Coating your garage floor is a great way to bring that professional workshop look to your home. Whether you’re hiring a professional or doing it yourself, you’re going to need to ensure that your garage gets the treatment it deserves.
Below are 5 things you need to consider before coating your garage floor
Let’s get into it.
1. Do a Moisture Check
If you’re hiring a professional, you’re going to need to make sure they test your garage floor’s concrete for moisture. Concrete is naturally porous and a high moisture level can make the coating of your choice eventually peel, bubble, or delaminate.
If your contractor doesn’t bother doing a moisture check, that’s your signal to run!
For you DIYers, you can take a 16”x16” plastic sheet and duct tape it over your concrete. After a day, look underneath the plastic and look to see if any moisture was left on the concrete. If it’s all dry, then you’re good to go.
If not, you’re going to need to purchase a calcium chloride test to know exactly how much moisture you’re dealing with.
2. Beware of Big Brand DIY Solutions
The issue when it comes with DIY epoxy paint solutions is that you’re buying a water-based epoxy that will not hold up when compared to a professionally done solids-based epoxy job. You’ll find that over a year or two, the coating will start to chip and crack if you use your garage regularly. It’ll also start peeling off where you park your car (known as “hot tire pickup”).
What happens when you apply these cheap paints is that the water base evaporates leaving only 50% of what was initially applied. This leads to inferior adhering and frustration when you’re left with a shoddy paint job sometime in the future.
That doesn’t mean these kits don’t have a purpose. They’re great if you don’t park your car in the garage and or do a ton of heavy-duty work. Otherwise, I would think about investing a little more to get the job done properly.
3. Clean Your Garage Floor
Think you can get away with only a sweep and mop before coating your garage floor?
Think again. You’re going to want a deep clean so that your coating of choice has the best chance of adhering to your concrete. Over the years, your floor has been neglected and likely accumulated stains from spills.
The best solution by far is going to be to pressure wash your floor. You won’t have to spend hours on your knees scrubbing years of buildup, it’ll be a quick job. The downside is you’ll need to either rent a pressure washer yourself or hire a professional.
You may decide after a pressure wash that you like how your concrete looks naturally, saving you some cash.
One last thing, if your garage floor has old paint or concrete sealer on it, you’re going to need to apply a chemical stripper if you wish to apply a new coating over it.
4. Consider Porcelain Tile as an Option
Tile in your garage may seem odd, but when installed properly it’s going to be the strongest option by far. It won’t chip and break easily, even when you take a hammer to it.
One downside is that professional installation is around $5-10/sq.ft. Installing it yourself can be a hassle if you don’t have the proper tools required to cut the tiles. The biggest benefit would be that if you installed air conditioning to your garage, you’ll be adding liveable square footage driving up the value of your home.
5. Contractor or DIY?
Doing it yourself can save you money, but you may quickly realize you’re in over your head.
When dealing with solids-based epoxies that the professionals use, you have a limited amount of time to apply the mixture before it turns rock solid. You’re going to need to work fast and if you’ve never applied epoxy before, you may end up taking too long and costing yourself hard-earned cash.
On the flip side, not every contractor is going to get the job done right. Do your research and get plenty of estimates. You don’t want to rush a coating job as they’re pricy and if done improperly, can set you back a few thousand dollars. Make sure they test your concrete’s moisture levels and they have plenty of referrals.
Coating your garage floor is a great way to protect the concrete underneath and make cleaning a breeze. Just make sure that you’re considering all of the finer details so you’re happy a few years down the line.
The biggest mistake is rushing the process. You’ll regret that you didn’t take the time to do your research when you end up spending twice. So take your time, relax, and your garage floor is going to get the treatment it deserves.
Hi, I’m Roy, founder of Hack My Garage. I do my best to make sure that you get the information you deserve. I spend hours researching the best DIY products and processes so that you don’t have to.