Epoxy Flooring Facts You Must Know & What To Avoid For The Best ResultsThe 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 how to properly prepare your concrete before applying any epoxy floor coating.
If you want your floor to come out looking like the floor above (Click To Enlarge) and never have to worry about doing it again. It's important to know the difference between all the various types of epoxy floor coatings.
Reading this page will save you time, money and heartache even if you decide not to buy our product it'll be the best 5 minutes you can spend prior to purchasing and doing your epoxy floor project. There are a lot of destructive forces at work on your floor that will make short work of the wrong product not to mention the effects road salts, chemicals, vehicle fluids and of course your very hot twisting turning tires.
An epoxy floor coating is usually a two part coating that you mix and will adhere to your garage floor or any concrete floor 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.
The following are the most frequent and also the most important questions we get asked. It's important that you're able to separate the facts from the fiction and believe us when we tell you there's a lot of fiction out there. Between this page, our How To Prep & Paint Your Floor page and our made for first time user Garage Epoxy Kits you'll be coating your floor like an expert. But if at anytime you're unsure what to do or buy give us a call or send an email or Request For Quote and one of our expert sales reps will be more than happy to help.
Why should I choose epoxy flooring over other garage flooring options?
Epoxy offers the best of all flooring options. It's very versatile and it has the most dramatic look hands down versus any other type of garage flooring. When you first see that high gloss color when done right it's just stunning. We have an epoxy coating system for just about any application as compared to say the rubber roll out mats that are limited in colors and may not be suitable for certain applications. Epoxy is cost effective when done as a DIY project, itís very durable, easy to keep clean, brightens up the room and is easy to do. It's also waterproof, mold & mildew proof and very chemical resistant to all vehicle fluids, roads salts and harsh cleaning products.
Is ArmorGarage Epoxy 100% Solids?
Yes it is not only 100% solids by weight it's also 100%b solids by volume, some companies advertise their epoxy as 100% solids when it's only by weight and not volume. That is not a true 100% solids epoxy! It's also not a Military Grade solids epoxy like ArmorGarage epoxy. Our Military Grade 100% solids epoxy means it's manufactured from the best solids materials made. There's a huge difference between standard solids epoxy and military grade epoxy. That's why our epoxy floors last the longest and stay looking brand new the longest! See the case study below for proof of ArmorGarage durability.
I Can't Decide On Color And I'm Nervous About Picking Colors From The Computer What Do I Do?
First let us just say that 90% of the garage floor kits we sell is in one of the gray colors. Second is we feel that when customers look at very close up images of color squares with flakes they are not seeing the real look of the floor. We're not big fans of close up images but customers want to see them and that's why those close ups taken from about 2 feet off the ground are on our website. But trust us when we tell you the only time you're going to see your floor like that is the minute you're able to walk on the floor when it dries. You're going to walk into the middle of the floor hunch over and look at it with your face 2-3 feet off the floor. You're going to be micro inspecting about 1% of the floor. Once you put all your stuff back and car back in the garage and you go about your daily buisness or projects in the garage. You're going to see the floor from afar and it will look completely different. You'll be viewing the whole floor and not just a tiny square foot section. So when trying to pick what color you want concentrate on the images of whole floors because that's what you're going to see everyday in reality.
We're so certain of this we can say that if you absolutely get nauseated when you walk into your garage by the color(s) you picked give us a call. The first thing we'll do is overnight you a bottle of Peto Bismol to hold you over until a new garage floor kit in a new color of your choice arrives via FedEx ground. The preselected epoxy and flake color combos are there for a reason they work 99.9% of the time. If you would like to tweak the flake colors go right ahead, if you're still not sure give us a call. From selling hundreds of thousands of these kits we know what colors work and don't work.
How long can an epoxy flooring system last and why don't you have Lifetime Guarantee?
First thing you should know is that there is no such thing as a lifetime epoxy coating of any kind. It's a pure marketing gimmick. So called lifetime guarantees don't cover the coating wearing out, yellowing or even dulling prematurely which the majority of epoxies on the market 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. We guarantee or floors for 5 years across the board with our standard topcoat including against wear which no other company does not even for a day and 10-year guarantee including wear when using the military grade topcoat. This is unequaled coverage!
As far as how long will and epoxy coating last, it varies and is sort of the same question as how long can a car last. How long a car lasts depends on how may miles per year are driven and how much maintenance was done. Epoxy longevity depends on the quality of the epoxy used, the quality of the floor prep and the amount and type of traffic. A high quality 100% military grade epoxy coating with the proper military grade topcoat can last up to 20 years or more in a normal garage application before needing a refresh. With ArmorGarage topcoats you don't need to start all over if and when your floor needs arefresh. Just a quick/light sand with 120 grit of the topcoat to get it cleaned and roughed up is all you have to do prior to rolling on anew topcoat that brings the floor back to brand new.
For further proof see the Case Study at the bottom of the page for an idea how long an ArmorGarage floor can last. Even though the floor looks in pretty bad shape it fits in perfect with the car milage analogy.
Can I paint outside the garage door and what is the benefit of the military grade topcoat?
We don't recommend going past the garage door with the epoxy. It's garage floor epoxy paint and once you pass the outside edge of the door you're no longer in the garage. The epoxy will breakdown in the constant UV exposure. If you have a thin strip of concrete outside your garage door we recommend you take a small sample of the epoxy to your local paint store and have them color match it with some inexpensive outdoor concrete paint. This way when it gets beat up you can recoat with inexpensive paint rather than with expensive epoxy. You can end the epoxy at the inside edge or outside edge of the door. Use good duct tape such as Gorilla Duct Tape to form a nice line. Painters tape is too thin for our epoxy.
The Military Grade Topcoat is chemically hardened for additional strength, scratch and abrasion resistance. Think regular concrete on your slab versus bunker concrete. both are concrete but one much harder and stronger than the other.
What is the disadvantage of garage floor coating?
The only disadvantage of epoxy flooring is that it is more labor intensive than installing rollout garage mats or interlocking garage tiles and there are dry times involved between the coatings so the process requires 2-3 days to complete even though the actual labor hours involved are only 6-8 to complete an average 2 1/2 car garage. You can save a considerable amount of time by grinding rather than etching. Grinding eliminates the need to wait for the floor to dry out. So you can grind and epoxy in one day and topcoat the next morning and put all your stuff back in at the end of the day.
We almost forgot to mention one other disadvantage we read on another popular website which we found quite funny. That epoxy floor coatings are cold on your feet! Imagine that an epoxy coating will be cold on your feet in the winter! Considering the fact that unless you have in floor radiant heat any flooring material is going to be the same temperature as the temperature in the room. So if your garage or other space is not heated then yes the floor will be cold if it's 20 degrees outside no matter what type of garage flooring you have. When you read stuff like this it's best to avoid anything from that company.
Can I fill in my expansion joints and can I epoxy over radiant heat?
We recommend against filling in your expansion joints or saw cuts unless your floor is 5 years or older. Otherwise you run the risk of having a crack develop right in the middle of your beautiful brand new high gloss floor from expansion, contraction and or settling.
Radiant heat works great when doing epoxy flooring. Keep the floor demp in the mid 70s and the epoxy will cure perfectly. If you have radiant floor heat you can fill in the expansion joints because the floor temp will remain fairly constant year round. However we like leaving the saw cuts unfilled because after you're done with the epoxy your floor sections created by the saw cuts will look like giant slabs of terrazo/granite. Also don't be concenred about difficulty cleaning out the saw cuts, nothing will stick in there. A leaf blower or garden hose will make short work of anything that gets down in there. When applying the epoxy just make sure you don't apply too much epoxy to the joint, you just want to feather it in and out of the cut.
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.
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. There's a reason why you grind or acid etch your floor, it's so that a primer or your epoxy can soak into the pores and lock in like glue. A high quality primer will have a higher adhesion rating than a pure epoxy, a poor quality primer won't. You need 400psi adhesion rating or higher for total peace of mind against Hot Tire Pickup.
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 an epoxy floor kit you're purchasing don't buy more epoxy, use a primer! A good primer can extend your epoxy coverage by up to 20%. It's a win win deal, more coverage and a thicker floor finish.
Why is ArmorGarage garage epoxy flooring & Topcoats better?
We get asked that question everdy all day. See Why ArmorGarage Has The Best Garage Floor Coating. For a detailed explanation, it's a great page to read to learn about all the different epoxy floor coatings.
In short we use only the highest grade 100% military grade solids components to manufacture our epoxies. Know that just because a coating says it's 100% solids doesn't mean it's a quality coating! There are many marketing pitfalls to watch out for. Some coatings state they're 100% solids but are only 96% or less solids by volume. A true 100% solids coating must be 100% solids by weight and volume! Otherwise we consider it a primer. Some 100% solids are made as cyclioaliphatic components which is a hybrid type epoxy to lower the cost of materials. If you see a WB in the product part number it means it's water based and is best avoided.
Other 100% solids are just made with cheap components sort of like buying bread with preservatives, ingredients you can't pronounce and not made from 100% whole wheat versus pure organic whole wheat bread. Both are whole wheat breads but one is clearly better than the other.
Our topcoats are the best in the business, outperforming any polyurea or polyspartics which are more expensive and more difficult to work with. Our chemically hardened military grade topcoat is unrivaled for it's durability, wee the Case Study below for more information.
Durability & Performance while looking new the longest is our mantra to the point where are primers outperform and are better than the majority of actual epoxies being sold as heavy duty. The other thing that sets us apart is our great customer service and support. When you buy from a big box store or reseller you're buying from people who have no knowledge of the product or how to apply it. Who do you go to when there's a question or problem, the guy in the aisle that never even opened a can of epoxy? All our reps are experts in the industry and we provide support 7 days a week.
All epoxy coatings look great when first applied, that's one of the main features of epoxy paint. It's dramatic high gloss look is beautiful and at it's peak when first applied. Come talk to us when your epoxy coating is 10, 15, 20 years or more old and tell us it still looks good, most epoxy coatings won't get past the 3 year mark before looking shabby! See the Case Study below, that's all you need to see and know.
How Do I Avoid Hot Tire Pickup and is your epoxy resistant to impacts and heavy rolling tools?
The two most common issues for epoxy floor coatings is that the coating simply wears out prematurely because it wasn't industrial grade even though it was advertised as such. Which by the way is not covered by the warranty for all other epoxies except ours. Then the other issue is when the epoxy simply starts peeling up. You'll most likely be told the floor wasn't prepped right when in most cases it's the quality of the epoxy you purchased.
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 even thinner coverage. Lower quality epoxies don't have the proper chemical cross linking and thickness to prevent reactivation from high heat.
Once reactivated the epoxy turns back into liquid form and does what epoxies are made to do. They stick to things and they stick to your tires pretty good after it cools back down so that the next time you pull your car out of your garage part of your new epoxy floor coating goes along for the ride.
Armor Chip & Armor Granite garage epoxy floors can handle high impacts, in fact they only way to get our epoxy off your floor is to drop something heavy and sharp enough to gouge your concrete out with our epoxy stuck to it.
Heavy tool chests, rolling creeper, jack stands, floor jacks are no issue for any of our floor coatings. If you do a lot of work in your garage we usually recommend going with the military grade topcoat instead of the standard heavy duty one.
In sum avoid water based products and any non aliphatic, non fully 100% solids epoxy(See More About Under Why ArmoGarage Epoxy Is Best). Prep your floor so it looks like the images on this page and on our How To Prep & Paint Your Floor Page(located on our Home Page). If you have an older floor(more than 20 years old) make sure it has a vapor barrier. Tape some plastic down with duct tape and let sit for 48 hours and see if there is any moisture underneath. Always acid etch a new floor twice! And be sure to neutralize after etching.
A good primer adds additional thickness and adhesion which adds additional Hot Tire Pickup and high impact protection especially on less than perfect floors.
Do I need to use a topcoat and which is best?
Notice the difference between the Gray Armor Chip Floor and the Blue Arrow which was done with a competitor's lifetime guarantee polyurea 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!). The blue arrow is repainted every year or so while the Armor Chip floor looks like the day day it was applied and still looks new after 15+ years! Which epoxy is the better value?
Whats the best way to remove oil stains and can I shot blast?
We strongly recommend that you do not shot blast your floor unless you've done it before. Shot blasting can leave lawn mower lines if you don't know what your doing. If your floor needs shot blasting have a professional do it for you otherwise use the Floor Prep Machine you can rent from Home Depot. It's cheap, quick and effective in getting your floor cleaned and profiled.
When should I not use an epoxy floor coating?
Epoxy coatings can be used just about anywhere regular paint can be used even on walls. Just be sure to use the right epoxy for your application. If you're unsure about your application please contact us. We have seen and provided coatings for just about every type of floor.
We do not recommend epoxy if you have a very high water table and no moisture barrier under your slab. If your slab is in very poor structural condition you might be better off with Mats or Interlocking Tiles. If you have exposed aggregate type of concrete(where you can see gravel or pebbles).They can very difficult to get any coating to stick, call us to discuss. We have done and seen just about everything there is when it comes to flooring applications so we can guide you in the right direction which may even be to another brand or even to do nothing at all. The truth is every now and then some floors are better off left as bare concrete due to their unique circumstances.
You have two types of Garage Epoxy kits, what's the difference between Armor Chip & Armor Granite?
The difference between Armor Chip & Armor Granite is that Armor Granite uses a thicker epoxy to hold the additional color flakes 20lbs versus 8lbs, with the Granite Kit we supply a calibrated squeegee to ensure the extra thick epoxy is apread evenly over the entire floor and the granite kit comes with 4 layers of topcoat versus 2 layers for Armor Chip. Armor Granite is our top of the line floor coating that yields 95% flake coverage giving you a realistic granite finish with unequaled durability and gloss. Armor Chip is more of a terrazzo look with about 75% flake coverage. There's a third option for those of you who don't like the color flake look or if you do work in your garage involving small parts. You can use the Commercial Epoxy System which is a pigmented base coat and a pigmented topcoat in the same color. No flakes, just solid high gloss porcelain looking epoxy. With this floor if you drop a small screw you can find it unlike with a flake floor. We all learned the hard way about not doing small parts work on a flake floor.
My floor is larger than your kit coverage and I want different colors?
You have two options to achieve your required coverage. You can purchase the Add On Half Kit or if your floor is just slightly larger than the stated coverage of the full kit you can purchase the primer. The primer will provide three benefits, it provides additional adhesion, it yields in a thicker overall coating(thicker is better!) and it extends the coverage of the epoxy by up to 25% since the epoxy is now going over a sealed surface rather than a porous one. If the budget allows for it we always recommend using the primer. For poor condition floors or even better performance use our High Solids Primer.
My floor is pitted, what do I do?
If you neglected your floor and let it get to looking like this here's what you can do. Hopefully you read this first and protect your floor or you caught it while your floor was only slightly pitted. We don't like using a self leveling slurry, they never seem to last and tend to chip and crack prematurely. We like what this customer did and when we followed up with a year later he said there were absolutely no issues. For large commercial or industrial floors with a large protion of the floor pitted we recommend having a professional concrete company do the repairs. It's not for the DIYer.
This customer used our Crack & Joint Repair Compound. Our customer was very happy with the results as you will see below. Also do not use an Underlayment slurry product as it will not hold up to vehicle traffic! So here's a picture after he patched and is grinding it down smooth. Another method that customers have used is using our High Solids Primer mixed with playground sand until it becomes like a grout and then using an 18" or larger flat squeegee you squeegee in the slurry trying to leave as little material as possible on the surface. With either method be sure to acid etch the floor thoroughly even id you have to do it 2-3 times since even grinding will not get down to the bottom of the pits.
Are One Part Garage Epoxy Floor Coatings, Polyureas & High Solids Epoxy Coatings 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. We manufacture and sell Polureas & Polyspartics so if you require one we're happy to sell you one, just give us a call. Are polyureas and polyspartics good coatings? Short answer is yes they are for specific applications. Are they the best for your garage floor, we would strongly argue that they are not.
Anyone thinking of using a one part epoxy coating on their floor is not doing their homework and will be redoing their floor much quicker than they think or like. Don't fall for marketing hype, We've made and installed every epoxy ever created so we know what works best and what doesn't. It's why we use what we use in our Armor Chip & Armor Granite Garage Floor Epoxy kits, they have stood the test of time over and over again while being user friendly.
How long does it take to install an epoxy flooring system, are there odors and is it hard to clean?
Apply one of our garage floor epoxy kits is very easy and straight forward. We design and package the whole kit so any body can do it and get professional looking results with no prior experience. If you don't want to do yourself you can hire any local painter or handyman to install our product. We work with cstomer installers all the time.
You should allow 2 days if grinding your floor or 3 days if acid etching. The actual labor hours involved is only about 5-8 hours but since you need to wait for your floor to dry after acid etching and then you need to let each layer of coating to dry. So it stretches the total time out to 2-3 days. On the last day you will applying the topcoat in the morning and after about 6 hours you can put all your stuff back in, just keep vehicles off your new floor for a couple of days.
Our military grade epoxy has no odor, if using our primer and or our military grade topcoat they both will have an odor. You can use water based primers and topcoats for no odors but then they really don't work well at all.
As far cleaning and maintaining an epoxy floor it couldn't be easier. It's a main reason to do an epoxy floor, cleaning is rinsing off with a garden hose and maintenance is cleaning the floor once and a while.
How much does a garage floor coating cost?
Ok so this is sort of a tricky question, like asking how much does a car cost. So with some caveats we will answer the question. If you go to a Big Box store or go to a mega online retailer you can buy epoxy coatings for your garage for under $100.00. In between that and us are the various other types of epoxies you can purchase such as water based, polyurea, cycloaliphatics that were all discussed above with their various drawbacks. Then you have our military grade epoxy systems for various applications, we don't do the one epoxy fit all thing like most of our competition. On average a DIY military grade epoxy floor kit from us will cost between $1.15-2.225/sf depending on whether you use a primer, what type of topcoat you use, if you use color flakes or not and what type of epoxy system you want to install ie: industrial, commercial, residential, acid resistant and even some colors impact the cost such as white, bright red and black.
Another way to look at it is which epoxy floor is less expensive? The one you need to continuously grind off and redo or the one that lasts 20 years and just needs a new clear topcoat.
OUR EPOXY FLOOR COATINGS
We get calls everyday from customers who went to a big box store or went online and bought what they thought was a heavy duty product with a good warranty or what they thought was a good deal without doing any research. Then they had to buy additional epoxy kit(s) to cover the floor properly. Then when it failed very prematurely they found out that their guarantee didn't cover the coating wearing out (peeling off and wearing out are two different things) or the unsightliness due to the coating dulling, yellowing and failing to come clean in just a a year or two! 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 epoxy garage floor once and have it stay looking like the day you put it down!
The following are two of our most popular epoxy flooring kits used by customers. The two images below were done by customers who never done anything like this before. Most customers tell us they don't understand a lot of the technical stuff and they simply clicked on the blue links below the images, purchased the Armor Chip or Armor Granite kit and they now have the most durable beautiful epoxy floor that cost them a fraction of franchise company or contractor prices.
Our most popular Granite Garage Epoxy Floor Pattern #1.
This is a beautiful Lt gray with Black & White Flakes with 90-95% flake coverage for a real life looking granite floor.
ArmorGarage Armor Chip Garage Epoxy Flooring Kit Our standard Armor Chip Garage Epoxy Floor Kit in medium gray with black, white and light blue flakes. This kit will provide 75% flake coverage..
This Is A Case Study Of One Our Epoxy Coaitings On A Floor With Extremely Heavy Duty High Traffic On It In One Of The Busiest Liquor Warehouse Stores In The Country.
When you first look at the images below you're going to say to yourself OMG that floor looks absolutely terrible. We would agree with you and couldn't be prouder of it! This floor has been abused from the day it was put down 14+ years ago by nonstop forklift traffic, pallet jack traffic, rolling ladders, hand trucks and dollies with an average of 3000 people a day for 12 hours a day 365 days a year with never being cleaned or maintained and employees dragging wooden pallets across the floor all day by hand to boot! It's the equivalent of running your car 100,000 miles a year for 14 years with no maintenance. Any other coating would have been vaporized off the floor long ago. So rolling your car, SUV, riding mower, boat trailer, tool chests, floor jacks or large power tools in and out of or around your garage is child's play for our garage floor coatings. This is an extreme example and this floor should have been re-topcoated a couple of years ago but they are so busy they just don't have the time and they think the floor is fine! Which is understandable if you saw what the floor looked like beforehand and the fact that every other product they used never lasted more than a year or two! When we say ArmorGarage floors are the most durable, we mean it!
For even more proof watch this video of an Armor Chip Floor with our best in class Military grade Clear Topcoat installed almost 16 years ago. This is a follow up on the video we did 8 years ago. That video is still on our YouTube channel for comparison. You'll see that the floor still looks new! This is with several vehicles including a very heavy SUV twisting and turning in and out of their respective parking spots. This floor has got another 10 years in it before a refresher topcoat will be needed so you can imagine how durable your floor will be if you're pulling your vehicle straight in and out! You simply are not going to get this type of performance with any other epoxy type or brand! SEE VIDEO HERE