Five Myths About Garage Floor Coatings

Garage floor coating in a three car garage

Refinishing your garage floor doesn't have to be a hassle. Read these myths before you renovate your space.

So, you’re finally ready to tackle your garage renovation project. You want to declutter, organize and rearrange it so it’s no longer the “junk drawer of the house.” That’s great, but before you start looking at garage cabinets and storage, you’ll need to do something about the floor. After all, it doesn’t make sense to paint the walls and put up a pegboard and hang tools when your garage floor is cracked, pitted and stained, right?

Before you start your garage reclamation project, let’s take a look at a few myths that are out there regarding floor coatings.

1. All You Need to Do Is Put Down a Coat of Paint

This is a common misconception. So common, in fact, that many people do just that — slap down a coat of paint on their garage floor and call it a day. The paint may even claim to be “super-durable” and “professional-grade.” But regardless of what it says on the label, there’s simply no way a coat or two of paint can stand up to the day-in, day-out abuse that a garage floor takes. Beyond simply having to put up with the weight of your vehicles and the constant abrasion of their tires, your garage floor will have to handle dropped tools and chemical spills, not to mention years of daily foot traffic. So, yes, you could simply paint your floor, but it will likely start to deteriorate almost immediately. 

2. A DIY Epoxy Kit Will Do the Trick

Removing an old epoxy garage floor coating with an industrial grinder

Professional preparation is key to a lasting garage floor coating. That's why we use industrial grinders at Hello Garage.

While epoxy garage flooring is certainly more durable than paint and they do sell epoxy kits at your local big-box DIY store, this approach is not without its drawbacks. The main problem with any DIY garage floor approach is, the key to a successfully installed coating — one that will last for many years to come — is surface preparation. That means meticulously cleaning the floor of your garage, sweeping and mopping it, scarifying the surface with an industrial machine and finally removing virtually every particle of residual dust. Without this crucial first step, any garage floor coating will be subject to premature delamination. In fact, most professional installers say that their job is about 80 percent surface prep.

Similarly to paint, DIY epoxy garage flooring just doesn't stand up to the normal wear and tear in your garage. Epoxy flakes, chips and peels and it even turns yellow from UV exposure. It can delaminate easily with moisture, temperature changes and any abrasion from hot tires or salt and sand. So even if the epoxy kit says it's "durable" or "lasting", trust us when we say that it isn't going to last like other garage floor coating options.

3. Professional Garage Floor Coatings Are Expensive

While it’s true that the initial cost of a professionally installed floor coating may be higher than that of a DIY approach, when you factor in the likely need for a DIY surface to be redone every few years, the costs actually aren’t that different over the life of the floor. Then there’s the hassle and time of having to pull everything out of the garage and re-prepare the surface. Another thing to consider when comparing costs is the warranty. A reputable installer will offer a long-term warranty on their product. This will protect your investment for years to come. And, finally, your vehicles likely weren’t cheap either. Don’t they deserve to be presented on a floor that reflects their value?

4. All Professional Garage Floor Coatings Are the Same

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Most professional garage flooring companies offer one of three coating technologies: epoxy, polyurethane or polyaspartic. Epoxy and polyurethane coatings are generally less expensive, but they also present multiple disadvantages. Epoxies are very temperature sensitive when it comes to application and can yellow over time due to UV exposure. Polyurethane coatings are more UV resistant and less temperature-sensitive but are susceptible to delamination due to bonding issues with concrete. Polyaspartic coatings, however, are easier to apply, durable, UV resistant and present the lowest chance of future delamination. Keep in mind polyaspartic coatings cost a bit more than the other two and generally require professional installation.

5. Garage Floor Coatings Need to be Redone Every Few Years

This myth actually has some truth to it. That’s because so many people try the DIY route when redoing their garage floors. As mentioned earlier, DIY coatings — whether paint or epoxy — are at risk for chipping, peeling and delaminating over time due to poor abrasion resistance (paint) or inadequate surface preparation (paint and epoxy). But when a polyaspartic coating is professionally applied, there is no reason it won’t last for decades. So, when you consider that kind of lifespan, the initial cost of installation is quite reasonable. 

The bottom line is, there are many different approaches when it comes to renewing your garage floor. And though you can do it yourself, if you want a floor that looks as beautiful in ten years as it does the day it’s installed, we recommended you go with a professionally applied polyaspartic coating. Set up your free estimate today.

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