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Best material to refinish a cement garage floor ?

Discussion in 'Detailing & Showroom' started by rocketman, Dec 6, 2020.

  1. Dodger

    Dodger Rookie

    Jan 17, 2014
    11
    I covered my garage floor with 1’ square “Absolute Black” granite tiles. I purchased them at Home Depot and they are available on line. I had a tile guy install them. They are beyond stunning and elegant, like from a Rolls Royce or Ferrari dealership. The floor is tough and I have never had a scratch in 7 years. The price is reasonable: check it out on Home Depot.com. Installation is less per square foot than tile cost, 1/2 as I remember. And when you are done you will have the most beautiful floor you can imagine. And every penny you spend will come back when you sell your property as it adds not just to the garage, but to the overall elegance of the entire house. Why anyone would get plastic Lego interlocks when you can have a dealership showroom floor is beyond me.
     
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  3. rocketman

    rocketman Formula 3

    Oct 1, 2009
    1,304
    Any special preparation needed for the install?
    What region of the country are you in and does the extremes in weather affect it?
    Slippery when wet?
    Any lifting from "hot tires" ?
    Thanks
     
  4. rocketman

    rocketman Formula 3

    Oct 1, 2009
    1,304
    Sent two emails and left two VM and they don’t respond. If that’s how they respond to a potential new customer can’t imagine how they respond (or don't respond ) if you have a problem after the work is done and they already have your money.
     
  5. JohnnyRay

    JohnnyRay Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 2, 2014
    1,617
    Central FL/NW WI
    I have a tan flaked epoxy floor system from Sherwin-Williams. Oil wipes right up - but I had my 65 Corvette delivered and parked in the garage several weeks before arriving home. It had leaked enough brake fluid from the calipers to seep underneath several of the tires. It ate the finish and left dirty tire impressions that would not clean up - and thus will require a complete redo of several floor sections. It's my first "finished" garage floor and I am not totally impressed. Living with it for now....
     
  6. khurley

    khurley Rookie

    Aug 31, 2004
    18
    Berkeley CA
    Full Name:
    Kevin Hurley
    About 30 years ago, I epoxy painted my floor. I had to etch it with muriatic acid before I did it, then applied the epoxy (I think I got it from Griot's Garage). It lasted about 20 years, but then started to lift where a hot tire rested on it. I had it redone recently by people who specialize in coatings - floors, decks, etc. - and they used a very different procedure. They started by sanding the concrete down to get a fresh surface, then applied a primer, and finally a paint coat with grit in it (not an epoxy). It's beautiful! I haven't had it long enough to judge the durability though. The procedure took about a week and cost $5600 for a four-car garage.
     
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  8. Dodger

    Dodger Rookie

    Jan 17, 2014
    11
    My garage is in the DC area, so there are 4 seasons and snow. I have had no problems, not a single tile looks any different from the day it was laid. There are no marks or stains, certainly no cracking and all are perfectly level. I love the floor. Others have copied it.
    As for slippery, when I had it out down someone warned me it would be slippery when wet. I cannot say it has the traction of concrete, but then again, even concrete is slippery when snow is on it. I have four steps leading from my house down into the garage. I put a large COSTCO rubbery mat at the base of the stairs to prevent slipping. Over 7 years, I do not remember ever slipping anywhere on the floor. Remember, my tiles are one foot squares, so there are no long expanses on which to trip, as you might have with larger tiles. Porcelain is as slippery. It may or may not be “tougher,” but it cannot be more attractive.
     
  9. Dodger

    Dodger Rookie

    Jan 17, 2014
    11
    As to special preparation, I have no expertise, but it went down over two days for a three car garage and the process looked to me no different than laying a granite kitchen floor.
     
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  10. Rexcat458

    Rexcat458 Formula Junior

    Dec 11, 2019
    278
    Texas
    Full Name:
    Steve
    Hello,

    I followed the epoxy manufacturer’s surface preparation guidelines when I installed my DIY epoxy floor 26 years ago. I also bought the most expensive commercial grade of epoxy available. It was rated for use in the oil and gas industry and was not easily obtainable.

    Surface preparation on the new (4 months from initial pouring) concrete floor included the following: (Your product may require more or less prep, always read and follow all application guidelines to the letter.)

    1.) Surface grinding with 6” 36-grit Diamond disk abrasive (with vacuum hose on grinder).
    2.) Thorough vacuuming of floor.
    3.) Prewash with diluted Muriatic acid.
    4.) Secondary moping with stronger acid concentration to increase adhesion of epoxy.
    5.) Tertiary moping with clean water only.
    6.) Fan assisted drying with a dehumidifier for 24 hours.
    7.) Final vacuuming before primer, secondary and tertiary coating layers. (With proper curing time between costs).
    8.) Enjoy your new epoxy coated floor.

    That’s it as best I can recall, but you get the idea. Surface prep is the key to getting a good bond. I have never had any peeling of the layers in 26 years.

    Cheers!
     
  11. autobrains

    autobrains Rookie

    Apr 25, 2016
    7
    Minden, NV
    Full Name:
    Chris
    Hello! I have performed a couple of commercial epoxy floor installations (4000sq ft) and seen many diy installations go south. Personally I would never use a direct for consumer based product as liability concerns by manufacturer gives you a product that does not equal a more toxic commercial product (respirator only, proper PPE).

    We used Rustoleum Dura Mastic 9100. After ten years of daily shop abuse (techs had dropped some brake rotors and many other parts and tools) from it was still in excellent condition when i left. If you go the floor coating route skip acid etch and rent a profiler to cut a porous finish onto your slab. I did not top coat with clear but would not make that mistake again.

    My next door neighbor at my current business location is a floor coating installer (Compass concrete coatings). Their specialty is not epoxy but they do exclusively urethane / poly urea floor coatings which are elastomeric instead of rigid. Allegedly they hold up to everything epoxy does (same profiler prep for install) though i havent accepted their offer to go next door and do donuts with my forklift (i told them if it will hold up to that abuse i would consider it) .

    I will be removing the carpet in our office and having that concrete floor polished as it is very cheap to have done and looks great (for an office). For an automotive work or storage area I would only be interested in a very light gray surface for the extra light and clean appearance, YMMV.
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  13. autobrains

    autobrains Rookie

    Apr 25, 2016
    7
    Minden, NV
    Full Name:
    Chris
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  14. rocketman

    rocketman Formula 3

    Oct 1, 2009
    1,304
    That does look great.
    How do they get the flakes if they are just polishing it ?
    What type of contractor does this type of work ?
     
  15. autobrains

    autobrains Rookie

    Apr 25, 2016
    7
    Minden, NV
    Full Name:
    Chris
    The finish is typically natural, appearance varies based on the rocks that makeup your slabs particular pour. The best thing about polishing is no chemicals or cure time. Any concrete garage floor epoxy or poly floor installer should have the profiler, you can get different heads or abrasive polishing bonnets for the commercial floor machines, my neighbor said cost was low (for polishing) , im working out a deal to be his first test job in the next few months. Will update in the future for reference (but likely you will have reached resolution by then).
     
  16. Rexcat458

    Rexcat458 Formula Junior

    Dec 11, 2019
    278
    Texas
    Full Name:
    Steve
    #63 Rexcat458, Dec 14, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2020
    Thanks for your post... Its interesting that you mention that there are no chemicals involved with polishing concrete floors...

    I have done it a few times (I have a professional planetary geared, three head, counter rotating wet/dry diamond polisher) and I’ve seen it done by professional companies (using both wet and dry methods - dry is more common because of cost of disposal of the water by environmentally acceptable means) and in all of the instances (commercial and residential jobs), a chemical densifier was used at some point during the polishing process. In addition, a stain guard chemical was applied to protect the look of the finished surface.

    Some companies may not use any densifiers or stain guard chemicals, but it’s not the norm in my neck of the woods. If using no chemicals during the polishing of your concrete floor is a concern to you, (VOC, personal or medical concerns) enquire with the polishing company to see what their polishing protocol entails.

    Cheers!
     
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  17. Jack-the-lad

    Jack-the-lad Four Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Jun 22, 2004
    47,480
    Isle of Luci
    Full Name:
    Jack
    Can anybody relate their experiences with particular brands to recommend or avoid? Thank you.
     
  18. Rick Weston

    Rick Weston Karting

    Mar 6, 2019
    53
    Full Name:
    Richard Weston
    Epoxy with chips is a good solution. Epoxy without the chips creates a nice high gloss surface although you may get some tire tracks over time. The best surface (IMHO) is polished concrete. The technology is much better now and a variety of colors are available. The rub is it may show cracks over time where epoxy will not.
     
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  19. Whipcity76

    Whipcity76 Karting
    Rossa Subscribed

    May 16, 2015
    118
    Florida, USA
    Full Name:
    Hugh
    We did the 2 step Epoxy from DuPont. Same general comments mentioned B4. The application process is so very critical. Cement floor must be thoroughly cleaned so no dust will be covered by step 1 coat. Spreckles are then put down. Went with what colors carry through with theme of warehouse. Finished product has been very durable. 2 X 2car hoists went on top of the floor, no issues. Stains are another thing, however. You have to police all drips from cars and remove quickly. Had a neighbor store a 356A which leaked oil one winter. We didn’t see the stain until Spring. Stain wouldn’t come off the floor with the use of a petroleum based cleaner. The finish dulled somewhat after final clean-up. Vendor stood behind floor and refinished spot. Floor just crossed its’ 6th birthday a few months ago. Still holding up nicely. Did our home garage the same way.
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  20. drcollie

    drcollie Karting

    Dec 15, 2013
    99
    "Why anyone would get plastic Lego interlocks when you can have a dealership showroom floor is beyond me"

    Easy! You probably don't work on your own vehicles. Those granite tiles won't take to floor jacks and jack stands well, and be dangerously slick with some oil or antifreeze on them. Last winter, I put in a transmission on one of my BMW's in the garage, those "plastic lego interlocks" are real nice to work off up when it's cold out and you are on your back lifting it up, laying on the floor in the the winter time. About 30 degrees warmer and they have a cush to them. There's a reason car race teams use this kind of flooring in their pits.

    Nothing wrong with looking pretty ..... but the "lego floors" have their uses and work far better for those of us that pull our own wrenches.




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  21. colombo2cam

    colombo2cam Formula Junior

    Jan 31, 2019
    467
    Full Name:
    Ted
    I had a company called Stonehard apply the same product that is used in service departments - I could not be happier
     
  22. c8spidey

    c8spidey Karting
    Rossa Subscribed

    Dec 10, 2018
    212
    westchester county ny
    Full Name:
    lou g
    I had my cement floor done with epoxy by Liberty Closet and Garage in Danbury , Conn.-they did a great job and are very professional.Russ was my rep and you can mention that they did Lou G garage from Yorktown, Hts. NY
     
  23. christof schlicht

    Mar 12, 2020
    11
    Full Name:
    christof
    About 4 years ago I sanded my garage floor and then coated it with a self leveling compound about 5 mm thick. This gives a very lively surface, similar to concrete. A week later I painted an epoxy based floor seal on it, which was fast and easily done. Now it has a nice gloss level and is resistant to oil, petrol and coolant. The rubber tires do not stick either


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  24. wrs

    wrs F1 Veteran
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    Jul 11, 2015
    6,878
    Austin, Texas
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    William
  25. c8spidey

    c8spidey Karting
    Rossa Subscribed

    Dec 10, 2018
    212
    westchester county ny
    Full Name:
    lou g
    looks great and compliments the color of your beautiful F cars.
    It looks slippery though,is there grit in it?
     
  26. Fort Worth 360

    Fort Worth 360 Formula Junior

    Jan 3, 2008
    334
    Fort worth Texas
    Can you apply epoxy in sections over a short period of time (let’s say over several weekends)? I have 1800 sq feet to cover and can’t empty the entire space at one time.


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  27. ssgharkness020147

    ssgharkness020147 Formula Junior
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    Jun 12, 2006
    300
    Midwest
    That is a fantastic lift you bought! I have an old machine shed that us going to suffice before I build a new shop. I can’t wait to get my own Mohawk!

     
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  28. msdesignltd

    msdesignltd F1 World Champ
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    Nov 17, 2003
    12,807
    NYC. / E. Hampton
    Full Name:
    Michael
    I have a question for polymer tiler users.
    How is expansion and contraction in weather extremes..

    I used weathertech 12 X 12 tiles, the look is what I wanted however...when garage door is open and sun hits floor, within 5 minutes the black tiles heat up and expand causing upward buckling, actually very severe buckling.
    in deep cold they contract and cause gaps at the join points..
    so basically I will change eventually..Had these for 5 years, just waiting for another reason to replace.


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