Garage Floor Epoxy: Should You Consider It?
For anyone looking into epoxy flooring for their garage, the first thing they’ll notice is how great it can make a garage look. Whether it’s for a commercial or residential garage, epoxy has the ability to completely revamp the look of a boring garage with standard concrete floors into a professional looking, highly functional space that inspires productivity.
What is Epoxy Flooring / Epoxy Floor Coatings?
Epoxy is chemically different from normal floor paints. It is a combination of thermosetting resins and polymer hardeners. When mixed properly, the epoxy resin and hardeners react to each other in a way that results in a chemical bond with each compound and with the floor itself. The hardener is what gives epoxy its strength. The bond results in a stiff plastic that is durable. Since epoxy cures, unlike paint that dries, in a process that is called exothermic curing, it produces polymer structures that are cross-linked very closely which is what makes it such a strong and durable material. This leaves you with a coating that is much thicker than paint and is excellent at bonding with a properly prepared surface.
Epoxy flooring is a surface that is made up of multiple epoxy layers that are applied to a floor. If it is at least 2 millimeters thick, it is considered epoxy flooring. If it is less than 2 millimeters, it is considered to be epoxy floor coating.
Should you be using it for your garage flooring?
Whether or not you should be using the epoxy is ultimately up to you and how you plan on using the garage flooring space. For example, home mechanics and hobbyists tend to give epoxy flooring high praise for its smooth, reflective surface that tends to brighten up the garage space and give it a lively ambiance. It is also ideal for easy cleaning up spilled oil, brake fluid and anti-freeze and won’t take a toll on the flooring itself since it is very resistant. The following are some advantages and disadvantages that come with epoxy flooring for garages to help you determine if epoxy flooring makes sense for your home garage or commercial garage space.
Highly customizable and Visually Appealing
The major draw for epoxy is it’s clean, high-end look. Epoxy flooring and epoxy coating is also highly customizable and can be tinted to be any color; it can even be made to look metallic, which is a major trending look at the moment. It looks polished, professional and clean and you can make it look however you want.
Easy to Keep Clean and Sanitized
Epoxy’s smooth, polished nature makes it a breeze to clean the floor; something a textured floor would have a slightly harder time with due to grooves, nooks, and crannies in the textured flooring.
Long Lasting, Durable and Protective
Epoxy is moisture resistant- since it is a topical sealer, you won’t have to worry about moisture seeping into the flooring if there are spills or snow wetness or other fluids dropped on the top. Since it requires concrete flooring underneath, it ends up acting as a shield to protect the porous concrete.
If you tend to use a lot of tools that may drop on top of it, there’s no need to worry since it’s highly resilient material. It is also highly resistant to impacts, heavy equipment, and cars on top of it, chemicals, chipping, stains and other forms of abrasion on the surface. When you install or apply epoxy to your garage flooring, you can count on a longer lifespan of years and years, even decades, much longer than many other flooring types.
It’s Not Invincible or Breathable
However, it is not immune to burn marks if you use the garage for any kind of welding duties. And while it can help prevent moisture coming in from the top, it is not necessarily the best choice if your original flooring already has moisture issues that could be exacerbated by adding a coating on top and allowing the moisture to continue to be present. The moisture vapor transmission rate from below the slab could cause epoxy to delaminate if it gets too high.
Also, since it does not allow for the airflow of any kind like some other garage flooring options available, any moisture that was trapped underneath the flooring before it can become a problem as it evaporates and cause bubbling or buckling the floor – which means you’ll need to have it repaired.
Slippery When Wet
While it is easy to clean up spills on this material and they won’t seep into the material, it’s still a smooth, polished surface. If you have customers or employees frequenting it and there are constantly water or oil spills happening, you could be setting up the space for an accident or a slip and fall incident. Think hard about what type of space this will end up being and all its uses.
Epoxy is not Forever: Eventually Will Need to be Replaced
While we did say epoxy is long lasting, it is not eternal. And if there are any changes you want made to the color or design, it will be a lot of work to do so. Removing the coat properly can end up being expensive and difficult, so if you do opt for epoxy, be sure your chosen design and colors are final.