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Flooring Options

Many garage renovations begin with a primary goal to improve the bare concrete floor. Fortunately, there are several solutions available in a wide price range.

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Paint and epoxy
Squeegees spreading goop on floor
Enlarge Image
A 24"-wide squeegee spreads an
even coat of polyurethane over an
epoxy floor.

Paint and epoxy

Paint provides the fastest and easiest floor upgrade for a garage. Latex concrete paint often called "porch-and-floor paint" offers a quick, inexpensive, and colorful solution. As long as you don't plan to share your garage shop with a car (hot tires can damage the surface) or otherwise abuse it, concrete paint may be right for you. Depending on brand, a gallon sells for about $30.

Epoxy-based coatings, extremely hard when cured, are among the most durable options. A one-part epoxy can be applied straight from the can, while two-part epoxies (resin and hardener) must be mixed thoroughly before use. A two-car-garage kit (500 sq. ft.) that includes floor cleaner and two-part epoxy and sells for about $120.

Whether you apply paint or epoxy, the floor must be clean, dry, and free of grease and oils, or you may find the coating will peel up with the first change in weather or humidity. Proper adhesion of most epoxy products also requires a thorough process to provide "tooth" for the epoxy to bond to the concrete. A chemical etching is the most common DIY approach.

Professionally applied epoxy coatings may cost in the range of $3.50-$5.00/sq. ft. for a two-car garage. The price is higher because industrial-grade epoxy is 100 percent solids (no fillers and therefore no odor during application) compared with about 20 percent solids for the DIY product. The industrial-quality epoxy wears longer and isn't subject to hot spots (DIY epoxy can bubble up) from hot auto tires.

After a thorough cleaning, professionals will roll on two or three coats, compared with one coat for the DIY products.

Continued on page 2:  Rolled coverings require no adhesives


Comments (11)
FlashGordo wrote:

I used an epoxy floor paint on my shop and it all came up. Went through the whole clean till you could eat off it. Repeated and did the same thing. A friend that puts up buildings told me that if they didn't put down plastic before pouring concrete, no paint would ever stick. The topic didn't come up when we were planning the shop and I guess they didn't. Just stuck with an ugly floor.

1/14/2016 02:24:20 PM Report Abuse
bomstadmk wrote:

I live in the north where winter-time means somewhat unavoidable salt/sand dripping from my vehicles. How do each hold up to this environment?

6/2/2015 08:04:11 AM Report Abuse
Bitter1095 wrote:

I was told that newly poured concrete should cure for about 60 days before applying an epoxy coat. But considering that the Hoover Dam is still curing, I'm planning on waiting about 6 months.

5/28/2015 12:00:26 PM Report Abuse
arlenewendell wrote:

The floor looks very elegant.

3/18/2014 06:16:33 AM Report Abuse
claysoules wrote:

A question about the epoxy systems: How long must newly poured concrete cure before applying the epoxy?

1/19/2012 04:25:23 PM Report Abuse
pfruehan wrote:

I installed the Dricore floor in my garage last fall. It not only makes the concrete easier on the back, but if i drop a board, it is somewhat forgiving. Also, the air space underneath provides a layer of warmth in the winter. They are very easy to install and cut.

8/6/2011 02:52:58 PM Report Abuse
Jeff.mcnulty wrote:

I'm thinking of a cheap laminent .60 to .80 cents a sq/ft. Any pros/cons?

8/5/2011 11:27:27 PM Report Abuse
Toolen wrote:

There is no better floor surface for a shop (concrete floor) than the polyaspartic based products offered by Alternative Surfaces Co. I recently had my 700 sq ft shop floor done and it is beautiful, durable easy to clean. Concrete surface is machine ground and smoothed before the products are applied. Cost is about $2.75-$3.00 sq ft. and is guaranteed for a lifetime. Only problem is I can not see saw dust on the floor because of the color I chose. Check it out at

8/4/2011 03:44:57 PM Report Abuse
reggiek wrote:

I use the Horse stall mats for my shop floor...they insulate well and are stiff enough to vacuum and to roll even the heaviest tool on. My shop is not large enough (who's is?) for my tools to all have a permanent most are on wheeled carts or have casters.

8/4/2011 02:57:26 PM Report Abuse
abbottf1467762 wrote:

I had them and sent them back to the barn. Since they were not attached to the floor they would shift and leave spaces that would impede tool stand wheels. If you attach them permanently to the floor, that are comfortable and rubber tools wheels did roll well on them.

8/4/2011 10:44:15 AM Report Abuse
endixon1 wrote:

I've been thinking horse stall mats might work well. Mini test indicated table saw wheels still worked. Anyone else? D2

8/4/2011 09:58:13 AM Report Abuse

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