Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Epoxy-Coat or Floor Paint, which is best for my concrete garage floor?

Epoxy-Coat or Floor Paint, which IS best for your garage floor?  Homeowners, contractors and facility managers all desire a bright, cleanable, easy to install, floor covering that stands up to some level of abuse.  Coating manufacturers don't make the choice easy with hundreds of epoxy coatings and floor paints available in the market-place.  Before you choose, consider all the facts:

Floor Paint

Paint has been around for thousands of years.  It's performance has improved tremendously in the last 10 years with innovations in coverage, chemistry and performance.  Floor paint is inexpensive, is generally a low smell product and dries relatively fast.  It is always a single component and comes in a variety of colors.  It's ease of application and low cost make it a natural choice for use as a floor coating.   However, floor paint is "film forming" which means it does not penetrate a substrate, it tends to ride on-top making it easily rubbed/scratched off with moderate traffic. Floor paint has no strength or ability to fend off impacts.  Lastly, floor paint is easily damaged by "hot tire lift".  Hot tire lift is caused by automobile tires, heated through traffic on the road, parked on a painted surface.  The hot tire softens the paint, allowing it to stick to the tire.  Once cooled the paint is now attached to the tire.  When the car is moved the paint is ripped from the floor, leaving an unsightly bare patch in a once attractive garage floor.

Hot-Tire Lift


Epoxy-Coat has been in existence as a floor coating since the early sixties.  True epoxy consists of a base (part a) and a catalyst (part b).  Once A&B are mixed, a molecular reaction occurs that causes the epoxy base to cure or harden.  This hardened epoxy coating exhibits excellent chemical and wear resistance as the epoxy molecules have cross-linked together very tightly.  In addition to this powerful cross-linking epoxy is penetrating.  It finds it's way into the pores of the concrete substrate it is placed upon. locking it to the floor.  This makes epoxy a formidable opponent to heavy traffic and easily rejects "hot tire lift".  Consumers should realize the investment in epoxy is greater and the application does include a small mixing step.

Epoxy Installation

In summary, epoxy excels when a performance coating is required for an active garage with moderate to heavy traffic and when that traffic includes any rubber-tired vehicles.  Floor paint can be selected for low traffic areas that are exposed to light pedestrian traffic and when the expectation for less performance is acceptable.

Photo Credit: www.allgaragefloors.com