You want your house, and your garage, to be with you for the long haul. We get it! Garages alone can weather a lot of storms. But although those concrete floors may seem indestructible at first, they actually take quite the beating, especially in the Kansas City winters when our cars bring in lots of salt, snow, and other debris from the street!
For almost 10 years, Big Red Decorative Concrete has serviced thousands of customers in the Kansas City area. We know what it takes to create beautifully designed and crafted concrete coatings—and we’ve seen firsthand the mistakes homebuyers usually make when it comes to epoxy flooring.
We’ve put our brains together and compiled the ultimate guide for improving your garage flooring. We’ll first discuss the benefits of upgrading garage floors, review the various options you have for coating your garage floor, the process of garage floor coating, and then we’ll answer questions we frequently receive from our own customers!
The 4 Main Benefits of Upgrading Your Garage Floors
If you’re here, you might already be pretty jazzed about getting started on the process of improving your garage floors. But there’s also a chance that a small part of you is going, “Why should I care about garage floor coatings anyway?!”
Big Red Decorate Concrete owner Kevin Toczek recently sat down to discuss garage floor coatings and epoxy. For a quick overview, feel free to give it a watch! 👇
Generally, we’ve found that most customers care about four main aspects of upgrading their garage floors.
Garage floor coatings offer protection.
Perhaps the most important reason to opt for garage floor epoxy or other coating is for protection.
Like we previously mentioned, garage floors can experience a very high level of wear and tear over the years from the various debris, salts, and moisture brought in from the tires on our cars. Plus, almost all cars (unless you drive electric!) leak some kind of petroleum, even if they aren’t running.
In addition to what cars themselves can do to concrete floors, there’s also heat, scratches, chemicals, and abrasion/friction to think about, too! All of these elements can wear down your existing concrete floors over time. Not only does this affect the look of your garage, but it can also affect the longevity of its floor.
With a garage floor epoxy or other type of coating, the concrete itself is protected and can help your floors stay pristine and functional for years and years.
Garage floor coatings are easier to clean—a lot easier.
One of the biggest advantages of choosing a garage floor coating is that epoxy is much easier to clean. Concrete, although sturdy and hard, is actually very porous. That means all of those things we just mentioned (ice, moisture, petroleum/oil, etc.) easily seep into the concrete, making it increasingly more difficult to clean over time.
An epoxy coating is sealed so that these elements can be wiped or swept away with ease. Basically, it transforms your garage into a low-maintenance and stress-free paradise! 🏝
Garage floor coatings give you a chance to customize your home.
There is nearly no end to the customization options you have available when it comes to coating your garage floor. Colors, textures, patterns and designs are all totally up to you! Your epoxy installer should have plenty of experience in helping you narrow down your options to find the aesthetic that matches your home and your style.
Garage floor coatings look nicer and provide additional curb appeal.
Your garage doesn’t have to be an afterthought. It takes up a large amount of space on your property, and in fact, for most of our customers, the garage consumes the majority of the “face” of the home! When you open your garage door, you want the space to feel clean and inviting. Upgrading your garage floor with epoxy can help enhance, brighten, and modernize your space to help welcome you, your family, and your guests into your home.
Convinced yet? Okay, great! If not, keep reading to learn more.
Garage Flooring Upgrades
When people think of “epoxy coating” for their garage, they typically do not realize there is more than one kind of coating in the first place! In fact, there are two distinct types of garage floor coatings: epoxy and polyurethane.
Garage Floor Epoxy (aka Polyaspartic Coating)
Epoxy coatings have been popular for years due to their low maintenance and being highly customizable.
In general, a garage floor epoxy coat involves 2 components: resin and hardener (leveling out to about 6 millimeter thickness once set). The resin provides the sheen, and the hardener… well, hardens it! When mixed together, the resin and hardener form the epoxy, which is evenly spread across the floor. Depending on the color and style you’re looking for, our epoxy installers will be sure to implement your creative vision to really bring your garage floor to life 🙌
Side note: if you think epoxy coatings have a bad rap, think again! Yes, certainly old methods of epoxy coating (especially for garage floors) would yellow out over time due to UV exposure. They also had much longer cure rates, meaning your garage was out of commission much longer. Now, however, most contractors use an alternative material called polyaspartic coating to achieve the same look of epoxy, but with longer lasting results in less time!
Garage Floor Polyurethane Coating
Polyurethane involves a slightly thinner coat, about 2 to 3 millimeters. Mostly, this product soaks into the concrete and is very effective at preventing chemical leaks and damage. It provides a high level of reflectivity; so if you really want your garage to feel like an elegant showroom, polyurethane might be perfect for you!
Epoxy AND Polyurethane
Why choose one garage floor coating when you can have both?! For the most durable and long-lasting applications, epoxy installers can actually implement an advanced layering technique where both epoxy and polyurethane coatings work together to improve and enhance garage floors. Typically, this method takes a little longer but is well worth the wait, as it can further extend the life of your floors and keep it safe and durable for years to come.
This technique is especially popular with commercial customers who anticipate a much higher level of traffic across the floor over a similar period of time as a residential customer.
In addition to these two layers, we can also include an additional anti-slip additive that helps to prevent your floors from becoming slippery year round. This is especially important if you have young children or anyone who has trouble walking (such as older folks or those with physical disabilities) that frequently use the garage as an access point into the home.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I choose what type of garage coating will work best for me?
You’re here doing research, and that’s great, but what does all of this stuff mean for your actual garage and your actual needs? This is where finding a trusted epoxy installer comes in. The right decorative concrete specialist will be able to discuss all of your wants, needs, goals, and budget, and help you narrow down your decision to understand what product and application will work best for you. That said, make sure you vet your contractor by checking out their Google Reviews and web presence to ensure they know what they are doing and that they have a portfolio of amazing-looking results!
How much does garage floor epoxy installation cost?
The cost of your epoxy floor coating will be a combination of both the product used and the time spent applying it. This will be calculated based on the complexity of your customization, the products you choose (epoxy v. polyurethane v. a combination of both), and the square footage of your garage. At Big Red, we can also apply specific coatings to steps and foundation walls, so if you are interested in a clean, more uniformed look for your garage, we can also provide a quote for this in addition to your garage floor epoxy installation.
Is it worth it to get a garage floor coating?
Ab-so-lutely. Simply the value you get from protecting your floors alone can end up paying off in the long run. On top of that, you get to enjoy easy maintenance and cleaning AND a great-looking garage floor for years to come ✨
Do I have to go to a professional epoxy garage floor installer? Can I DIY my garage floor coating?
DIY-ing your garage floor coating can be tempting. However, because epoxy coating can get expensive and can be very tricky to apply, it’s usually best left to the professionals. We can’t tell you how many times we get calls from customers asking us to come fix their DIY epoxy jobs! From not taking the proper preparatory measures to incorrect/uneven applications, there is a lot that can go wrong when applying a garage floor coating without the help of a professional.
What kind of maintenance is required after I get my garage floors coated?
That’s easy. Simply sweep or vacuum your newly coated floors regularly, and use a mop and hot water to remove any liquid spills. You don’t even need to (and shouldn’t) use soap or cleaning chemicals 🙌
What if I change my mind? Can I refinish my garage floors down the road?
After epoxy has been cured, it can easily be sanded down and refreshed / recoated at any time; as a chemical bond with the underlying concrete is no longer possible, this light sanding creates a “mechanical” bond between the new coat and the previous.
How do I best prepare my garage for a contractor to install an epoxy coating?
Before a contractor can install garage floor epoxy, you must first remove every item off the floor. Typically, customers store these items in their basement or backyard (depending on the time of year) until the curing process is complete. Cars will also need to be parked on the driveway or street. You should then sweep away any small, medium, or large debris or trash. Then we’ll take it from there. Our installers will do a final “sweep” of the space to ensure no dirt or other unwanted articles get trapped between the floor and the epoxy; and then we begin the process of mixing and applying your epoxy coating!
If I have any cracks in my floor, do I need to have them fixed before I get it coated?
Epoxy should not be applied to any concrete containing cracks or holes. However, whether you choose to fix and seal these issues yourself or let your contractor take care of it is up to you (and your budget).
What is the best time of year to get a garage epoxy coating?
In Kansas City, we can experience some pretty harsh weather conditions year round. That said, both epoxy and polyurethane garage coatings can be cured at a wide range of temperatures and should have no problem being applied in the summer, spring, fall, or winter!
Have more questions about garage floor epoxy?
When it comes to garage floor coating, don’t you want to give your home the best treatment possible? At Big Red Decorative Concrete, we serve residential homes and businesses in the Kansas City metro area on both sides of the state line, and our results speak for themselves!
Our wide variety of concrete coating options range in color and design and are perfect for any budget. We can even add your logo or a family crest to really make them your own!
From start to finish, we pride ourselves on having a seamless customer service experience, so all you have to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy your newly upgraded garage floors.