Attractive garage floors used to be seen only in the garages of car collectors. Today, for many home owners the garage has become an extension of the living space, providing that extra area where a child’s birthday party can take place with little impact on the rest of the house, or a home gym, housing that exercise equipment that just doesn’t fit in the “spare” room anymore. When a garage becomes more than just a storage area, that functional gray concrete floor may no longer be particularly appealing.
In addition to adding aesthetic appeal, garage floor coatings can protect the floor from vehicle traffic, oil and grease stains, and any other debris that may fall, adding many years to the life of the floor and making cleaning a snap.
What options are available to give change the look and feel of a garage concrete floor?
From painting to staining, from coatings to elaborate overlays, garage floors can be as personal, creative and inviting as flooring in the house.
Is painting a concrete garage floor the easiest way to go?
While painting a concrete garage floor may seem like the quickest and easiest way to change the look of your concrete floor, there are several steps involved doing the job right and it may be that painting may not be the most long-term cost-effective finish.
What can staining a garage floor accomplish?
Acid staining concrete floors can produce an amazing array of finishes. See our page on Acid Staining for some photos and ideas.
Acid staining works by penetrating the surface and reacting with chemicals in the concrete. The surface becomes lightly etched, which allows the metallic salts to penetrate more easily. Once the stain reacts, it becomes a part of the concrete and won't fade, chip off, or peel away. Acid-based stains are translucent and the color they produce will vary depending on the color and condition of the concrete to which they are applied. Each slab will accept stain in varying degrees of intensity, creating natural color variations that bring character and distinction to each project. The range of color options for acid stain is limited. They create mostly subtle earth tones, such as tans, browns, terra cottas, and soft blue-greens. But newer products on the market such as water-based penetrating stains and water- and solvent-based concrete dyes are greatly expanding the artist's palette with colors ranging from soft pastels to vivid reds, oranges, yellows, and purples.
What is involved with overlays?
As the name implies, overlays are applied on top of the concrete garage floor. There are many different types of overlays available on the market today, from ultra-thin micro-toppings, or skim coats, to underlayments which add an inch or more of depth to your concrete garage floor. Each overlay type has different performance attributes and decorative options. The final look you want to achieve as well as the conditions to which the floor will be exposed are factors in determining what overlay you choose. (See Five Factors to Consider When Choosing a Resurfacing System). In general, systems that add depth to the existing floor will last longer and hide flaws more effectively than any ultra-thin toppings and also permit the use of deeper patterns and textures.
What are epoxy coatings?
Epoxy coatings comprise layers of polymers laid on a concrete floor to produce a finish that can be antimicrobial (mold and mildew resistant) and durable. Typically, the process involved applying a primer to the clean concrete garage floor. Then a color coat is added, followed by a PVA chip broadcast over the color. After that, one or two clear sealing coats are applied. There are many manufacturers of epoxy coatings so should be no problem finding one that produces a product in the color or finish you desire.
Decorative Concrete Etc. offers free estimates, contact us by clicking the link or calling (253) 381-7341 and let us help you choose the right finish for your concrete garage floor.