Epoxy is probably one of the mostly commonly known concrete coating products. It's almost interchangeable, or a generic term, for all floor coatings. Epoxy has been known the longest for sure. There are several options for epoxy. For example, look at Rustoleum EpoxyShield, a DIY epoxy floor coating. People get it thinking they are getting the same product as what a professional would install, but it couldn't be further from the truth. Rustoleum is a single coat, 55% solids, water-based epoxy. They add insult to injury by telling the customer that chemically etching the floor is adequate floor prep -- which it's not.
Even the best epoxies have inherent issues, like hot-tire pick up, meaning that it will peel up off the floor by parking a car on in the summer time with hot tires. That seems like an issue for a product that you are installing in a garage whose primary usage is to park a car on. UV instability is another issue, meaning epoxy can yellow in sunlight, either in front of a window or an open overhead garage door. Some epoxies have not tried to address this issue with additives. Most epoxies can only be applied at temperatures over 50 degrees and others over 70 degrees.
We do have an epoxy garage floor solution. Frankly it is designed to address the price-sensitive applications. We can prevent the hot tire pick up issue by top coating the epoxy with polyaspartic. And in order to prevent color yellowing, we would suggest using a full vinyl flake application with a top coat of polyaspartic. This application with 2 coats of epoxy (remember the 1st cost needs to be a primer) and just the top coat being polyaspartic can save approximately $0.50/square foot to the overall cost of the project. The downside is there are no material warranties like you would get with polyaspartic.
Polyaspartic concrete coatings have become more and more popular in the market. Polyaspartic is our preferred coating because of it's durability and fast-drying times. It dries 4 times harder than epoxy so it is less likely to scratch. It is UV stable so there is a Lifetime Warranty against yellowing or fading. It dries to re-coat in just a couple hours. There is no concern for hot tire pick up like epoxy. Almost nothing will stick to it. Have an oil leak from the car? No problem - merely wipe it up with a clean cloth.
We apply 3 coats to the floor -- the 1st coat is a primer coat. The flake is applied to the 2nd coat while wet. Note that one of the major reasons for floor failure is moisture in the slab. Imagine if there is a pinhole in the 1st coat, which can happen from air trapped in the slab that outgasses. If you flake it immediately, you'll never see it. In our case, a small pinhole in the first coat can often be seen and is filled with the 2nd coat, giving a much better seal on the floor itself. The 3rd coat is a clear coat that goes on after the flake is scrapped flat and all the loose pieces are cleaned up. Our polyaspartic material supplier has a 15 year warranty against peeling, flaking, or otherwise, delaminating.
What will your floor look like? Check out a couple of our job pictures
in the Greenwood area. We can show you different physical samples during the free in-person estimate, some with no flake, some with a little bit of flake and some with full flake. Just know that the there is a trade off between smooth, non-flake floors that are the easiest to clean (but also show footprints and dirt) to full flake that provides a bit more traction, especially when wet, and hides all the dirt.
Don't see the color you want? Call us
and let us know. We can get custom colors of flake and background pigment. You really can have it your way. The Greige color above was created in response to a customer that had greige walls; they liked the tan but loved the greige.
Concrete needs to be sealed. Although we primarily focus on coating the garage concrete floor to protect it and make your garage beautiful. It's important to protect all the other concrete at your home to maximize its life and prevent future concrete damage like spalling and pitting. We seal that concrete as well. Ask us for details and a free estimates. We use a longer life penetrating sealer intended to last at least 7 years. You can get cheaper sealers, like Thompson's Water Sealer, to apply yourself. Thompson's may have one of the better names in sealers, but may be one of the worst in performance -- amazing what a big advertising budget can do for you.