Thinking of coating your garage floor with some “Epoxy” and “Flake” or even better one of the super popular Full Flake floors that are top coated with a clear grout coat? These floors are no doubt beautiful and in most cases very tough, but it is very important to realize they are not all created equally. The prep work is KEY to ensure a floor lasts. Well, unless you buy that big box, off the shelf stuff that pulls up with hot tires. Nothing can save those big box DIY floor kits.
Okay, if you want to have a shop or garage floor installed, this is what you should know.
Grinding vs etching
I know there are tons of people out there that sell floor systems telling you all you have to do is acid etch the floor and make sure it is clean. Well, The truth is acid etching will work about 60% of the time, but only when the conditions are just right. For acid etching to work, the right coating system must be used, the moisture content in the concrete slab must be just right, and the environmental conditions must be ideal when applied. However, if you grind the floor with #30 diamonds you have a 95% chance of success with the right coating system, right moisture content in the slab, and ideal environmental conditions when applied. If you add shot blasting to the floor after a good grind, you will take that 95% up to 99%. We also offer a grind only service for those of you that want to put down your own floor and would like the prep done right. Click this link for grinding pricing
What Garage Floor Coating system is best?
We offer several systems depending on the moisture troubles that your concrete slab may have. Epoxy has the least odor, but is also the least resistant to hydrostatic pressure (hydrostatic pressure is the force in which water is pushing up from underneath the concrete slab). Epoxy can only hold back about 8 PSI. We have our own moisture-cured, flexible, urethane elastic-deck which holds back 25 psi of hydrostatic pressure. The negative to this floor is that it has a very strong odor. We also have a Polyurea base coat which is almost like a happy medium between epoxy and elasti-deck. Both epoxy and polyurea must be covered either with flake or an opaque top coat since neither are UV stable. Since neither of them are UV stable, they will turn yellow and get chalky after about 6 months. If you are doing a full flake floor, which is typically the best choice for a work area or a garage, then you will want a super durable top coat to avoid fading and discoloration.
We have 2 clear top coat systems that we primarily use. Our first options is a 2 part polyaspartic which is very UV stable, chemical resistant, and extremely durable. The con to this option is that it sets up very fast and has a very strong smell. This means that we have to work very quickly to spread it before it sets up. The other is a clear moisture cure urethane, which is a single component, very hard, and durable urethane. It is a little thinner than polyaspartic, but it is a great durable, UV stable top coat system for non-industrial projects. Our professional installers can install any system you want and will help you decide which is best for your needs! Click this link for complete floor installation pricing