Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/29/22 2:17 p.m.

I think I'm finally going to get around to fixing up my attached garage. A bit of background, the house was built in 1974, and it's a pretty standard 2-car attached garage with a little storage/work area in front of one of the bays, so call it a "2 1/4" car garage, space wise. The parking area is about 3" lower than the rest of the garage. As far as I know, it's never had any kind of coating on it, certainly not since we moved in in 1999. So it's had all kinds of stuff dripped on it over the years.

My questions are as follows:

What is the best way to clean and prep the surface? There are a few small cracks that I will fill, and one chipped area that I may or may not leave alone, depending on what my prospects are for filling it. You can buy "clean and etch" solutions at Lowes Depot, but I wonder about the effectiveness of those. Would I be better off using something like muriatic acid? What about renting a grinder to physically etch the surface? I've done enough paint and coating on different surfaces to know that prep is key, so I want to try and do the best I can with this step.

What about what product(s) to use? I already know that the "garage floor in a box" kits from the home improvement places probably aren't worth a crap. I'm not afraid to spend some money, but I'm not going to just throw it away, either. I went in assuming that I'd be getting some form of 2-part epoxy, but I've found a few articles like this one that say a single-part polyurea is the way to go.

Doing some research, it seems like these places have good reputations:

https://www.legacyindustrial.net/

https://www.garageflooringllc.com/

https://www.garagecoatings.com/

https://epoxy-coat.com/

This will be part of a larger garage "remodel" involving drywall repair and painting, replacing the opener, and general cleaning and sorting of all the crap that's out there.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
8/29/22 8:59 p.m.

I've used garage flooring llc twice now and have nothing but positive things to say.  Honestly reach out to them and they will get back quick with solid advice.  I chemical etched but it was new concrete both times.  I did polyurea this last time and it is the way to go.



My advice is this is a two person job.  One to lay down color another to broadcast flakes.  One to lay down clear and another to backroll with a dry roller.  Ignore this advice at your own peril.  
 

That is 3 coats of polyurea: one color and two clear.  On old concrete, I'd go for 4.  
 

If you want red, black and white flake, I have a lot still and I still have some anti skid that goes in the final clear coat.

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/29/22 10:25 p.m.

Two person job is fine, I can enlist SWMBO. 

How much color did it take for your job?

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
8/30/22 9:47 a.m.

I'd love to do this to my garage floor but there's no way I could get away with just muriatic acid.  I'd have to have the floor ground, cracks filled, etc, etc.  The biggest impediment to doing it is my garage is absolutely full of stuff and I've got nowhere to put it for the 3-4 days it'd take a crew to do this.  I regret not doing it right when we bought the house and the garage was totally empty

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/30/22 10:02 a.m.
docwyte said:

I'd love to do this to my garage floor but there's no way I could get away with just muriatic acid.  I'd have to have the floor ground, cracks filled, etc, etc.  The biggest impediment to doing it is my garage is absolutely full of stuff and I've got nowhere to put it for the 3-4 days it'd take a crew to do this.  I regret not doing it right when we bought the house and the garage was totally empty

Believe me, our garage is crammed full of junk, too. This is going to be a big operation between the walls, ceiling, and floor. Our plan is to take it one half at a time. Move all the crap onto one side, do all the work there, then move it all to the finished side and work on that. To be honest, it's also an opportunity to go through all that crap and see if we actually need it.

enginenerd
enginenerd Reader
8/30/22 10:04 a.m.

I'm just about to pull the trigger on this:

https://armorpoxy.com/products/armorclad-master-kit-up-to-600-sq-ft-with-topcoat/

Seems like they have positive feedback and good customer service but just going off internet forums. 

 

EDIT: Great, now I'm back into the rabbit hole of research looking at polyurea coatings! 

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/30/22 11:18 a.m.

Looks good. What kind of prep are you doing?

Toyman!
Toyman! MegaDork
8/30/22 11:25 a.m.

I use a fine layer of dust, oil, and dirt. I then add metal shavings of aluminum and steel to get the glitter effect. 

It's very organic and gets renewed every time I sweep or get out the blower. laugh

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
8/30/22 3:17 p.m.

In reply to Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) :

I just don't wanna be moving a fridge, air compressor, tool boxes, etc, etc around.  Plus everything is going to get coated with cement dust from the grinders.  Ugh.  I'll just live with what I have for now...

Slippery
Slippery PowerDork
8/30/22 3:23 p.m.
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) said:
docwyte said:

I'd love to do this to my garage floor but there's no way I could get away with just muriatic acid.  I'd have to have the floor ground, cracks filled, etc, etc.  The biggest impediment to doing it is my garage is absolutely full of stuff and I've got nowhere to put it for the 3-4 days it'd take a crew to do this.  I regret not doing it right when we bought the house and the garage was totally empty

Believe me, our garage is crammed full of junk, too. This is going to be a big operation between the walls, ceiling, and floor. Our plan is to take it one half at a time. Move all the crap onto one side, do all the work there, then move it all to the finished side and work on that. To be honest, it's also an opportunity to go through all that crap and see if we actually need it.

One of my neighbors rented one of those pod boxes that look like a container. They parked it on the driveway and moved all the stuff in there while they redid the garage. I cannot recall how much,  but it was not expensive at all and it was easier to redo the whole thing in one go. 

Might be worth looking into.

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/30/22 4:16 p.m.

In reply to Slippery :

Indeed. That's a good idea.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
8/30/22 10:04 p.m.

Honestly it's some of the best money I've spent on the garage.  I did it to the past two houses before moving in starting both the day we closed.  Clearing out the garage and doing it would be rough, but I still think it would be worthwhile.  I've honestly considered doing this as a side job too.  Concrete finishing is in high demand and labor intensive so there is profit potential.  

Russ McBride
Russ McBride New Reader
8/31/22 8:02 p.m.

I was ready to go with Armorproxy Ballistix, but now I'm leaning towards Nohr-S® Polyurea.

Most people seem to go with a color tint and flakes, but I think I'll just use the clear coating over our new concrete, mainly to make it easier to find dropped fasteners.

I want my floor glossy, but I also don't want to worry about slipping on water.

I'm still researching.  Our new house should be finished in a couple of months.

dhughens
dhughens
11/5/22 10:31 a.m.

I joined the forum just to add to this topic.  I have a 26x48 id shop with a smooth concrete slab.  I used two part epoxy paint and it has two major characteristics.  First I love it.  I used white and while it gets dirty fast, I can find things when they are dropped and it is brighter in the shop.  Second, I hate it in the spring.  I live in North Florida and we have lots of humidity.  The entire floor will have a coating of water from condensation.  (Yes, I have TWO layers of plastic under the concrete before pouring.)  It is a real hassle.  Anything on the floor gets wet and because it is smooth, it is extremely slick.  The concrete does not absorb any moisture so it sits on the sealed epoxy.  I now have rafter fans but it takes quite a while to dry out because I don't run them all night long.  I will squeegee the floor and just be careful walking around.  Of course walking in from outside brings in dirt/sand which instantly transforms into muddy footprints throughout the shop.  Would I do it again?  Absolutely, although I would look for suggestions as to how  to eliminate this issue.  I think it is simply a consequence of 99% humidity, warm morning air, and a cold overnight concrete floor. 

There is another piece of info that might be helpful to someone.  We power troweled the floor significantly to smooth it out.  When it came time to use the epoxy paint, it said the floor needed to be somewhat rough.  I had to etch the floor with about 8-10 gallons of muriatic acid to roughen it up.  I should have bought the paint and read its instructions before I power troweled the concrete.  Would have saved 15-20hrs or so and  $$$'s.  This is my experience, take it for what it's worth, dan...

enginenerd
enginenerd Reader
11/7/22 9:41 a.m.

Well, thanks to some suggestions on this thread I recently finished up doing mine using the All Weather Floors polyurea (sold by garageflooringllc). It was quite a bit of work but the product itself was easy to work with and I'm pretty happy with the end result:

I think my only complaint would be it's tough to find small dropped items (but I expected that when choosing the color/flake combo). If I had nicer concrete underneath I would have done a solid color or just a clear. Spills and wet shoes doesn't seem to make the surface unreasonably slippery. I used some anti skid additive as well as went a little heavy on the flake which added some texture.

Not the best pic as I was capturing the trim but you can kind of see the texture:

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
11/7/22 10:19 a.m.

Just to close the loop here, I ended up going with the Nohr-S Polyurea from Legacy Industrial. I rented a concrete grinder from the Depot to prep the surface. Here's an in-progress shot:

It went on pretty easy. My concrete isn't in great shape, and it helped to hide a lot of the pitting. I probably overdid it with the flakes, but whatever. Overall, very happy with it, and would do it again.

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