A good enough reason to refinish or replace damaged floors is that they pose safety risks. Indeed, over 2 million flooring-related fall injuries occur in the U.S. yearly.
You may face those hazards if your garage floor has numerous pits and cracks.
That doesn’t mean you must replace the entire thing. You can if you want to, but using the best garage floor coating may be more practical. So long as applied correctly, it may be enough to restore your floor.
To that end, we created this guide on choosing the best coating materials for garage floors. Read on to discover what you must consider to make the right choice.
The chemicals you subject your garage floor to depend on what you use your garage for. If you use it primarily for your car, you likely expose it to grease, motor fluids, and chemical cleaners.
But if you’re part of the 53% of polled U.S. adults who use it as a workshop, you may also be subjecting it to many other chemicals. These include paints, paint removers, acids, glues, and solvents, to name a few.
Over time, those substances can further degrade your already-damaged or unfinished garage floor. To prevent this, choose a garage floor protection that can resist the chemicals you often use.
Polyurea, an elastomer, is another of the best protective garage floor products. It’s highly resistant to the same substances that epoxy is.
Unless you plan to turn your garage into a bedroom, you need a floor coat that can withstand heavier loads. Otherwise, it can easily get damaged. A perfect example is tile flooring; it may look pretty, but it can crack under the heavy weight of cars.
When tiles crack, they can expose the underlying concrete to spills. This is one of the last things you want to happen, as fluids can degrade concrete and make it crumble. This can result in the floor developing uneven areas and causing slip and trip risks.
Moisture in concrete can also promote mold growth. If this happens to your garage floor, expect it to smell foul and musty. Worse, it may put you at risk of mold-related health issues, such as respiratory and skin woes.
So instead of tiles, consider epoxy and polyurea, which are much better and more durable. They can withstand the weight of vehicles much better than the concrete itself. They’re also moisture and impact-resistant.
Another factor when deciding on the best garage floor coating is cost. It must fit your initial budget, but you should also consider its long-term costs.
This is where epoxy displays its advantage over tiles or concrete polishing. Online estimates place its average cost range at $3 to $12 per square foot. That’s more than the $2 to $4 per square foot price of garage tiles, but it lasts longer because it’s more durable.
That means you’d need to replace an epoxy coat fewer times than tiles, saving you money in the long run.
If you want even more long-term savings, choose polyurea, which is more durable than epoxy. For one, it’s not like epoxy, which requires recoating every few years. It also resists ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can degrade epoxy and concrete.
Plus, according to the guide here, polyurea has a warranty ranging from 7 years to a lifetime. On the other hand, manufacturers and installers only back epoxy flooring for 12 to 36 months.
A warranty can help you save in the long run because it pays for covered repairs. In garage floors, the coverage includes issues with peeling, delamination, and incidental spills.
So if you accidentally spill motor oil and it quickly discolors the coat, the warranty should kick in. The manufacturer or installer should repair the stained part for free.
Those perks make a lengthier warranty much better and cost-saving. For the same reason, consider investing in polyurea garage floor coating.
Ease of Maintenance
Epoxy and polyurea coatings are easier to maintain than garage tiles.
Garage tiles, especially unglazed ones, attract dirt, dust, debris, grease, and other stains. While you can remove these unsightly marks, you must put effort into scrubbing them away. The most stubborn stains may also require the use of cleaning chemicals.
It’s easier to clean epoxy and polyurea since they resist many contaminants. Their resistance to liquids also means you can easily mop away spills. However, you shouldn’t wait too long to wipe colored liquids, as they can stain epoxy coats.
Safety and Eco-Friendliness
On their own, garage tiles and epoxy can be slippery when wet. Anti-slip coatings are available to combat this issue, albeit for an extra cost.
On the other hand, polyurea coatings have properties that make them slip-resistant. For instance, you can find them in textured styles, which improve grip and traction. So while they cost more than tiles and epoxy upfront, they could be your safest, anti-slip bet.
Polyurea may also be your best bet for a greener, more eco-conscious garage floor coating. According to experts, this material is green and pollution-free. It’s also recyclable at the end of its useful life.
By contrast, only specific garage tiles are recyclable.
Epoxy is nearly impossible to recycle; once it hardens on a surface, you can’t separate it anymore. It also emits high volatile organic compound (VOC) levels during application. VOCs can be harmful, so consider this before applying epoxy the DIY route.
Invest in the Best Garage Floor Coating
Remember: The best garage floor coating should be more than just aesthetic. Instead, it’s far more crucial for the coat to be functional, safe, durable, and eco-conscious.
So, please consider all those factors when picking a coat for your garage floors. Doing so can help you choose the best product, which in most cases, is polyurea.
For more informative posts like this, check out our latest home improvement guides!