Selecting the Best Garage Floor Coatings

best garage floor coatings

There are several advantages to using a garage floor coating. They enhance the appearance of your concrete floor, make it easy to clean, and provide resistance to chemicals and staining. Find out more about the best garage floor coatings to help you choose the right one for your needs.


Importance of Choosing the Best Garage Floor Coatings

Concrete floors coated with epoxy or urethane coatings are less susceptible to pitting, cracking, and chipping, and the high-gloss finish improves the appearance dramatically. Garage floor coatings come in a variety of colors, and many have decorative vinyl chips that you can add to make them more attractive. Some types come with grit to make your floor less slippery, and you can choose from water-based and solvent-based products.

When selecting a garage floor coating, it’s helpful to know the size of an average 1-car and 2-car garage, as most kits are sold based on the size of the garage. If your area is larger, you should calculate the square foot to determine how much you need.

  • 1-car garages are around 240 square feet
  • 2-car garages are around 420 square feet

No matter what garage floor coating you choose, your concrete must be properly prepared before applying it. These products have better adherence when your floor has been treated with an etching solution, and some professionals recommend using a quality concrete primer for the best results.

Before applying any concrete floor coating, the floor should be clean, dust-free, and completely dry. Cure times vary, but it’s always faster when the room temperature is at least 68°F (20°C). High humidity can also affect curing times.

Unveiling the Top 5 Garage Floor Coatings of 2023

You have a lot of choices when it comes to products that protect your garage floor, but to make it easier, here are the top seven garage floor coatings on the market.

1. Rust-Oleum 261845 EpoxyShield Garage Floor Coating

Key Features

Rust-Oleum 261845 EpoxyShield Garage Floor Coating
  • 5 times more durable than 1-part epoxy
  • Ready for foot traffic in 24 hours and can be driven on in 72 hours
  • Only requires one coat and works on any interior concrete surfaces
  • Resists chemical and oil stains

Pricing

  • $203 for a 2.5-car garage kit (2-gallons)

Rust-Oleum was founded in 1921 by a sea captain, and it’s best known for the original rust preventive paint that originally came in 24 colors. Over a century later, Rust-Oleum manufactures various high-end products, including this epoxy garage floor coating.

Starting with the patented burst pouch technology for easy mixing, it’s amazing how simple this product is to apply. It rolls on with a regular paint roller and cleans up with soap and water. This product is available in tan, gray, and tan gloss, and the decorative vinyl chips enhance the appearance to create a stunning concrete floor.

2. ArmorPoxy Industrial Grade 14-pc Garage Epoxy Floor Kit for Concrete

Key Features

ArmorPoxy Industrial Grade Garage Epoxy Floor Kit Concrete
  • Includes everything needed to create 300 sq. ft. of epoxy garage floor 
  • Includes decorative flakes 
  • Available in desert tan, designer gray, khaki tan, medium gray, and racing blue
  • 300 sq. ft. and 600 sq. ft. kits available
  • NOT water-based

Pricing

  • $439 for a 1-car garage kit; $699 for a 2-car garage kit

Having been around for 35 years, ArmorPoxy is based in New Jersey and makes industrial, commercial, and residential epoxy-based floor coatings. We find their products more complex to apply than water-based systems, however, they come across as more durable and less likely to wear out over time. The company also offers free, unlimited technical support via email and phone.

Proper preparation of your concrete floor is critical, and there is an acid etching solution included in this kit. Remember that concrete needs time to cure before the epoxy can be used, and give this product more time to cure in cold or humid weather. In addition to the prep and epoxy materials, you also get gloves, spiked shoes, 6 pounds of flakes, roller pads, a squeegee, a metal mixer attachment, a paintbrush, non-skid additive—even wooden mixing sticks.

3. Rust-Oleum 317284 RockSolid Polycuramine 2.5 Car Garage Floor Coating Kit

Key Features

Rust-Oleum 317284 RockSolid Polycuramine Garage Floor Coating Kit
  • Industrial-grade water-based urethane 
  • 20X stronger than epoxy
  • 2.5 car kit covers up to 500 sq. ft.
  • Walkable in 8-10 hours
  • High gloss finish
  • Resists chemicals and hot tire marks

Pricing

  • $370.99 for a 2.5-car garage (500 sq. ft.)

While EpoxyShield has been on the market for quite some time, Rust-Oleum RockSolid has just over a decade under its belt. Where EpoxyShield uses a water-based 2-part epoxy coating, RockSolid features a 2-part polycuramine coating.

The solids content also differs, with EpoxyShield having 52% and RockSolid having 96% by volume. This polycuramine coating also flexes and moves with the concrete, which makes it crack-resistant, and because it creates a tight bond, it won’t peel.

If you need more time to work with the material, EpoxyShield might prove your better choice. The pot life of RockSolid is just 45-60 minutes. It also requires 7 days before you can recoat it—that’s a lot of time out of the garage! One advantage, however, is that you can bring vehicles on the floor in less than 36 hours—way sooner than the 3 days required by EpoxyShield.

4. BEHR Premium 1-Part Epoxy Concrete & Garage Floor Paint

Key Features

Behr Premium 1-part epoxy garage floor paint
  • Dries to touch in 1 hour
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor applications 
  • Ready to use, no mixing required
  • Attractive satin finish that’s ideal for walkways, patios, and porches
  • Also available in 1-gallon quantities

Pricing

  • $208 per 5-gallon bucket, which covers about 1250 square feet (w/recommended 2 coats)

Behr is a trusted name in paint products, and this 1-part epoxy garage floor paint is a simple and cost-effective solution that goes on easily and improves the appearance of your floor. If your garage or carport is open to the elements, Behr’s 1-Part Epoxy Floor Paint is the perfect choice because it’s rated for outdoor use.

This floor paint is a self-priming product available in satin gray and silver gray. For a high gloss shine, use BEHR Premium Wet-Look Sealer as a top coat, and mix in a can of grit to make it less slippery. While not nearly as durable as a two-part epoxy coating, you can save some money if you don’t need ultimate durability.

5. KILZ L377711 1-Part Epoxy Acrylic Concrete & Garage Floor Paint

Key Features

  • Water-based concrete paint resists cracking and peeling
  • Durable finish won’t scuff or fade
  • High-quality and economical floor coating that gives you the most for your money
  • Dries to touch in 2 hours, cured and recoatable in 4 hours

Pricing

  • $32.98 per gallon, which covers 400–500 square feet 

When you’re having difficulty selecting the best garage floor coating, Kilz offers an inexpensive product that comes in slate or silver gray. It goes on quickly with a roller or brush, and you can apply more than one coat for better coverage.

This Kilz product seems thin, but it provides excellent coverage. Be aware that improper floor preparation will result in peeling paint, and old concrete or porous concrete requires more product for good coverage.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Garage Floor Coatings

Garage floors are high-traffic areas that take a beating every day. When choosing the best DIY garage floor coatings, consider your expectations and use. You have to spend more on high-quality concrete floor paint, which pays off with increased durability and an attractive appearance.  


Durability and Strength

The bonding reaction that occurs with a 2-part epoxy or polycuramine product is a chemical bond reaction that triggers polymerization, which is when molecules bond together to form chains. That’s why 2-part products are stronger than 1-part epoxy paints, and while they are a little more complicated to apply, they have superior strength and durability. 

Products like RockSolid also create a flexible and movable bond to your concrete, which provides a longer-lasting coating that’s more resistant to damage, cracking, and peeling. Even though it is considerably more expensive than 1-part epoxy paints, RockSolid offers superior performance compared to other products.

Ease of Application

Working with water-based epoxy and polyurethane paints is always easier than working with solvent-based ones. Cleanup is easier, and the low-odor formulas make the application process more pleasant. Some products go on more smoothly and are more forgiving of uneven roller techniques.

garage floor epoxy application

Resistance to Chemicals and Stains

Another factor to look for in quality concrete floor coatings is resistance to chemicals and stains. Again, 2-part epoxy and urethane coatings will form a better bond that is more impervious to staining. No matter what type of floor you have, wiping up spills immediately is important. Allowing caustic materials like gasoline, motor oil, salt, and battery acid to sit on your floor gives them time to eat away at even the toughest bonds.

Appearance and Finish

Choose a high gloss floor paint with decorative viny chips if an attractive appearance and finish are important. Color is another consideration, and while most garage floor coatings are only available in neutral shades like gray and tan, many offer several color choices. These can transform your concrete floor and drastically improve the appearance of your garage.

garage floor high-gloss epoxy

Once you’ve selected and applied the best garage floor coating for your shop, add floor mats to protect high-traffic areas like entrances. This will keep you from tracking in dirt and salts that will eventually wear down any surface.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Garage Floor Coatings

What is the Advantage of Using a Garage Floor Coating?

Concrete floors are dusty and hard to care for, but with a garage floor coating, your concrete floor will be easy to clean. A high-gloss floor looks great and makes seeing what you’re doing easier. Coated concrete floors are also more resistant to chips and breakage. 

How Long Does a Garage Floor Coating Last?

Depending on how much wear and tear your garage floor receives, a new floor coating will last up to ten years. If your garage floor takes a lot of abuse, you may need to reapply a floor coating after two years. Commonly, hot wheels and aggressive abrasion can tear up single-coat floor coverings. For that reason, spend more if you want to do the job once and have it last for a long time.

How Do I Prepare My Garage Floor Before Applying a Coating?

Preparation of the floor is critical when applying a new garage floor coating. Allow new concrete to cure for at least 30 days. The floor should be clean and dry. Use a degreaser or detergent to scrub dirt and oil from the surface, then apply a concrete cleaner and etching solution with a pump sprayer to the entire floor.

Some people recommend grinding the surface to help smooth it and create a better bond with the epoxy. For most, that might prove too much work.

What is the Best Way to Maintain a Coated Garage Floor?

Cleaning a coated garage floor is much easier than cleaning concrete. Sweep the entire floor with a push broom, and use a vacuum to remove loose particles. Then, use a hard foam mop with warm water to clean it. Avoid using citrus or vinegar because the acetic acid it contains will ruin the gloss finish. If you need a cleaner, add 2 ounces of ammonia per gallon of water.

Are Garage Floor Coatings Resistant to Oil and Chemicals?

Even though concrete is hard, it’s extremely porous and susceptible to breakdown when exposed to certain types of chemicals. An epoxy or urethane floor coating protects concrete, removing chemicals without staining or absorption, including motor oil, gasoline, and battery acid. These garage floor coatings also make concrete floors more resistant to chips, scratches, and pitting.

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