Your garage is one of the most used rooms in the home. Everything from storage to parking and even hobby working. We roll, walk, scrape and stand on these floors that are usually nothing but stained, cracked slabs of cement.
You can protect and beautify your garage floor, though, and this article will cover how. Garage floor epoxies are an inexpensive and simple way to add strength and protection to your floor while also making it look great. We will cover the best garage floor epoxies in this review and help you decide which one is best for your needs.
Rust-Oleum EpoxyShield 261845
500 Sq. Ft
3 Gallon Kit
24 hours/40 minutes
170 Sq. Ft per gallon
Rust-Oleum EpoxyShield Flake Resin 304851
28 days/24 hours
400 Sq. Ft
Rust-Oleum 292514 Floor Coating EpoxySheild
7 days/24 hours
Up to 500 Sq. Ft
Epoxy-Coat Floor Coating Kit CK1401
7 days/12 hours
Up to 500 Sq. Ft
Epoxy Coatings For Garage Floors (Overview + Is It Worth It?)
Epoxy coatings are difficult to understand. They work like paint, seal like concrete and come in two parts. The chemical compounds are made of thermostatic compounds that, when combined, harden to a plastic, appearing hard as a concrete finish.
Epoxy is highly durable, can seal cracks and offer a solid footing over any concrete surface. The compounds appear like extra-thick paint and tend to dry quickly. For these reasons, applying epoxy flooring is time-consuming, can be difficult, and needs to be done with some speed.
There are two types of epoxy, and they are distinguished only by how thick they are when dried. If the epoxy is two millimeters or more, it is called an epoxy flooring, less than two millimeters, and it is known as an epoxy coating.
You should also beware of paints that contain epoxy, as they are not true epoxy coatings or flooring.
Read the labels. If it says "one part epoxy," it is merely paint. Real epoxy flooring and coatings are always two part epoxy.
Epoxy coatings are waterproof, moisture and heat resistant, and durable enough to drive on, park your lawnmower on and use as a floor in a workshop. The lower cost compared to other flooring options make epoxy flooring well worth it.
Considerations When Buying Garage Floor Epoxy Kits
Coverage & Cost
One of the biggest factors is knowing how much material you need and how much it costs. Obviously, the more space you have to cover, the more it will cost. Epoxy coverage will depend on the thickness of the material when dry and how it is sold. Usually, it will come with an average square foot coverage amount.
You will want to check the listing and compare it to the known square foot of your garage. You will also want to ensure you budget for extra materials. You want to have more epoxy than you need. If you do not have enough, it will cost more (in time, effort, and trips to the store).
Epoxy Coating Type
When it comes to type, you aren’t without options. There are currently four main types of epoxy flooring and coatings that are ideal for garage floors. Let’s take a closer look at the types.
Colors & Type Of Finish
When dealing with the finish of the epoxy flooring, the cheaper options are clear. However, you can choose from colors, flakes, and even other decorations for a slightly higher cost. These options allow you to apply designs, shapes, and even patterns to your floor.
Depending on your budget, time, and desires, you can make intricate patterns and designs to suit your needs.
Drying And Curing Time
One of the biggest drawbacks to an epoxy floor is the drying and cure times. Almost all epoxy types require a minimum of a week to set. If you plan to do two layers, you will need to wait for the first layer to set before applying the second coat.
In most situations, it will take between 7 and 30 days for the epoxy to fully cure for daily use. Once fully set and cured, though, the floor is as tough as concrete and will last you many years without much maintenance or worry.
What’s In The Kit?
There are several different types of epoxy coatings. Professional epoxies are sold in gallon containers for each part of the two part system. While you can buy all the parts and decorations separately, a kit is preferred by most homeowners.
In a kit, you will get the two parts of epoxy to mix, coloring, gravel or pebbles, and a stirring or mixing stick. Some kits will also include printed or video instructions so you can follow along when applying the solution.
Durability & Longevity
Garage floor epoxy is highly durable. As long as it is applied correctly and allowed to set and cure, your epoxy floor can last 20 years or more. These facts alone make epoxy flooring one of the most durable and affordable options for your garage.
The long lasting performance and toughness of the floor covering also makes it among the most cost-effective and long lasting solutions on the market.
5 Best Garage Floor Epoxies Reviewed
1. Rust-Oleum EpoxyShield 261845
Our Top Pick
Tan, Tan Gloss, Gray, Dark Gray
500 Sq. Ft
For the DIYer among us, the Rust-Oleum kit is not only the easiest to use but also the most popular. It comes in a variety of color options, is highly affordable, and has an incredibly fast set time.
The kit contains two pouches totaling 1.875 gallons of epoxy. Each bag is enough to cover a single car garage (with some leftover). You don't even need to stir and mix the two part epoxy, which is what makes this a fan favorite.
The bags come with one part of the epoxy on one side and the hardener on the other; you only need to roll the bags to pop the center seam and allow the two halves to mix. Shaking the bag for a few minutes will enable you to start the mixing process without creating a mess. When it is mixed thoroughly, you cut a corner of the bag and squeeze the epoxy directly onto the floor like a cake icing bag.
This mixing and pouring process sets it apart from all other brands and epoxy types. It removes the need for a mixing bucket and a stir stick and from having to measure the epoxy parts.
Inside the kit, you will find the written instructions along with a DVD with video instructions. The kits also come in both standard and gloss finish with optional metallic chips to add some detail to your floor.
This kit is best for anyone with a garage floor that needs a makeover. However, your concrete needs to be profile, repaired, and level. This epoxy kit will not fill in or smooth over cracks, so concrete putty will be needed.
The best part, though, is that you don’t have to wait forever to start using your garage again. The epoxy is set enough to walk on in a few hours and enough to drive on in 3 short days. It still takes several weeks to cure fully, though.
2. Colored Epoxies 3 Gallon Kit
Also Very Good
Clear, White, Green, Black, Brown, Dark Blue, Dark Gray, Light Gray
1.5, 3 or 15 gallon, 3 quart
24 hours/40 minutes
170 Sq. Ft per gallon
Colored Epoxies produces one of the best garage and indoor floor epoxy systems around. This is a professional level epoxy that requires you have all the right tools and equipment, but the end result is worth every penny.
One of the big draws is that the brand is beginning to move its inventory over to Amazon for sale. Currently, they have 8 color options to choose from on Amazon, though they offer 45 color ranges through their direct website.
No matter which way you go, you will get a high quality two part epoxy ready for mix and application. Full instructions and advice are found on their website, along with tutorial videos for proper installation as well as color mixing, design creation, and more. The company even offers live customer support, and when you call, you will talk to a live human.
The kits only include the epoxy and hardener. However, through the company, you can also purchase everything you need, including multiple color powders, flakes, pebbles, and more. Of course, you will also need to buy your tools and equipment.
This list will include spike shoes, epoxy specific rollers, brushes, mixing buckets, and drills with mixing paddle attachments. While this epoxy is relatively easy to apply evenly, you need to be quick. One of the downsides to this brand is that the dry time is about 40 minutes. Therefore, when applying the flooring, you need to only mix what you can apply in half an hour or less.
Once applied, though, you can walk on the floor in as little as 7 hours. If you want to do a second coat (recommended), you can apply the next layer in 24 hours. The kits come in 4 sizes. You can get a 1.5 or 3 gallon kit, which are the most common.
Each kit contains 3 buckets. Two epoxy resin containers and a single hardener. This is because the Colored Epoxies brand mix ratio is a simple 2:1. So if you want to epoxy countertops, cabinets, or small areas, you can also choose the 3 quart kit. And for large coverage areas, they also offer a 15 gallon kit.
Like almost all epoxy brands, the company has no control over your tools or application methods, so you won't find warranties very often. If you need warranty protection, it is best to go with professional contractors for application.
3. Rust-Oleum EpoxyShield Flake Resin 304851
Best Flake Design
Dunes Tan, Dark Gray, Silver Gray
28 days/24 hours
400 Sq. Ft
The leader of the garage floor epoxy, Rust-Oleum offers a flake option for a more professional application than our top pick, the DIY favorite. With this kit, you need to properly clean and profile the concrete and mix or apply the epoxy with patience and care.
Not as DIY friendly as the top pick, this Rust-Oleum kit contains the epoxy, hardener, and flakes. It comes in three color options, including two gray mixes and a tan option. The 1-gallon cans are evenly mixed at a 1:1 ratio. This helps make the mixing a little easier but adds to the drying time.
The one downside to this epoxy option is that it is more traditional. If you want to apply a second coat, you will need to wait a couple of days and at least seven days before foot traffic is allowed on the floor. Of course, cars and equipment will need longer. Also, the full cure time is at least 28 days. What you do get, though, is a professional epoxy flooring, durable and resilient as any other.
The price is quite affordable and offers a lot of coverage. The 1-gallon kits can easily cover a 2-car garage (with some leftover) and essentially have enough epoxy to coat up to 400 square feet.
If you are unsure of your skills or abilities when applying professional-grade epoxy, you may want to hire a pro or use the DIY kit listed above. This kit, though, is designed for those that want a flake epoxy garage floor that is affordable, durable, and can last over 20 years.
4. Rust-Oleum 292514 Floor Coating EpoxySheild
7 days/24 hours
Up to 500 Sq. Ft
Rust-Oleum appears again with another DIY kit. This is the premium option with a lot of additives that make for a better coverage in garage floors. This high gloss epoxy is water-based and is the ideal application for your garage.
The best feature, by far, is the additives. The most prominent is the anti-skid additive. This prevents the epoxy from being slippery when it gets wet and doesn’t become sticky when you drive on it, even if it has oil on it.
There are also additives that prevent hot tire pickup, chemicals, oil and water penetration, and others. With the exception of the flakes, all of these additives are included in the epoxy already. Using the patented split-mix bags, you don’t need mixing paddles, buckets, or stir sticks. Just pop the separator in the bag, combine the two parts and shake for several minutes.
The high gloss epoxy is a premium flooring solution based on the additives included. However, the DIY-friendly application and low cost make it highly popular. Anyone with a few hours of time and an epoxy roller can create an entirely new garage floor.
This draw and ease of use help solidify Rust-Oleum as a leader in the epoxy flooring industry. Their satisfaction guarantee is about the closest you will get to a warranty, and while the color options for the premium kit are pretty limited, there are options for adding colored powder if you want to mix in a bucket.
5. Epoxy-Coat Floor Coating Kit CK1401
Best Value For Money Kit
Dark Gray, Clear, Black, Gray, Tan, Taupe
7 days/12 hours
Up to 500 Sq. Ft
The Epoxy-Coat flooring kit is easily the best value for the money. This all inclusive kit has everything you need except spike shoes. When applied, the epoxy is glossy and has six colors.
The biggest draw to this kit is what is included. While most kits include the epoxy, hardener, and flakes, this kit gives you more. You also get non-skid aluminum oxide, floor prep solution, 3-inch application brush, 9-inch epoxy roller, squeegee, 16-inch mechanical mixer, and a pair of gloves.
It is easy to see where the higher cost comes from. You can easily spend double the price if you were to purchase each item individually. However, with the different materials needed in the mixture, you should have some experience with epoxy and its application.
If you do not have the experience or feel comfortable properly mixing and combining all the additives, you may consider hiring a professional. One thing to note, though, is that unlike every other epoxy on this list, this does come with a warranty.
Not only is there a warranty, but it covers the application for life. Rated as up to 10-times more durable than paint and other epoxies, once applied, cured and cleaned, you can rest assured the epoxy coating will last for a long time.
Applying Epoxy Coatings On A Garage Floor: Step By Step
Applying the DIY style epoxies can still be challenging. If you don’t have the time, knowledge, and tools to complete the job at hand, it can go very wrong, very quickly. The following steps are not designed to replace your product instructions but will guide you on what to expect for the project.
The first step is to make sure the garage floor can handle the epoxy and is ready to receive it. First, a good cleaning of the concrete is crucial. You will want to be able to find any cracks and damaged areas.
Epoxy isn’t designed to repair concrete; it only covers it. So you will want to find the bigger cracks and damaged areas and repair them with a concrete patch. Once your floor is clean, cracks repaired, and the garage floor is ready, you can profile the concrete.
Profile the Concrete
Profiling is a process that exposes the pores of the concrete. This process will give the epoxy something to adhere to. The epoxy will fill the pores and harden to create a single flooring instead of two different layers.
There are two ways to profile concrete. The most popular is grinding. It takes a little longer but is safer and easier to do. Using a stone or concrete grinder, you essentially go over the floor a couple of times to rough up and remove the top layer.
The other method is called acid etching. Using an acidic compound, the acid will basically eat away the top layer of the concrete and leave the pores cleaned and wide open. Acid etching can be dangerous—precautions and protective gear need to be used, as well as proper ventilation.
Lay the Epoxy
After the concrete is ready for the epoxy, the fun can begin. Since each epoxy type and brand is slightly different, you will need to follow the instructions and directions from the manufacturer. Some brands will have step-by-step instructions in the manual, while others will have a video disc or YouTube link for you to watch the process and follow along.
Basically, though, you will mix the two parts of epoxy and begin spreading it on the floor. Thinner epoxy coating can be painted with a roller, while thicker epoxy flooring needs to be poured.
After you paint or pour, you will need to smooth and level the epoxy using a spreader or squeegee. Flake and pebble epoxy may require you to spread the flakes as you go or have it mixed in before the pour. Make sure you know which so you can ensure it is applied properly.
Then, all that is left is to wait.
Set and Cure Time
After everything is applied, the epoxy needs to set. The set time will vary, but for most DIY kits, the set time will be several hours for a walkable surface and a few days for a driveable one. Once set, you can essentially use the garage as you need to. However, you should note that the epoxy is not cured.
Curing can take up to 30 days, depending on climate, humidity levels, and temperature. The instruction sheet with your kit will tell you the set and cure times and how long to wait until a second coat can be applied.
Once the epoxy has completely cured and set, you will be good to go for at least 10 years, probably double that if you care for it well.
Garage Floor Coatings Compared
When it comes to garage floor coatings or coverings, you have a lot of options. Aside from epoxy, the two most popular are paints and tiles. Let’s compare epoxy against the popular options to see how it stands up.
Garage Epoxy Floor Coatings Vs Floor Paints
Floor paints are for covering and offer slight protection. Unlike epoxy, garage floor paint is easy to apply and dries for use a lot faster. You can also use paint in garages where moisture comes up from underneath. Epoxy doesn’t work well in bottom moisture.
Paint is also cheaper, and you can apply as many coats as you need. All of this sounds great, and many consumers agree, stopping here and opting to paint their floors. However, paint isn’t as durable and will need to be coated and reapplied quite often. Depending on the garage’s use, this can be as often as yearly.
Though epoxy costs more and is more difficult to install than paint, it is highly durable, doesn't need reapplication, and can help level and fill in small cracks that paint will not.
Garage Epoxy Floor Coatings Vs Floor Tiles
When you hear garage floor tiles, we aren’t talking about porcelain tiles found in your kitchen. Instead, they are durable plastic interlocking squares that cover the garage floor. Once fully installed, the tiles make a formidable flooring that is moisture-proof, oil-resistant and offers protection, texture, and sure footing.
You need to purchase each square individually, though kits do include multiple squares. They come in a variety of colors, patterns, and thicknesses. You can create patterns, designs, or solid colored flooring.
Unlike epoxy, you don’t need to prep the concrete. In fact, you don’t even need to clean it first (though you should). The tiles sit on top of the concrete in your garage, and they can truly transform your space drastically.
Epoxy will last longer and offer more protection. Epoxy is generally cheaper, too. However, the tiles can be changed out, and when fully installed, are solid, secure, and won’t shift or move at all.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
How do you clean a garage floor coated with epoxy?
Epoxy is easy to clean compared to many other options. Once you have the floor exposed (cars moved, mowers backed out, and boxes off the floor, you only need to sweep and vacuum the area to remove the dirt, dust, and debris. If there is grease, grime, or stuck on messes, a hard sponge mop and warm water will usually take care of it. However, if you do need more cleaning power, a Ph-neutral degreaser can be used. There are also epoxy specific cleansers if you want to purchase them.
How long does garage floor epoxy last?
When properly laid and cared for, an epoxy concrete floor can last between 10 and 20 years. There are some reports of garage flooring lasting over 25 years without much repair or reapplying.
How much does it cost to get your garage floor epoxied?
If you wish to have the floors epoxied by a professional, you can expect to pay up to $10 per square foot. This will average about $1200 to $3000, depending on the size of your garage and how many square feet are covered.
Can you recoat an epoxy garage floor?
You can recoat epoxy, though it isn’t advised. Because the prior epoxy is worn, maybe peeling or cracked, the new layers won't adhere properly. It is always better to strip the old epoxy, reprofile the concrete, and lay a new epoxy coating.
Garage floor epoxy is a durable, hardy, and waterproof flooring solution. It will fill in small cracks but isn’t a repair solution. However, it is highly affordable, and with DIY kits making easy work, almost anyone can install an epoxy floor.
While it isn’t for everyone, epoxy is popular. As long as your floor doesn’t absorb moisture from underneath, you can install epoxy. With proper preparation, slow and methodical application, and care after it sets, your new epoxy garage floor will last at least a decade.