Epoxy garage floors are growing in popularity both for residential and commercial use. It’s no surprise why – epoxy offers an attractive, customizable appearance that’s easy to clean and maintain and is more comfortable to walk on than bare concrete. However, an improperly applied epoxy coating will peel, crack, and chip not long after it’s applied, leading to an expensive, time-consuming mess to clean up. To do the job right the first time, watch the video below or read our step-by-step guide to install an epoxy garage floor.
Know the Job First
Before you do anything, take stock of the current condition of the garage floor is and what equipment you’ll need. The overwhelming majority of problems with epoxy coatings come from failing to do the proper surface preparation steps. That’s why you’ll want to consider factors such as:
- An existing epoxy, paint, or other coating on the floor;
- The condition and hardness of the concrete;
- Whether you have access to power to operate your tools and equipment;
- Weather conditions, particularly humidity;
You may need to use a concrete grinder to remove an existing coating or even out the slab prior to getting started. Even if the slab appears to be clean and ready for a coating application, you will probably need to use a shot blaster to achieve the proper concrete surface profile. The coating’s manufacturer will have recommendations for what type of surface preparation is needed to get the best results, so if it’s not listed on the container, we would recommend you call or contact them directly.
Preparing the Concrete for an Epoxy Coating
As we mentioned, you may need to grind away a coating or use a shot blaster to profile the slab. Additionally, you’ll want to get ready to lay the coating using these steps:
- Use epoxy-safe tape, such as Clean Green, to protect the edge of the walls where it meets the floor;
- Clean up any dust and debris. While you should be using a proper dust collector with a shot blaster to eliminate excess dust and create a safer workspace, you will also need to go over the slab with a microfiber mob and cleaner to get any residue that could impair the bond between the concrete and epoxy.
- Mop with acetone if there is high humidity or if the temperature and humidity are within ten points;
- Prepare your primer coating, wearing disposable gloves and safety glasses in a well ventilated area.
Applying an Epoxy Coating to the Garage Floor
Once the space is prepared, clean, and ready to go, apply a primer coat for a uniform application.
- Pour part A into a clean bucket, slowly mixing to avoid introducing air into the solution.
- Add part B and mix slowly, either by hand or with a power mixer with a paddle attachment at low RPMs. Mix the solution for at least three minutes at a consistent pace.
- Pour it into your rolling tray and work quickly to avoid the primary setting or hardening before you are ready. We recommend having one person roll the primer while the other person does the brush application around the walls and edges.
After the primer coat, you’ll want to wait one hour, then apply the colored base coating, following the same steps as above, except adding the color after pouring part A into the bucket but before adding part B. Again, work quickly once the solution is mixed, but take care to roll and brush consistently and blend the edges.
If applying a decorative chip coating, make sure to “broadcast” them before the coating is dry so they properly adhere. Simply reach into a container and broadcast the chips up and out in a natural motion to ensure a heavy, even coating as you can always remove and re-use excess chips. After an hour, use a light scraping pressure to remove and collect the chips with a clean shop-vac. Two hours later, you can apply the clear coating to complete the project.
Shop Our Epoxy Coating Preparation and Equipment
From shot blasters and floor grinders to high-quality epoxy coating, we have everything you need for a beautiful, long-lasting epoxy garage floor. To learn more about what you need for your next project, reach out to us at 815-472-9754 or filling out our contact form to get started.