Epoxy Flooring Facts & Fiction

Epoxy Flooring Facts You Must Know & What To Avoid For The Best Results

The first thing to know is that garage floor epoxy is not like regular floor paint and that all epoxies are not the same. The second thing is even with the best epoxy coating in the world, if you don't prep the floor correctly it will fail. See the How To Prep & Paint Your Floor link at the bottom of the page or on our Home page to see what your concrete should look like before applying any epoxy floor coating.

If you want your floor to come out right the first time it's important to know the difference between the various types of epoxy floor coatings. Those differences play a huge role in the longevity of the coating. If you're serious about getting an garage epoxy floor coating that's not going to fail or wear out.
Reading this page will save you time, money and heartache. Between this page and the information on our product pages you'll know how to get the best looking, longest lasting floor coating possible.

Most people have never dealt with epoxy paints before so they simply go to their local big box store and buy off the shelf epoxy or a bargain type kit online thinking that these types of epoxies are the same as a military grade epoxy system. Which is like saying a Volkswagen Beetle is the same as a Ferrari because they are both cars. Any epoxy can look good and stick to your floor when you first put it down but it's how long it stays stuck to your floor and keeps looking like the day you put it down that counts!

We get calls everyday from customers who went out and bought what they thought was a good product with a good warranty at a good deal without doing any research. Then they had to buy a second epoxy kit and sometimes even a third kit to redo their floors or to get the epoxy they bought to cover the floor properly. Then when it failed prematurely they found out that their guarantee didn't cover the coating wearing off (peeling off and wearing off are two different things) or the unsightliness due to the coating dulling and yellowing in just a couple of years. They never took a few minutes to read about proper floor prep, what type of epoxies are the best, whether to use a primer or not, what the minimum thickness an epoxy floor coating with vehicle traffic should be or the importance of topcoats and what their abrasion loss ratings mean. These are critical core capabilities that you must know if you only want to do your commercial or garage floor once!

An epoxy floor coating is usually a two part coating that you mix together rather than a single component that will adhere to your garage floor or any concrete floor for that matter much better than any conventional oil based, water based or enamel paint, think epoxy glue type adhesion vs duct tape adhesion. Your floor will have a much more dramatic look to it with a super high gloss finish no conventional paint can match, it will also be tough as nails, waterproof, mold & mildew proof. A good epoxy floor coating when cured is just about stain proof and cleaning it is similar to cleaning your Teflon pan.

Over the past 30 years we've manufactured and sold every type of garage floor epoxy there is, we've tested and installed every type of garage floor epoxy there is so we know exactly what works best and what doesn't. There's no 100% perfect epoxy coating but from our experience our advice is stick with 100% Aliphatic type epoxy, use a true urethane epoxy topcoat with an abrasion loss rating equal to your traffic load(more about that below), use a primer if the budget allows(more on that below) and make sure to prep your floor properly! If you're going to take the time and money to do your own epoxy flooring you might as well do it right so you only have to do it once. If price and saving a few dollars are your main criteria in buying an epoxy floor coating for your garage floor just remember that old saying you get what you pay before you buy. You won't be saving any money or more importantly any stress/time if you have to redo your floor a second time. Our epoxies provide you with professional looking results at a fraction of franchise company prices plus a much higher quality product than they use or you can buy off the shelf.

The following are our best selling complete epoxy floor kits designed for first time users to have the peace of mind knowing that their floor is going to come out looking great, stay looking great for the next 15-20 years and not have to worry about any warranty issues/hassles. The best part is that most other epoxies will get so beat up you have to grind and start over. With ArmorGarage the most you'll have to do is give the floor a quick cleaning and scuffing and roll on a new clear coat and your floor comes right back to looking brand new for another 15-20 years. We could be wrong but to us it doesn't get any better than that.

  • Armor Chip Is Our Standard Heavy Duty Garage Floor Epoxy With Color Flakes
  • Armor Granite Garage Floor Epoxy IS Our Top Of The Line Kit With The Thickest Epoxy And The Most Color Flakes
  • Commercial Epoxy Flooring System. Two Layer Solid Colors For Garages, Work Shops, Hangars & Forklift Traffic With No Color Flakes
  • Ultra Military Epoxy Flooring. Super Heavy Duty Three Layer System For Any Floor Application With Or Without Color Flakes
  • Metallic Epoxy Floor Coating For That Swirling Multi Color Marble Look For Garage Floors Or Commercial Duty Applications
  • Epoxy Floor Coatings To Avoid If You Want The Longest Lasting Results

    If you see a WB in the product name or part number, it's water based and should never be used. Did you know that up to 50% of a water based epoxy is water which evaporates out of the coating as it dries. The average thickness of water based epoxies is 4Mils thick which means you only have 2 Mils of coating on your floor after it dries! If you add in flakes as most garage floors do you have even less thickness! As opposed to 100% solids Aliphatic Epoxy we recommend that have an average of 20-25 Mils dried thickness!

    The following group of products are epoxies but their main feature is a low selling price not performance.

    High solids epoxies are not as good as 100% solids epoxies and should only ever be used as a primer. Same with any and all Cycloaliphatic Epoxies even if they are listed as 100% solids are all just a cost saving Hybrid All In One Epoxy touted as something superior that wear prematurely, bubble during application and easily yellow. Polyurea coatings are similar to lower percentage solids epoxies with similar performance issues. We classify them as glorified concrete sealers and prone to premature failures you read about online due to their lower adhesion characteristics. Aliphatics have an average adhesion rating of about 400 psi, Polyureas are around 300 psi. If doing an epoxy coating job outdoors than Polurea or Polyspartic is the way to go. As we mentioned above unfortunately there is no 100% perfect epoxy coating that can do any and all jobs. So the trade off here is that Polyureas and Polyspartics are outdoor rated whereas Aliphatic epoxies are not. So you sacrifice adhesion and durability for outdoor UV stability.

    Most epoxies you'll see don't equal our primers! Plus none of these types of epoxies can guarantee against wear. We manufacture and sell 100% solids Aliphatic epoxy which is the highest quality epoxy coating you can buy and it's why ArmorGarage is the only company that can offer a 5 year guarantee against wear which is the number one enemy of any epoxy floor!

    Another way to recognize an inferior coating is to look at the Pot Life, any epoxy coating with an hour or more pot life is an epoxy to steer clear of.

    You can compare our garage floor coating specifications to other brands on the Epoxy Comparison Chart. It's a great page to read after this one.

  • The Key To Having A Garage Epoxy Floor That Lasts 20 Years vs The Average 2-3 Years.

    The topcoat is the most critically important part of any epoxy floor installation because it's the where all the wear & tear happens from traffic abrasion. Having the highest quality topcoat over your epoxy means it's going to last 15- 20 years versus the average 2-3 years. Having a military grade topcoat allows you to simply roll on another coat when your floor does start to show its age and it the floor comes right back to looking brand new. You don't have to grind the floor back down to bare concrete and start over as you would have to with an inferior topcoat or no topcoat and you'll be doing it a lot sooner than you ever thought possible! And guess what premature wearing or dulling is not covered by so called lifetime guarantees!

    So you must use a topcoat without question and it should be a urethane epoxy, not just a clear version of the same pigmented epoxy you applied to your floor with some UV additives in it. Those are not real Topcoats. We simply cannot stress this enough, without the right topcoat on an epoxy floor coating it's just a complete waste of time and money! Why? Because a true topcoat is made to be chemically harder and stronger than the epoxy it goes over to protect it from scratches, impacts and wearing out from any type of abrasion.

    Your topcoat must have an abrasion loss rating lower than the epoxy it's going over otherwise it makes no sense to put a weaker coating on top of a stronger coating.

    The Abrasion Loss Rating is determined by the industry standard Taber CS-17 test method. The test measures how much coating wears off in mgs so the lower the amount of mgs means the better the coating is. Keep in mind that the mg ratings are like the Richter Scale, each mg makes an exponential difference in the durability rating of the coating! Disregard any ASTM abrasion test numbers, no one knows what they mean!

    Do your research and you'll see a lot of garage and so called commercial duty epoxy floor coatings have ratings over 25mgs and as high as 50mgs. 25mgs is way too soft for anything other than light foot traffic and 50mgs is no better than semi-gloss wall paint for your floor!. Most companies don't know their abrasion rating or won't publish one its so bad!

    Our 30 years of experience has taught us for garage duty type vehicle traffic you should have a 20 mgs or lower abrasion rating. For garages with big SUVs, Tractors, trailers or are workshops we offer a military grade topcoat version with an industry best 4mg loss rating that can handle all the abuse you can throw at it! For commercial duty traffic applications with pallet jacks, forklifts or shop work(commercial or residential) you need to be under 10mgs of abrasion loss rating. You can use the Commercial Package for garages when you don't want the color flake look. We also recommend not using color flakes in a work shop, you can't find dropped parts on a flake floor. For industrial applications or for those who just want the best and heaviest duty floor coating you can even in their garages you need a coating 23 mils and thicker and a 6 mg rating or lower. Our Ultra Military System is designed exactly for these types of projects.

    ArmorGarage specializes in manufacturing the best epoxy floor coatings and topcoats, it's why our epoxy coating systems are hot tire pickup proof, stay looking new the longest and come with the only 5 year wear guarantee!

    Notice the difference between the Gray Armor Chip Floor and the Blue Arrow which was done with a competitor's lifetime guarantee epoxy to save a few dollars after the Armor Chip Epoxy floor was done. The arrow wore out after 2 years(not covered by lifetime guarantee!) and the Armor Chip floor was still looking like the day day it was applied and still looks new after 15+ years!

    Gray Armor Chip with Forklift Duty Topcoat
    Armor Chip Versus Failed Cycloaliphatic Blue Epoxy
  • For those of you buying epoxy flooring for the first time the following topics are a good idea for you to familiarize yourselves with. It's another 5 minutes of reading and it's important to know this stuff whether you're buying our product or not. These facts apply to all epoxy floor coatings good bad or in between and at least you'll know what you're talking about when you do go to make a purchase..

    What You Donít Have To Know About Epoxy Floor Coatings

    Just as important to knowing what makes a qualities make an epoxy flooring product the best is to know how to spot useless information which we call marketing hype and fiction to trick you into thinking you're getting a superior product. Ratings such as compressive strength and tensile strength are meaningless and not relevant unless you're driving an M1 Abrams Tank on your floor.

    Lifetime Guarantees are another thing to not be concerned with or give any thought to. Know that there is no such thing as a Lifetime coating of any kind! It's just a marketing gimmick. They don't cover the coating wearing out, yellowing or even dulling prematurely which the majority will do and there's all sorts of hoops you'll have to jump through to get any type of coverage. The best plan is to buy something that you will never have to use a guarantee for.

    Another meaningless criteria is cost per mils!(Our Favorite) What that is saying is that the more you get of an inferior epoxy the better the deal is. Bad epoxy is bad epoxy no matter how much of it you get! Worry about how long your epoxy will stay looking new, not just staying stuck to your floor.

    One more meaningless feature a lot of companies like to tout is Flexibility. All epoxies are flexible to a certain point and since they mostly go over solid concrete their flexibility rating is irrelevant. Now if you're coating a wood floor or a precast planks, they usually have a good amount of deflection in which case you need an epoxy coating that can handle constant deflection. We have a specific epoxy made for floors with deflection as opposed to trying to make our standard epoxies work on floors with deflection like other brands do. If you go the one epoxy does all route you're really rolling the dice.

    Should You Diamond Grind Or Acid Etch Your Garage Floor?

    Grinding your floor is great if you have the right machine! The Floor Prep Machine you can rent from Home Depot works fine and if you can get the Vac attachment with it, it'll make cleanup much easier. If that's not available rent the largest diamond grinder you can get and always ask for new 25-35 grit bits, it'll make the job quicker with better results and again get a vac attachment if you can.

    Acid Etching is very easy and is just as good if done correctly. If your floor is new or was power troweled smooth you must etch twice! You must also neutralize the floor back to the proper PH to obtain maximum adhesion. See the link at bottom of this page for The How To Prep & Paint Your Floor page. It has a lot of great info and images of what your floor has to look like prior to coating it with any type of epoxy floor coating or paint if you don't want it to peel up.

    garage epoxy floor

    This is how your floor should look like prior to coating with any type of floor epoxy paint.

    garage epoxy flooring

    If your floor looks like this STOP and power wash and etch again! This floor is not ready for an epoxy coating!

    What Is Hot Tire Pickup Is And How Do You Prevent It From Happening In Your Garage?

    The tires on your vehicle can reach up to 180 degrees in temperature. If you use any epoxy under 10 Mils of dried thickness it won't have sufficient mass to absorb the heat especially if you use color flakes which displace some of the epoxy under them leaving thinner coverage. If you use some of the other type epoxies mentioned above they won't have sufficient thickness to start with or strong enough chemical cross links to prevent the epoxy from getting reactivated from your hot tires. Once reactivated the epoxy turns back into liquid form and does what epoxies are made to do. They stick to your tires then as it cools it gets glued to your tires so that the next time you pull your car out of your gaarge part of your epoxy floor coating is going along for the ride. The problem with many epoxies is that they lose a good portion of their mass as they dry. You need a minimum of 12 Mils of dried thickness to avoid Hot Tie Pickup! A good primer also will prevent Hot Tire Pickup. All ArmorGarage floor coatings are hot tire pickup proof!

    Are One Part Garage Epoxy Floor Coatings, Polyureas & Epoxy Coatings That Don't Need Floor Prep New Superior Technologies?

    Every year there seems to be some new magic formula that hits the market with outlandish promises. Recently it has been High Solids Epoxy are good enough , Polyureas are 10 times better than epoxy floor coatings. No they're not! Again most of these products don't even equal the performance of our primers. If you need a fast dry or outdoor application go with a Polyurea or Polyspartic but know that you are getting a trade off in performance for getting the other attributes.

    Anyone thinking of using a one part epoxy coating on their floor or not prepping it is just wasting their time and money. Don't fall for marketing hype, we wish you good luck if you do. Go by the numbers, see the link to our Epoxy Comparison Chart at the bottom of this page to see the performance specs of other brands compared to us.

    Should You Prime Your Floor First?

    Our epoxies are self priming but using a good quality primer is always a good idea. It creates a better job because it adds another layer of coating(thicker is always better)and can strengthen older floors in poor condition plus it adds impact resistance. Primers are usually a little thinner than epoxies(not 100% solids) so that they can soak into the concrete and lock in. If you have any kind of high end sports car, heavy vehicle or forklift traffic, have lots of toys like boats, tractors or ATVs or your floor is exposed to lots of harsh weather conditions(large temperature swings) you should use a primer. If your floor is oil stained over a good portion of it you need a specialized primer such as our oil primer that will bond to the oil in your slab otherwise any epoxy coating you put on it will peel right up.

    As with any other part of your epoxy floor installation the quality of the primer you use makes a big difference. Using a poor quality primer is worse than not using one at all. Our primers are better than 90% of actual epoxies being offered and can never be separated from your concrete unless you drop something very heavy and pointed that actually gouges your concrete out.

    A primer is also great to use when you need to extend the coverage of the epoxy layer since the epoxy is now going over a sealed surface rather than porous concrete. So if your floor is close too or a little over the rated coverage of a kit you're purchasing don't buy more epoxy, use a primer! A good primer can extend your epoxy coverage by up to 20%.

    If You Want To Do A Full Broadcast Garage Epoxy Floor Read This First

    Just a word of caution here full broadcast garage floors are not as easy as the look on some videos you'll watch. There's a lot of flakes that get tossed on the floor, up to ten times more than normal and most of the time they end up in lumps and blotches that takes a lot of sanding and tweaking to look right. Most times it doesn't. Plus it takes twice the amount of topcoat to cover the flakes properly. Our advice, leave that to a professional or use our Armor Granite kit that will give you 90% coverage and your floor will come out looking like real granite every time. So you'll save time, money and grief from the wife.

    IF You Want To Do A Metallic Epoxy Floor Finish For Commercial Or Garage Floor Read This First

    Again a word of caution, metallic epoxy floors are expensive to do properly and it's a little more tricky then what you see on online videos. Every floor will come out different no matter which product you use or who does it or how many times you do it. Trust us metallic epoxy floors are completely random and anyone telling you different is not being honest. The key to success here is good floor prep, a good primer layer so it doesn't peel up, a good quality black primer that won't be streaky needs to be used because it shows through the metallic epoxy as the highlight swirls, obviously a good metallic epoxy that swirls properly when applied with the proper type squeegee and here is where your knowledge about topcoats comes in real handy. You want the absolute best topcoat you can get to protect your new very expensive epoxy floor. You'd be shocked at how quick and how bad your amazingly beautiful 3D metallic epoxy floor can look without the right topcoat protecting it. That goes for any epoxy floor actually and not to mention how upset you'll be every time you look down at your floor and think about how much time and money you spent on it. Metallic epoxy floors are strikingly beautiful when done right with the right materials there's no question about it but just know they're expensive and can be a little tricky.

    All our epoxy flooring kits are formulated with the highest quality ingredients available without a single compromise and come complete with everything you need to do the job right with no forms to fill out or separate individual items to purchase to get a complete system. All our epoxy flooring Ships Free. All the images below were done by first time users with no prior experience so your floors will come out looking just as good! When it comes to installing an garage epoxy flooring system to your floor that is innovative, safe and super durable no name is more trustworthy than ArmorGarage.

    If you need any assistance in product selection or application please contact us at 866-532-3979 or info@armorgarage.com. You can email us pictures of your floor if you're concerned about any areas that may be an issue. One of our experts will be happy to help you with everything you'll need for your project. Another important thing to keep in mind when purchasing is customer service. We provide 7 day a week unlimited tech support. Trust us it's no fun if you're in the middle of the job and the unexpected happens and there's no one to get in touch with. Stuff happens so we monitor our support@armorgarage email at all times.

    INDUSTRIAL EPOXY FLOORING FOR AUTO SHOP

    Lt Gray ArmorGarage Military Ultra System is a 3 layer epoxy floor system that's perfect for shops, warehouses. hangars and garages both for durability and a professional appearance.

    ARMOR GRANITE EPOXY FLOORING

    Our most popular Granite Garage Epoxy Floor Pattern #1.
    This is a beautiful Lt gray with Black & White Flakes.

    CHARCOAL ARMOR CHIP EPOXY FLOOR

    Charcoal Armor Chip Garage Epoxy Kit with Primer and Military Grade Topcoat. Beautiful and super durable and completed over one weekend.

    ARMOR II LT GRAY

    This is our Commercial Armor Two Layer Epoxy Flooring System in Lt Gray. As far as we're concerned it doesn't get any better looking than this plus it will stay like that for the next 15-20 years.Perfect for garages that don't want the color flake look.

    ARMORGARAGE COMMERCIAL EPOXY

    Bright Red Commercial Armor II Epoxy Floor System. Our Bright Red is the best in the business. No bleed through no streaking just deep red luster! Also available in 12 other colors.

    industrial epoxy flooring in classic car shop

    Lt Gray ArmorGarage Military Ultra Epoxy Floor in Classic Car Shop. Available in 12 colors with or with out color flakes.

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