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Garage Flooring Options: Epoxy

Garage Flooring Options: Epoxy

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The other flooring option I would like to discuss is coating. (If you haven't yet, read up on mats and tiling). There are a number of suitable coatings that you can use on your garage floor. Epoxy, urethanes, resinous materials, monolithic, MMA, acrylic, concrete stains, as well as a number of aggregates are a few. Epoxy is very common, and the one we'll talk about today.

Epoxy coating, or roll on epoxy, is one of the most durable and long lasting flooring options. A good epoxy coating can last you decades. A bad epoxy, on the other hand, can cause hot tire lifting, peeling, and flaking after no time at all. Cheap products, lack of preparation, and poor application can lead to these problems. Follow instructions, buy quality products, and don't skimp on the initial stages, and you should be pleased with the results.

JNK products are said to be reliable in the DIY world, and Armor is a hardcore brand name. When we say proper preparation we mean creating the proper surface, a step that is integral to having a successful epoxy finish. This is not a question of cleanliness, but rather of adhesion. Epoxy needs a rough surface to settle on. For this reason, the most important stage in epoxy flooring is etching or roughing up the surface (New Yorkers seem to be unusually good at this step). A simple acid compound or sandblaster can achieve this goal. Read the instructions carefully, and repeat if results are not thorough.

Epoxies combined with a layer of urethane are even more durable, and far less prone to the normal problems of flaking and deterioration. Urethanes are the generally accepted preference for topcoat material. They are tougher, clearer, and easier to use than epoxy coatings. Polyurethanes require a base coat, as they will not adhere directly to concrete. Many people use a good poly as a topcoat over a cheap epoxy layer (not recommended, but if you're using a cheap epoxy anyway, go with a poly coating) because it resists chemical damage better than any other material, including epoxy. Poly is also durable and fade resistant even in direct sunlight. Safety precaution: Make sure there is plenty of ventilation when applying and drying urethanes. A ventilator can be used as well for additional air circulation. You can add in a colorless granulate to your urethane mix to create some traction because urethane is very slippery, especially when wet. The other alternative is using a lot of color flakes (see below) to create a rougher surface.

Adding color flakes or chips (or pigments, resin and additives as the case may be) to the epoxy or topcoat gives the base coat an entirely new color and flavor. They've got everything from plain old black and white to fluorescent and metallic colors. What sometimes happens though is that you get a different effect from the color combination than what you were expecting. For more accurate results, try a test patch. Apply a small amount of base coat to an area, wait for it to dry, and then sprinkle the color flakes until you've reached the desired color (order sample flakes from most reliable stores/sites). Then you can place your order with a better knowledge of both quantity and finished color combination.

Conclusion

If you have an older worn out floor that does not have much hope for repair, tiles and mats are your best options. They can hide any unsightly stains, cracks and blemishes, and leave you with an attractive, durable and comfortable finish. Their hassle-free installation also speaks to many people.

There is no question that a quality epoxy coating is stronger, more durable, and likely to last much longer. If you have the time and energy to put into this project, you will be happy with the results.

Additional note: These are garage-flooring suggestions for a garage you intend to keep as a workroom, car park, or storage/utility room. For more functionality such as a playroom, extra bedroom, or entertainment area, other garage flooring options should be explored. Carpeting is questionable, but a short fiber carpet (such as Berber) works well in this area. Some more opulent carpets can be used if the necessary moisture precautions are taken before hand. Rubber and foam matting creates suitable cushioning for young children at play. Vinyl, laminate and linoleum flooring will also look and feel great for entertaining. For more flooring advice, read inexpensive flooring options.

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