Epoxy Flooring Facts You Must Know & What You Should AvoidThe first thing to know is that garage floor epoxy is not like regular floor paint and that all epoxies are not the same. The second thing is even with the best epoxy coating in the world, if you don't prep the floor correctly it will fail. See the How To Prep & Paint Your Floor link at the bottom of the page or on our Home page to see what your concrete should look like and how to apply color flakes properly.
If you want your floor to come out right the first time it's important to know the difference between the various types of epoxy floor coatings. Those differences play a huge role in the longevity of the coating. If you're serious about getting an garage epoxy floor coating that's not going to wear out.
Most people have never dealt with epoxy paints before so they simply go to their local big box store and buy off the shelf epoxy or a bargain type kit online thinking that these types of epoxies are the same as a military grade epoxy system. Which is like saying a Volkswagen Beetle is the same as a Ferrari because they are both cars. Click on the image above, you're not going to get a beautiful looking floor that, that can handle heavy duty traffic loads and stay looking new like that for 10-15 years with just any epoxy floor coating. If price and saving a few dollars is your main criteria we think you're making a big mistake when it comes to epoxy flooring for your garage or commercial floor. Any epoxy can look good and stick to your floor when you first put it down but it's not how long it stays stuck to your floor it's how long it keeps looking like the day you put it down that counts!
We know, we get the calls everyday from customers who went out and bought what they thought was a good deal without doing any research. Then they had to buy a second epoxy kit and sometimes even a third kit to get the epoxy to cover the floor properly. Then when it failed prematurely they found out that their guarantee and even so called lifetime guarantees doesn't cover the coating wearing off (peeling off and wearing off or two different things) or the unsightliness due to the coating dulling and yellowing. They never took a few minutes to read about proper floor prep, what type of epoxies are the best, whether to use a primer or not, what the minimum thickness an epoxy floor coating with vehicle traffic should be or the importance of topcoats and what their abrasion loss ratings mean. These are critical core capabilities that you must know if you only want to do your floor once!
An epoxy floor coating is usually a two part coating that you mix together rather than a single component that will adhere to your garage floor or any concrete floor for that matter much better than any conventional oil based, water based or enamel paint, think epoxy glue type adhesion vs duct tape adhesion. Your floor will have a much more dramatic look to it with a super high gloss finish no conventional paint can match, it will also be waterproof, mold & mildew proof. A good epoxy floor coating when cured is just about stain proof and cleaning it is similar to cleaning your Teflon pan.
Unlike your walls or ceiling painting your floor is completely different there's a lot of dynamic destructive forces in and on your garage floor or commercial floors that will easily destroy most coatings and paints. You need to know what works and what doesn't and why so you know what you're buying before you buy even if you decide not to buy our product.
We've manufactured every type of epoxy floor coating there is, we've tested and even installed every type of epoxy floor coating there is so we know exactly what works and what doesn't work. That's why ArmorGarage customers get the best value for their money which is an epoxy floor that lasts the longest and looks the best while doing it! If you already know what you're doing you can scroll down to the bottom of the page to see our complete line of epoxy floor coatings. They provide you with professional looking results and a better product at a fraction of franchise company prices.
For those of you doing this for the first time the following topics are really critical for you to familiarize yourself with especially if not buying an AmorGarage kit that eliminates all the risk factors discussed below.Epoxy Floor Coatings To Avoid If You Want The Longest Lasting Results
If you see a WB in the product name or part number, it's water based and should never be used. Did you know that up to 50% of a water based epoxy is water which evaporates out of the coating as it dries. The average thickness of water based epoxies is 4Mils thick which means you only have 2 Mils of coating on your floor after it dries! If you add in flakes as most garage floors do you have even less thickness! As opposed to 100% solids Aliphatic epoxy we recommend that have an average of 20-25 Mils dried thickness!
The following group of products are epoxies but their main feature is a low selling price not performance.
High solids epoxies are not as good as 100% solids epoxies and should only ever be used as a primer. Same with any and all Cycloaliphatic Epoxies even if they are listed as 100% solids are all just a cost saving Hybrid All In One Epoxy touted as something superior that wear prematurely, bubble during application and easily yellow. Polyurea coatings are similar to lower percentage solids epoxies with similar performance issues. We classify them as glorified concrete sealers and prone to premature failures you read about online.
The best of these epoxies don't equal our primers! Plus none of these types of epoxies can guarantee against wear. We manufacture and sell 100% solids Aliphatic epoxy which is the highest quality epoxy coating you can buy and it's why ArmorGarage is the only company that can offer a 5 year guarantee against wear which is the number one enemy of any epoxy floor!color>
Another way to recognize an inferior coating is to look at the Pot Life, any epoxy coating with an hour or more pot life is an epoxy to steer clear of.
Not convinced ArmorGarage Floors are the best epoxy floor coatings? Don't take our word for it compare the critical capabilities specs of our coatings to other brands on theEpoxy Comparison Chart
Just as important to knowing what makes a qualities make an epoxy flooring product the best is to know how to spot useless information which we call marketing hype and fiction to trick you into thinking you're getting a superior product. Ratings such as compressive strength and tensile strength are meaningless and not relevant unless you're driving an M1 Abrams Tank on your floor.
Another meaningless criteria is cost per mils!(Our Favorite) What that is saying is that the more you get of an inferior epoxy the better the deal is. Bad epoxy is bad epoxy no matter how much of it you get! Worry about how long your epoxy will stay looking new, not just staying stuck to your floor.
One more meaningless feature a lot of companies like to tout is Flexibility. All epoxies are flexible to a certain point and since they mostly go over solid concrete their flexibility rating is irrelevant. Now if you're coating a wood floor or a precast planks, they usually have a good amount of deflection in which case you need an epoxy coating that can handle constant deflection. We have a specific epoxy made for floors with deflection as opposed to trying to make our standard epoxies work on floors with deflection like other brands do. If you go the one epoxy does all route you're really rolling the dice.
Grinding your floor is great if you have the right machine! The Floor Prep Machine you can rent from Home Depot works fine and if you can get the Vac attachment with it, it'll make cleanup much easier. If that's not available rent the largest diamond grinder you can get and always ask for new 25-35 grit bits, it'll make the job quicker with better results and again get a vac attachment if you can. Acid Etching is very easy and is just as good if done correctly. If your floor is new or was power troweled smooth you must etch twice! You must also neutralize the floor back to the proper PH to obtain maximum adhesion. See the link at bottom of this page for The How To Prep & Paint Your Floor page. It has a lot of great info and images of what your floor has to look like prior to coating it with any type of floor coating or paint.
The tires on your vehicle can reach up to 180 degrees in temperature. If you use any epoxy under 10 Mils of dried thickness it won't have sufficient mass to absorb the heat especially if you use color flakes which displace some of the epoxy under them leaving thinner coverage. If you use some of the other type epoxies mentioned above they won't have sufficient thickness to start with or strong enough chemical cross links to prevent the epoxy from getting reactivated from your hot tires. Once reactivated the epoxy turns back into liquid form and does what epoxies are made to do. They stick to your tires then as it cools it gets glued to your tires so that the next time you pull your car out of your gaarge part of your epoxy floor coating is going along for the ride. The problem with many epoxies is that they lose a good portion of their mass as they dry. You need a minimum of 12 Mils of dried thickness to avoid Hot Tie Pickup! A good primer also will prevent Hot Tire Pickup. All ArmorGarage floor coatings are hot tire pickup proof!
Every year there seems to be some new magic formula that hits the market with outlandish promises. Recently it has been High Solids Epoxy are good enough , Polyureas are better than epoxy. No they're not! Most of these products don't even equal the performance of our primers.
Anyone thinking of using a one part epoxy coating on their floor or not prepping it is just wasting their time and money. Don't fall for marketing hype, we wish you good luck if you do. Go by the numbers, see the link to our Epoxy Comparison Chart at the bottom of this page to see the performance specs of other brands compared to us.
Our epoxies are self priming but using a good quality primer is never a bad idea. It creates a better job because it adds another layer of coating(thicker is always better)and can strengthen older floors in poor condition plus it adds impact resistance. Primers are usually a little thinner than epoxies(not 100% solids) so that they can soak into the concrete and lock in. If you have any kind of high end sports car, heavy vehicle or forklift traffic, have lots of toys like boats, tractors or ATVs or your floor is exposed to lots of harsh weather conditions(large temperature swings) you should use a primer. When you use an ArmorGarage primer it can never be separated from your concrete unless you drop something heavy and pointed that gouges your concrete out.
A primer is also great to use when you need to extend the coverage of the epoxy layer since the epoxy is now going over a sealed surface rather than porous concrete. So if your floor is close too or a little over the rated coverage don't buy more epoxy, use a primer! A good primer can extend your epoxy coverage by up to 20%.
The topcoat is a critically important part of any epoxy floor installation and should be a urethane epoxy and not just a clear version of the same epoxy you applied to your floor with some additives. We simply cannot stress this enough, without the right topcoat on an epoxy coating is just a waste of time and money! A true topcoat is made to be chemically harder and stronger than the epoxy it goes over to protect it from scratches, impacts and wearing out from any type of abrasion. Your topcoat must have an abrasion loss rating lower than the epoxy otherwise it's useless.
The lower the Abrasion Loss Rating as rated by the industry standard Taber CS-17 test method(Disregard any ASTM numbers) in milligrams the better. Do your research and you'll see a lot of garage and so called commercial duty epoxy floor coatings have ratings over 25mgs and as high as 50mgs which is way too soft for anything other than light foot traffic. Most companies don't know their abrasion rating or won't publish one its so bad! The maximum abrasion rating you need for light vehicle traffic is 20mgs, for commercial and high traffic such as forklifts or shop work requires under 10mgs and for industrial protection a 6 mg rating or lower is needed. At ArmorGarage we specialize in manufacturing the best topcoats in the industry and again it's why we offer a 5 year wear guarantee and no one else does!
Just a word of caution here full broadcast garage floors are not as easy as the look on some videos you'll watch. There's a lot of flakes that get tossed on the floor, up to ten times more than normal and most of the time they end up in lumps and blotches that takes a lot of sanding and tweaking to look right. Plus it takes twice the amount of topcoat to cover the flakes properly. Our advice, leave that to a professional or use our Armor Granite kit that will give you 90% coverage and your floor will come out looking like real granite every time.
Again a word of caution, metallic epoxy floors are expensive to do right and it's a little more tricky then what you see on online videos. Every floor will come out different no matter which product you use or who does it or how many times you do it. Trust us metallic epoxy floors are completely random and anyone telling you different is not being honest. The key to success here is good floor prep, a good primer layer so it doesn't peel up, a good quality black primer that won't be streaky needs to be used because it shows through the metallic epoxy as the highlight swirls, obviously a good metallic epoxy that swirls properly when applied with the proper type squeegee and here is where your knowledge about topcoats comes in real handy. You want the absolute best topcoat you can get to protect your new very expensive epoxy floor. You'd be shocked at how quick and how bad your 3D metallic epoxy floor can look without the right topcoat protecting it. That goes for any epoxy floor actually and not to mention how upset you'll be every time you look down at your floor and think about how much time and money you spent on it.
We hope this helped clear up some of the confusion of choosing an epoxy coating for your floor. As a final note, please make sure any coating you purchase can handle the traffic you'll be putting on it! Sounds simple but you'd be surprised at how many floor coatings can't even handle residential vehicle traffic!
Below are links to some of our most popular epoxy flooring kits that come complete with everything you need to do the job right. All the images below were done by first time users with no prior experience. If you need any further assistance in product selection, floor prep or application please contact us at 866-532-3979 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can even email us pictures of your floor or fill out The Request For Quote Form at the top of the page and one of our very experienced sales people will set you up with the right product and how to install it so it's the last floor you'll ever need.
All our Commercial Epoxy Systems have Free Shipping. CLICK FOR MORE INFORMATION, COLORS & IMAGES
Ultra Military Industrial System is our three layer super heavy duty system that's 25 Mils thick consisting of high performance primer(out performs our competition's actual epoxies!), pure high build military grade epoxy 100% Aliphatic Epoxy and then a best in industry 4 mg abrasion loss rated topcoat. Complete with epoxy rated rollers, mixing wand, calibrated squeegee for spreading the epoxy out properly, mixing bucket, etching solution, neutralizing powder, and micro tubular aluminum nonslip additive. This can handle any type of traffic for just about any type of application. When you simply want the most durable and best looking floor with or without color flakes for your Garage, Business or Industrial application this is the go to product. Sold by the square foot to match your floor size and available in standard size packages or our System On A Pallet for larger size floors. All our Industrial Epoxy Systems have Free Shipping.
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