Why Homeowners Should Not Install Epoxy Concrete Coating as a DIY Project

The ProArmour Concrete Coatings flooring systems are durable and long-lasting. They are designed, manufactured, and installed to withstand the wear and tear of the harshest environments. Installation requires about four-six hours, and after twenty-four hours, the floor will be ready for full use. Abrasion-resistant, non-slip, and chemical-resistant, the ProArmour Concrete Coatings floor system is a great option for any industry or home.

Why DIY Epoxy Concrete Floor Coatings Are Not the Best Option

An epoxy concrete coating can add a significant “wow” factor to a garage. If well-installed, an epoxy floor coating can make the garage an extension of the home, adding real dollar value to the house. If poorly installed, a DIY epoxy concrete coating could hurt the value of the home, detract from its beauty, and turn away prospective buyers if and when the house comes up for sale.

Here are four reasons not to DIY an epoxy concrete coating:

  • Cost
  • Preparation and application
  • Appearance
  • Durability

Cost

The big-box epoxy floor system kit for an average two-car garage will cost from $100-$500. A three-car garage will require two kits. A professionally installed garage floor coating ranges from $3,000-$6,000 for a one-car or two-car garage. The cost depends on the floor size and condition, as well as the design options.

Preparation and Application

ProArmour-Concrete-Coatings-2The first and most important step in installing the epoxy floor system is to prepare the floor for the epoxy coating. Professional installers will use a diamond grinder or a shot blaster to mechanically clean and abrade the floor. The diamond grinder removes enough surface material to open the pores of the concrete, allowing the epoxy to adhere much more securely to the concrete.

For the homeowner who does not own a diamond grinder or a blaster, an acid wash can be applied to the surface to clean and etch the concrete. Many DIY kits contain a dilute acid solution. Etching does not open the concrete pores to the same degree as the diamond grinder. The result is that within a year or two, the DIY epoxy will begin to peel away from the concrete. A professionally prepared floor with premium quality materials will last up to twenty years or more.

Appearance

While DIY epoxy kits look nice after application, design options are limited.  The two main choices are a solid color or a solid color with a light spread of vinyl flakes. While the flakes add interest, they mainly serve to cover up blemishes in the epoxy since roller marks, bubbles, and pinholes are inevitable.

With a professionally installed coating, design options are better. A professional installation offers the choice of a full spread of vinyl chips with none of the base coat of epoxy visible. A full spread of colored quartz aggregate or a metallic spread is an option. A marbled epoxy is also available. The selection is wide-ranging, and the appearance is rich and elegant.

Durability

The DIY project will last a few years without peeling, flaking, or cracking. The gloss finish will soon dim or turn yellow from UV exposure. Re-coating the DIY project requires the removal of the original surface before the new surface can be applied.

A professional coating will endure for a lifetime without ever peeling, flaking, or yellowing. Scratches from normal use can and will happen, but the full spread of either vinyl or quartz will make the scratches less noticeable.

The preparation of the concrete and the quality and thickness of the coating used by professional installers explains the vastly superior longevity and beauty of the epoxy floor system. A typical DIY garage floor coating is no thicker than five mils. A coating from a specialist ranges from fifteen to thirty mils, which is three to six times thicker than the DIY kit.

Also, the professional-grade epoxy is generally a 2:1 mix of epoxy and a hardener. Both parts are 100% solids. Most DIY kits are really epoxy paints containing as much as 50% water. Epoxy solids are much harder than epoxy paints and bond more effectively with concrete. The pro installer will often apply a polyaspartic topcoat that is even harder and more chemical and abrasion-resistant than the epoxy itself.

Professional Advice

Regarding big-box store brands that are sold as DIY kits, one industry expert wrote, “Not all epoxy coatings are made the same. Epoxy coatings come in both water-based (watered down) and one-hundred percent solid resin-based formulas. The generic water-based formulas are sold at big box stores and the high-end one-hundred percent solid epoxy coatings are sold by individual concrete coating manufacturers that specialize in making these coatings. We have not had much luck with the big box store brands that are sold as DIY kits. [They] have a short life span and wear/peel in a short period of time. The DIY kits sold at big box stores are more or less thick paints only and will never perform as well or have a long lifespan. The best epoxy high-end coatings are one-hundred percent solid, high build garage floor resin-based coatings that undergo a chemical reaction that results in a thick coating, tightly bonded to the prepared surface.  These coatings are two-part systems that when mixed, catalyze into a superior thick bond that is four-five times stronger than the DIY epoxy kits sold at big box stores. The one hundred percent solids resin-based epoxy coatings are what we use as contractors and are what any quality professional will use. While mostly sold to professionals, the one-hundred percent solids epoxy coatings can be used by homeowners that expect their coating to last for many, many years.”

ProArmour Concrete Coatings offers a full line of coating solutions, including the following:

  • Garage floor coatings
  • Residential floor coatings
  • Industrial concrete flooring
  • Commercial kitchen flooring
  • Sidewalk coatings
  • Concrete repairs
  • Patio coatings

To learn more about epoxy and polyaspartic floor coatings, contact the ProArmour Concrete Coatings office by phone at (833) 652-0811 or email [email protected]

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