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After what seemed to me like endless amounts of reading online, and narrowing my choices down to Wolverine and Epoxy-Coat (two top brands of epoxy that others had good experiences with), I decided to go with Epoxy-Coat based mostly on cost and ease of application. I didn't think that spending double would get me a floor that would be twice as good, so that's what I decided. I had a fresh 40-50 day old slab of concrete with no expansion joints, minor hairline cracks, never been touched by tires or any chemicals. Total of about 600 square feet.

This is the story of my journey from prep to finish and what I learned along the way. My floor didn't turn out as perfect as I had expected, but perhaps that's my fault for being an amateur or possibly for doing a double thickness. I'll explain below with photos.

I ordered a total of two and a half kits (so that I could do a double thick application of 20 mils per their recommendation) and on one Friday night several weeks ago I began my prep process. Here are the steps I followed in general:

  • Remove contents (I didn't have much in there, since I knew I'd be doing this before "moving in" so to speak). This includes removal of the sink.
  • Blow floor clean, sweep for good measure:
  • Etch per Epoxy-Coat instructions. This process took around from 5-6 hours:



  • After being fully satisfied with the etch job across the entire floor, I rinsed twice, pressure washed once, and let it dry thoroughly. Next up was using a paintable (non silicone) caulk to fill the hairline cracks and any holes or imperfections I found. This process probably took around 3 hours or so:




  • The following day, after the caulk had dried but before application of the epoxy itself, I sanded all caulked areas with 120 grit sandpaper to remove any excess and keep the surface rough and ready. Then I did a final sweep and clean. This took around 1 hour.
  • Lay out all materials for the job and check temp before starting. Divide entire area into 5 roughly equal sized sections and apply a "double batch" of epoxy to each section (roughly 120 square feet per section, the double batch was to cover 20 mils of thickness):

  • Apply epoxy, flakes, and non-slip additive following Epoxy-coat instructions. This took about 6 hours total.


  • Finished job.




Here are things I found out or learned the hard way:

  • Their prep solution spread too quickly using a sprinkling can I bought at Home Depot - the sprayer shown in their video might be better, but even at a higher dosage per square foot, it didn't etch enough in many areas. I had to supplement with over 2 more gallons of 31% muriatic acid mixed about 50:50 with hot water to finish the etching properly. Part of my trouble here may be because my concrete was a 5000 psi mix rather than a standard garage or driveway's 3000 psi mix. I'll do the same coating in my existing attached garage sometime in the future and can update at that time if it is different.
  • Dividing up the job into sections is helpful, but their "10 minutes between sections" suggestion is a little optimistic for someone who's never done this before or if it is a bit warm outside. I had a helper and we worked as fast as we could, and after trying to do 2 sections together as shown in the video, we realized it cured too quickly to get the second backroll completed properly, so at that point we began doing a section at a time.
  • You can see roller marks and areas where sections meet. Part of this is probably due to my extra thick coating, but I figured it would settle out a bit better than it did. Also, trying to flake most of the section you just backrolled can be challenging - we weren't sure where to stop flaking and how long the "old" section would sit and cure before we would be able to get around to the new section that would border it, and therefore we flaked the entire section and ended up going back over the border areas with a new coat of epoxy and flakes again later. This caused some imperfections in how those border areas turned out.
  • You can see some bubbling, but I'm not sure from what. It says if you have this to blow dry, but we didn't try that because it seemed as if they were closing themselves up. Only after it cured the next day did I notice that many of the bubbles "exploded" overnight and looked much worse than initially. They are not bad, mind you, but they make the floor "not smooth" in some areas.
  • The non-slip additive is very, very sharp. Be careful with it. I sliced a finger open simply rubbing my hand over the newly cured surface the day after it was done. If you have young children, make sure they wear shoes and be careful of falling - you can probably get scratched up pretty good! It does definitely work as a non-slip though.
  • This stuff is THICK. I want to do my other (primary) garage with it but will probably drop back to the standard 10 mil thickness in that area instead. I love how it feels and looks, but wish I didn't have the bubbles, overlapping areas, and one section that looks like it rolled out differently than the rest.

The bottom line is that I love it despite my installation errors with section overlap. The product seems to live up to its reputation, but the installation is not quite as easy as the video seems to imply, at least it wasn't for me. I spent a lot of time reading instructions, watching their video, and asking questions before I got started so I'd know what to do, and I felt like I had a good handle on the required steps, but the end result is not quite as good as I had hoped for. On the flip side, for the money I spent, the results are quite good and I feel confident that it will protect my floor for many years. For next time, I'll ask more questions to find out how I can avoid seeing the roller edges and overlap between sections and hopefully I can do a more perfect job next time.

Everyone who has seen it so far has been more impressed than I expected, so I guess to them it looks amazing. I, of course, can still see the imperfections, but it does fit the bill for a heavy use work surface, and now I can finish my compressor lines and buy a lift to get some work done on the cars.

I hope you find this helpful. Please ask any questions - I'm by no means an expert, but I know more now than I did last Friday!

Brian
 

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Nice job. I did mine a year ago on a new slab. I think it was Devoe brand. I prepped the hell out of it and its holding up very well, except one 1" spot came up where the front tire always rests.

Now Im always looking at concrete flooring. I would love to know how they do the concrete in large stores like Walmart. They look like they are ground and polished, then stained and sealed. Almost mirror smooth.

Anyway, very nice job.
 

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Nice job. I did mine a year ago on a new slab. I think it was Devoe brand. I prepped the hell out of it and its holding up very well, except one 1" spot came up where the front tire always rests.

Now Im always looking at concrete flooring. I would love to know how they do the concrete in large stores like Walmart. They look like they are ground and polished, then stained and sealed. Almost mirror smooth.

Anyway, very nice job.
Thank you. I think the way they do those big box store floors is exactly as you said - polished, stained (sometimes not), then sealed. Probably slippery when wet.
 

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Thanks for the post - you did a great job! We are always seeing imperfections in our own stuff that others can't see!

You have way more patience than I - I would hire someone to do the work!

Congratulations on the floor.
 

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Thanks for the post - you did a great job! We are always seeing imperfections in our own stuff that others can't see!

You have way more patience than I - I would hire someone to do the work!

Congratulations on the floor.
I echo this totally. it looks great and most of the blemishes will only ever be noticed by you.
 

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Nice job. I did mine a year ago on a new slab. I think it was Devoe brand. I prepped the hell out of it and its holding up very well, except one 1" spot came up where the front tire always rests.

Now Im always looking at concrete flooring. I would love to know how they do the concrete in large stores like Walmart. They look like they are ground and polished, then stained and sealed. Almost mirror smooth.

Anyway, very nice job.

It just so happens there is a concrete flooring expert on the board! I work for a company that specializes in the treatment, repair, and renovation of new or existing concrete. We do everything you can think of to concrete except place it. We are a regional company, based in Buffalo, NY. We have been in business since 1988.

We have finished the floors in over a dozen Walmarts, several Lowes, many Home Depots, and a few Tractor Supply stores, to name the big box stores. We also have a residential division that concentrates on garage floors similar to what reshift did.

The stores that looked polished, usually have a polishing system done to them, but many (Walmarts) are just steel towel finished with integral colored concrete, and have a chemical hardener/densifier applied in several steps that brings out the "shine". These floors are actually not slippery. It is only a perception that it is slippery. There are NFSI tests that prove the co-efficient of friction is high enough to be considered a "high traction" floor.


To get back on topic, my company uses a similar method for garage floor coatings. I will share a few details and photos for your enjoyment. Like I said, we only operate in the Western NY area, especially for residential (Buffalo, Rochester, SouthTowns, etc.)

First and foremost is PREP! PREP PREP PREP! We do not like to acid etch as it is messy, somewhat dangerous, and leaves you open to have errors. So, instead of acid, we diamond grind. We have equipment to properly grind the floor to give it profile and to remove any previous coatings, etc. After grinding is complete, the floor is washed with an autoscrubber and left to dry for an hr or so depending on conditions. Next any required patching is completed. After that it dried and scraped smooth, the first coat (base coat) of 2 part epoxy is applied. While the epoxy is still tacky the flakes are broadcast. The floors we do are all "broadcast to rejection". The next step is to clean up the loose flakes and apply the first coat of clear topcoat. It is a 2 component hybrid polyurea. The final coat is a high gloss 2 component polyurea.

The whole process takes an average of 2 days to complete, in an average sized garage. We use industrial grade epoxies. This system is said to last 10 years before a new coat of topcoat should be reapplied, with daily use of the floor. Hot tires will not affect the topcoat, and should never delaminate unless there was poor prep, or high MVT (moisture vapor transmission). Here are a few photos of some work we've done. If there is interest in the process I have tons of in-progress photos that I can share a few of.

Before and after, and then 2 other finished jobs.
 

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Looks great

Two questions: 1) did you use the clear coat, and 2) did you use two different batches of flakes or just one (looks like two--one light and one dark)?
 

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I forgot to mention to the OP, looks like you did a very thorough job that should last you a long time provided the material itself holds up!

Not trying to hijack the post, but anyone wonder what Walmart looks like before is full of "stuff"?
 

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Two questions: 1) did you use the clear coat, and 2) did you use two different batches of flakes or just one (looks like two--one light and one dark)?
On mine, I used a clear top coat over the flakes. I also had two flake colors and just pre mixed them and threw them down at the same time.



 

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Discussion Starter #11
Mine has a UV protectant additive, but no clear coat. The end result is about 20 mils thick, double the standard 10 mil application they offer. I did it all at once, so it was challenging. But at least I didn't have to go over everything again the next day with a second coat, so from a time perspective it's great. The flakes were all mixed into one. I added some anti-slip additive (not much, but enough for safety).
 

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Excellent job, Redshift! I just completed my garage project. I did the drywall, paint and everything. I wanted to do the epoxy but I was running out of time and it was getting way too cold. I ended up going with garage flooring from Sam's Club. I definitely would've gone this route if I had more time and if it wasn't November/December! I still have to do lighting and add another tool chest but I'll get that done gradually. Are you putting up drywall as well?
 

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Excellent job, Redshift! I just completed my garage project. I did the drywall, paint and everything. I wanted to do the epoxy but I was running out of time and it was getting way too cold. I ended up going with garage flooring from Sam's Club. I definitely would've gone this route if I had more time and if it wasn't November/December! I still have to do lighting and add another tool chest but I'll get that done gradually. Are you putting up drywall as well?
Thanks.

Yes, either drywall or a combo of drywall, pegboard, slotboard, OSB, or plywood. Haven't decided yet, but most likely drywall and either pegboard or slot board. Have more research to do. Will probably add a chair rail to separate out the lower walls which will possibly be dark gray and/or black and the uppers which will be light gray or white. Maybe paint the chair rail in red....

Thursday the insulation goes in and tomorrow we should be installing the HVAC. I have to finalize wiring and lighting and then see how everything feels for a while until I feel comfortable doing the walls so I can be sure everything is in the right place inside the walls.
 

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It just so happens there is a concrete flooring expert on the board! I work for a company that specializes in the treatment, repair, and renovation of new or existing concrete. We do everything you can think of to concrete except place it. We are a regional company, based in Buffalo, NY. We have been in business since 1988.

We have finished the floors in over a dozen Walmarts, several Lowes, many Home Depots, and a few Tractor Supply stores, to name the big box stores. We also have a residential division that concentrates on garage floors similar to what reshift did.

The stores that looked polished, usually have a polishing system done to them, but many (Walmarts) are just steel towel finished with integral colored concrete, and have a chemical hardener/densifier applied in several steps that brings out the "shine". These floors are actually not slippery. It is only a perception that it is slippery. There are NFSI tests that prove the co-efficient of friction is high enough to be considered a "high traction" floor.


To get back on topic, my company uses a similar method for garage floor coatings. I will share a few details and photos for your enjoyment. Like I said, we only operate in the Western NY area, especially for residential (Buffalo, Rochester, SouthTowns, etc.)

First and foremost is PREP! PREP PREP PREP! We do not like to acid etch as it is messy, somewhat dangerous, and leaves you open to have errors. So, instead of acid, we diamond grind. We have equipment to properly grind the floor to give it profile and to remove any previous coatings, etc. After grinding is complete, the floor is washed with an autoscrubber and left to dry for an hr or so depending on conditions. Next any required patching is completed. After that it dried and scraped smooth, the first coat (base coat) of 2 part epoxy is applied. While the epoxy is still tacky the flakes are broadcast. The floors we do are all "broadcast to rejection". The next step is to clean up the loose flakes and apply the first coat of clear topcoat. It is a 2 component hybrid polyurea. The final coat is a high gloss 2 component polyurea.

The whole process takes an average of 2 days to complete, in an average sized garage. We use industrial grade epoxies. This system is said to last 10 years before a new coat of topcoat should be reapplied, with daily use of the floor. Hot tires will not affect the topcoat, and should never delaminate unless there was poor prep, or high MVT (moisture vapor transmission). Here are a few photos of some work we've done. If there is interest in the process I have tons of in-progress photos that I can share a few of.

Before and after, and then 2 other finished jobs.

what does doing an average 2 car garage cost for your pro version? thx
 

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what does doing an average 2 car garage cost for your pro version? thx

average 450 sq ft garage INSTALLED, costs around $5.00/sq. ft. depending on prep, if stem walls are included, etc.

There are many "systems" out there, all with varying levels of effectiveness. The system we use is about as "fancy" and durable as you can get. Make sure you compare apples to apples when shopping.
 

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Why is it all you US guys have brilliant garages?

I'm so envious

Some nice jobs there guys. @ OP i can't see any imperfections at all. I'd be tres happy with that
 
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