Our garages have become so much more than just a carport for our mode of transportation. They can be anything from creative workspaces, storage space, gaming and entertainment rooms, or a vault for a variety of collections, ranging from antiques to high-performance racing machines.
Garage floors are typically made of slab concrete that, without proper treatment, becomes difficult to clean and maintain. Regardless of how the space is used, the garage tends to get used and worn looking faster than any other room in the home. There are solutions to this normal wear and tear and one great option is to apply epoxy to the flooring.
Epoxy also comes in different colors. So, here is another reason to use DzineSteps.com to visualize different color options to help your decision making process.
What is Epoxy?
Epoxy flooring material, which is a combination of paint, epoxy resin, and other materials (paint chips, non-skid additives, etc.), can be applied to a variety of flooring surfaces to add color and texture. It can add style and a finished look to your garage while repelling spills and stains that would otherwise seep into the concrete. The epoxy can be smooth, with a uniform or speckled coloring, or textured, by mixing in a non-skid additive during painting.
Applying just any epoxy could be a costly error, though. Matt Watkins of Silverline Systems explained to DzineSteps about the variety of epoxies available.
“There are many different types of coatings used on concrete. There are epoxies, different types of urethanes, and other “Poly” materials. There are also many different grades of these products. One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a coating is the “solids” content, which relates to how durable and resistant the coating is.”
Matt discussed an example hybrid, poly-urea epoxy Silverline specifically designed for local customers in Idaho.
“We use a poly urea hybrid system as opposed to an epoxy only system. The reason for this is that over time we have developed a specialized system that we have put together to handle the weather and environmental conditions that we face here in the Treasure Valley. A good coating system should be one that is designed with the conditions in mind. Our system is highly flexible while still being an extremely high solids content with a good scope of UV resistance.”
Look for local epoxy manufacturers that create epoxies that work with your climate. It could mean the difference between having a worry-free flooring and a floor that needs frequent maintenance.
How is Epoxy Applied?
Depending on the size of the project, you may want to hire a professional to apply an epoxy to your garage floor. Professionals can add specialized patterns and designs that may not be available options for DIY projects.
Matt offered this advice for choosing a professional:
When choosing a company to install a garage floor or other type of concrete company I recommend making sure you are using a reputable and licensed contractor. Licensed contractors are required by law to carry insurance and can be held liable for their work. That fact alone usually means that more care is taken and the job is done in proper fashion. The other thing I recommend is a contractor that has a showroom and valid references so that you can see their work and get a feel before you commit to the project. Also, I recommend a contractor that is BBB certified and has good customer reviews.
However, if you’re looking to apply a uniform epoxy covering, there are kits available for purchase at local hardware stores and additional application tips and resources online to help you.
Though it may seem as easy as applying paint, there are some important steps to remember:
- Before you begin applying epoxy, be sure to read your epoxy kit instructions thoroughly.
- Prepare your garage floor.
- Remove all movable items off of the floor.
- Make sure the area is well ventilated.
- Clean the floor thoroughly. There are concrete cleaning products available for this step or you can use a 3:1 water-to-bleach mixture. With either cleaning solution, make sure you wear eye protection and gloves. Let the floor dry completely.
- Once the floor is clean and dry, repair any visible cracks with a concrete/mortar repair compound. Let the compounds dry completely.
- After the cracks have been sealed and are dry, you’ll need to etch the concrete so that the paint will absorb better. Let dry completely, usually overnight.
- With a long handled paint roller, apply the primer to the floor. Allow the entire floor to dry for at least 8 hours before applying the top-coat.
- Make sure that the top-coat is well mixed before applying to the floor.
- With a long handled, nylon paint roller, apply a thin, even layer on top of the primer and allow to dry for 24 hours. After the paint has fully dried, you can apply additional layers allowing drying time for each.
Whenever in doubt, consult your epoxy manufacturer’s instructions or go online to the manufacturer’s website.
Just as with any hard flooring surface, regular sweeping and cleaning will be ideal for maintaining the integrity of the epoxy. Matt of Silverline recommends,
“cleaning with a hose and squeegee. For areas where that is not enough, I recommend a good old fashion “go to” for cleaning almost anything. I use warm water and white vinegar. The acidity of the vinegar helps break down stuck on grease, oils, and dirt. A drop of Dawn dish soap doesn’t hurt in the mix either. I start with a cup of vinegar per gallon of water. I spread that across the floor using a flower pot or bucket. I then scrub with a push broom as opposed to a mop as you can use the broom to scrub. I then hose off the surface and squeegee it out and repeat if necessary.”
There are instances when the epoxy could become damaged, chipped or begin peeling. Certain chemicals, like battery acid, can corrode the coating while, over time, age can cause the epoxy to chip or peel. When repair is necessary, start by visiting the manufacturer’s website for suggestions on repair. It may result in having to sand down the affected area and repeating the application steps in order to return the flooring to its former glory.
Visualize Your Garage Floor with DzineSteps
You can see just how that epoxy would look on your garage floor using DzineSteps. Here are a few examples we created to show you what you can Dzine.
Matt Watkins and Silverline Systems
For more information about Silverline Systems, please visit their website at www.silverlinesystems.com, like them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.
We found a lot of information about applying epoxy flooring and we want to share these resources with you.
Why Epoxy Flooring is Good for your garage floor
How to epoxy a garage floor
How to make the epoxy flooring non-slip
Where to purchase and the product information