Epoxy Flooring: DIY or Hire a Professional?


Warmer weather is at last upon us, and so to is the urge to spruce up our home’s exterior and garage. But for those ambitious DIY-ers tempted to lay their own garage floor from a kit bought at a big box store, Mike Padden, owner of EncoreGarage, has a little sage advice.

Q: How does the floor coating process differ when done by a professional versus a kit?

A: Everyone wants a beautiful long lasting floor. Unfortunately few are able to achieve this goal with store bought DIY kits. Our floor installations begin by utilizing professional power equipment necessary to prep the concrete surface. We grind the floor with a machine I call a mini-Zamboni. This is commercial grade equipment a homeowner does not have easy access to. This aggressive machine scores the concrete with diamond-studded tooling. It cleans and refines the top surface to open up the pores allowing our epoxy basecoat to penetrate deeply for excellent adhesion and is far superior to the acid etching in the kits. A professional installer, like EncoreGarage will evaluate the current ambient and floor temperature before the epoxy coating process begins. Epoxy is influenced by weather and can affect curing times, viscosity, and adhesion. Material temperatures are monitored and maintained between 65 – 80 degrees at all times. Laser -Thermo guns monitor the floor temperature and our trucks incubate materials in cold weather and refrigerate in hot. Quality control insures a quality installation.

Q: Are the materials basically the same?

A: Not even close. DIY kits usually come with a diluted, water based epoxy coating, and a minuscule amount of color flakes intended to provide traction as well as a quality appearance. The DIY material deteriorates quickly–usually within 1 year, recognizable by hot tire peel up, blistering, cracking and fading. After experiencing the headaches and heartaches created when their floor doesn’t turn out like they expected, they call me to fix it. In the end, they’ve spent more time and money than they needed to and gone through an awful experience. Professionals, like EncoreGarage, use a coating system that is comprised of industrial grade, high performance solid epoxies, a layer of 100%+ coverage of decorative color flakes along with a polyaspartic top coat that is stain and abrasion resistant–that will look good year after year. If you want a coating that is attractive, durable, and long lasting, you won’t find it with a DIY epoxy coating kit.

EncoreGarage of Ohio makes over garages from flooring to cabinetry and organizational systems in homes and business in the Akron, Cleveland, Columbus, and Pittsburgh areas. Visit EncoreGarageOhio.com or call 330-922-4411 to schedule a free, in-home consultation.

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