When I hear “Epoxy Garage Floor” I find my mind conjuring an image of Jay Leno’s incredible home garage filled with a dizzying array of classic cars that would make Henry Ford jealous.
The smooth pristine flooring only adds to the sense of it being something more akin to a museum than a garage. Of course I use the term ‘garage’ pretty loosely as the place is huge.
A guy like that has enough cash in the bank to using any flooring he would want in his garage. So why did he choose epoxy?
Is a epoxy garage floor worth it? Yes, it absolutely is. If you are looking for a pristine and clean look for your garage then epoxy is the gold standard. With that said though, you must take into account the extra maintenance required to keep this floor finish in its best condition.
In this article we’ll explore some of the reasons why epoxy flooring is considered a high end finish for your home garage. As well as looking at the cost to performance ratio, after care and some of the pop culture references that have elevated epoxy flooring to its high regards, hint Tony Start Would approve.
Epoxy Garage Floors Are Famous!
What? How can a type of flooring be famous? Chances are if you’ve seen an Iron Man then you’ve seen on of those most famous uses of epoxy flooring in the world.
You remember the scene where Ivan Vanko (played by Mickey Rourke) is fixing up those drones in Hammer Industries? In real life that scene was shot in the headquarters of Space X!
Back when Space X moved into their main facility based in Hawthorne California. Elon Musk paid almost $100,000 coating the floor of the new facility in white epoxy.
Why did he do it?
Elon believes that if the presentation of the place where innovative things are developed should reflect the beauty and design of the products. You can see this in the minimalist design of the cars designed by his other company Tesla.
At the time he received criticism for expenditure. His critics raised it as an unnecessary expense. But in the long run Elon proved them wrong and the rest is history.
So this along with a few other subtle pop culture references have helped to promote the idea that epoxy flooring is a premium material. But does that industrial use case translate to home garages?
Keep reading as we explore this in the next section…
Epoxy Flooring For Home Garages
Where the comparision with industrial applications starts to fall short is in home garages.
This is because the square footage of a home garage is much smaller than an instillation like space X (unless you’re Jay Leno). And with that, there’s lots more flooring options you could install at a similar budget with the same of better properties.
To properly decide if epoxy garage flooring is worth it, we need to look at a number of factors.
- Cost Of Installation
- Maintenance Costs
- Value For Money
- Quality Of Finish
I’ll also take a look at some of the alternatives and discuss their pros and cons. We go way more in depth on this subject in a entire article Should you carpet your garage floor?
Cost Of Installing Epoxy Flooring In Your Garage
Typically you can get a ballpark figure of how much the installation will cost based on the size of your garage in square feet. If you know the size of your garage floor (in sq ft) and you know the cost of epoxy flooring (in sq ft) then you can calculate an approximate cost.
For instance I found prices typically ranged around $3 – $7 this usually includes labour to install the epoxy flooring. However that figure starts to get a little inacurate when you take things like the potential cost of self leveling compound if your garage floor isn’t exactly flat.
It also doesn’t take into account if you’ll next extra man power for larger installations. So that figure is a rough guide but you should take into account extra factors such as the ones mention above if and apply a 15% buffer to your estimate.
Maybe even a little more if you decide to add decorative flakes into the flooring.
Cost Of Epoxy Flooring Maintenance
Ok so you’ve installed your shiney new epoxy flooring or maybe you’ve moved into a place with an existing epoxy floor in the garage and you’re thinking:
How much is it going to cost to maintain this?
Under regular conditions you can expect epoxy garage flooring to last with little signs of wear for somewhere between 3-5 years. This is highly dependant on how much traffic the floor is getting of course and the kind of weather conditions that it is exposed to. (Something we’ll explore in the durability section later)
So you might find yourself refreshing the flooring roughly every 5 years if you want it kept at show room conditions. If you’re happy to let it degrade over time then you can keep it for much longer of course.
As for general day to day maintenance, simple soapy water will suffice to clean the surface of the epoxy. One of the great things about this material is that it lets substances like oils and spills sit on the surface. It doesn’t absorb them.
I’ve heard you can even take a power washer to it! But I wouldn’t recommend that in a garage filled full of valuables. If you have the space though, then go at it!
Epoxy Flooring Durability
This stuff is great. In terms of durability it shines. That’s because its primary use case is for industrial applications. So it’s designed for heavy use.
I don’t know of anyone who’ve complained about the durability of their epoxy flooring.
That being said, there are a few things to consider specifically for epoxy floors for garages. That you wouldn’t encounter in an industrial setting or if it were installed inside your home.
The big one that I think is relevant is seasonal temperature changes. For instance if you live in an area of the world where you have hot summers and cold winters then you might find that over time there are fine cracks in the epoxy flooring in your garage.
This usually occurs because of the changes in temperature which can cause the concrete under layer of the garage to expand at a different rate to the epoxy coating. This can push up and crack the epoxy layer as epoxy doesn’t stretch or contract like rubber would.
You could even find this happening if you have warm days and sub freezing nights. For instance in places like Phoenix Arizona.
Is Epoxy Garage Flooring Value For Money?
It would be easy to answer this question with a ‘It Depends’ response. But I’m going to resist that quick answer.
Overall I would say that yes it would absolutely be value for money. Compared to more exotic solutions like vinyl plank flooring (which is also an awesome solution) it is cheaper to install and provides a quality durable finish that will make you the envy of your neighbors.
If you factor in the cost of installation and the relatively low up keep than I would say epoxy garage flooring is worth it. I think my sentiments are carried throughout the industry as it is one of the most popular options today.
Quality of Finish
Epoxy flooring is a smooth and uninterrupted surface. You can also buff the surface to a mirror shine adding that extra touch of class although at the expensive of the surface becoming less ‘grippie’.
Not to mention the vast array of color dyes you can add to the epoxy. Anything from solid block primary colors to metallic finishes and even flaked looks. You’re only limited by your imagination in this regard. Which is one thing that in my mind makes epoxy garage flooring stand out above the rest.
That being said, the quality of the finish is heavily dependent on the prep work that goes into the garage floor before you lay down the epoxy. Namely that epoxy isn’t self leveling. So you’ll have to potentially use a self levelling compound in order to iron out any uneven surfaces before adding the epoxy layer.
I personally wouldn’t skip this step because its hard to correct later!
Safety of Epoxy Garage Flooring
This one’s a little strange. Basically because it’s such a hard surface that doesn’t absorb liquids you’ll find that anything that’s on the surface stays there (unless cleaned up of course). This can present a danger if for instance a slippery substance is laying on the surface.
This could be something as innocent as sand! Because you can easily skid and trip on sand if you’re not concentrating. The same is true of oil spills that sit on the surface. Especially if that oil is translusent and isn’t immedietly obvious it is there.
Someone could unwitingly trip and have an accident.
It’s small, but the chance of it happening is there. So it’s something to keep in mind.
Ok, let’s wrap this up. Epoxy garage flooring is definetly worth investing in. The quality of finish combined with the durability is unpararelled in garage flooring. For me its the go to choice.
It’s relatively cheap, low maintenance and lasts a long time. If you’re curious about alternatives that go down a completely different avenue. Then check out our article on carpeting a garage floor. It’s great for certain use cases and very different to epoxy. Worth a read to expand your garage flooring ideas.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article, if you found it useful then share it with other people who might be interested in learning more about the garage floors!
P.s. if you want to learn more about Garages in general here’s Houshias garage section. We cover lots of topics like garage conversions, smart garages, lighting, flooring you name it! Garages