5 Popular Options with Installation Tips
“With so many options on the market in this category…
carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the product you choose.”
Garage floor epoxy is a thick, durable coat you can apply over a concrete floor that is clean and in good condition. With its glossy look, you’ll feel like you’re strutting into a showroom every time you enter your garage.
Epoxy garage floor paint is also customizable, with various shades and paint fleck colors to choose from. It protects garage floor concrete from cracking and is easy to clean with a mop or scrub brush.
However, until it is fully cured, some types of garage floor epoxy can be a health hazard. So, you must apply it in a well-ventilated area. You will not be able to park your car in your garage for anywhere from one day to a week afterward. Even when it appears dry, you should keep kids and pets away from the newly-coated garage for two weeks.
Garage Floor Epoxy – An Overview
Now, like most of the good things in life, garage floor epoxy takes time and effort to set up. In this article, we’re going to offer a quick rundown of how to apply an epoxy floor coating, followed by summaries of various types of epoxy coatings: Rust-Oleum Epoxy Shield, Quikrete Epoxy Garage Floor Coating, Behr 1 Part and 2 Part Epoxy Garage Floor Coatings, and a couple of 100% solids epoxy floor coatings, like Epoxy Coat and ArmorClad.
While everything in this article is correct to the best of our knowledge, nothing you read here should override the manufacturer’s instructions for the product you are using. When in doubt, contact the manufacturer.
How to Apply Garage Floor Epoxy
Applying an epoxy garage floor coating is often a full weekend project, so we suggest recruiting family, friends, or maybe neighborhood teens who want to make $20.
With so many options on the market in this category, my best advice is to carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the product you choose. To give you a really good idea of the work involved, read this overview of how to install epoxy garage floor paint.
Here is a list of supplies you will need for most installations:
- Plastic sheeting
- A plastic can
- A nap roller
- Nap roller covers
- An extension handle for your nap roller
- A polyester paint brush
- An extra paint brush
- Painter’s tape
- A bristle broom
- Paint tray liners
- Cleaning gloves
- Rubber boots
- Protective glasses
- Clothes you don’t mind ruining
- Etching solution
- A garden hose
- The actual epoxy paint
- Epoxy hardener (for some products)
When products are bought in kit form, they often contain many of the above items.
Garage Floor Epoxy Reviews
Following is an overview of epoxy floor products along the whole spectrum, from lower-end choices like Behr 1 Part Epoxy Garage Floor Coating to mid-range products like Rust-Oleum Epoxy Sheild, Behr 2 Part Epoxy Garage Floor Coating to 100% solids epoxy floor coatings, like Epoxy Coat and ArmorClad.
Quikrete Epoxy Garage Floor Coating
Quikrete is, as the name implies, a fairly quick way to apply an epoxy floor coating to your garage. It is water-based, with about 50% solids by volume, so it is not a pure epoxy product.
A Quickrete Epoxy Garage Floor Coating Kit comes with one gallon of the product for about $70. According to the manufacturer’s official product information sheet, one gallon covers about 250 square feet, which should be enough for a one-car garage.
The product is 2.4 mils thick when dry, so it is somewhat thin compared to other epoxy products. Quikrete Epoxy Garage Floor Coating provides a semi-gloss finish and a moderate amount of UV protection, which is typical for water-based epoxy products.
If you are looking for a budget-friendly option, Quikrete might be right for you. If you are looking for a top-of-the-line product, however, you may prefer one of the 100% solids epoxy floor coatings.
If your interested is piqued, read a more thorough discussion of Quikrete Epoxy Garage Floor Coating.
Rust-Oleum Epoxy Shield Garage Floor Coating
Rust-Oleum Epoxy Shield Garage Floor Coating is basically Quikrete’s brother. Like Quikrete, it is a water-based coating with about 50% solids by volume.
Rust-Oleum Epoxy Shield Garage Floor Coating is just slightly cheaper than Quikrete, with a kit selling for around $65. A kit also comes with slightly more of the product – one gallon and one quart total. This amount also covers around 250 square feet.
At 3 mils when dry, Rust-Oleum Epoxy Shield Garage Floor Coating is just a bit thicker than Quikrete. Again, it provides a semi-gloss finish and moderate UV protection.
If Rust-Oleum Epoxy Shield Garage Floor Coating is starting to sound like a clear upgrade from Quikrete, well, there’s a reason they didn’t name it Quik-Oleum. Rust-Oleum Epoxy Shield Garage Floor Coating takes about a week to cure enough for regular use, while Quickrete only takes about 3 days.
If you want to save a few bucks and don’t mind parking in the driveway for a few days longer to get a slightly thicker product, you may want to pick up Rust-Oleum Epoxy Shield. Like its brother, however, this isn’t the same quality as the higher-end products.
Behr 1 Part Epoxy Garage Floor Coating
If cost and convenience are your top priorities, the best item on our list is Behr 1 Part Epoxy Garage Floor Paint. For $30, you get a gallon of garage floor epoxy coating that will cover 300 to 500 square feet-certainly more than the other items on our list. The product is pre-mixed and easy to apply, although your floor still has to be crystal clean to start.
However, this product contains merely 2% solids by volume, making it a small upgrade from regular garage floor paint. On the bright side, you can also apply it outdoors, which is not recommended for the other epoxy products we mentioned. So, for example, you could impress the neighbors by painting your driveway to match your garage floor.
Please keep in mind that this product is very thin compared to other epoxy garage floor coatings-1.0 to 1.6 mils dry. Do not expect the kind of gloss, durability, or UV protection you receive from other garage floor epoxy.
Now, on the official Behr 1 Part Epoxy Garage Floor Paint technical data sheet, the manufacturer says heavy foot traffic should be avoided for 24 to 48 hours after application. But, they also say you should wait 2 weeks to wash your garage floor in order to allow it to fully cure. So, it’s probably best to avoid driving on it for at least a week, just to be on the safe side.
So, Behr 1 Part Epoxy Garage Floor Coating is basically paint with benefits-quick, easy, and not much of a commitment. If you want to keep a tight cap on initial cost and labor, this is the way to go.
Behr 2 Part Epoxy Garage Floor Coating
Behr 2 Part Epoxy Garage Floor Coating has one main advantage over the similar products Quikrete and Rust-Oleum Epoxy Shield: its one-year limited warranty. Other than that, the specs aren’t as impressive as either Quikrete or Rust-Oleum Epoxy Shield.
According to the official Behr Premium 2 Part Epoxy Garage Floor Coating technical data sheet, a gallon of the product covers about 200 to 250 square feet. It costs $70 to $75. Like the Quikrere and Rust-Oleum Epoxy Shield products, it is water-based, but only contains 34% to 36% solids by volume.
Behr 2 Part Epoxy Garage Floor Coating is also slightly thinner than Quikrete and Rust-Oleum Epoxy Shield. According to the Behr technical data sheet, the product is 2.2 mils thick when dry. It does offer a semi-gloss finish and moderate UV protection, however.
Behr 2 Part Epoxy Garage Floor Coating takes 3 days to dry enough to make your garage usable again, but 7 days to dry enough to clean.
So, if a warranty is important to you, but you want to stay in the mid-price range, consider Behr 2 Part Epoxy Garage Floor Coating. Otherwise, you might want to go for Quikrete or Rust-Oleum Epoxy Shield instead, or spend more to upgrade to a premium garage flooring product.
100% Solids Garage Floor Epoxy
If you can afford a premium product, 100% solids garage floor epoxy coatings are excellent solutions. Examples of 100% solids epoxy floor coatings include Epoxy Coat and ArmorClad. To show the difference in quality and price, let’s look at Epoxy Coat.
Don’t worry, we will look at ArmorClad in a later article. For now, let’s say that, with a high-gloss finish, great UV protection, a formula with 100% solids by weight, this is a durable product at a premium price.
Now, Epoxy Coat is a 100% solid cycloaliphatic epoxy product. It costs significantly more than water-based epoxy flooring products, with a 1.5 gallon kit selling for about $180. That amount covers 250 square feet.
However, Epoxy Coat provides a much thicker covering-9.7 mils. Despite the thickness, however, this garage floor coating only takes a day to dry. It provides a durable, high-gloss finish that is very resistant to UV rays. Epoxy Coat also offers a lifetime warranty.
However, 100% solids epoxy floor coatings are also considered less user-friendly. Since they do not contain water, applying them means squeegeeing the product on instead of painting it on.
To get a feel for the effort involved, keep in mind that an Epoxy Coat kit includes, among other items, a DVD, detailed booklet, cleaning and prep solution, a squeegee, and a mechanical mixer. Although it is certainly possible to apply 100% solids epoxy floor coatings without help, many homeowners choose to have this done by a professional.
So, if you’re willing to dish out extra cash for quality products and either prepare for a more challenging application or spend more money bringing professionals in, go for one of the 100% solids epoxy floor coatings. They’re the superstars of the epoxy garage coating world.
Final Thoughts on Garage Floor Epoxy
As you can see, there are epoxy garage floor coatings out there for everyone, whether you have a little or a lot of time and money available.
Remember, garage floor epoxy is an investment in your home. Like with any other investment, you have to put in some time and money if you want to reap any long-term benefits.