Applying an epoxy finish to your garage floor isn’t as difficult as you might think. In fact, armed with the right tools and some DIY facts, it’s a job you can easily do yourself. That’ll save you time and money. To set yourself up for success, it’s a great idea to check out some of the many free online videos that can guide you through some of the trickier aspects of getting the job done right. With a little information under your belt, you can gather your supplies and have that beautiful garage floor epoxied in no time.
If you live in Las Vegas or Sacramento, we can provide this service for you. In fact, we offer $500 a full epoxy service! But, we’re happy to just teach you how to do it as well.
How Much Does Epoxy Garage Flooring Cost?
One of the most important things you will need to consider before making the commitment to epoxy your garage floor is how much it is going to cost. To undertake a project of this magnitude for an average-sized single car garage in Las Vegas or Sacramento, it’ll cost you approximately $750 on the low end and nearly $3,000 on the high end. If you’re interested in getting it done professionally, give us a call or schedule a free estimate here.
On average, you can expect to pay between $2 to $5 per square foot for materials and equipment. Compared to the expense of hiring professionals to do the job, that’s pretty reasonable. As a conservative estimate, an expert floor refinisher changes the price from $3 to $12 per square foot of your garage space.
The average single car garage measures approximately 250 feet. That means a DIY project will cost you anywhere from $750-$3000. However, since a typical two-car garage nearly doubles that space, you can expect to pay a figure of $1,200 to $6,000. The type of epoxy you choose and the preferred application will also play a determining factor in the final amount you will pay.
How to Prepare Your Garage Floor for Epoxy
Proper preparation of your garage floor is critical to ensuring the epoxy flooring is successful. Here are the steps you need to complete to properly prepare your garage floor for epoxying:
Inspecting the floor
The finish on some floors makes them unsuitable for epoxy application. If the concrete has had a seal applied to it or has been painted, the surface of the floor will need to be ground to remove the paint or sealant; otherwise, your epoxy will not adhere properly.
As you inspect your floor, be sure to check for any flaws in the concrete. Each of these areas will need to be fixed before you can apply epoxy. It is important to note that epoxy is not designed to level cracks. So, if you don’t fix them prior to resurfacing, the epoxy will have a finish that shows blemishes.
Checking for moisture
Another important step before cleaning your garage floor to apply epoxy is to check for moisture that could affect the final finish. When you survey the floor, you can see moisture through areas of the surface that appear slightly damp or that display what appears to be white powder. This white powder is comprised of lime and mineral deposits left behind when the moisture in it evaporates.
If white powder is seen on the floor only during times of high humidity, then you’re fine. However, a problem with moisture on the floor year-round will prevent the proper adhesion from occurring. If you live in Las Vegas, you don’t have a problem with humidity anyway!
Prepare the garage floor through cleaning
After you have determined that the surface will accept epoxy well and that moisture will not pose a problem, you can then clean the floor as a final step prior to application. Garage floors that bear no sign of oil or other substances that would leave the floor feeling greasy or gummy require little more than sweeping.
It is important to make note of any areas that seem to be stained with grease even after a proper cleaning with a grease removing agent as these areas will not accept water and will naturally repel the epoxy adhesive.
Repairing any flaws
The next step in getting your floor ready for epoxying is to make any necessary repairs. Be sure to avoid using any latex products designed for floor repairs as they are known to shrink over time and can leave behind a mark that identifies where the patch or repair took place.
Profile the floor
The last thing you will need to do before applying epoxy is to profile your floor. Profiling is the process of allowing the pores in the concrete to be revealed to provide a surface that is easy for the epoxy to stick to. There are two different options you can choose from acid etching or grinding. Professionals favor acid etching.
How to Apply Epoxy to Your Garage Floor
In order for your project to move along fluidly, make sure you have all the right tools. Take time to unpack your supplies and look through your garage floor coating materials. You need to be certain that you have everything on hand. This will save you time in emergency trips to the hardware store to pick up items you’ve forgotten.
There are several different types of epoxy that you can use, but we recommend the use of a commercial-grade product. This type of epoxy is very dense and is poured out on the floor all at once and can then be rolled into place with paint rollers until the surface is properly covered.
Make sure you don’t start epoxying when the weather is uncooperative. High heat and humidity are the enemies of epoxy and can create a host of problems. The ideal temperature for most types of epoxy is 55 to 90 degrees. You’ll find the warmer the temperature, the quicker your epoxy will dry. That means you’ll have to work way faster.
Make sure you tape off any areas that extend just outside your floor. This helps prevent the epoxy from adhering to spots that you want to remain clean. It’s important that you remove the tape about 30 minutes after the epoxy appears firmly in place. Otherwise, taking the tape off cleanly might be impossible. You can reapply tape between coats.
Epoxy Prep Work
Make sure you mix the epoxy before you apply it. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions exactly. Also, make sure you protect the area beneath your mixing bucket to prevent epoxy spills.
If the package indicates you will need several epoxy kits to complete your floor, it’s best to combine them all into one big batch to be certain the color will be even throughout the floor.
Most of the time, you will need to apply more than one coat of epoxy to the floor. This will help you get the ideal surface. The first coat is typically just a primer. From the time of pouring the epoxy, you’ll have about 40 minutes to roll the epoxy into place for a smooth finish. If it’s exceptionally warm or humid, you might have even less time than this. So be super conscious of the time and work quickly.
To make the process easier, it’s important to have all of your tools close by. This helps you immediately start rolling once you’ve poured the epoxy. If you are applying color flakes, you will also need to have these ready to go before beginning the process.
How to Apply Epoxy
To apply the epoxy, we recommend that you pour it in a ribbon-like fashion to provide coverage for up to 200 feet. This is just to help you understand how the concrete will grab the epoxy.
Once the epoxy is in place, work from the back corner of the garage rolling in an outwards motion. Your paint roller should also be dipped in epoxy for an even application that is free from any air bubbles. Work fast, reapplying epoxy to the roller as needed. For areas requiring cutting in, it’s a good idea to use a chip brush. This helps prevent the epoxy from being splashed on your walls. A chip brush can also be used to clean up any spills or to fill in spots you might’ve missed during the rolling process.
After the epoxy has been rolled in one direction, it’s time for you to roll the product again at a perpendicular angle, a process referred to as backrolling. This helps keep the color and thickness of the epoxy even. It also prevents bubbles from developing. If you live in Las Vegas, a lot of painting companies don’t backroll so check on that.
10-24 hours after you’ve laid the first coat down, you can start the second coat of epoxy. You’ll need to buff the surface of your floor. You can do this with sandpaper to rough up the surface before the second epoxy coating.
Epoxy Top Coat
If a top coat is part of your plan, you’ll want to be certain that the floor is completely set first. If the floor is not totally dry, you’ll leave streaks or imprints on the floor. Once you’ve laid the top coat down, you’ll need to give it at least 72 hours. It needs this time to cure before you move anything back inside the garage.
How Long Does Epoxy Garage Floor Last?
The life expectancy of an epoxy finish depends on how much use and abuse the floor sees and how much care is taken to clean and protect it. As an average rule of thumb, you can expect to get two to three years out of an application of epoxy to your garage floor.
How to Clean an Epoxy Garage Floor
Epoxy floors should be kept clean to prevent stains or scratches from affecting the surface. Sand and dirt should be swept and mopped off the floors as often as possible, or they can be vacuumed up with a Shop-Vac using a soft bristle attachment.
Cleaners that include soap in their formulation can leave a hazy residue that can damage the surface over time. It is recommended that the floor be cleaned using only warm water and a mop on an as-needed basis. If spots develop that require a more thorough cleaning, a gentle scrub brush can be used to buff the area out. Once removed, a light mix of ammonia and water can be mopped over the surface to remove any lingering dirt or stains.
Thinking you’d like a professional to add an epoxy finish to your garage floor? Give us a call or schedule an appointment for your free estimate!