Time and time again, we get asked what is the best material is for garage floors and our response is ‘what the existing floor is like. We all want a garage floor that is easy to clean and look great, but are the options?
There are actually quite a few to choose from:
- Vinyl Tiles
However, my favourite treatment is an epoxy or polyurethane coating and depending on your budget you can choose from a paint or high-build coating.
An epoxy paint is usually a self leveling coating that is applied by brush or roller, but the high-build coating would require a fairly complex mix of sand, stone, silica and resin. It’s also quite a skilled job to level it on the floor and I would advise consulting an expert or contractor. I usually ask advice from our friends at Flowstone Epoxy Flooring who are happy to advise over the phone.
Check out the condition of the existing Garage floor
Floor preparation is key; look at what condition is the floor in, are there any cracks etc.
It’s also wise to check the concrete for moisture – applying a coating on a dry day will help, but you will also need to check if you have a high water table. It’s possible that it could cause issues with you desired coating.
One method is to cut a square foot of clear plastic sheet and tape it to the floor using duct tape. Make sure you clean the floor before hand.
Leave the plastic for around 24 hours and check to see if there is any moisture seeping up. Other indicators may be discolouration of the concrete under the plastic.
The floor should be sanded properly and its worth hiring a concrete floor sander from any good tool shops. This should help remove any oil patches and strange stains on the floor, it will also give a bit of bite for your primer too.
I cannot tell you how important this stage is… get the brush and a hoover and ensure you have removed any loose bits and dust. If need be jet wash the floor and repair any bits that require fixing.
One washed, brush and hoover again.
The next stage is your primer
There are loads on the market but I would generally buy both the primer and top coat from the same manufacturer – give your floor a coating and leave for around 12 hours before giving the surface another coat.
You can use a roller or compression spray but make sure you read the expected coverage on the tin. If the floor needs another coat, wait 12 hours and go again.
Like the top coat, the primer is usually a two component product so will require you mixing an hardening agent into a resin primer. Make sure you read the instructions and add the required amount of hardener and mix thoroughly. Preferably with an electric mixing attachment.
Now apply your paint.
Using the same method as you did with the primer.
Once the epoxy is mixed with the hardener, you usually have around 60 mins to apply your coat, so if the floor requires two coats, read the instructions on how the volumes work with both composites.