about 10 hours, most of which was prep (grinding, sealing cracks, taping edges).

A popular and cheaper alternative with the garage crowd is Armstrong vinyl composite tile (VCT). The only issue with those is for them to look ok, it is best if you checkerboard two colors. They are super durable and can even be sanded as they are quite thick. A competent amateur can install them.

Image
Last edited by snackdog on Sun Jun 06, 2021 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Nowizard
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by Nowizard »

Paint is not long lasting. If you want a clean appearance, it does not clean easily, either. Epoxy is very attractive, durable and easy to clean. Not an easy job to do yourself, expensive to hire out. If it is a monetary issue, would suggest waiting until could afford epoxy. It really dresses up a garage and will return much of its cost upon sale.

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Normchad
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by Normchad »

snackdog wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 11:44 am We just had a commercial flooring company (think auto repair garage flooring) epoxy our garage. It was five cents per square foot. It looks amazing compared to the 50 year-old bare concrete. It took three people about 10 hours, most of which was prep (grinding, sealing cracks, taping edges).

A popular and cheaper alternative with the garage crowd is Armstrong vinyl composite tile (VCT). The only issue with those is for them to look ok, it is best if you checkerboard two colors. They are super durable and can even be sanded as they are quite thick. A competent amateur can install them.

Image
That looks beautiful. But there is no way it could be 5 cents a square foot. That would only be $20 for a 400 sq ft garage.
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by mkc »

Another vote for professional epoxy.

We've done the Rustoleum kit ourselves in a previous home, and it was OK, but nowhere near as durable and attractive as what the pros use. We had a commercial outfit do the current home. Prep work is a key component to a long-lasting finish.

It really cuts down on the dust that comes in on our feet/shoes from the garage. It's also very easy to keep clean - you can damp mop it if you want.
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by Toons »

Epoxy
Been There
Done That


:happy
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Joylush
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by Joylush »

You want to find a company that specializes in garage floor coatings and make sure they use a polyaspartic product. The results are outstanding and the performance far out weighs any paint or epoxy. I’d suggest finding someone who is a slide-lok distributor as they have a excellent floor coatings but there are others as well.

I’ve done several patios and garages and we loved the results so much I did an interior floor in it as well. The last one done was 10 years ago and it still looks brand new. Getting ready to do a large 48’x36’ garage and I won’t use anything else. Absolutely gorgeous.
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by baconavocado »

These epoxy coatings look great but I sort of don't want my garage to look like a room in my house. Plus, my garage floor takes a beating - I drag heavy stuff across the floor, jack up cars, drop heavy tools, saw lumber, and drive on it. For me, the only downside to concrete is that things will stain it if it's not sealed, so I apply a clear sealant and that's enough for me.
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by lthenderson »

four7s wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 12:31 pm Has anyone considered the same alternatives and which did you choose?
In my garage I went with a finish that lasts a lot longer than epoxy and was a lot cheaper. I just left it as bare concrete troweled to a smooth finish.
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by alfaspider »

Paint is not even an option.

One option if you prefer not to do epoxy is interlocking plastic tiles like racedeck (and its imitators). The advantage is that the prep is less involved (essentially none), and you can take them up and move them to another garage if you move. You can also make various designs with them.
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by ray.james »

Every time I drive my wet car to garage I thank the epoxy paint.
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by joe-kr »

Joylush wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 7:29 pm You want to find a company that specializes in garage floor coatings and make sure they use a polyaspartic product. The results are outstanding and the performance far out weighs any paint or epoxy. I’d suggest finding someone who is a slide-lok distributor as they have a excellent floor coatings but there are others as well.

I’ve done several patios and garages and we loved the results so much I did an interior floor in it as well. The last one done was 10 years ago and it still looks brand new. Getting ready to do a large 48’x36’ garage and I won’t use anything else. Absolutely gorgeous.
I had a polyaspartic coating put down last Aug and it’s doing and looking great. It was $6 a sq foot. We use the garage as our usual main entrance so I really love how good it looks every time we come in.
Previously, the floor has been painted and it did not fare well.
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by senex »

Epoxy has great texture and is durable but turns yellow anywhere that gets sunlight, so choose your color wisely. We chose a grayish color, and the center of our garage still looks like new, but near the garage doors it now looks a sickly shade of yellow, almost greenish. It happened within one year.

No one told us this until after it was installed. The internet says all epoxy yellows with UV, that additives can delay it a bit, but to avoid it you must always keep your garage closed (which we don’t do).
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by pshonore »

Normchad wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 11:53 am
snackdog wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 11:44 am We just had a commercial flooring company (think auto repair garage flooring) epoxy our garage. It was five cents per square foot. It looks amazing compared to the 50 year-old bare concrete. It took three people about 10 hours, most of which was prep (grinding, sealing cracks, taping edges).

A popular and cheaper alternative with the garage crowd is Armstrong vinyl composite tile (VCT). The only issue with those is for them to look ok, it is best if you checkerboard two colors. They are super durable and can even be sanded as they are quite thick. A competent amateur can install them.

Image
That looks beautiful. But there is no way it could be 5 cents a square foot. That would only be $20 for a 400 sq ft garage.
Its probably closer to $5 per sq ft. Vinyl tile runs about $3 and up per sq ft depending on color. I don't think I'd try sanding the vinyl tile though.
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by oldmotos »

We had a professional epoxy our 40 year old garage floor and it looks great. I think you get more bang for the buck on an older floor as it removes the cracks, pock marks etc. so it is a big change. We started having grandkid's parties etc. in the garage after it was cleaned up.
yakk0
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by yakk0 »

joe-kr wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 5:38 pm
Joylush wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 7:29 pm You want to find a company that specializes in garage floor coatings and make sure they use a polyaspartic product. The results are outstanding and the performance far out weighs any paint or epoxy. I’d suggest finding someone who is a slide-lok distributor as they have a excellent floor coatings but there are others as well.

I’ve done several patios and garages and we loved the results so much I did an interior floor in it as well. The last one done was 10 years ago and it still looks brand new. Getting ready to do a large 48’x36’ garage and I won’t use anything else. Absolutely gorgeous.
I had a polyaspartic coating put down last Aug and it’s doing and looking great. It was $6 a sq foot. We use the garage as our usual main entrance so I really love how good it looks every time we come in.
Previously, the floor has been painted and it did not fare well.
We DIY'ed our two garages with single component polyurea. The type we purchased is one part (you mix in pigment for a colored surface, but you don't mix resin+activator like epoxy), it goes on like paint with a roller and takes longer to harden than epoxy so it's more forgiving for a DIYer. Also it supposedly doesn't discolor from UV.

Our detached garage was newly built and only needed a cleaning and acid etching before we rolled on the polyurea. Our attached garage had a poorly DIY'ed epoxy surface from the previous owner that was chipped and peeling up (combination of both the epoxy and the underlying self leveling concrete failing). We had to hire a contractor to shot blast off the old epoxy before patching the concrete and coating it.

We love how both turned out. It makes it so easy to clean too. I need to pass through the attached garage to get to my home office and it makes it feel so much more like part of the house rather than a dirty "outdoor" space.

I believe the only way for a consumer to purchase polyurea is online, but the online vendors have really good customer service. Garagejournal.com's forum has lots of info if you want to dig in.
Last edited by yakk0 on Wed Jun 09, 2021 1:59 am, edited 2 times in total.
yakk0
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by yakk0 »

baconavocado wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 8:02 pm These epoxy coatings look great but I sort of don't want my garage to look like a room in my house. Plus, my garage floor takes a beating - I drag heavy stuff across the floor, jack up cars, drop heavy tools, saw lumber, and drive on it. For me, the only downside to concrete is that things will stain it if it's not sealed, so I apply a clear sealant and that's enough for me.
My understanding is that epoxy or polyurea coatings are much more durable than bare concrete. We also work on our own vehicles and have chipped our bare concrete floor with dropped tools but have yet to chip our polyurea floor. It's also so much easier to clean when oil or fluids are spilled. One downside is that the coatings usually include flake (generally more aesthetically pleasing as the flake hides imperfections in the concrete) and dropped fasteners hide really really well in the random flake patterns. If you prefer the natural concrete look for a garage, you can also use clear. At least for the polyurea we bought, it comes clear and you add the pigment before use.
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by runswithscissors »

I installed porcelain tile in my garage. I'm surprised more people don't go that route when looking at floor covering options.
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by OldBallCoach »

I have a 40 by 80 foot pole barn that we store our toys in and we had it epoxy clear sealed when new and it has been fine. 40,000 pound bus does nothing to it and it has held up well in the mid west weather. We have three drains in the floor and it drains well and washes off clean with a hose. We had to wait 8 weeks until after the concrete was poured to seal it as I recall but its been worth it. In our house garage we have stained concrete floor that is heated and its been fine as well, but it does not get much abuse really. Again good drainage.
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by smitcat »

runswithscissors wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 4:07 am I installed porcelain tile in my garage. I'm surprised more people don't go that route when looking at floor covering options.
What types of porcelain tiles? Do they stand up to impacts and floor jacks?
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by baconavocado »

yakk0 wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 1:44 am
baconavocado wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 8:02 pm These epoxy coatings look great but I sort of don't want my garage to look like a room in my house. Plus, my garage floor takes a beating - I drag heavy stuff across the floor, jack up cars, drop heavy tools, saw lumber, and drive on it. For me, the only downside to concrete is that things will stain it if it's not sealed, so I apply a clear sealant and that's enough for me.
My understanding is that epoxy or polyurea coatings are much more durable than bare concrete. We also work on our own vehicles and have chipped our bare concrete floor with dropped tools but have yet to chip our polyurea floor. It's also so much easier to clean when oil or fluids are spilled. One downside is that the coatings usually include flake (generally more aesthetically pleasing as the flake hides imperfections in the concrete) and dropped fasteners hide really really well in the random flake patterns. If you prefer the natural concrete look for a garage, you can also use clear. At least for the polyurea we bought, it comes clear and you add the pigment before use.
If epoxy coatings are so great, I would think auto service businesses, like dealerships, would be installing them in their service areas. I don't think I've ever seen them there, although I probably haven't been inside one in a couple years. I also notice that some bars and restaurants have stained or sealed concrete floors. Some of this comes down to how you use your garage.
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DAKn2
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by DAKn2 »

21 years ago I used the consumer grade Rust-Oleum Garage Floor Epoxy that I purchased at Menards's on my 3 car garage. The long term quality really has to do with the effort that you put in to prepping your garage floor. I had wanted to do this as soon as we moved in (new house) but it was a year before I finally found time to start the project.

I took quite a bit of time to prep the floor by first cleaning any chemicals stains with the appropriate cleaner; then slowly blasted the floor with a high pressure gas power washer, and then finally used Muriatic acid before making sure everything was washed off/out of the garage. After letting it dry for 2 days I applied the epoxy per directions. After 21 years there are only 4 small spots where the epoxy has worn out/come up, otherwise it still looks great, and I work on all my cars as well as due various projects in the garage - so it's been tested tough.

Every spring I simply wash down the floor and it looks like new again.
My goal is to live forever - so far so good!
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by FrugalConservative »

First thing I did when I moved into my house was epoxy my garage floor.

They used an epoxy, put flake on top, let dry then came in with a polyaspartic top coat. It's been bulletproof.

Super easy to clean and adds a nice element to the garage. I would do it again in a hardbeat.

Make sure who ever does it for you, or if you do it, that a grinder is used and not an etch. The etchig is a waste of time as it wont open the concrete correctly, thus allowing the epoxy to penetrate.
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by runswithscissors »

smitcat wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:46 am
runswithscissors wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 4:07 am I installed porcelain tile in my garage. I'm surprised more people don't go that route when looking at floor covering options.
What types of porcelain tiles? Do they stand up to impacts and floor jacks?
I'm not sure on the type. I bought it from a local tile shop, made in Italy but cost only about $4/SF. It's a color-through dark grey porcelain so chips don't show. With labor it was about $5K to do the entire garage. I didn't quote epoxy but I'd surmise it would cost about the same or a little less... so the tile was a no brainer for me. I have a few small chips here and there but still looks brand new 6 years after installing. It definitely holds up to car jacks and other high psi items. The key is to make sure the mortar bed is consistent throughout. If there are open voids below the tile and place a car jack over it, it's inevitable it'll crack. Done right it handles just about anything concrete would. The best part is oil wipes right off of it with no staining.
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by Vanguard Fan »

Following this conversation with interest - if it is OK would like to ask same question but for a carport floor. We're in southern CA with a carport under the front part of the house. Concrete floor is dirty, old and has cracks. Is epoxy a good idea for us? Have read that color turns shade of yellow with sun and our carport faces west. Is there a good color that doesn't show the sun effect? Want to do something with the floor. Not sure what.
Thanks
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by snowox »

I did a plastic interlocking system. Like it much better than both epoxy and paint. Ten years old and still looks new and I live in upper midwest so gets hit with a lot of snow etc.. Can make a nice pattern, take it with you if you move and mine had a grid so easy to blow out or rinse out once every 6 months I do if necessary. Absolutely love it. Did a cool black red and gray pattern. Also very easy
sureshoe
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by sureshoe »

For the love of all that is holy - do not use paint. We had a garage the previous owner painted and for 7 years, I was tracking paint chips into the house.
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Re: Epoxy or paint a garage floor?

Post by smitcat »

runswithscissors wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:17 am
smitcat wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:46 am
runswithscissors wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 4:07 am I installed porcelain tile in my garage. I'm surprised more people don't go that route when looking at floor covering options.
What types of porcelain tiles? Do they stand up to impacts and floor jacks?
I'm not sure on the type. I bought it from a local tile shop, made in Italy but cost only about $4/SF. It's a color-through dark grey porcelain so chips don't show. With labor it was about $5K to do the entire garage. I didn't quote epoxy but I'd surmise it would cost about the same or a little less... so the tile was a no brainer for me. I have a few small chips here and there but still looks brand new 6 years after installing. It definitely holds up to car jacks and other high psi items. The key is to make sure the mortar bed is consistent throughout. If there are open voids below the tile and place a car jack over it, it's inevitable it'll crack. Done right it handles just about anything concrete would. The best part is oil wipes right off of it with no staining.
Thank you
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