Comparing Polyaspartic and Epoxy Garage Floor Coatings
Updated December 2022
If you're researching options for your garage makeover, you've likely come across several different floor coatings. One popular choice among homeowners is epoxy floor coating. Epoxy can be a great choice if you’re looking for something cheaper and DIY-able. Other contenders include garage floor pads and paints. These are even less expensive but probably won't stand the test of time.
A newer solution has recently come to light. Polyaspartic garage floor coating offers many benefits and may be more suitable long term. Knowing the differences between epoxy and polyaspartic coatings will be key in the final decision for your home.
Polyaspartic Garage Floor Coating
Epoxy Garage Floor Coating
Is installing an epoxy garage floor coating worth it?
Epoxy has become a popular option amongst homeowners who are looking to add some new life to their garage floors. In fact, epoxy is so popular that any DIY-er can buy it at their local home improvement store. An epoxy coating is formed when mixing a polyamine hardener with epoxide resin. This creates a long curing time in order for it to bond correctly with your garage floor. In about 12 hours you can walk on your floor and in 24 hours it is ready for light use. Whether done professionally or on your own, it’s important to note that it usually takes a full 7 days to completely cure.
Epoxy garage floors have benefits, but also drawbacks. Many will find that their brand-new floors come with extra maintenance. If the floor is not swept regularly, dirt may become embedded into the epoxy and over time, scratches will start to show. Epoxy also yellows and peels over time and is reactive to UV, so this should be considered when shopping options.
What an epoxy garage floor requires in maintenance, can be made up for in expense. Compared to other floor coatings, it is vastly cheaper, however, it will need a new coat every few years to keep its fresh look. Take note of the pros and cons of epoxy floor coatings and what it will require of you before going for this option.
Epoxy Garage Floor Pros and Cons
- Long curing time
- Requires new coat every few years
- Yellows and peels over time
- Tedious prep
- Extra maintenance
- Strong fumes even after application
- Not UV stable
- Temperature-sensitive — leads to hot tire pickup
- Damage resistant
- Wide variety of colors
- Resistant to mechanical fluids
DIY Epoxy Garage Floor
An epoxy garage floor coating is more likely to fade, crack, peel and sustain damage over years of use.
Installing an epoxy garage floor coating is already a tricky job that requires specific steps, which is why a DIY epoxy floor installation can easily have a negative outcome.
If you live in a highly humid location, the presence of moisture can cause the epoxy to not bond correctly, which impacts adhesion. Too much humidity or grease may cause delamination (peeling), improper curing, cloudiness, yellowing and more.
It’s always best to leave it to the professionals when attempting to take on such a big project. They are equipped to handle issues that may arise and foresee problems that may occur before even getting started.
What is a polyaspartic floor coating?
Polyaspartic floor coatings are most often compared to epoxy and many people question if polyaspartic is in the epoxy family. Although relatively similar, some key differences should be noted. Polyaspartic is a type of polyurea that has been modified to overcome well-known weak points of polyurea formulas. Further, polyurea is a subtype of polyurethane, which makes it a flexible synthetic option for garage floor coatings.
However, polyurea is a combination of synthetic resin and isocyanate-reactive materials. For it to be cured correctly, the resin needs to be mixed with a catalyst. Polyurea dries very quickly (sometimes in a matter of minutes), making it hard to apply, and often fails to properly adhere to the concrete floor underneath. While both types of floor coatings are thin and sink into the concrete more effectively than epoxy formulas, polyaspartic has better UV resistance and bonds with the concrete more securely than polyurea.
A polyaspartic garage floor coating can withstand almost anything you drop on it!
Due to its unique combination of materials, the drying time of a polyaspartic coating is usually fast — 30 minutes to an hour depending on the formula. After the final coat is applied, it may take approximately 5 hours until you can walk safely on it and 24 hours until you can drive on it. This is a fast drying time compared to others.
One of the big advantages of a polyaspartic coating is its durability, making maintenance a breeze. It is stain resistant to those tough mechanical greases such as brake fluid and oil, meaning you only need to spot clean and sweep as necessary.
Although a polyaspartic floor coating may cost more than DIY options, it's worth the price range because of its quality and ability to outshine other floor options. Due to not needing to be replaced often and having minimal maintenance requirements, it makes it the ideal option for long-term use instead of a quick fix.
Polyaspartic Garage Floor Pros and Cons
- Short drying time means more accuracy needed
- Professional prep needed — not a viable DIY option
- Durable — doesn’t scratch or chip easy
- Quick-drying time
- Odorless product
- Won't fade
- Bonds well to bare concrete
- Chemical resistant
- Wide variety of colors
How a Polyaspartic Garage Floor Coating is Installed
Knowing the ins and outs of polyaspartic garage floor installation can help you make a properly informed decision. When done correctly, this type of coating will last a long time.
- Surface Preparation: One of the most important things to do when installing a polyaspartic garage floor coating is surface preparation. Eliminating dust, debris and contaminants will greatly reduce the risk of error.
- Repair Damages: If your garage has cracks, holes or other concrete flaws, it can impact how the coating finishes curing. These will need correction before applying a polyaspartic coating.
- Primer/ Base Coat: Priming the floor of the garage before any polyaspartic is applied will guarantee an even, finished final coat.
- Distribution of Coating Color: Decorative flakes of your choice will be evenly distributed to ensure your garage floor is fully covered and vibrant.
- Apply Coats: An hour or so after the primer has cured, it’s time for the final coats. Typically, there will be 2-3 coats to get a saturated pigment and incorporate decorative pieces or metallic effects. The entire application process should only take one day.
A polyaspartic garage floor coating is a beautiful way to redesign your garage. Not only does it look stunning but will be complete in just a day and will give your garage the extra life it needs. Just be sure to contact a professional, experienced team to achieve the best results possible!
Polyaspartic vs. Epoxy — Which is better?
Protect your garage floor with a strong, reliable solution from Hello Garage!
When comparing pricing between the two different floor coating options, we can see clear distinctions. An epoxy floor coating is significantly cheaper than polyaspartic. Although polyaspartic may be more costly, this is for good reason.
Epoxy is more difficult to work in the sense that it takes longer to cure, needs extensive prep work and leaves an odor that may never go away. This leaves it with numerous drawbacks as compared to polyaspartic, which offers a faster curing time (usually 24 hours) and no odor. These are great perks for homeowners looking to get their floor coating done quickly while having it look clean and professional.
Polyaspartic is highly durable. It is stain and scratch-resistant, more flexible and won’t yellow under the sun like epoxy. It requires little maintenance and won’t need to be replaced every couple of years to keep its fresh look. Epoxy is not resistant to stains or scratches, making it susceptible to mechanical liquids and color loss from the sun. Additionally, it will need replacing every couple of years to maintain its vibrancy.
A polyaspartic floor coating offers homeowners a durable, economic choice in the long run. It gives them the most benefits for their investment and lasts for years to come. Epoxy floor coating can offer a short-term look rather than a long-term cost-effective and aesthetically pleasing garage floor.
Hello Garage is here for all your polyaspartic garage floor needs! We provide quick and professional service, leaving you with the garage floor you’ve dreamt of. You can find your local Hello Garage company by clicking here.