Trying to figure out the best garage floor epoxy coating system for your garage isn’t always easy. It can be frustrating and somewhat overwhelming if you don’t know exactly what you want or how an epoxy coating system works.
The easiest way to tackle this problem is to break it down into the different types of epoxy products available and explain how they are installed together as systems. The goal is to eliminate the confusion about epoxy and get educated on the different options available in order to choose the best epoxy for you.
Water based epoxy is easy to apply and has a longer pot life that reduces the worry of getting it applied as quickly as other epoxy products require. It’s a single coat system with roughly 50% solids content of epoxy and a coverage rate of around 250 square feet. They roll on easy and cure to a thin coat of approximately 3 mils with a matte to semi-gloss finish. Inexpensive and the least durable of the epoxies you can get. Resistance to stains and chemicals are not as good as other types of garage floor epoxy and they are susceptible to hot tire lift.
High solids epoxy is the next step up. They have the best resistance to stains, chemicals, abrasions and have high solids content with the best being 100% solids epoxy. The 100% solids single coat system is much thicker and will cure to approximately 10 mils or more depending on the brand. Pot life is shorter though, requiring that it be applied within 30 to 40 minutes after mixing. High solids epoxy make for a great colour base coat to a multi-coat system due to their high build and are available in many choices of colour options as well.
Clear epoxy or polyurethane top coats is a system that not only adds durability and thickness, it gives your floor that deep gloss and shine. If adding a topcoat, you also have the option of adding additional paint chips to your base coat — they can be sprinkled on sparingly or they can be applied to full refusal. Full refusal is the process of throwing on chips until they don’t stick anymore. This adds some texture to the floor and increases thickness for durability, and help to produce an anti-slip surface. With the multitude of different coloured chip combinations to choose from, you can give your garage floor any custom look that you like.
The best coating for your garage floor will be a premium multi-coat epoxy system. This will consist of a primer coat, 100% solids basecoat, acrylic coloured paint chips if you like and one or two topcoats of clear epoxy or polyurethane. These type of floor systems can last 15-20 years or more. Any premium epoxy system will involve a primer and will be anywhere from 50% to 70% solids content which will make for a thinner coat and consistency. This creates better adhesion for your basecoat and helps to prevent pinholes and bubbles which are caused from out gassing of the concrete.