If you are looking to add style to your garage or basement, the best place to start is the floor. While your old flooring may have been functional, painting your floors can transform and improve both comfort and aesthetics. Bare concrete slabs can harbor dirt and debris and are susceptible to stains which can make for an unsightly surface. It can also create a floor that is difficult to clean and maintain. If you want an easy to clean surface that will look beautiful for years to come, concrete coatings are your answer.
The question now is: What is the best concrete floor coating for your garage or basement to fit your style?
There are many options when it comes to concrete floor coatings. Most homeowners do not know much about concrete coatings and have trouble deciding which way to go. Which product that is right for you is going to vary depending on your personal style, needs and wants. Each coating has its own pros and cons, read below to see a breakdown of the benefits and downfalls of them all.
Concrete floor paints are available as oil-based or latex products and are formulated with a satin, slip-resistant finish. Latex floor paints contain a small amount of epoxy resin to help make the finished product hard and stain resistant. If you use a paint on your concrete floor, make sure that it is a paint designed for concrete floors. Concrete floor paint only serves as a temporary solution as it is not proven to last long and needs to be reapplied every few years.
Epoxy floor coatings consist of two parts: polyamine harder and epoxy resin. When epoxy is dry and cured, it seals the concrete and covers it with a thick, hard, and shiny finish. Due to the fact that it is extremely hard (and thick), epoxy is not flexible does not move with the concrete when it expands and contracts with the temperature changes. This will eventually cause the epoxy to chip, crack and peel. In addition, epoxy is not UV resistant so it cannot be applied in areas that are exposed to UV rays as it will yellow, fade or discolor.
Since epoxy is thicker, it causes it to have a longer cure time. A typical cure time for an epoxy floor is 2-3 days (cure time can be affected by temperature, humidity, etc.). Due to its slow dry time, it makes it an ideal option for someone looking for a DIY project as there is a lot time to fix mistakes before it dries.
While they may look the same, epoxy and polyurea coatings are very different. Polyurea coatings are 4x stronger than epoxy and much more durable. Polyurea is thin and flexible which allows it to move with the concrete as it expands and contracts during the temperature changes. Although they are very thin, polyureas are still remarkably strong, impact resistant, scratch and resistant to chemicals up to battery acid.
Polyurea floor coatings cure extremely fast so it typically only takes one day to install them. This makes them an ideal option for not only homeowners looking to get their garage, basement, patio or porch coated, but for business owners that are looking for a durable product with a quick turn around time. Since they cure very fast and leave little room for mistakes, this does not make for a good DIY option. Did you notice that we mentioned porches and patios? That’s right, their UV resistant qualities allow them to be applied outdoors without fading or discoloring. This makes them an ideal flooring option for all outdoor concrete surfaces.
When it comes to aesthetics, since polyureas are so thin they are generally offered in only a full flake broadcast. Their thinness causes them to be slightly transparent when they fully cured without the flakes. This does not make for a very aesthetically pleasing surface.
Concrete stains create a pigmented, marbled effect rather than a solid or speckled color. They tend to be easier to apply than coatings but they fade and require reapplication more often to maintain their appearance.
Acid-based stains, on the other hand, create a chemical reaction that cause changes in the color and look of the concrete. This process makes the outcome extremely hard to control. They also last longer than water-based stains and are stain resistant (even without a sealer). Due to the chemical reactions, during the process toxic chemicals are emitted into the air and they can be dangerous. This makes it necessary to take proper safety precautions like wearing proper eye protection, ventilator mask, ventilation etc.
Now that we know the pros and cons of all the concrete coating options, it will be easier for you to make a decision on what product is right for you. If you are looking for an inexpensive, quick fix option then concrete paint is going to be your answer. For individuals looking for a longer lasting DIY option, then epoxy is going to be your best bet. But for more homeowners, they are looking to have a long-lasting, durable coating professionally installed that is going to last a lifetime. Polyurea and Polyaspartic coatings are going to be the ideal option for these individuals.
If you are in the market for polyurea and polyaspartic coatings or have any questions regarding them, please give us a call and our staff will be happy to assist you.
If you are in Raleigh, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, or their surrounding areas, call TAGG Concrete Coatings today or fill out our inquiry form on our website to schedule your free estimate and start your journey to a cleaner, more aesthetically pleasing floor!