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Well, I fucked up! Wife wanted a new house, I am a contractor, built her the damn house, now I have to spend more money, again!

Good news is I moved into a bigger garage. I would like to hear opinions on the best epoxy floor coating system. I would like to do full flake, because a solid color seems kind of dull to me, especially since we would just do some shade of gray. Not interested in metallic either, this will be a DIY project. I have looked into ArmorPoxy and Spartan Epoxies, both look decent and I have been told 100% solids is a must. Let me know what your guys experience has been, good or bad, please.
 

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Also subscribing as I’m in the market for my garage as well
 

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I had mine done professionally last summer. Flake and the newer clear they are using. Can’t remember the chemical name. It came out better than I hoped and is holding up like iron. I get stains from paint overspray, dried chemicals, etc, and everything comes off with a pressure washer. Iirc it was around $3200 for a 3 car garage plus a little more floor space.

As with everything, prep is the key. They ground the brand new concrete before starting.

About 20 years ago I did a diy job on mine. It was worse than a waste of time as it began lifting within 6 months.


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Just like mentioned above, prep is key. About 10 years ago, after letting the concrete fully cure for about 3 months after building a new house, I used the ArmorSeal Rexthane epoxy from Sherwin Williams. I've used a few other DIY epoxy coating systems that don't work but the ArmorSeal system has been rock solid and still looks new! I did a grey color with the multi-color flakes and cleared it all. It's been through all types of automotive fluids, jack stands, floor jacks, tools and just about everything else you can think of. Absolutely the best and you can definitely do it yourself, plus the guys at Sherwin Williams will help you out too! There may be better out there but you can't beat this from a DIY perspective.
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Nice stable! Are you in an area that sees prolonged freeze/thaw cycles?
 

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I have friends with epoxied garage floors, but very few have long-term success. Most of the failures can be attributed to excessive moisture leeching up through the slab, so the ones that survived definitely had higher garage floor elevations than the surrounding landscape of the property.

My day job involves a lot of new condo construction and what never happens is the lowest parking garage floor (which is slab on grade) gets epoxied. For this reason, I've always been hesitant to get my garage done. I'd rather put the money into tires and fuel. 😁
 

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I worked in terrazzo for about a year and a half. I know little about epoxy-coated floors, and I'm about to prove it...

I want to do my garage in exposed aggregate and then clear over it. Example:
Road surface Asphalt Tar Water Flooring

I took this idea to a home and garden show a few years back and all the garage floor booths said they wouldn't finish a floor without flakes due to the floor being a slip hazard when wet. Sounds reasonable, right? What I think I'll end up doing is casting sand into the epoxy rather than flakes.
 

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I was told prep is the most important part, like most things. They do make a non slip part that I’m assuming gets mixed I got he too clear, but I also think the flakes help with it some. I’ve heard about the moisture issues if there isn’t a vapor barrier under the concrete, luckily I’m on a hill, and I graded it myself, don’t have to worry about that moisture.

I am definitely going to grind the floor, even though it’s brand new. Have to fill all the saw joints with a foam backer rod and epoxy filler over that. Definitely not looking forward to the prep work, but it must be done.

I will have to look into the Sherwin Williams product. After seeing your garage, I understand your name now tappedout! Haha
 
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I did my garage in my previous house myself. I used a commercial grade of Rustoleum Garage Floor Epoxy and Rustoleum epoxy clear coat. I had it for over 10 years, no issues. Prep is definitely what took the longest. Was perfect concrete so just etched it and cleaned it thoroughly and let it dry serveral days. This is through Michigan winters and salt. Make sure the use Sharkbite additive and not sand.
 

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I was told prep is the most important part, like most things. They do make a non slip part that I’m assuming gets mixed I got he too clear, but I also think the flakes help with it some. I’ve heard about the moisture issues if there isn’t a vapor barrier under the concrete, luckily I’m on a hill, and I graded it myself, don’t have to worry about that moisture.

I am definitely going to grind the floor, even though it’s brand new. Have to fill all the saw joints with a foam backer rod and epoxy filler over that. Definitely not looking forward to the prep work, but it must be done.

I will have to look into the Sherwin Williams product. After seeing your garage, I understand your name now tappedout! Haha
I have epoxied the floors in my last two houses. Prep is ABSOLUTELY the key. Diamond grind. Acid can work, but grinding is the best. You can do it wet if you don't want all the dust, but the clean up takes quite a bit as you'll be hosing it off for 2 or more hours and sweeping sludge out. That is how I did my last one. You will need to let it dry for a couple days after hosing it off without walking on it. Get a good angle grinder and a diamond wheel for that to get the corners that a large floor grinder can't get to. If you want, you can use 80 grit sandpaper to get way into the corners if you want, but not totally necessary. Then expect a couple more days of work. One day for base and one for each coat of clear. The flakes go into the base. For grip, you can get sharkbite (I think that's what it's called) and spread it over the clear after you lay the top layer. When broadcasting both the flakes and the sharkbite, the best method is to toss it as high into the air and let it fall onto the ground.

Couple tricks
  • I'll mention prep again. DO NOT skimp here, you'll regret it with the epoxy lifting
  • Get a couple good pairs of spikes for shoes so you can walk on the surface when bakrolling
  • Be prepared to backroll quite a few times to get the bubbles out
  • Depending on the size of the garage, it might be helpful to have a buddy with you and mix more material as the first batch is getting laid out
  • Get a propane torch. If you are having troubles with bubbles, the heat helps to pop them and flow out the epoxy
  • Laying the clear coat will get weird. As it flows onto the base, it's like pouring water on a sheet of ice. It will flow really strange. Get the best coverage you can and be prepared to backroll a LOT more than the base to get it spread across as it slightly hardens.
  • I actually recommend two layers of clear. Because of the way it flows, if you surface isn't PERFECTLY flat (trust me - it's not), you will get small pooling of the clear in low spots and thin or not enough coverage in high spots
  • Think about what you will be using the garage for when choosing colors. I initially wanted to do a darker with some accent colors flowed in to create a cool and unique look. However, I use my garage as a garage. I build cars and am always tinkering with something. I inevitably drop a few bolts, screws and other small parts. If I had a cool color scheme, finding them would be difficult. So I chose a lighter gray and minimal flake coverage just so I could see things better.
  • The area near the door will yellow unless you use a poly. And poly is more difficult to deploy and has a high VOC. Mine is yellowed, but not to the point it bothers me.
  • Look at Garage Journal - LOTS of good info here.
  • DO NOT use big-box store epoxy. You will be pulling it up in a couple months. I used Epoxy-Coat on both garages. Worked flawlessly.
  • If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up. Happy to help
 

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What’s the usual cost to have a company do a 3 car garage?
 

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Not epoxy but I used motor deck coin pattern tiles from Home Depot on my 3 car garage and I love it. Took me about half a day to install, trims easy with a chop saw, cleans easy. I did this versus the epoxy because as others have mentioned the prep work is tedious. You may not be interested but just another option. Cost me around 2100$
 
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You have any pics Ctarb?
 

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Tiles are 1/2” thick, they come boxed in groups of 4 so it lays quick. Obviously you just unclick them when you get to edges or as needed to go around stuff. Multiple colors so you can do checker board or the field in one color and the parking area a different color to sort of look like an area rug
 

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How does it handle spills etc? It looks pretty good
 

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Wipes right off, I’ll say that within reason as I haven’t let stuff sit on it, but doing oil change on my mower, filling it with gas etc it easily cleans off. Over the summer I have an old brush for washing cars, put soap and water in a bucket then hose it out. Looks like new
Will also mention I live in the north east and as of now there are no issues with the road sand/salt from winter damaging the finish
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thank you for the reply Ctarb, but I don’t think tiles will be very good for me. I’m in South Dakota, and the garage gets nasty with road grime during the winter. Even if I didn’t have to, I would always be pulling the tiles up and cleaning.

That is a great post Jim, thank you. A lot of good information. My garage is a little over 1300 sq ft, with a drain in the middle. The concrete guys also lost a load, got hot on them, and the power trowel created some moderate waves. I am planning on grinding it, and cleaning the crap out of it. They also cut the control joints too wet, chipped bad, so those need a fair amount of work, fill and smooth. Most definitely want a higher end product, I only want to do this once!

Also, planning on having a buddy help with applying every coat. Not worth messing up trying to do it alone. I have a 3” curb all the way around, that I am planning on doing also.
 
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