How To Epoxy A Garage Floor The Right & Wrong Ways

If you want to know how to epoxy a garage floor the right way, this is the article for you! Before we get started, this is not a do-it-yourself blog. DIY epoxy floor kits are advertised on the internet and in stores, but you should know what you’re getting yourself into when you buy one of these “easy” coating solutions. Once you’re done with this article, you’ll know why you should always call a professional. 

How To Epoxy A Garage Floor: The Wrong Way

You’ve probably seen epoxy floor kits in your local home improvement store or online. These DIY kits are everywhere and seem to flood the concrete improvement market. They’re promoted as being easy to use and cost-effective, but only if you follow each required step exactly as stated. Here’s an example of a typical DIY process and all the costs of doing it yourself. 

Before applying any epoxy to your garage floor, you must prep your concrete.

  1. Clean your floor – Before applying any epoxy to your garage floor, you must prep your concrete. You’ll need a broom and wet/dry vacuum to clean any debris on your floor. If dust or dirt is left on your floor, it could ruin the entire epoxy application. 
    1. Cost – Brooms are household items, but wet/dry vacuums can cost $40 to $600.
  2. Degrease your floor – You’ll need to degrease your floor with a stiff brush to remove any oil, grease, or soot from your concrete. You can also use a pressure washer mixed with the degreaser to remove tougher stains. Once you’re done, you need to wash off the degreaser with a hose and wait for it to dry. 
    1. Cost – Degreasers are about $16 to $30, stiff brushes are around $5, and pressure washers are $70 to $800.
  3. Expose the pores – After you’ve cleaned and washed your garage floor, you need to prep the concrete for the epoxy. This is done using an etching solution or a diamond grinder. This process exposes the pores in the concrete, allowing the epoxy to adhere to the surface. DIY kits usually come with etching solutions, but they are less effective than the diamond grinders used by professionals. Etching solutions are usually diluted from muriatic acid, which can cause damage to your skin, eyes, and lungs.
    1. Cost – Etching solutions that don’t come with the kit are $10 to $30, and diamond grinders are $5,000 to $20,000.
  4. You'll also need to apply wide painter's tape and plastic sheeting to the bottom of your walls to prevent the epoxy from curing to anything it shouldn't.

    Prepare the room – Once your concrete is ready, you need to prep your room for the epoxy. If you have baseboards in your garage, you might need to remove them so the epoxy can reach all of your concrete. This will eliminate the need to cut in the edges with a brush. You’ll also need to apply wide painter’s tape and plastic sheeting to the bottom of your walls to prevent the epoxy from curing to anything it shouldn’t. 

    1. Cost – Painter’s tape is around $20, and plastic sheeting is $15 to $50.
  5. Mixing and applying the epoxy – This is the hardest part of the entire process, and each DIY kit may have different application steps with unique curing times. This step involves mixing the hardener with the resin until it’s thoroughly mixed, letting the mixture rest in the bucket, and spreading the epoxy across your floor using a roller. If you’re adding decorative chips or metallic flakes, you need to do this before the epoxy cures within a short 2-hour window (you have less time in hotter weather).
    1. Cost – Epoxy kits are around $100 to $700, and rolling tools can be $20 to $200, based on the size.
  6. Curing time – You need to let the epoxy cure, which can take 24 hours before you can walk on it, and at least seven days before you can park your car. 
  7. Total cost – On the higher end of everything with the best products, you could be spending around $22,000 to do this project yourself (that includes purchasing a high-end diamond grinder). If you’re willing to spend this much on a home improvement project, call a professional. 

Why Not DIY?

You'll also need to apply wide painter's tape and plastic sheeting to the bottom of your walls to prevent the epoxy from curing to anything it shouldn't.

This is just a basic run-down of the average DIY epoxy kit. This doesn’t include primer coats, second coats, or topcoats. When you buy an at-home kit, you accept full responsibility for the application and design of the finished product. Most kits only warranty the mixture, and you are liable if anything goes wrong during any of the steps mentioned above. 

This could lead you to tear out the epoxy if you don’t like the end result, costing you time and money. Unless you rented the tools for the application, you’re now stuck with rollers, diamond grinders, and other equipment you won’t need at the moment. We say that because most DIY kits only last around five years, so you’ll need those tools soon. 

How To Epoxy A Garage Floor: The Right Way

If you want to epoxy your garage floor, call a professional. We can’t stress enough how simple and easy experts make the entire process. You won’t need to spend hours watching videos or flipping through instruction manuals. Trained professionals have been coating garage floors for years, able to install them by memory with skill. 

If you live in the Greater Salt Lake City area and want epoxy garage floors that can last well beyond 25 years, call Complete Concrete Coatings. We’ll choose the right epoxy for your needs, protecting your concrete, enhancing your floor, and boosting the value of your home. We’ve been in this industry since 2005, protecting thousands of garage floors, decks, patios, and more. Call today for your free consultation and estimate. 

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