Clear garage floor coatings have seen a drastic rise in the last few years. The ‘architectural industrial’ appearance of a bare concrete floor that has been coated with a quality clear is unmistakable.
Bare Concrete & All of It’s Flaws
For decades coating a garage floor or using garage floor paint has been about hiding the flaws and natural appearance of concrete floors. Today many consumers and commercial locations are finding that accentuating these natural features instead of hiding them is a great way to create a beautiful concrete garage floor.
Best Clear Coating For Concrete Floors
Let’s have a look at several options. As we will discuss later, garage floor paint should not even be an option.
Garage floor epoxy clear coat provides a nice thick layer of coating and has been around for years. The problem with garage floor epoxies is that they yellow over time. They are also best when top-coated with an aliphatic urethane. This makes epoxy clear coat a bad choice in most applications. The exceptions would be if you are in Southern California or other heavily regulated VOC areas or if you need to open a commercial location quickly. 100% solids epoxy is a great choice where installation odor is the biggest concern. The tradeoff is you will have to grind and redo the floor often.
Clear Moisture-cured urethanes (MCU), pure Polyaspartic, and aliphatic urethanes all provide beautiful and durable top coats when used in conjunction with other coating products. They are not a great option for direct-to-concrete applications as they do not adhere well.
Clear sealers & Acrylic sealers — Clear sealers and acrylic sealers are beautiful and can bring out a ton of color in concrete floors. They are great for non-vehicular locations and locations where there are no chemicals present. One other concern is they are often to think to add an anti-slip which can present a significant risk, especially in commercial locations.
For most applications, 1-2 coats of clear polyurea is your best option. Our Polyurea Polyaspartic hybrid sticks to properly prepared concrete very well. It is beautiful, durable and relatively easy to install. The only real downside is an odor that can linger a bit. While it is typically gone in three days there have been cases of the odor lingering for a month or more!
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