Epoxy Flooring surface for the workshop/garage. Is it worth it?

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  • Epoxy Flooring surface for the workshop/garage. Is it worth it?

    I saw a local guy advertise his services to cover my garage floor with Epoxy, and add in the color chips, at $4 per square feet. Mine is a standard 2 car garage, so approximately 400 sq ft, which means $1600.
    He says he'll take just one day to do this from start to finish.

    My garage has a concrete floors that I painted many years ago, and while functional, doesn't look fancy. Of course I don't need fancy, but I can see my wife giving it the side-eye. And the epoxy floor pictures look rather nice.

    So my question is - for a garage where cars are rarely parked (only when a big hurricane hits us) and which is primarily used for woodworking, and has a TS, a BS, and all sorts or other tools to store and use, is an epoxy floor any way good? Or bad? I am concerned about the possibility of slippery-ness, but I will ask him if he can make it as rough as possible. He also promises a 15-year guarantee, but not sure how that works.

    I have - in the past - considered doing epoxy myself, but was daunted by the work involved - prep and actual, and also all the warnings about the fumes and all. Not sure how much cheaper a DIY would be.

    Thoughts? Comments?
    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
    - Aristotle

  • #2
    My wife and I are in the process of having our garage, glass room and patio epoxy coated. It will be done by a professional installation company. The color choices are endless.

    Epoxy is a great topping for a garage. I question one day start to finish being that you mention that the floor has previously been painted. Proper prep is the secret to any paint job, and the residential epoxy is nothing more than a fancy paint job. I would question the material he is installing, is it a kit sold at big box stores that anyone can purchase? Water borne epoxies have little smell, and and actually regular epoxy doesn’t smell that long either. Epoxy floor coatings installed over painted surfaces are prone to fail. Epoxy can cause paint to turn loose from the concrete, not a pretty site. All paint must be removed down to white concrete.

    Industrial epoxy floors using multiple layers cost $3 to $7 sf.

    disclaimer…. I have specified and overseen many thousands square feet of industrial epoxy and acrylic flooring and have seen every aspect of the installation process. I installed the epoxy floor in my 750sf shop, 15 years later 500 sf of my shop looks as good as the day it was installed, less all the damages caused by dropping hammers, welding slag burning the epoxy etc., but the 250sf of my shop that was originally a “porch” failed miserably. This 250 sf section of concrete did not have a vapor barrier and the epoxy cracked and lifted badly. I’m not going to attempt the epoxy installation on our house garage because at 69 yrs. my poor back couldn’t take all that bending over. I shutter to think how much work it would be just to clean out a shop to do the floor. Plan wisely on storing your equipment out of the weather.



    • #3
      My current garage was done professionally and the quality difference is night and day. I think it is worth it just in the ease of cleaning up since dust doesn't settle into the porous concrete. It is also brightens up the garage a bit. The only downside is that it is a bit more slippery than bare concrete when wet or when covered with sawdust.

      I've done three garages as DIY using the Rustoleum kits and it is a lot of work. Two of the three worked well. One of the garages did not have a vapor barrier under the concrete and the finish started lifting off within weeks. The company that did my garage floor would not put it in if the concrete didn't have a vapor barrier.

      An ethical man knows the right thing to do.
      A moral man does it.


      • #4
        Great insights, Cap and Chris!

        I will check with him which Epoxy he uses, and also how he plans to clean the existing surface.

        Moving that stuff in the shop out just for this does give me to pause. I might have to delay it just to get a plan for it in place.
        (one idea is to wait till the wife visits her family in November and then just move everything indoors for the day or two. More to clean later for me, but if she doesn't know, she may not hyperventilate!)

        How do I find out if the concrete has vapor barrier underneath it? This being Florida, the water table is always high, so that might be a serious risk.
        It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
        - Aristotle


        • ballard770
          ballard770 commented
          Editing a comment
          Tape a piece of plastic wrap (or aluminum foil) on the floor and after a few days you should see moisture condensing on the plastic wrap - obviously you’d need to remove the foil to check for condensation. I’d verify that method with a flooring company before proceeding.

      • #5
        I’m not really sure how to check for a vapor barrier, as we had my house custom built and I thought all concrete had a vapor barrier, even the patio. I guess is was wrong about my shop porch. ( which was a change from the original plans due to a HOA despute…… long story. )
        100% of the professionally installed epoxy floors I mentioned above had the concrete ground before installing any epoxy or acrylic flooring. I will also say that all of the flooring that was installed in food production and packaging areas was trowel on materials and not really comparable to a roll on or squeegee on epoxy. Warehouse, storage and loading docks were usually squeegee on 3 to 4 layer with aggregate broadcasted in each layer with a urethane top coat. Fine quartz aggregate is usually broadcasted in the top coat for a non skid finish.

        I would highly recommend a non skid finish for a shop floor, as I didn’t get enough non skid on mine and it turns into a skating rink after I paste wax a bunch of trees or tables and the polishing gets the wax on the floor.