We all know that finding the best garage floor coating, its cost, the difference between epoxy and paint, the garage floor coating companies near me, the garage floor coating price per square foot, etc., can be a real nightmare.
There are so many different products out there, so many different prices, and so many potential sellers that you can get lost in the overwhelmed number of information you find out there. That’s exactly why I put together this article.
At the end of reading this article, you should know the difference between epoxy and paint. I’ll tell you why you need to use a coating or paint on your garage floor. You’ll be able to decide if you want epoxy or paint on your garage floor (hint: a bit of both is best).
I will also give you the top brands. And if you want to get the top coatings for your garage, then just click here. I put together a complete article about this. By the way, do not forget to get some nice garage floor paint flakes.
Epoxy versus paint
One of the things that can be confusing is why you want to use epoxy or paint for a garage floor when most people think of paints being water or acrylic-like paint. Basically, people still do think that the paint you put on your walls is the same as the one you’d put on your floor.
Well, this is not the case. The paint or epoxy you use for your floor garage is completely different than the one you have painted on your house walls.
Essentially, epoxy refers to a resin-based product. It is used for very popular applications and a variety of things. For instance, you can use epoxy in both the automotive and construction industries.
Many epoxy solutions are actually made of a two-part composite of resin. One part is an adhesive (it’ll stick to the surface you’ll be applied to) home & garden and the other part a sealant (ensuring the floor is completely tight and there are no more wholes etc.
But there is another part of the epoxy that is great. It provides a nice finishing to your garage. However, the main difference between the epoxy and paint is in the way they “dry”.
An epoxy coatings cure. On the other hand, the paint dries. What you’ll like about epoxy is that when it cures it hardens, so it does not leave marks on the floor as paint does. The higher the percentage of epoxy resin, the better the product, but the higher the price too.
If you use 100 percent solid epoxy coatings, then the surface that you apply it to will cure and become hard and durable. It will be making the surface highly resistant to almost everything. It will be resistant to chemicals, abrasions, impact, oil and grease, and stains among a few. Now you know why people prefer epoxy resins rather than paint. But then, paint is in most cases used because it is cheap and easy to apply and has a nice finish too. The only downside is that you have to clean every few years and reapply another paint layer.
Why use garage floor paint or epoxy?
To begin with, you will need to address the issue of your garage floor protection. You use any type of garage floor paint and epoxy to do just that: “Protecting your garage floor”.
Basically, using any coating or paint helps you protect your floors from damage. Whether you protect your floor from water ingress, oil, walking, gasoline spillage, grease, etc. does not really matter. The paint and epoxy will work pretty well to do that job.
The epoxy and paint will also help in keeping your floor clean. Any stain will be easily removable without leaving any trace. You’ll be enjoying cleaning the garage floor regularly as it will be easily done with a mope or broom.
You’ll avoid the worst-case scenario, where there is water getting into the garage (leakage or other), and such water will quickly damage the surface and concrete but causing cracks. Molding may also start to form after some time.
So, keep this in mind when buying your floor protectors. Whether it is paint or epoxy, the primary job is protecting your asset. In your case, the asset i is the concrete in your garage and you really want to avoid expensive concrete work due to cracks, etc.
Do I need to use paint or coating?
You should look for a good epoxy or a good paint or a good mixture of both. This is a key element of a garage floor coating. You don’t want to make your floor too hard or too soft or too difficult to clean.
The best option is epoxy as it cures and forms a barrier between your concrete anything that comes above it. However, you can also opt for a good combination of these two different products.
You want a coating that is about 50 percent epoxy and 50 percent painting. This mixture will make the floor harder and resistant while still avoiding stains. It will be easily cleaned.
You also want a coating that dries/cures fairly quickly, with a maximum of 24h to reduce the potential for dust accumulating during the drying process. Note that the more epoxy, the harder is the coating and the best isolation for your concrete.
If you need a softer coating, then use paint.
How to choose a garage floor paint or coating?
Now you are clear that you want to improve your garage floor and enhance the overall look and feel of the space. For all of the people who qualify as being DIYers, I want to let you know that three main types of coating can be used and choose from: latex, acrylic, and epoxy.
Each of the above solutions has a specific application within the garage coating. Outlined below is the different consideration for you to decided which is best for your particular garage.
Always, before choosing a type of coating, you need to consider two main things:
- The intended use of the garage. Are you going to do some mechanical works that involve changing the oil, or just for parking your cars? If it is just to park your car, then you may want to just paint your garage floor. If you want to do some minor mechanical works etc., then a paint/epoxy mixt coating is best. Finally, if you do some heavy mechanical work, etc., then it is best to invest in a full epoxy solution.
- The desired durability of the new floor. Epoxy will last the longest, then it is the combination of the epoxy/paint (best floor protection), and then it is the acrylic option (good floor protection), and finally the latex solution (3 to 5 years, some floor protection).
Use A Latex Garage Floor Paint
The name says it. It’s simply a water paint product. Any type of latex garage floor paint contains water and quite a small amount of acrylic resin. The amount of acrylic in the latex product is lower than the full acrylic paint solution.
You can use any standard brush and a set of rollers to apply it. Note that you can easily clean the floor with just soap and water. Latex paint is the cheapest option and definitely costs less than acrylic paint. It’ll also cost a lot less than any type of epoxy garage floor paint.
Latex paint releases a very small of fumes when you apply it. It is easy to use and dries quite quickly. Usually, you just need few hours for it to dry, but I would say leave it overnight for it not only to dry but also to stick on the floor. This paint is not really a durable solution. If you want better paint that does not break the bank, then chose acrylic. I would personally use it for a garage floor that isn’t exposed to the weather conditions. For instance, a garage converted into a family room. In this case, the latex paint can prove an attractive and affordable coating solution.
Acrylic Garage Floor Paints
Any acrylic garage floor paint contains a lot more acrylic resin than the latex paint solution. It provides a nice measure of elasticity which you cannot really find with the above latex option. This is a good option for a garage that does not have climate control, especially in winter. Though this is not visible, the concrete floor expands and contracts with temperatures change (summer and winter). The acrylic paint is better at managing these seasonal temperature expansions and contractions. As such is less likely to crack and chip when compared to the full latex paint.
Price of acrylic paint can cost up to double the price per gallon of latex paint. The benefit is that it’s more durable and stronger. It can also handle a little bit of bashing now and then. The painting can also take a bit of sunlight without fading. So the different colors of your floor will stay brighter and pretty nice too. Note that both the latex and acrylic concrete floor paint can be applied easily with a brush or roller.
Epoxy Garage Floor Paints
This is the most expensive but the best solution too. A true epoxy paint usually comes in a “2-part” solution. This means that you need to mix two different products to get the end epoxy solution activated. In the vast majority of cases, mixing the solution is really easy. The manufacturer provides a full set of instructions for that. You’ll also find videos on the web.
An epoxy paint consists of (1) a resin and (2) a polyamine hardener. When mixed they form the coating that you’ll apply on the garage floor. Note that you’ll find two main types of epoxies. You’ll find solvent-based epoxy and water-based epoxy. Both are good options, but their applications vary. The cost, looks, durability, and maintenance also differ. The water-based epoxy is a little weaker and less durable than the solvent one. So, I would go for the solvent most of the time, though I have used the water one on some occasions. And the water solution does work wonders. It’s all about price really.
By the way, this is important. If the paint is labeled as a “one-part epoxy”, this means it consists of latex or acrylic paint mixed with a fairly small amount of epoxy resins. The manufacturers are not trying to cheat by producing this mix. What they want is to create a stronger, more durable paint by adding the resins, but not a very expensive paint. They want you to have the best of both worlds really. Obviously, this is not a true epoxy, it only provides a little more durable version when compared to latex or acrylic paint. This garage epoxy cost solution is lower than the two-part epoxy version, but again you get what you pay for.
Note that the two-part epoxy provides a great concrete garage floor sealer. So, not only it is great epoxy floor coverings, but it also protects the concrete in your garage.
What are the garage floor epoxy companies?
There are many different companies around that produce epoxy for garages. You’ll find that the below ones are the most commonly used brands:
- Rust-Oleum Floor Coating
- Epoxy-Coat Full Kit
- Drylock Epoxy Paint
- Supercoat Epoxy Floor Coating – Milamar Coatings
By the way, many garage floor coating companies can help you in painting your garage. But what’s the fun? It only takes a couple of hours to apply the coating in your garage. So try it, and you’ll be pleased with yourselves.
What does a garage floor epoxy cost?
This depends on which option you choose. If you want to coat your garage with latex paint, then this is fairly cheap. You’re looking at around $30. A garage floor coating cost for acrylic paint is around $100. If you use the acrylic option, you’ll definitely have a professional epoxy garage floor.
There are different epoxy resin floor costs, but on average you are looking at around $500. If you use this option, I would also add some garage floor epoxy chips. That definitely gives you the extra edge of a nice-looking floor.
In summary, the best epoxy flooring cost is associated with the acrylic solution. It is a hybrid solution between latex and resin epoxy. And the cost epoxy garage floor will be appropriate.
The key to picking the best epoxy and paint for your garage is to figure out your goals. You need to understand that it is the epoxy that you need to go for for the best finish and longest durability.
If you do not want to spend much, then the latex water-based solution is best for you. If you have a nice budget but do not want to break the bank, the acrylic solution would match your expectations.