What are the Pros and Cons of Garage Floor Epoxy?

Lori Kilchermann

When weighing the positive and negative aspects of garage floor epoxy, cost is often the first consideration. While the appearance of a properly applied epoxy is very enticing to most garage owners, the cost and preparation required to get that appearance may not be feasible for all garage owners. For a garage that will see frequent use and will have many visitors, epoxy may be a preferred option. These finishes are easy to clean and maintain, but once the finish is applied, changing colors or designs can be a labor-intensive and costly endeavor.

Some garage floors require hours of preparation before floor epoxy can be applied.
Some garage floors require hours of preparation before floor epoxy can be applied.

One of the most enticing reasons to use epoxy is the bright and professional appearance it gives to an average garage floor. Epoxy provides a smooth and even surface that is easily swept, it is resistant to oil and most fluids, and it's available in many colors and designs. Advancements in the manufacture and application methods have made it relatively easy to apply by the average homeowner in a minimum amount of time with average hand tools.

Epoxy coating may be used on floors that receive heavy foot and vehicle traffic, such as those in factories and garages.
Epoxy coating may be used on floors that receive heavy foot and vehicle traffic, such as those in factories and garages.

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Some people find that the work required to prepare the existing garage floor can sometimes be a drawback to applying epoxy. The floor must be clean and free of any grease, oil, or solvents before the epoxy paint is applied. This often means that the homeowner must buy special cleaning acids and other chemicals to ensure that the epoxy will stick. In addition, the individual will have to clean the concrete floor, which can take multiple attempts. It's also typically necessary to purchase and wear special protective clothing, protective eye wear, and breathing devices when using these chemicals.

While the epoxy paint is very durable, it is not permanent. Over time, or in the event of a heavy item being dropped onto the floor surface, chips can develop. The chips can start out as a small annoyance, as wheeled carts and tool box wheels catch as they are rolled over the damaged spot in the floor. Eventually, however, they can lead to a large area peeling up off of the floor. When this happens, the floor must be repaired, which can require the extensive and difficult removal of the garage floor epoxy.

One of the lesser-known benefits of using epoxy on a garage floor is that it often helps to reflect light up off of the floor, creating better visibility within the garage. A drawback is that the paint can become slippery when spotted with oil, creating a dangerous situation.

Applying epoxy to a concrete garage floor can give it a bright appearance.
Applying epoxy to a concrete garage floor can give it a bright appearance.

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