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Why epoxy is still the best material for your garage floor coating system.
Epoxy is still the best material for your concrete garage floor coating system. I get asked “why epoxy” often by customers looking into a coating system for their garage floor. And, if they don’t get to me first to ask about it, many folks are looking for this answer online. Let me tell you my experienced take on this answer.
Our experience is that the "new" polymer technologies other coating contractors may pitch you on were not developed for the customer. They were developed so that the installer could install more quickly, saving them time...in installation and in "windshield" time. The thinking…if they could accomplish the installation in one day, they could be more price competitive. So, the “new” polymer technologies are unlike epoxy and don’t get our vote. Epoxy, as the best material for your garage floor coating system earns our vote, as it as been developed for the customer, not the contractor.
We tried the low viscosity polys early, like ten years ago. We found that the materials were thin (consistency of water) and did not deliver a floor with the heft that an epoxy floor does. It was only time that we ever had to remove a coating system and install the products that we now use. We also found that epoxies simply had better adhesion to floors, especially when damp. This is the performance we expect, and you should, too, from a garage floor coating system.
The new technologies usually include substantial solvents (about up to 25%) known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's). These VOC's "flash" off or evaporate and are used to expedite the curing process of the product, thus allowing the installer to get back on the floor for the next step. VOC's, however, are suspected to be carcinogens and thus are not healthy for the installers or the environment or you!
Our competitors admit that there will be significant odor during their installation process, and for a few days later on their websites. This tells you that their products include VOC’s.
Look in the bucket. The poly “whatever” products have a water like consistency. This is known as viscosity, specifically low viscosity. Our products are high viscosity, comparable to Karo syrup.
The formulators (the companies that create the formula for the product) recommend the application of their products at given number feet per gallon. If applied differently, they will not perform. Their application rate for the poly ”whatevers” approximates 200 to 350 feet per gallon. So, they are spreading one gallon of material over up to 350 feet.
For comparison, a gallon of our products are spread over 120 feet. Thus, we deliver 13 mils to the floor (a measure of thickness) while they deliver approximately 3 plus mils. Even if two coats are applied, the result is approximately seven mils.
The choice should become obvious if you want a more substantial, long wearing floor. Epoxy is the best material for your garage floor coating system.
Our products are what is known as 100% solids, with no VOC’s. Therefore, what we apply, all remains on the floors. Thus, you get all of the product that you are paying for with no “flash off” or evaporation. More coating results in more durability and strength of the coating system itself.
Our epoxy cures more slowly. Time allows the epoxy to "sink" or migrate into the capillary like surface of the concrete that results from careful preparation. We let it cure overnight to allow that cure time.
Along with our epoxy product, we do use a Polyaspartic product as our topcoat. It has the advantage of technology that is more abrasion and UV (ultraviolet) resistant than epoxy. The Polyaspartic that we use is high viscosity. It is designed to be coated at a heavier rate for more durability.
Thus, we take advantage of the two technologies: Epoxy for its excellent adhesion capability to concrete and Polyaspartic for its excellent capacity to resist abrasion and ultraviolet light. Again, the coverage of our top coat is at 120 square feet per gallon, yielding another 13 mil of coating to the floor.
Our epoxy and polyaspartic products are formulated by the largest chemical corporations in the business world wide. We do not believe in “home brew” approach to the development of excellent products. We rely on technologies of companies who have a staff of chemists and physicists who are studying epoxy and urethane technologies to come up with products that their companies can stand behind.
Architects and major project engineers continue to specify epoxy and urethane technologies that we use as the most reliable coating systems available. The specifiers, who represent major companies, must have the confidence to sign off on the specification in the projects that they manage. We get the benefit of that technology confidence in our applications to garage floors.
So, is epoxy still the best material for your concrete garage floor coating? Without question, “yes!”
An example: US Bank Stadium has 128,000 square feet of the same materials that we use on your garage floor installed in the stadium.
Does the “good stuff” cost more? It does, but we are willing to pay the price to provide the best. It’s the only way we can feel confident in putting our name on your garage floor and your project. I have every confidence that you, too, will agree, now that I have explained the differences between the new technologies you may hearing about and the true best material for your concrete garage floor coating system, hands down, epoxy.
Why epoxy is still the best material for your garage floor coating system.
When it comes to choosing a garage floor covering there are a lot of options and a lot of choices to make. Some solutions are temporary, some are permanent. There are many styles and colors to choose from and you can certainly range in your garage floor covering budget.
So let’s look at some options and their merits and weaknesses…
Rubber type mats as a garage floor covering – This is the cover up and forget the problem solution. These roll out mats can look clean and come in multiple colors. They are easy to roll out and simply drive on, and not terribly expensive. Be aware that these types of mats typically do not have perforation and can trap water under them which can lead to freeze/thaw problems as well as a degradation of the concrete.
Rubber or Plastic Tiles as a garage floor covering – These plastic or rubber tiles are typically squares of color that you assemble yourself in an interlocking fashion and can make any shape you like. They come in several colors and have a rounded edge that can be snapped on. Depending on the size of your floor these can add up fast as they are sold in packages of a certain number. As with the rubber style mat, these tiles are often not perforated and can trap moisture underneath.
Paint as a garage floor covering – Paint with sealer is a better solution than a mat or plastic tile. But it has its share of pitfalls as well. It can be very time consuming and costly to install and will likely need to be redone every 3 to 5 years. See our complete article on concrete floor paint for lots more information.
Ceramic Tile as a garage floor covering – Ceramic tile is an attractive garage floor covering. Floor preparation and cost are the big factors in considering this type of floor. If the floor is not very level and smooth the tiles will be susceptible to cracking and de-grouting. The space between the tiles may get stained from dirt and oil and be difficult to clean.
Epoxy as a garage floor covering – Epoxy is your best bet when it comes to protecting your floor and a great look. There are many variables when installing a n epoxy floor so it is important to do your homework and select a professional with a proven track record such as Great Garage Floors. Epoxy floors are durable and when installed properly will last the life of the garage. They are easy to maintain and clean and have the added benefit of keeping moisture, road chemicals and car fluids like oil out of you concrete. An epoxy floor is more reasonable in price than you might expect and will add tangible value to your home if and when you sell it.
Minneapolis Garage Flooring, Garage Floor Coating & Epoxy
If you are looking for the best garage flooring in Minneapolis…
If you are looking for the best garage flooring in Minneapolis, congratulations! You have found it! Great Garage Floors has proudly been providing top quality garage floor coatings and epoxy floor coatings to Minneapolis for many years.
Great Garage Floors takes the time to make sure that the formulations they use will last and last. We have stood behind our products and always will, because we know the work and thorough study that has gone into evaluating only the best epoxy floor coating chemistry available to Minneapolis. Our coatings are of the highest quality and that makes a big difference to the life of your floor.
When you compare Great Garage Floors to other companies in Minneapolis, be sure to check out important items such as:
● The company’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. We have been rated A+ (no complaints) by the BBB since our
beginning. We do everything possible to respond to any concern that you may have.
● Warranty or Guarantee. Many companies offer the Sun and the stars in their so called lifetime warranties, the devil tends
to be in the details. If there are pages of fine print escape clauses and stipulations, you may want to think about the true
value of the warranty and the company’s comfort level with their product and their ability to stand behind it. Our
guarantee is simple and straight forward.
● Details of the coatings being installed. Many will talk about the thickness of their coatings in mils. It’s not all about the
amount of coating put down at time of install, it’s what remains on the floor after the coating is cured and more
importantly, the quality of the coating. Many companies will use a “diluted” or hybrid blend that will evaporate or “flash
off” as it cures. Chemistry of materials do make a difference. We use only the best!
● Pricing schemes and up-sell tactics. Many garage floor companies will offer “teaser prices” or very low “show special” to
get a sales contact. Then comes an offer to upgrade and you are encouraged to accept a supposed better version of
their product. Rest assured we play none of those games at Great Garage Floors. We offer the best solution at the best
price. Compared side-by-side you will get much more for your money.
Concrete Plank Garage Floors
Precast concrete planks are a popular building material to enlarge the useful square foot of a home. Many modern homes have a three car garage. That amounts to a six to seven hundred square foot area that in the usual building setting is a slab of concrete poured on an underlying aggregate base.
But the builder can install concrete planks instead of a poured concrete floor to provide the necessary support for vehicles. A basement room can be installed under the garage floor, adding additional usable space to the home.
A poured concrete slab is then poured on top of the concrete planks. The typical slab is two and half inches to 4 inches.
A waterproof barrier of rubber, sometimes vinyl membrane or, more recently, a spray on product is installed over the concrete planks and below the poured slab, sandwiched between the two, to provide a barrier for water that may seep down through the inevitable cracks that appear in a concrete slab.
And cracks will appear! Effectively, a bridge is being created when installing the concrete planks. The planks are from 22″ to four feet wide and anywhere from 20′ to twenty-four feet long.
When vehicles of from 3000 to six thousand pounds are placed on the “bridge”, you see why there may be movement of the concrete slab. That movement, though infinitesimally small and even unnoticeable to the homeowner, does produce micro cracks in the concrete. Water can then migrate through the concrete slab to water barrier below.
We now have modern building standards that require the waterproof barrier. But in homes built before the mid nineties, water proof barriers were not standard.
We have been called into remediate homes that have a leaking floor, rendering the room below an its contents as risk to water damage.
Our typical installation is to grind the garage floor surface and fill all of the cracks. We then coat the floor with an elastomeric coating. “Elastomeric” means that the coat has flexural elasticity and will “give” as the floor “moves”.
At Great Garage Floors, we can properly seal, repair and coat your concrete plank floor. Give us a call at 952-473-8600 or contact us through our quote page for information.