We reviewed 7 different garage floor coatings and coverings and found the top garage floor coating to be polyurea.
At Hack My Garage, we don’t simply put the highest ticket items at the top. We spend hours researching the best options available and layout all the details for you to make your decisions better.
Polyurea is an affordable option that is up to 20x more flexible than 100% solids epoxy, making it resistant to chipping and peeling. It makes your garage floor smooth and gives it that professional look you’re after.
While polyurea is the best option for the average homeowner, there are better options depending on your needs. If you’re looking to convert your garage into a home gym, livable space, or have damaged concrete, polyurea likely isn’t for you.
Find out everything you’ll need before deciding on what the right garage floor coating or covering is for you.
What is the best garage floor coating?
The best garage floor coating for the average homeowner is polyurea.
Polyurea is up to 20x more flexible than epoxy reducing chipping and cracking. It bonds strongly to concrete creating a smooth surface that protects your garage floor from sunlight, heat, and harsh chemicals.
You won’t have to worry about any yellowing over time as it’s UV resistant. Polyurea can be mixed to have a high pot life making it easier to install without the stress of the mixture hardening.
Polyurea is pricier than 100% solids epoxy floor coating. While polyurea is more flexible than epoxy, in some tests epoxy was found to be stronger.
It also might be overkill depending on your needs. A home gym would be better suited with soft interlocking tiles while damaged concrete could benefit from being covered by mats or plastic interlocking tiles.
To find the right option for you, you’ll find all the options broken down by price and reviewed.
Let’s get started!
Garage Floor Coating and Covering Options Reviewed
The table below is the average DIY price without professional installation. You’ll have to factor in your own time and extra materials needed into the hidden cost of DIY. Some options like mats are an easy installation while epoxying requires the floor to be ground down for proper adhesion.
|TYPE||COST/SQ.FT.||240 SQ.FT||440 SQ.FT|
|Garage Floor Paint||$.3/SQ.FT.||$72 (240 SQ.FT)||$132 (440 SQ.FT)|
|Epoxy (Solids)||$1.31/SQ.FT.||$314.4 (240 SQ.FT)||$576.4 (440 SQ.FT)|
|Polyurea (2 Coats)||$1.71/SQ.FT.||$408 (240 SQ.FT)||$748 (440 SQ.FT)
|Interlocking Tiles||$2.45/SQ.FT.||$588 (240 SQ.FT)||$1078 (440 SQ.FT)|
|Floor Mats||$2.54/SQ.FT||$609.6 (240 SQ.FT)||$1117.6 (440 SQ.FT)|
|Porcelain Tile||$3.31/SQ.FT.||$794 (240 SQ.FT)||$1456 (440 SQ.FT)|
|Polyaspartic (Pro Install)||$6/SQ.FT.||$1440 (240 SQ.FT)||$2640 (440 SQ.FT)|
Garage Floor Paint
Typical garage floor paint paint is not durable enough to withstand the wear and tear a garage floor takes over time. Typically what you’re buying is a water-based epoxy which is the weakest epoxy floor type.
Water-based epoxies are meant to be used as a sealer rather than used by themselves. It’s suited for light office work or in laboratories where cleanliness is their top priority. It’s more of a temporary option that will be needed to replaced within 10-20 years (if not sooner depending on use).
You’ll need to sweep up your garage floor, wash and do an acid etch and then wait around 72 hours after applying the paint before the garage is ready to use again. This is simply a DIY option and the cost is dirt cheap. A worthwhile option if you aren’t in your garage doing heavy-duty work often.
Solids-based epoxy floor coating is made out of resin and hardener without any water or additives added. Solids-based epoxy will give you the thickest floor coating and will last the test of time. It’s a great option if you’re looking to refurbish your dinged-up garage floor as professionals understand how to repair cracks and chips before laying down a coat of epoxy.
Solids epoxy has a very short pot life which means that the mixture will harden fast, requiring the installation to be done rapidly.
While 100% solids-based epoxy by itself is reasonably priced, installation is a different story. It is recommended that the garage floor be prepared using mechanical preparation to ensure that it adheres to the garage floor properly. You’ll also be on a timer if you decide to DIY, which will add pressure to the situation.
The average price of getting epoxy floor coating professionally installed is around ~$2000 depending on the size of the garage. If you can manage to gather all of the tools to DIY, then epoxy coatings may be the right choice for you.
Polyurea is a great alternative to epoxy coatings with plenty of benefits. It’s a flexible, synthetic material that bonds to concrete quickly. Unlike 100% solids epoxy, it has a higher pot life allowing for a stress-free installation. The main benefit of polyurea over epoxy is that it won’t crack and chip over time as it’s capable of moving with the concrete due to its flexibility.
Epoxy coatings tends to rub off from garage floors after wear and tear from hot tires while polyurea does not. Polyurea also cures in 1 day, making for insanely fast installation. All of these benefits due come with negatives, the cost. You’ll find that polyurea is generally more expensive and will require professional installation so you don’t waste material.
Polyurea is 20x stronger than epoxy, won’t fade as fast, and has UV protection built-in. It’s arguably up there for the best coating money can buy if you don’t mind spending a bit more.
You’ll have an endless amount of freedom with interlocking tiles. You can pick different colors, designs, and finishes. Most tiles come in around $3/sq.ft, but don’t require any professional installation. You simply lock them into place and arrange them how you’d like. The corners might be a bit tricky to get right, but you can always get a knife out.
You don’t have to go for the expensive option either. If you plan to use your garage for a gym and want soft puzzle tiles, they are a bit cheaper than their plastic counterparts. You have the option to cover a portion of your garage floor as well depending on your needs.
What I like about interlocking tiles is how easy it is to get up and running for most garage floors. Measure your garage, purchase the tiles, only a few hours of installation, and you’re done. The investment will protect your garage floor from any bangs or scrapes. One downfall is that if you would like to work on your car, most tiles aren’t suitable for a jack to be used on them.
Want a no headache garage covering? Floor mats are the easiest option available. You’ll be able to pick between a plethora of different colors, sizes, and finish floor mats. You’ll be able to install it yourself easily. Only measure and cut away the excess, lay down the mats, and you’re done!
Floor mats will also protect your garage floor as they provide a rubber barrier should anything slam into your garage floor. One drawback is that the mat might not stay down and require adhesion making installation complicated. They aren’t cheap but considering they don’t require any professional installation, it can be a worthwhile choice.
Another drawback is that water can pool underneath and on top of the mats requiring them to be taken and dried off outside. This makes them a bit of a headache as you would need to remove all of your belongings from them once again before being able to dry them off.
It’s pricy and you’ll likely have to have someone install it for you. Tiling is easy to get started, but you can’t easily reverse it. You want it done right so you can still utilize your garage as a parking space for your car or to use your car jack.
If done right, porcelain tile is another viable option for your garage’s floor. Porcelain when installed correctly is fairly durable and won’t chip or break easily. Tiling along with proper insulation could boost the value of your home as you increase the livable square footage as well.
Many professionals agree that Polyaspartic is usually a top garage floor coating. The biggest caveat is that it’s also the most expensive. Polyaspartic coatings are more durable and have a flexible finish that won’t crack or chip as epoxy does. You have an unlimited amount of choices of colors and finishes to choose from with this option, making your garage, yours!
Professional installation is recommended since special tools and expertise are required to prepare the garage floor before installation. Make sure that the person or company you’re hiring does their due diligence and reviews the state of your garage floor’s concrete before you make a purchase.
Polyaspartic coatings dry in an hour or less and you should need around two or three coatings to get the job done. One drawback is that it’s smoother than epoxy which creates slipping risk but you can purchase traction additives to ensure safety. Another thing to watch out for is if your concrete gives off moisture, polyaspartic can lose its bond overtime if left with excess moisture.
Fixing up your garage floor can get pricy quick. You need to plan out your purchase before you decide on the best garage floor coating for you.
Ask yourself these questions to make the decision easier:
Is my garage floor in need of repair prior to getting coating installed?
Before going ahead and making a purchase, you’ll want to patch up your existing garage floor before moving forward. Professionals are capable of getting your concrete floor ready for coating by crack-chasing. When you’re looking to DIY, it will be an issue as you need to ensure that the coating you are purchasing adheres to the concrete and won’t bubble in the future.
If this is all sounding like too much of a headache, you can always go for interlocking tiles as they can be placed on top of damaged concrete and protect it from any further damage.
If you’re looking to add an epoxy floor coating, then you’ll need to ensure your floor is ready to be epoxied by removing any previous coating .
What do I do in my garage?
Are you always in the garage working on your car or doing heavy-duty work that requires protection from wear and tear? Then you’re going to need an extra durable garage floor coating like 100% solids epoxy, polyurea, or polyaspartic. The decision then becomes a matter of cost.
If you’re looking to turn your garage into a home gym, interlocking soft tiles are a hassle-free choice to cover your garage floor. You won’t need to cover the entire garage and can purchase only what’s necessary.
Do I park the car in my garage?
If you’re going to be going in and out of your garage, you will want to stay away from cheap, water-based epoxy as over time the heat from your tires will begin to erode the thin coating of paint. Concrete floors are going to be able to withstand a car, but with a coating it may degrade over time.
You’ll also not want to put soft interlocking puzzle tiles on your entire garage as they are not meant to be driven over. An epoxy coating can maintain its structure, but it needs to be installed correctly otherwise you’ll run into issues like hot tire pickup.
Should I go with a DIY option or go with professional installation?
A good argument is that for most, DIY is something that can be practiced. You’re only going to have to coat a garage floor once every 10 years if it was done right, so why not get it done right?
You will spend a tad more, but with the low pot life of an epoxy coating, you’re under a timer to get the installation done right. You’ll also need to grind down your concrete which can be difficult if you don’t have the proper tools to get concrete floors prepared for an epoxy coating.
Personally, I would go with professional installation for epoxy coating, polyurea, or polyaspartic garage floor coatings.
Installing interlocking tiles or garage floor paint should be a DIY job as these options are relatively easy to get up and running.
Why you should not epoxy your garage floor?
I do not recommend going for epoxy floor paints in general, AKA DIY epoxy kits. Over time, you’ll find that they end up causing you more issues like hot tire pick up and cracking. If you are doing any kind of heavy duty work in your garage, that’s even more reason not to do it.
If you don’t do heavy duty work, then a cheap epoxy kit can be a suitable solution. If you are in your garage all the time doing work, then getting it professionally installed can be a good idea.
Professional garage floor epoxy is a different story. If you get it installed by a reputable company, then you should expect your floor to last you a decade. Although, polyurea can be the best choice for garage flooring, it does cost a bit more. It’s way more durable than epoxy floor kits.
Making the final decision is always daunting. Weigh all of your options equally and figure out what your needs are specifically before making an impulse decision. You don’t want to be in the middle of laying out epoxy coating realizing you need help while the epoxy is hardening quickly.
Take your time as your garage floor is something that should be enjoyed and cherished. You spend hours in your garage, spending the few extra hours to make the right decision will pay off in the long run.
Another great coating choice would be the best concrete sealer as well. Cheaper than all the rest!