Garage Floor Paint or Epoxy?
Out of all the spaces in houses or commercial buildings, garage floors tend to take the most beatings over time. With cars tracking in everything from snow, mud, dirt, rainwater and other elements onto garage floorings, paired with harsh chemicals used in workshops, high foot traffic, oil spills, tools dropping and other high impact occurrences, a bare garage floor can end up looking rough – full of cracks, stains and other forms of wear and tear. Even if the garage is cleaned thoroughly, it can still look dirty and worn, depending on how many miscellaneous stains and imperfections are present.
A great way to solve this problem is to paint or coat your concrete garage floor. It will instantly make space look cleaner, more uniform, fresher, and tidier. Not only will it look great, but it will also help protect the bare concrete from further damage and mold and mildew. It will also provide water resistance and be easier to clean and maintain.
But when it comes to deciding on what type of flooring to go with, it can be challenging to figure out which type is best for your space. You’ll be met with a plethora of options to choose from. Once you start your research, you will most likely be captivated by the beautiful, sheen look and the renown durability of epoxy. Or you might be swept away by the ease of application and the lower prices of other options. But it’s important to take your budget, your future plans for space ( usage and any possible moves,) and the amount of time you have to install into consideration before making a decision as well as usability and how long you want your flooring to last you. Here’s a guide on how to compare and contrast garage floor paint vs. epoxy options to help you decide what is the best garage flooring option for you.
Epoxy Garage floor paint vs. Latex Acrylic Paint
Some of the most popular choices are garage floor paint and epoxy options. In the realm of garage floor paint, there are two options. There’s latex acrylic paint and epoxy paint. Latex paint is often chosen as a cheaper and shorter-term option. Latex acrylic paint can last for approximately two years. It will need to be retouched or painted over periodically, usually about once every six months to a year, depending on the amount of traffic and wear the garage sees. Going with this option is best if your garage sees little to no wear and tear.
Epoxy garage flooring that mixes tougher epoxy resin with acrylic latex. This option is more durable than regular latex acrylic paint and binds better with the concrete; it also lasts for about 3-4 years. This is a better option than latex acrylic paint for any garage spaces that see a moderate to a high level of traffic and wear and tear. If you’re going to go with garage floor paint over other types of coatings, the clear winner is epoxy garage floor paint over latex acrylic. For not much more than about $10 per gallon, you get much longer and stronger durability.
Epoxy Coating for Garage Flooring
Probably the best option for garage flooring, especially commercial and heavy-duty garages, is an epoxy coating. It will be more expensive than any kind of garage floor paint, but it will prove to be the most long-lasting and durable, especially for commercial and/or home garages that take on high levels of work and traffic. Epoxy is also highly rated for its premium, glossy look that is considered the best looking option. The aesthetics are impressive enough that they are often used in high-end showrooms.
Epoxy is made up of two components – 1 part epoxy resin and 1 part polyamine hardener. They need to be mixed before application. Once they are mixed, the epoxy needs to be applied within a limited time window and needs to be temperature controlled. Colored epoxies have tinted the resin to give it color. If it’s not tinted, it will go on as a clear coating. Epoxy coatings cure after application, they don’t dry like paint. The curing results in a hard, durable surface that seals the concrete, creating resistance to staining, abrasion, and chemicals.
The level of ease of application corresponds to the thickness of the epoxy coating. The higher percentage of solids present in the epoxy coating, the more challenging it is to apply. Many DIY epoxy kits will offer lower solids percentages for higher ease of application, but won’t result in as thick of a coating. When comparing ease of application, both types of paint are simpler than applying epoxy; latex acrylic paint requires power washing and evening out the concrete floor. Epoxy paint requires washing, etching, and applying a primer before applying the paint. Epoxy requires extensive floor prep followed by a multilayer application of the epoxy resin including primer, body coat, broadcast layer, and topcoat.
The average cost to epoxy a garage floor, for example, a 250 square foot, one car garage typically costs $750 to $3,000 to epoxy. A two-car garage sized an average of 400 to 500 square feet, costs around $1,200 – $6,000. It is considerably pricier than latex acrylic paint and epoxy paint, however, will last a much longer time and provide the highest durability, and the thickest coat recommended for highest levels of wear and tear.
Which option you choose depends on what is most important for your specific project. If ease of application and use for a low traffic garage, as well as staying within a tight budget, you may want to consider your paint options. If aesthetics, longevity, and durability are the most important things for you, epoxy is your best bet.