The Best Coatings for Garage Floors (Including Options from Epoxy Coatings to Clear Polyurea)
As one of the largest garage flooring distributors in the United States, Garage Flooring LLC offers a wide variety of the best garage floor coating options around. With over two decades of experience, Justin Krauss personally reviews all coatings products before they are ever offered.
Once the internal review is done, we will typically offer some of our friends over at Garage Journal a chance to play with and review the product. Once they are comfortable with the installation and the coatings, we offer a pre-sale before ever putting our name behind the product.
We will have a look at some of the best garage coating products around. Here is an overview:
- TruAlloy Aluminum Moisture Cured Urethane (MCU)
- Ghostshield 8510 Garage Floor Sealer
- TrueLock High Solids DIY Kit
- TrueLock 100% Solids Epoxy Floor Coating
- TrueLock Premium Full Broadcast Kits
- Polyurea Garage Floor Coatings
- AWF Polyurea Garage Floor Kits
Garage Floor Urethane Coating – A Strong Alternative to Epoxy
Urethane coatings have become both a great top coat for an epoxy garage floor and an outstanding option for coating the concrete floor itself. Brands like TruAlloy, Rust Bullet, All Weather Floors (AWF), and TrueLock all have strong offerings in this area. We have chosen to stay away from Rust Bullet after doing very well with them initially.
Best Non-Epoxy Kit— AWF Polyurea Garage coatings
Saying something is the best is always a challenge. This was a close call between TruAlloy and AWF Polyurea. At the end of the day the AWF Polyurea kits offer more options and a little bit more wiggle room on the timing of the garage floor coating coats It has great stain resistance, has the same properties as polyaspartic floor coatings with better adhesion to concrete surfaces and an easier installation than epoxy coating.
It resists oil stains, hot tire pickup, brake fluid, chemical spills, foot traffic, and within reason scuff marks. If you go clear in a residential application it can be applied with just one coat. It provides a beautifully finished surface and again, with proper surface preparation, the finished floor will be just fine with hot tires.
Wondering what the worst is? We won’t name names other than to say anything you buy in a pretty package from home improvement stores is not going to give you the professional finish you desire.
The Trusted Polyurea Hybrid Garage Flooring Company
All Weather Floors (AWF) is the clear and undisputed trusted name for Polyurea garage floor coatings. It features a Polyurea Polyaspartic floor coatings Hybrid that offers the best of both worlds without installation issues.
Best Floor Paints Alternatives for Garages—TruAlloy the better Rust Bullet Alternative
Garage floor paint is a horrible idea. No ifs, and or buts about it. Garage floor paint or any coating that states you can apply it to your garage floor without grinding or etching is a massive waste of time and money.
AWF water-based epoxy and TruAlloy are two reasonable alternatives to garage floor paints. TruAlloy is a direct competitor to Rust Bullet but, TruAlloy does a great job standing behind its product.
Whatever direction you go, garage floor epoxy, polyaspartic floor coating, Polyurea, MCU they will all leave your garage floor protected substantially better than concrete floor paint.
What about epoxy garage floors?
Epoxy garage floors are an outstanding option. Epoxy floors require rigorous surface preparation. A properly prepared concrete surface will have a CSP2 or better for an epoxy floor. Garage floor epoxies provide an easy-to-clean surface and epoxy floors in the general area a great choice.
Many of our customers find with cheap epoxies that gave to use garage floor mats to protect the floor. A quality epoxy, properly installed should provide a durable finish, no floor mat is required.
Epoxy has a longer dry time than moisture-cured products. Moisture under the house or slab can also cause an issue.
Single-coat epoxy products should never use color flakes and are likely to suffer UV damage unless an aliphatic urethane is applied over it. Additional epoxy should always start with a primer.
Garage floor epoxy has less odor than other chemicals. It tends to be thicker an do a better job of covering existing surface damage. Once protected with a quality top coat it will have a high gloss finish, perhaps close to the same level of a Polyurea. Most colored epoxies and clear epoxies will yellow and fade if exposed to UV whereas a Polyurea or MCU will not. True polyaspartic coating can protect the epoxy.
Epoxy is a better choice for in the house or basement than Polyureas or Urethanes because a 100% solids epoxy does not have lingering odor and solvent issues. Stains are not as much of an issue in the home and they will adequately protect the concrete floor.
Ranking the best and worst garage floor protection options
When it comes to the garage floor there are a lot of options for coating products. one kit may protect much better than another. Our garages and our floors are a reflection of us and likely the first thing we see inside the home when we get home. Selecting the best floor surface for coating concrete is essential.
- All Weather Floors Professional Full Broadcast Epoxy system
- AWF Polyurea
- TrueLock 100% Solids flooring systems
Very Good Choices
- Any of the Truelock garage floor epoxy systems other than the water-based system
- Ghostshield 8510
- TrueLock water-based system
- Stains with a good sealer
- Garage floor paint
- single coat water-based epoxy
- Anything from a brand that is an animal spelled funny. (HINT: Bear)
- Homecenter “easy” coatings
Best Epoxy Kit: DIY
This requires some qualifications. We are talking specifically about inexperienced DIY customers and we are talking specifically about epoxy. In many cases, Polyurea would be a better choice. If you are specifically looking for a DIY epoxy the All Weather Floors DIY kits are an outstanding choice.
Hot Tire Pickup
Scotty from a Company called Legacy Industrial (the place we would buy from if we were not in this business) has a saying. Hot tire pickup is Latin for poor floor prep. Any garage floor coating on any garage floor will fail without propersurface preperation.
Pros and Cons
From a Polyaspartic floor to a store-bought floor coating, protecting your garage floors has a lot of benefits. When you select a garage floor coating they will all have similar Pros and Cons compared to other products like floor tiles and mats.
- Easy to clean
- Virtually Seamless
- Customize with Color Flakes
- Cost Efficient
- Lots of work
- Failure is likely an installation issue
- Difficult to repair
- Difficulty of installation
What Customers Are Saying
Between google and shopper approved, Garage Flooring customers are very satisfied with their garage floors. We invite you to have a look at the thousands of reviews and see for yourself.
Best Concrete Sealer: Ghostshield 8510
Ghostshield 8510 is not a floor coating. It is a penetrating sealer. Unlike a garage floor coating it leaves nothing on the surface and adds no gloss to the floor. It is typically used in conjunction with a concrete densifier.
Ghostshield 8510 will protect your floor from oil and most spills as long as you clean it quickly. Unlike a garage floor coating, at some point chemicals will break through and stain the concrete.
Best Concrete Paint: There is no such thing
Concrete paint for a garage floor is a horrible idea and flat-out should not be considered! The difference between paint and epoxy coating is significant, making it crucial to avoid confusing one for the other.
The Best Garage Floor Coatings 2023—Summary
The best garage floor coating depends a lot on your application, skill set, and budget. For the vast majority of our customers, we have found Polyurea kits to be the best choice. The exception would be floors that are heavily damaged or interior projects where high odor or ventilation is a concern.
Best Garage Epoxy Floor Kits Full Broadcast
If you are looking for a full broadcast kit, we suggest the Polyurea or TrueLock premium kits
For garage application, you should use a Polyurea, MCU, or an epoxy system with an aliphatic urethane (or better) top coat. A primer should always be used with epoxy. Moisture tests and surface preparation are key
Best Protective Coating for Floor Surface—AWF Polyurea Clear Gloss Floor Finish
If you are simply looking to protect the floor and Ghostshield 8510 does not work for you, a single coat of AWF clear polyurea is an outstanding option.
How long will my epoxy floor coating last?
Anyone who gives you a blanket answer to that question is not being completely honest. A high-quality coating over a properly prepared and tested substrate should last indefinitely, provided the top coat is lightly sanded and re-applied from time to time. How long between applications depends on use quality and other factors.
The more traffic and use your flooring experiences, the more frequently you may need to re-apply the epoxy garage floor paint to mitigate wear and tear. However, the right garage floor epoxy paint materials will help maximize the longevity of your floor coating.
Garage floor tiles
If all of this scares the DIY out of you, we highly suggest you take a good look at garage floor tiles. Garage floor tiles can be installed quickly and easily and give you access to your garage floor the same day.
Best Entry-Level: AWF Waterbased
When you consider the amount of work involved in any coating system, we sincerely believe using any entry-level system in a garage to be a mistake. If you decide to do so anyway this low odor higher solids water-based epoxy is not a terrible option.
Types of Garage Floor Coatings
There are certain things to know about epoxy coatings vs. urethane coatings.
The following are the main types of floor coatings and their subtypes:
- Epoxy — Epoxy garage floor paint and coatings help resurface concrete flooring. This material is ideal for rejuvenating flooring that has experienced many cracks and pits, all while boosting the reflectivity of the floor’s surface. Garage epoxy floor paint is highly versatile and is available in different color options, allowing for many variations for aesthetic and practical purposes, from business logos and architecture-complementing floors to designated walkways and work areas.
- Urethane — Unlike epoxy, urethane flooring isn’t intended as a coating for repairs or for increasing the aesthetic quality of existing flooring. The main reason is that urethane doesn’t form a strong bond with concrete. On the other hand, floors coated with industrial floor epoxy may have an additional sealant or topcoat made of urethane if damage to the floors isn’t too extensive. Generally, you’re more likely to use a urethane material than actual epoxy for most floor coatings. There are also multiple types of urethane flooring solutions, including:
- MCU — Moisture-cured polyurethane flooring
- Polyaspartic floor coating — This highly corrosion-resistant material is ideal for environments with harsh chemicals.
- Polyurea — This polyurethane floor coating is very durable and offers superior scratch resistance.
- Paint — Urethane paint can help protect flooring from potentially dangerous elements, including acids, alcohol, oil, and gasoline, while improving the surface’s UV resistance.
- Sealers — Urethane sealers can serve as a top coat for added resistance to various hazards that can otherwise cause damage to urethane or epoxy garage floor paint.
Garage Floor Coatings vs. Garage Floor Coverings
There is no perfect garage flooring. What you gain with one system you lose other benefits. A good garage floor covering such as a garage floor tile is quick and easy to install. Cost-effective, low prep, and incredibly low failure rate. It is not seamless and can have expansion and contraction issues if not properly installed — but those quickly fade.
Garage floor coatings are seamless and waterproof but require more work and more skill. Unfortunately, they also have a higher failure rate due to installation issues.
Choosing the Best Garage Floor Coating—Buying Guide
We have beaten this issue to death above. if you are still lost we suggest you reread or give us a call and let us walk you through the options
Garage Floor Paint and Coating Types
We have beaten this issue to death above. if you are still lost we suggest you reread or give us a call and let us walk you through the options
Garage floor paints
So why the hate for garage floor paints? They are cheap, thin, and fail very quickly. Once they fail they make the process of coating the concrete floor more difficult. If you want to use concrete floor paint in the basement, you have a chance of success. Garage floor paint leaves you with zero chance of having a positive long-term outlook
Epoxy floor coatings
As we have stated above, epoxy is hard to work with and has a very short pot life. We highly suggest that inexperienced users go with a Polyurea — unless there is heavy damage to the floor.
Polyaspartic floor coating is great for a top coat but not so great for direct-to-concrete application. True Polyaspartic floor coatings are so difficult to work with and so fast curing that as of publication we will not even sell them to the general public
Are garage floor coatings worth it?
Absolutely, Take your time repairing cracks, preparing the surface, and applying the floor coating. A good floor coating will outlast many floor coverings and be very easy to clean.
It is really important to understand that we can make general suggestions here, but if you want to know what is best for your garage floor epoxy project, you really should give us a call or email us. That said, in many cases, the best epoxy for your garage may not be epoxy at all. If you have a residential garage floor with typical use and the existing concrete is in reasonable condition, a urethane-based product is often a better choice. If this is the case, we would have a look at the polyurea garage floor coating products first. If you need comparable quality with a little lower cost, TruAlloy is a great choice.
Urethanes such as Polyurea and TruAlloy (MCU) are outstanding products. If they have a downside, it is that they are high odor and offer almost zero ability to hide flaws in your existing concrete. If the odor is a concern or if you are going to have to do a lot of repairs and you are not sure how perfect those repairs will be, an epoxy may be a better choice. Read our related article about the Do’s and Dont’s of Garage Floor Paint.