Nothing screams "luxury" like an epoxy garage floor. This flooring is almost synonymous with high-end garages, and it can add a premium look and feel to this space in your home. However, there are many epoxy products on the market and many options for applying them. Which option is best for your home, and is it worth spending the extra cash on a professional installation?
Ultimately, the choice usually comes down to budget, with those looking to save money opting for a do-it-yourself installation. While there's nothing wrong with taking a more budget-conscious approach, some potential drawbacks are worth considering before deciding to take this route.
Understanding Epoxy Garage Flooring
Before you can see why professional installation is often a better long-term option for epoxy flooring, it's critical to understand how this flooring works. Depending on your approach, an epoxy garage floor consists of several layers. All epoxy floors require a concrete substrate, a primary (or base) coat, and a sealer coat. If you opt for color flakes, this additional layer sits between the primary and sealer.
Installers must apply each layer separately, with the basecoat being the most critical layer. The basecoat must adhere to the concrete substrate, which typically requires a significant amount of surface preparation. Multiple methods exist to prepare a floor for epoxy coating, but they all aim to achieve the same goal of a smooth, clean, and blemish-free surface.
Distinguishing Between Professional and DIY Installs
Professional installations differ from do-it-yourself options in several ways. First and foremost, professionals typically use heavy-duty equipment to prepare your concrete floor for the epoxy basecoat. While homeowner-friendly options (such as acid etching) exist for this purpose, these methods don't always produce ideal results, especially if you aren't already familiar with concrete prep work.
The nature of the epoxy itself can also vary between professional-grade products and do-it-yourself kits. These differences typically arise in the thickness of the epoxy coating, with contractor-grade epoxy consisting of a higher percentage of solids when compared to retail options. The result of these upgrades is a thicker, more durable finish.
Choosing the Best Option for Your Garage
Of course, the downside to a professional install is that you'll pay more, although you'll often receive a much higher-quality finish. However, you'll still need to consider your budget and your goals. If you're looking for a cheap way to upgrade the appearance of your garage, a do-it-yourself approach can produce acceptable results that will still look better than bare concrete.
On the other hand, a professional epoxy coating will produce longer-lasting results with fewer downsides. If you're planning on keeping your home for a long time, the higher durability of a professional product with professional installation may be worth the higher cost. For more information on garage floor epoxy coatings, contact a company near you.