Epoxy floors, otherwise known as polymer flooring systems, are created by the combination of two or more chemical ingredients applied to a concrete surface that harden or “cure”. The result is a flooring system that is durable, chemically resistant, easy to clean, anti-slip and anti-dusting. We use the industrial/professional grade floor coatings.
This is NOT a DIY system. The systems sold at the Depot stores consist of mostly paint, not epoxy, and only provide a thin coat which leads to a high risk of peeling within 1 to 2 years.
This is a 3 to 4 day project.
- The entire floor is degreased to remove any oily spots that are present and perimeter is taped off.
- The floor is etched with a special bonding degreaser formula and scrubbed.
- The floor is then neutralized and flushed. (Grinding or Shot Blasting may be required see FAQ below)
- The floor is now ready for surface repairs (if needed). No charge = hairline cracks, chips, etc.
- A concrete primer coat is added for further bonding adhesion in preparation for the epoxy.
- The floor is ready for the epoxy.
- The entire floor is blown out to get rid of any dust and inspected.
- The Epoxy with decorative chips are applied with anti-slip aggregate as needed.
- The floor area is taped off and left to dry to a beautiful semi-glossy finish.
- The entire floor is blown out to get rid of any dust and inspected.
- The final coat of Polyurea (#1 topcoat in the market) is applied to add a beautiful high-gloss longer lasting finish.
- The floor might need an additional day after Day 2 due to weather/dampness – only during winter.
It is important to allow sufficient drying time for your floor to ensure lasting results. In 48 hours depending on ventilation the floor will be dry enough to place items back into the garage. It will take 1 week before it is safe to park a car on the floor or moving other heavy items, example refrigerator.
Typically, custom homes are built with larger than standard sized garages. Our pricing is based on standard size garages – track homes. It’s simple, +/- 50 sq ft – 2-car is around 400 sq ft, 3-car is around 600 sq ft and 4-car is around 800 sq ft. Take a measurement and give us a call for an estimate if the floor is over 850 sq ft.
This is now a non-issue as we use a 100% UV Polyurea – you can have the section that is exposed to the expansion joint with no problem or if you don’t want to see that section from the outside than we can cut it off where the garage door comes down, although we highly recommend going out to the main expansion joint that separates the garage floor to the driveway. In some best case scenarios, some garages have a lip where the door comes down; in that case we go to the end of the lip.
Concrete preparation is the key to a successful installation. Current concrete conditions must be inspected by a professional to determine the best preparation method. Existing coatings or curing agents may need to be completely removed. Meanwhile, imperfections in the substrate will be mimicked or magnified by sealing over them. Proper leveling, crack and joint repair and patching with only compatible materials is necessary to reduce or eliminate the appearance of substrate imperfections.
Polymer coatings require special handling and safety equipment. A professional installer has a working knowledge of the products they recommend. Knowledge of the reactive properties, mixing ratio tolerances, temperature and humidity ranges and compatibility with other chemicals present is of the utmost importance.
OK – watch out! There are some NEW products that recently hit the market and you’re the guinea pig! These products are designed to dry quicker than normal 100% solid Epoxy – which has been around and used for over 30 years. This is basically designed to cut down on the labor involved and cutting corners. Don’t be fooled – if the person is speaking in technical product terms and sounds like a rocket scientist – hang up!
These 1-day products are cheaper than what we use – but these contractors charge more money – beware.
Diamond grinding is considered the “old school” way of preparing concrete not to mention (for residential) it’s a great way for the competition to charge A LOT more money. Now, are there times a floor needs to be grinded down? Absolutely! First, we use a shot blaster by Blastrac or a diamond grinder to prepare surfaces for the following situations:
- If the residential floor has existing epoxy with a topcoat and is peeling.
- If the residential floor has glue residue from pre-existing carpet, rubber or tile.
- If the home is really old and full of oil stains, etc… – we would have to come check it out.
- All Commercial jobs where the weight of machinery is >15,000 lbs.
- Customer demands the floor is shot blasted.
We do charge extra for shot blasting or diamond grinding when needed, however the bulk of our business in residential is typically a 2-4 car garage, <10 years old, concrete is in excellent to fair condition and the heaviest item ever to go in the garage is your automobile! We’ve NEVER had a floor peel up + we cover you with our warranty. Diamond grinders create swirls in the concrete, especially if (1) non-experienced person (2) new concrete.
Not recommended! There are some Companies that won’t do it period and others that actually will try to “up sell” someone to do it and make extra money. Here’s the deal – expansion joints are there for a couple reasons (1) they are designed to absorb cracks (2) designed to drain water to the driveway & collect dirt/dust. IF someone fills them in, chances are they will crack over time – especially if there is an earth quake, if you look closely at most expansion joints, they actually have cracks in them, I don’t care what you fill them with, they might crack down the road. Now, with that said… I’ve had customers demand filling in the expansion joints, so yes there is an additional charge depending on size and we are really good at it!
Why does epoxy get a bad name? Companies that use 1-day systems with non-proven products say epoxy isn’t the way to go.
There are several reasons:
- A non-professional company or a do it yourself home depot kit is used to do the floor, these home depot / Lowes kits are actually garage paint with about 5% epoxy. It only contains 1 thin coat of paint, this is why it begins to peel up after 1-2 years or hot tire marks. We use 100% solid epoxy not to mention primer and top coat – plus we know how to properly install.
- Does epoxy fade – turn yellow over time? If the contractor uses a Poly that isn’t 100% UV protectant than it will fade over time with direct exposure to the sun light. This is a non-issue for contractors like us that use Polyurea or CRU products – these never fade – we switched to these products in 2009.
Spartaflex is a one-day system and a cheaper product than the polymer and polyurea systems we install. Spartaflex has not been around long enough to ensure longevity. Some contractors actually charge more for this cheaper product and less labor.
All concrete slabs have some moisture in them, the epoxy products we use will withstand moisture, in fact out of 1,000 garage floors, we’ve only seen a couple of moisture issues resulting in lifting the epoxy floor. The first sign of a moisture problem is the white powder (the white powder is efflorescence) that comes up through the slab after it rains or when you wash out the garage – typically this is isolated to a small area where the moisture gathers under the slab. It can be caused from a number of issues, most commonly is poor drainage flow, poor drainage from the other side of the stem wall – planter area’s with no drains. The other rare issue is perhaps a broken pipe under the slab, again both of these are very rare.
We can resolve isolated area’s by applying a moisture barrier product, this works, however if the moisture issue seems to cover most of the garage than Epoxy flooring is not the solution, we would recommend concrete polishing with added color dye instead.
Lately, in speaking to customers, some competitors are pushing the moisture barrier as a must have resulting in the customer spending hundreds extra and adding to their bottom line. Again, this is a rare issue and we’ll spot it prior to beginning the floor – We only charge for the material!
We do NOT recommend a solid color epoxy floor for garages – only exception to the rule is Brand New Build with prestine concrete slab.
The reason is with solid color epoxy – all imperfections will be on full display – dips, divets, spider cracks, etc… ALSO solid color epoxy flooring is very slippery even with a medium grit added. The flake system – not only do the flakes act as a slip resister but they hide all the imperfections of the concrete floor.
We will not do a solid color on older garage floors that are riddled with cracks and issues – it won’t look good – been down this path many times.
We don’t take a dime until the job is completed for standard garage floors, however we do create a payment plan and 10% deposit for all commercial jobs >1,000 sq ft.
We will coordinate payment on the final day, making sure someone is present to see the final project completion. We prefer a check; however we do accept credit cards via PayPal. If paying by credit card, we just need an e-mail address to send the PayPal invoice.
There is an additional 3% added to invoice as this is our cost of using PayPal.