Folks, I read a lot of stuff on the Internet about installing an epoxy garage floor that I just don't agree with. Now, when it gets down to installation details, yes, there is more than one way to skin a cat (sorry for the metaphor), but overall there are many things in common with well installed garage floor coatings.
In part one of this series, we'll outline the steps necessary for the basic garage floor coating installation process and in part two, we'll discuss each step in more detail to ensure the successful installation of your garage floor covering.
The typical installation sequence includes:
- Floor preparation - this is about abrading the floor so that you maximize the ability for the coating system to adhere to the concrete substrate. The most common methods of floor preparation include acid etching, diamond grinding or shot blasting. I don't think all methods are created equal, more about that in part II of this series
- Primer coat - Most systems will call for some form of primer coat. Depending on the garage floor coating, a coating manufacturer may recommend utilizing a primer such as a water based epoxy. Other coating systems, such as solvent based systems may best be installed with the coating acting as the primer although a solvent additive is added in the correct ratio for thinning the coating for maximum penetration and adhesion to the concrete substrate. Other coatings function as a self primer, allowing broadcast elements to be added directly to the coating to create the base color for the system. (Again, this primer step is largely dependent on the coating manufactures recommendation.)
- Base Coating - Adding the base coat and any broadcast medium is about creating the actual color and look of the garage flooring. Although there are many different coating colors, many coating installers utilize tan and gray as their base colors and then use various broadcast elements into the wet coating to create the actual color. There are numerous broadcast elements, but most commonly vinyl chips in various colors and sizes are utilized for garage flooring. Quartz is another option with many colors including vibrant colors for a truly custom look. Metallic additives are also growing rapidly in popularity and can create a rich showroom look
- After some additional floor preparation, a clear top coat is later applied over the base color/chip broadcast to seal in the base coating and broadcast agent while creating a very durable finish that is resistant to vehicle and people traffic. Some coating systems utilize two clear top coats, depending on the type of coating.
Stayed tuned as the Garage Dude will further detail the installation process in Part II of this series.