What is the best epoxy garage floor coating system? Choosing a suitable, budget-friendly epoxy flooring for your Metro Atlanta garage isn’t easy.
The many epoxy manufacturers, products, and commercial flooring installers make choosing the right garage floor coatings system challenging. This is truer if you’re new to epoxy and epoxy-like coating systems or don’t know how they work. You’ll hear many easy-to-confuse words like polyurethane, polyurea, and polyaspartic.
Gaining an understanding of the different floor coating products on the market and how they function may help. Although you can opt for DIY installation, hiring professional garage floor coating contractors will offer substantially better outcomes.
This blog post aims to help you learn about epoxy and the other different flooring options available on the market. At BadAss Garage Floors in Atlanta, GA, we prefer to use a multi-coat system with an epoxy base and polyaspartic topcoat. We occasionally use polyurethane, as well.
We offer a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee with a 10- to 20-year warranty on every one of our garage floor coating jobs.
Water-Based or Waterborne Epoxy Paint
Water-based epoxy has a longer pot life, eliminating the need to apply it as fast as other epoxy garage floor products. Just like paint, it is easy to apply. For this reason, this product is marketed as epoxy paint. Its ease of application makes it suitable for DIY use.
“Do it yourself” epoxy paint kits in tan or gray, such as Quikrete or RustOleum brands, are available at home improvement stores or centers, or hardware stores. While water-based epoxy for DIY use is cost-effective, it is the least durable epoxy product and inferior to the other choices. Unlike other garage floor epoxy products, DIY garage floor coatings are prone to hot tire lift as well as chemical and stain damage. We do not recommend this type of epoxy.
High Solids Epoxy
Commercial-grade epoxy products contain 100% solids epoxy. These epoxy floor products resist chemicals, stains, and even abrasion.
Epoxy coatings are easy to apply and bond well with your concrete floors after we prepare them. We use diamond grinders to prep the floors, and we also seal all cracks as well as even out and level any irregularities in the old garage floor surface. Epoxy also has low VOC, so it is an environmentally friendly product.
Unlike DIY kits, the high solids single epoxy floor coating is thicker and cures to at least 10 mils, depending on the specific brand. A single coat of a superior high solids epoxy product is more durable than two coats of a waterborne epoxy DIY kit.
Unlike water-based epoxy, commercial-grade flooring products are not DIY-friendly. They also require back-rolling during application due to their thicker viscosity. We must apply the garage floor coatings within 30 to 40 minutes post-mixing due to their shorter pot life. High solids epoxy requires several days to cure.
The high build and multiple color options available make this type of epoxy a perfect color basecoat for a multi-coat flooring system, which is our specialty at My Bad Ass Floors.
The polyurea basecoat product provides a hard, strong, and very flexible surface. Polyurea, a subgroup of polyurethane, is a more recent development than epoxy that appeals to clients looking for a very-low-VOC (more environmentally friendly) floor coating product. It rolls on easily during application and cures very quickly (within about 5 minutes.
Chips or Flakes in a Multi-Coat System
The trends in floor coating in the 2020s have turned to multi-coat systems, with:
- A basecoat (which may be any number of colors)
- A chip layer, which adds colors as well as a distinctive design
- A topcoat for durability and resilience
We can add vinyl chips or flakes on top of your base coat to achieve a range of effects.
At BadAss Garage Floors, we have many options for creating designs, which is where the artistry comes in. We generally sprinkle the chips sparingly to “full refusal” (when the chips cannot stick onto the floor anymore), which increases the thickness of your epoxy garage floor to enhance its durability. The different combinations of colored chips will give the garage floor a distinctive, custom look.
After we scrape away any excess chips or flakes (if you have chosen that option), we apply a generous topcoat, which seals the chip design and adds the durable finish upon which you’ll walk. We also have the option to add non-skid features to the topcoat. We have a choice between several types of topcoats, but our preference is polyaspartic.
Polyurethane or Clear Epoxy Topcoats
A coat or two of polyurethane coating or clear epoxy can enhance the epoxy or polyurea basecoat as a topcoat. A clear epoxy garage floor system enhances the thickness and durability of the basecoat.
The topcoat also gives your flooring a deep shine and glossy finish. If you are a mechanic in a home or commercial garage, we recommend a polyurethane topcoat since it stands up better to battery acids than polyaspartic does.
Polyaspartic Top Coat
Polyaspartic coating is a sub-type of polyurea, so it has no environmentally harmful VOCs. With polyaspartic as a topcoat, you’ll get a beautiful, high-gloss, and extraordinarily durable finish.
Polyaspartic is resistant to:
- Ultraviolet (UV) light (will not yellow)
- Abrasions and scratches
We can apply a polyaspartic coating in temperatures as low as -30 degrees F to as high as 140 degrees F—not that Atlanta’s weather ever gets to those extremes!
The Best Garage Floor Coatings Epoxy System
For our team at BadAss Garage Floors, a premium multi-coat epoxy-and-polyaspartic coating system is the best garage floor sealer system. We use a 100% solids epoxy basecoat, a middle layer of acrylic or vinyl colored paint chips, and a clear polyaspartic (or sometimes polyurethane) topcoat. Our multi-layer epoxy flooring system adds a thickness of about 30-40 mils.
Call Us Today for a Free Quote
At BadAss Garage Floors, we serve Atlanta, GA, and its suburbs. Our well-trained and experienced technicians will create a work of art as we install your garage flooring. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today at 678-713-4348 for more information and a free quote.