Epoxy flooring is a protective coating that has many uses. It can be used as an undercoating beneath other flooring when the floor that is already there has a lot of imperfections and needs to have a more consistent appearance.
Its more common usage is for commercial buildings or in residential homes in areas where concrete will be kept as the floor. Epoxy coating is a way of adding an extra layer of protection to a standard concrete floor, and it also provides an aesthetically pleasing glossy finish.
The cost of epoxy flooring for a garage depends on a number of factors pertaining to the coverage required, the authenticity of the material, and the concentration:
Epoxy Paint or Coating
Paint with added epoxy is not the same as an actual coating of epoxy. It’s easy to confuse the two, and DIY trends have contributed to the mixing of the terms. Epoxy manufacturers noted that consumers often described epoxy coating as epoxy paint. Thus, to make their products more accessible to find, some of them started to name their product epoxy paint.
At the same time, however, paint manufacturers noticed the demand for epoxy, so some savvy companies would add some epoxy to their standard paint and call it something like ‘1 part epoxy paint’. It would be easy to think that this is a bonafide epoxy product, but in reality, it is just standard paint that has a bit of epoxy in it.
The difference might not sound significant, but it is huge. Authentic epoxy coating consists of one part epoxy resin and one part polyamine hardener. There is no paint in a true epoxy coating. These two elements are mixed immediately before applying to your garage floor. You should never mix them and then abandon the project, as the reaction that creates the epoxy coating starts to take place almost straight away.
Volume of Solids Content
Once you are confident that what you’re actually purchasing is an epoxy coating and not just paint with epoxy added, the next thing you need to look for is the volume of solids content. This will appear as a percentage on the packaging.
The volume of solids content basically means the amount of coating that will remain on the floor when the curing reaction has taken place. At first glance, this suggests that 100% solids content is the best type of epoxy coating. However, there are other considerations here. If you are determined to do the epoxy coating yourself, working with a 100% solids content coating will be close to impossible. The higher the percentage, the more difficult it is to work with.
Availability also comes into question here. 100% solids content coatings are really only standard for commercial spaces, so it makes sense that this concentration is more difficult to come by. As a homeowner with average DIY skills, it’s more probable that you will be sourcing your material from your local hardware store.
The typical concentrations that are available in hardware stores are usually somewhere around the 50% solids content mark, so this is most likely the percentage you’ll be working with. This kind of percentage is actually better for application, as it’s a lot like applying standard paint. Yes, you will need more of it as 50% has essentially evaporated into the air during the curing process, but the packaging will always give you an approximate coverage so that you can assess how much material you need.
Assuming that you will be buying a standard 50% solids content epoxy coating and applying the mixture yourself, the cost of garage floor epoxy is $30 to $150 per gallon. You can choose either water or solvent based epoxy.
Water-based ones are cheaper and easier to apply, while solvent-based ones last longer and cover more imperfections in the floor. If you have a floor with cracks and holes, it’s better to go for the solvent-based one. A kit with the equipment you need can cost anywhere between $50 to $600.
Alternatively, hiring a professional to apply a floor coating can cost between $3 and $12 per square foot. One gallon of epoxy coating will generally cover any garage unless it exceeds 700 square feet. A cheaper brand might have lower coverage, so always check the tin before leaving the store.
Most decent brands will cover your garage if you buy a gallon since a standard two car garage is usually 20 by 20 or 24 by 24 (both of which do not exceed 700 square feet). You can calculate the square footage of your space by multiplying the length by the width of it in feet. Thus, here is the cost of garage floor epoxy for a standard size double garage of 20 by 20 (400 square feet):
Epoxy Flooring DIY Cost
Coating a two-car garage should require 1 gallon of epoxy coating, plus equipment: $100 plus $300 (both realistic figures for the cost of the material and the kit) = $400.
Cost to Hire a Professional to Install Epoxy Coating
One gallon of epoxy coating, plus a cost of $7.50 per square foot for labor (the middle price between $3 and $12): $100 plus (7.5*400) = $100 plus $3000 = $3100. You can easily reduce labor costs by hiring someone you know or by completing all of the preparation beforehand, so it’s more accurate to say that labor will cost somewhere between $1000 and $1500 for a standard garage floor. $3000, even though it is the median labor cost, seems to be too expensive for covering a garage floor with epoxy. Call around and get as many quotes as you can before settling on labor costs.