Garage floor coating/covering?


#1

Its a little slow around here so thought I would ask if anyone has any opinions on the various garage floor epoxy coatings, plastic tile, vinyl mats etc.? My floor is about 20 years old now and no way I can get all the stains out of it. Maybe in a couple years I’d like to do something with it. The epoxy would be easiest but have heard it tends to come loose and especially if the floor was sealed which mine was about 15 years ago. The plastic tiles are nice for snow drainage but weird to walk on, expensive, and hard to use a jack on. The mats like the G floor or whatever its called, seem OK but expensive again, look like they expand and contract, and tend to shift with the wheels. Plus I’ve got a three car area that would require multiple rolls and seams. Is it possible just to use the plain old self stick tiles on a garage floor in Minnesota? Looks like about a dollar a square foot at the big box.

Just curious for anyone’s experience or opinion for long range planning.


#2

DIY or having it installed professionally?

I’m going to have mine installed, probably next spring, professionally by these guys: http://www.garagefloorcoatingofmn.com (I gave the link since you’re in MN too).

They quoted me about $1000 per stall for their lifetime warranty product with mica chips broadcast for traction, including floor prep (diamond grinding the concrete) and patching a few spalls. That also includes bringing a border of the coating material up the walls to catch splashes from fluids, etc. Go talk to them at the home show when it comes around again (I think in Feb or March) - they have a show special that upgrades you to the lifetime warranty for less money.

I simply don’t have the expertise or access to the better materials to make a DIY coating job worth it. If I was going to do my own floor, I’d go with Racedeck tiles, which are expensive, but I like the flow-through ventilation so you don’t end up with liquids sitting under the floor. A trick I’ve heard about is to put landscape fabric down first, and then install the Racedeck - the fabric will dampen the sound from walking on it and make it sound like a normal floor. You would have to put plywood under your jack and jack stands, though.


#3

When we bought our house in 2009 I was all ready to put epoxy done. Then I got on the garagejournal forums and saw there are so many options and could not make a final decision. Couple of other issues came up and I forgot about it.

Have a friend who DIY epoxy but is using the garage as living space. I do a lot of work and don’t want to worry about the floor. I think I am going to keep the cracked dirty concrete.

The only other viable option would be something that I can remove easily, like the tiles. Costco has a sale at times, but I have at least 500 sq ft and it is just too much money.


#4

Let’s see. I was told that you shouldn’t put anything on the concrete till it fully cures which may take year(s). By then, I always have so much junk in the garage, doing anything but sweeping it in sections becomes a week long job. So I agree with @Galant. Worry about it when it has to be fixed. Concrete with out cracks isn’t “natural”. ;=)


#5

Is 30 years long enough to fully cure? :wink:


#6

I do epoxy floors on the side. I have done floors as big as 100,000 sf. You can put epoxy on concrete after 30 days with out any problems. A old floor will need to ground with a diamond grinder. You can rent one from Home Depo. Go to epoxypro.com They have best epoxy maded. Dont used the big box store stuf. It wont last. I their epoxy down on floors in wharehouses and plants that been down for over 20 years. If you need any more help you can call their number and they will help you.


#7

@oldbodyman–I wish I had seen your post five years ago. I tried the big box stuff. I etched the floor with muriatic acid as per directions. I had first power washed the floor. I did everything in the directions, but the job didn’t last. If I do this again, I will rent a diamond grinder and purchase the best epoxy on the market.
I suggest to the OP not to cheap out with the big box stuff and follow your advice.


#8

Thanks. That’s what I thought about the big box stuff. Didn’t know you could rent the grinder. I think my floor is fully cured after 18 years and after two years cleaning it, I can see the floor now.


#9

Leave the stains because no covering works for more than a week. I wish my floor had never been painted.


#10

Concrete is an excellent structural material but being very pourous it absorbs moisture and should not be considered a barrier by any stretch. Unless a lot of prep work was done to the back side, it is impossible to coat concrete and expect satisfactory results with anything. To me, it’s the same with fiberglass and only epoxy paints work, and only the best with festidious preparation and only if the fiberglass is protected and well drained all over. So again, if the garage concrete floor does not have sufficient drainage around it and support, nothing works. Installation has a lot to do with it. There is a big difference between installing a garage on a shoe string and a contracted job by long term professional doing a big buck warehouse with all the right equipment, knowledge and materials. It goes right back to the contractor who built the garage and used the best gravel and proper slope for drainage and the proper base preparation. If poorly done, even the best epoxy and application may be a loosing battle. So blaming your job @Triedaq may not be where the blame lies ultimately. IMHO, that’s why many homes never experience success with anything.

So, maybe the answer is to build a new garage, first ! Or, just keep clean and patch when the cracks start to bother you.


#11

They do have those garage tiles that snap together. My wife keeps telling me I should do that but to me it will look like the garage isn’t used. A garage should look a little grungy to me.
Also, those things being made of plastic - hard very tough plastic but “plastic” nevertheless - I wonder what would happen if a hot weld ember drops on it…


#12

I used the stuff from the big box store in attached shed. It has a concrete floor. No problem what-so-ever. But it doesn’t get much traffic. And not too sure how it will hold up to a car driving on it.


#13

@dagosa–You may have found the cause of my problem with the epoxy paint. My garage is an attached garage on the house I had built 24 years ago. At some point, I may break up the garage floor and have a good concrete contractor install a new floor. On the other hand, I may take the advice of @RemcoW and just have a grungy garage floor.


#14

Btw, I can attest that “RustBullet” adheres to cement really well;
RustBullet is a really tough rust inhibitor/encapsulator and I used it to paint a VW bug frame a number of years ago now. It creates this thick layer that is rock hard.
Anyway, I inadvertently dropped the can on the floor and tried picking it up but just ended up just spreading it around. That Rustbullet stain on the floor and the bug’s pan still looks like new, shiny even…

I’ve been wondering whether that’s not a viable alternative to painting raw cement to at least keep the dust down.


#15

Same problem here. 25 year old garage floor, painted, dirty, some paint gone. Considered the tiles, but the floor’s uneven/curved/with stepped-up area, so new paint would be the only reasonable way to go.

But I think a just power wash will have to do…


#16

@pleasedodgevan2 Painted concrete is very different from epoxy-coated concrete.


#17

Garage is attached. Floor is in very good condition with no spawls or cracks, just doesn’t look showroom. The same guys did the block work, brick work, and all the flat work and were very good. So guess my choices are 1) Leave it alone 2) Epoxy (quality stuff not big box) 3) Rubber tiles or mat 4) Plastic tiles. Back where I started. Wife thinks I’m nuts and not a priority. Doesn’t think the TV in the garage is a high priority either. Guess it’ll be a couple years to mull it over.


#18
I have lived the last 12 years with an epoxy coating and it still looks good.  Location - Central Ohio.

#19

One more thing about epoxy. Just because its called epxoy thier not all the same. Its all about soilds. Most are now made with powers from China or India. I use Epoxypro’s because its made here in the USA and high in solids. I have seen floors that over 20 years old with HI-LO’s used on them 24 hours a day. that sill look good with their product used on them. Also if you have cracks or areas to repair use their crack patch kits.


#20

3 or 4 years ago, there was an episode of “This Old House” where they put on some kind of epoxy paint to improve a garage floor. Maybe they have it posted on their website.