Maybe your garage floor is starting to look like it has seen better days. Or you have moved into a new home and want to spice up the dull concrete floors. Not to worry — you have endless garage floor coating options that will give your garage floor durability and upgrade its aesthetics at the same time.
But how to choose the best garage floor coating? What different options should you consider? This article will review the eight best garage floor coatings for your home.
Why Do You Need Garage Floor Coating?
Garage floors take quite a beating in everyday life. On top of the heavy load of vehicles and foot traffic, they also endure hot tires, automobile fluids, dust and dirt, grease, and even household chemicals. In addition, in most households, garages double as storage spaces and need to put up with heavy furniture.
Also, most garages are not climate controlled. As a result, the floors are exposed to the hot temperature steaming from the bottom of an engine and the freezing temperature outside. The constant fluctuations in temperature can crack the concrete and cause structural damage to the garage floors.
In addition to brightening up your garage, garage floor coating plays a crucial role in protecting the garage floor. Depending on the coating or covering, it will shield the concrete from exposure, liquid spills, and debris. This is why it’s essential to consider the level of protection you seek when choosing a garage floor coating for your home. Additionally, not all coatings work in every climate. So, you need to analyze the properties of each garage floor coating to make an informed decision.
1.Polyaspartic Floor Coating
- Product 1: Durable, polycuramine concrete coating works on interior concrete surfaces including garage floors, workshops, basements, family rooms and more
- Product 1: Self-leveling, buildable formula is 20X stronger than epoxy, comes in a unique burst pouch and is virtually VOC and odor free
- Product 1: Complete projects quickly; coating is walk on ready in 8-10 hours and vehicle ready within 24 hours
- Product 1: Each kit covers up to 250 sq. ft. depending upon surface porosity; no hot tire pickup
- Cures fast
- UV resistant
- Resists marking
- Works in a wide range of temperatures
- Comparatively expensive
- Doesn’t last as long as polyurea
Although polyaspartic coatings have been around for over 20 years, they have recently gained popularity as a garage floor coating. It comprises professional-grade materials to deliver long-lasting protection for your garage floor. Polyaspartic coating penetrates deep into the concrete to create a robust foundational bond. Additionally, it is resistant to UV exposure and will not turn yellow. It also resists marking from hot car tires — making them an excellent choice for garages.
Polyaspartic coating cures faster than both polyurea and epoxy. It has a cure time that’s long enough for easy application but fast enough for convenience. It can cure and be ready for foot traffic in as little as 2 hours and vehicle traffic in 24 hours. In comparison, epoxy needs more than 12 hours of cure time before foot traffic and around 72 hours for vehicle traffic. Additionally, polyaspartic can be applied in a wide range of temperatures.
Polyaspartic floor coating has a low viscosity. So, it can also be used as a topcoat over epoxy for added protection. It also has excellent durability. For example, 2-layer polyaspartic has an average 3-5 years lifespan. However, it can be a little more expensive than epoxy — costing $4.50-5.50/sqft. It will cost you around $3,400 to coat a two-car garage of 525 square feet with polyaspartic.
2. Polyurea Floor Coating
- UV stable, fade resistant formula; Fast dry coating accepts light traffic in 4-6 hours; full vehicle traffic in 24 hours
- Durable polyurea formula protects against chemicals and abrasion
- Easy roller application
- One gallon covers up to 400 sq. ft.
- Made in the USA
- Shorter cure time
- Lasts longer
- Better long-term value
- Difficult to work with
- Might react with UV radiation
- More expensive
Polyurea — a combination of synthetic resin and isocyanate-reactive materials — is considered a subcategory of polyurethane that creates a durable seal to coat garage floors. It’s a flexible, synthetic, UV-resistant material (check with the manufacturer for UV resistance) that doesn’t turn yellow over time. Due to their fantastic durability, most manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on polyurea coatings.
Polyurea has a rapid drying time, only a couple of hours before you can walk on it. Although the quick drying time makes it convenient, especially for commercial spaces, it also makes it challenging to work with and doesn’t leave the material enough time to bond with the concrete. Therefore, installers need special tools to move fast — otherwise, it can show errors.
Polyurea is incredibly durable and widely used as a garage floor coating. It’s versatile and works well indoors too. However, aromatic polyurea is reactive to UV radiation and may change colors or break the bonding. It’s also more expensive than epoxy and polyaspartic — retailing at $6.80-10 per sqft. However, since it has a longer life expectancy, it’s a better investment if you think long-term.
3. Epoxy Floor Coating
- Durable, 2-part epoxy formula works on interior concrete surfaces, such as garage floors, workshops, basements and more
- Professional glossy finish is easy to clean and provides a long lasting protection that is 5X harder than 1-part epoxy floor paint
- Walk on ready in 24 hours, vehicle and drive-on ready in 3 days
- Superior adhesion coating ensures no hot tire pickup and protects against gasoline, antifreeze, motor oil, and salt
- DIY friendly
- Comparatively cheaper
- Low shrinkage
- Does not contain VOCs
- Not as durable
- Susceptible to UV damage
- Cannot be installed in too hot or cold weather
Epoxy is, without any doubt, the most popular garage floor coating. It’s also excellent for DIYers. It has a curing time somewhere between polyaspartic and polyurea, which is fast enough, so you don’t have to wait too long, but it gives you sufficient time to install. In addition, epoxy does a reasonably good job of protecting concrete. But keep in mind that epoxy will not shield the garage floor against damage as well as the variations of polyurethane (polyaspartic and polyurea) coatings.
Epoxy is comparatively cheaper than polyaspartic and polyurea coatings, with a starting price point of $4.50 per sqft. But there are more expensive variations of epoxy going up to $8 per sqft. It has a similar lifespan as polyaspartic of three to five years. On top of the low price point, epoxy doesn’t require special tools and costs less to install. You can also go for DIY installation to save more.
Despite excellent properties, including low shrinkage, good chemical resistance, and the absence of byproducts or volatile organic compounds (VOC), epoxy is susceptible to UV damage. Its durability is substantially reduced if exposed to outdoor environments. Also, epoxy cannot be applied in extremely hot or cold temperatures.
4. Floor Paint
- Durable, polycuramine concrete coating works on interior concrete surfaces including garage floors, workshops, basements, family rooms and more
- Self-leveling, buildable formula is 20X stronger than epoxy with low odor and low VOC – portioned in a two-part, patented burst pouch
- Complete projects quickly; coating is walk on ready in 8-10 hours and vehicle ready within 24 hours
- Easy to install
- DIY friendly
- Versatile colors
- Does not protect the concrete from damages
Garage paint is a pretty easy and cheap way to add a splash of color to a gray garage. But remember that painting the garage floor does not add much to its protection whatsoever. It’s still a popular choice for garage coating because it covers up strained, old garage floors filled with oil, grease, and rust and gives them a new look. Concrete floor paints are different from standard paints — outperforming the latter when applied to garage floors.
Concrete floor paints can be latex or oil-based products. Typically, they are formulated with a satin, non slip finish designed to be durable under heavy loads and resist damage from household chemicals, grease, oil, and other caustic materials. Some latex floor paints include a small amount of epoxy resin to make the finish hard and resistant to stains — giving it some protective properties.
5. Floor Tiles
- 12” x 12” Floor Tiles: Color: Black; Amount: 50 Pack; Each Size: 12” x 12” (30.5 x 30.5 cm); Thickness: 0.5” (12 mm). Our garage tiles for floors are perfect solutions to protect your room floor from stains, making them appear brand new all the time. Also, the modern color is well-matched for both home and commercial uses. Protect your floor and live comfortably.
- Install in a Snap: Just lay down the garage floor tiles and snap them together in minutes. No tools, glues, or extra hands are required. The garage flooring can be interlocked with those in other colors from VEVOR for endless design combinations, making for a perfect DIY project.
- Easy to install
- Adds to the durability of concrete
- Easy to maintain
- Might crack under heavy load
Floor tiles are a cost-effective option for garage floors — especially if the concrete slab is stained or cracked beyond repair without costing an arm and a leg. Although you can install any floor tiles in garages, rigid or semi-rigid plastic, rubber, or wood composite tiles with interlocking edges are the best options. Also, ensure the tiles are tough enough to support the weight of vehicles.
Floor tiles are made of strong PVC or DRICore that adds to the durability of the concrete. Even though the tiles won’t remedy any issues you have with your existing concrete, they will minimize further surface wear and tear. Interlocking tiles are incredibly easy and fast to install. Also, you can replace individual tiles if one gets damaged or cracked. Make sure to seal up any significant dents on the concrete before installing the tiles. Otherwise, the hollow area underneath the tile can make it break when applied pressure.
6. Floor Mats
- Absorbent material: This material can absorb any liquid, and can prevent the overflow of pollutants such as sludge on car tires. The waterproof backing prevents liquids from penetrating, preventing liquids from damaging or soiling the underlying surface, and preventing the mat from moving.
- Easy to use and store: The mat can be folded. When you need to use it, you only need to slowly open the mat in the garage, and then stick the edge of the mat with double-sided adhesive. When not in use, you can fold it for storage. (The mat may be wrinkled at first, but over time, the wrinkles will gradually disappear).
- Durability: Our mat are mainly made of compact felt environmentally friendly materials. And our mats are very durable, can be reused many times, and are tear-resistant.
- Renter friendly
- Does not provide structural protection
- Might move with vehicle entering and exiting
- Traps moisture and water underneath
Floor mats are the easiest way to cover up a garage floor. You can use both rubber or polyvinyl plastic mats. In addition, floor mats are cheap, readily available, and do not require any prep work. They are a perfect choice if you are trying to cover up stains or cracks on the concrete slab. They protect the garage floor from surface wear and tear and UV damage. Floor mats also keep the dust, dirt, or spillage from the concrete.
Although floor mats help protect concrete from surface damage, it does not provide any structural protection or enhance the durability of the concrete from within like polyaspartic or polyurea coatings would. They also trap moisture and water underneath that needs to be cleaned up regularly. Another limitation of floor mats is they shift and move with vehicles entering and exiting. Choose mats with anti-skid bottoms or attach them to the concrete using double-sided tapes to limit movement.
7. Floor Sealer
- A good concrete floor paint is highly durable, easy to clean and won’t scuff, fade, crack or blister easily, even from hot tires and other heavy activity.
- This single component, water-based floor paint is formulated to last in hard to clean areas like basements and garages. It’s resistant to staining and damage from chemicals, Oil and gasoline.
- Easy to apply
- Protects the concrete from spills and stains
- Does not bond to the concrete
- Clear floor sealers don’t cover blemishes on the concrete
- Wears away quickly
Floor sealers are also popular with homeowners to protect their garage floors. The roll-on sealers are inexpensive, easy to apply, and come in various types, including latex, acrylic, and urethane. The sealer seals off the concrete from stains and spills. However, they do not protect at the same level as polyurethane or epoxy floor coatings as they don’t bond to the concrete. They also wear away faster and might need reapplication frequently.
Since floor sealers are clear, they won’t hide the stains and cracks on the concrete. But you can add tints to conceal the damage and improve the appearance. They are also relatively inexpensive and don’t require much expertise to apply.
8. Floor Stain
- ORDER SAMPLE FIRST to test color & surface porosity. Products CANNOT be returned once opened. Color intensifies when more is used – average 400 sq ft per gal.
- Apply to DAMP, porous concrete. Professional-Grade. UV stable. Easy to Use. Do project in one day!
- For best results, ETCH, STAIN, SEAL. Some people have great results with only using Stain, but it depends on your concrete.
- Improves appearance
- Easy to apply
- Makes the floor seal last longer when applied over it
- Does not provide any protection to the concrete
Although not as popular as floor paints, floor stains are another viable option to cover up imperfections of the concrete and improve its appearance. They can be of three main categories: film-forming, penetrating, and acid stains. When applied on top of floor sealers, they stop the sealer from wearing away and provide added protection to the concrete.
Floor stains are mainly chosen for their decorative properties. They do very little for protection since they barely penetrate the concrete. It adds color to the garage floor or gives it a natural stone floor appearance. They hide blemishes on the concrete from liquid spills or cracks. Stains are also inexpensive and easy to apply.
How to Prepare Concrete Before Coating
Before applying whichever coating you have chosen, some prep work is involved, especially if you go with liquid coats. Here are some tips for preparing concrete to reinforce the best garage floor coating.
- Clean the concrete thoroughly and remove dirt, debris, moisture, and grease.
- Repair any cracks or holes using a concrete patch product.
- Clean up grease stains using a degreaser and a stiff brush. You can do a water test to check if the grease is completely removed. Drop some water on the spot. If it gets absorbed, you have done an excellent job. If the water beads up, scrub it again and retest afterward.
- If you have an existing coating, ensure it is bonded to the floor. Sand the entire floor until the old coating is completely matted. However, remember that not all coating can be applied over an existing coating. Do a patch test to ensure it is compatible with the old coating. You also need to remove any loose coating altogether.