Putting in an Epoxy Garage Floor
Why Put in an Epoxy Garage Floor
I've been on a mission to organize my garage. I've gotten rid of tons of junk, bought garage shelves from Costco, organized all the tools, installed a bike rack, and I was thinking I was done, but the garage floor looked terrible. It had oil stains and large cracks. I wanted to repair the floor since my wife and I work out everyday in the garage and I thought that after all the work I did on fixing it up, putting in an epoxy floor would be the finishing touch.
It took two days for my floor to be installed. Here is how they did it.
Grinding the floors
Grinding the floors
After the garage was fully emptied, they used an electric hand grinder on the floor. They ground down some of the high spots and evened areas out around the cracks. The grinding process is essential so the epoxy and sealer will adhere to the floor. For garages with harder cement, they may need an upright (more powerful) grinder.
After the floor had been ground, they used a high power pressure washer and cleaned the entire floor. The guys worked really quick. As soon as they finished the pressure washing they used squeegees to get all the water out. This part of the process went really quickly.
Filling large cracks in the garage floor
SpeedFinish Patching and Finishing Compound
Garage floor crack before and after they were filled
Applying the Epoxy
They started by using paint brushes and painting all around the edges. Then they used rollers with long handles to finish putting it on.
Quality of Epoxy Varies
In my research the quality of epoxy varies a great deal. I originally started researching vendors to put in the floor and found a few people through Yelp since I felt that the Home Depot products weren't going to hold up to the hot tires on my car. On my floor they used two products that are rated for medium industrial use.
They use this product because it contains primer and it's designed to accept the plastic chips that give it a speckled look. NOTE: The chips look great, but what they really do is provide some texture on the floor so it's not nearly as slippery when wet. It is highly advised to add a chip. If you don't use a chip, you should use another product.
- 4800 Clear Epoxy
They used the 4800 to seal the flakes. This product is supposed to be UV resistant, although the literature says it's "mildly UV" resistant. The installer said it would hold up on the small lip that is exposed to the outside under my garage door.
Putting the flakes on the floor
The flakes they used on my floor was a medium flake system. They wear these strap on spike shoes and walk all over the floor while it's wet and at the same time they were sprinkling the flakes very lightly by hand. It's amazing how even they were able to distribute the flakes.
It was about 30 minutes after applying the Epoxy paint that they started tossing the flakes on to the floor.
How Long for the Epoxy to dry?
They painted the Epoxy on in one day and the next morning it was dry enough to walk on. If you think about it, it has to be able to dry in one night because the next day they were rolling on the sealer.
Sealing the floor
After leaving the garage door open all night to help the floor dry, they came back the next morning and painted the Epoxy sealer (4800 clear epoxy) over the first coat and the chips. I asked them to put on a thick coat because that will make the floor a bit smoother. We workout in our garage, so I didn't want the floor to be too rough to the touch.
A few things to know about Epoxy floors in your home
If you are going to put an Epoxy floor in your garage or house a few things you should know.
- First, the products in this Hub are for garages. Research what products are best for inside a home.
- Second, the chemicals used in the Epoxy smell really strong. Our house sits above the garage and that may make it worse. Unless you like inhaling fumes, I suggest making sure the house has plenty of fresh air or staying out of your house while it's installed.
- Quotes vary a great deal. We got too quotes. One was from a national chain called Premier Garage and the other from OTEPoxy in the Bay Area. Premiere Garage was $5 a sq ft with the chips while OTPoxy was $3 sq ft.
Before the floor was done with Epoxy
After Epoxy Picture
When can we walk on it and drive on it?
So, now that we have a fresh floor in the garage, the question is when can we use it?
- One day after the sealer coat is applied it is OK to walk on it, but not drive or have heavy equipment on the floor.
- Five days after the sealer coat is applied it is OK to drive on with the products used for this floor.
Timing varies by the type of Epoxy and sealer used on the floor!
Freshly Completed Epoxy Garage Floor
Should I Install the Epoxy floor myself?
The products used on my floor were likely a few hundred dollars worth of materials. I watched them do the floor and I could do it, but it would have taken me a lot longer to do. They had three guys working about two to three hours a day that were very efficient.
In addition to the
- Pressure washer
- Spike shoes
- Brushes and rollers
They had a few other tools that most people don't have. I think I would have had to spend four to five hundred on additional tools. A good cement grinder can easily cost over $300.
So, let's say you have the tools. Then it comes down to self evaluation. Do you have the time and skill? I strongly considered doing it myself, but ultimately I hired OTEpoxy and I think they did a great job:)