Should You put in a Epoxy Garage Floor And Hide The Floor?
Hide the ugly with an epoxy garage floor. That’s what my neighbors all did. Well all but one that is. He painted his. Apparently concrete paint is getting better even in our low oil ozone friendly world. Even his garage looks pretty good. So now it was my turn.
Almost two years ago, I gave myself a present. A third car garage. For reasons I won’t go into, we ended up digging out the old two car and starting from scratch. A new 24″ footer was part of the plan so I could add lifts later. After all being the CoolToys guy, I have been known to have a cool car or two hiding in the garage.
Hide The Flaws With Epoxy Garage Floors
When the contractor poured the slab, he was a yard short. While he was waiting for the truck to come back with the last yard, the concrete of course started to set. I ended up with a cold pour and knew there would eventually be a huge crack. A year later I was right.
With that knowledge I had planned to put in an epoxy garage floor. If that didn’t work, I was going to put tile over it.
After doing some research and talking to several people who did their own garage floors, I decided I would do it myself. I looked at the “painted” floor and you could see all of the flaws and all of the patches. I didn’t like it.
Then I looked at epoxy floors. Rust-O-Leum had three levels. A one part that just said garage floors. A two part that was “5X” better than epoxy, and Rocksolid which said it was “25X” better than epoxy. I also looked at a couple of commercial brands like ArmourPoxy.
I started wondering if I should just pay a guy.
The Cost of Coating A Garage Floor.
For a one car garage, the Paint ran about $40 according the Behr paint rep at the local Home Depot. The bottom end one part Rustoleum was almost double that. The “5x” or “better two part epoxy” was $119 for one car garage, and the “25X” or Rustoleums best was $149.
The commercial grade epoxy kits were twice that or more and required special tools and shoes to apply it. Hiring a guy was $2500. Decision made, I’ll do it myself.
I chose the 2.5 car package of Rustoleums best Epoxy Garage Floor coating in grey and purchased the additional paint chips to help hide flaws. I also chose to buy the clear top coat to really finish it off.
Preparation and Patience
All of my DIY neighbors said that preparation was key but since my concrete wasn’t that old and didn’t have any oil stains they would just go for it. I didn’t. I pressure washed, degreased, rinsed, acid washed and rinsed again.
The next step was to fill the cracks with the Rustoleum two part epoxy crack filler.
Once the cracks were filled and the floor was sparkling clean, I waited two days to let it dry and the crack filler to cure. It wasn’t enough.
The first coat of epoxy separated badly. There were bubbles and all kinds of very small cracks looked huge. Clearly there was still moisture in the concrete. I didn’t take any photos out of embarrassment mostly.
If At First You Don’t Succeed…
After spending another $215 plus tax for another 2.5 car kit, I waited two more days. After making sure the floor was cured, I got a scraper and scrapped all of the bubble and cracks smooth. I then used a leaf blower to blow out all of the debris I created.
This round went way better. Instead of doing 4’x4′ as the instructions directed, I did 4’x8′. This way I did one stripe across with each pass. It made the paint easier to spread and it made it easier to toss on the paint chips.
Some of the larger cracks still appeared but it was way better than the first coat. When the mailman stopped by my dog ran through the fresh coat to great him. That was a clean up nightmare. Lock up your kids and dogs.
With the paint chips applied, and the second coat on the floor looked great. You only notice the cracks if you look for them. Clear coat is next.