Thanks to our combined 50 Years experience as Installers, Chemists, Product Developers and QC Managers we are now delivering our industrial grade resinous flooring options to the residential market. Our main focus is to provide the latest advancements in modern resin chemistry. Not only are we providing the most advanced, we are offing the latest science for all budget ranges. We have incorporated nano technology into all of our garage flooring options.
The majority of the installation companies out there have to settle for big box manufacturing companies that make decisions based on profit and not quality. Ultimately those companies end up delivering sub par products and even sub par service that quite simply does not hold up long term. We take all of the knowledge we have learned in the industry and re-define the standards in CUSTOMER SERVICE, QUALITY, AND SURFACE PREPARATION
Our proprietary Tru-Flake Hybrid Epoxy/Alpha Garage Flooring System allows you to no longer worry about how long your garage floor epoxy/polyurea will last. Our Tru-Flake Garage Flooring options have the highest resistance to Gasoline, Transmission Fluids, Solvents, Tire Marks, UV Fading, Cracking, Peeling, and so much more.
The most unique offering we have over our competitors is the fact that we are in control of our quality!
These Systems Are Also Great For:
Warehouse Epoxy Flooring, Airplane Hangar Epoxy Flooring, Salon Epoxy Flooring, Restaurant Epoxy Flooring, Kitchen Epoxy Flooring, Garage Floor Epoxy Flooring Etc...
OUR SYSTEMS ARE TRULY A 1-TIME INVESTMENT
We service All Of Florida and Lakeland FL, Tampa FL, and Orlando FL Areas
One of the toughest and most durable finishes that you can apply to a garage floor today is an epoxy coating. Not only does it protect your garage floor, it can instantly transform your boring or ugly cement into a professional looking floor of beauty and function. And since the garage is fast becoming more than just a place where you park the car, the benefits of garage floor epoxy have quickly made it one of the top choices for garage flooring today.
Used for both residential and commercial applications, epoxy will give your garage or shop floor that showroom shine that says "look at me"! Depending on which application you choose, you can select from a variety of understated solid colors and hues, to custom colors and blends of color flakes that match your style or even your favorite sports team.
So let's examine briefly what an epoxy coating really is, what the benefits are for you, learn how it's applied, and some of the costs involved.
WHAT IS GARAGE FLOOR EPOXY?
We'll start by ending some confusion about epoxy right now. An epoxy garage floor coating is not paint. Paint for garage floors is a latex acrylic product. Some paints will have a small percentage of epoxy added to the mix to make it more durable than standard paint, but it is still paint. These are known as epoxy paints or 1-part epoxy paint.
Epoxy is an actual thermosetting resin that is applied as a coating. It is formed when you mix one part epoxide resin with one part polyamine hardener. The hardener acts as a catalyst and is what gives epoxy its strength.
Unlike paint that has to dry, epoxy actually cures. When the two parts are mixed, a chemical reaction is started which creates an exothermic curing process. This curing process produces polymer structures that are closely cross-linked giving epoxy its superior strength and durability. The end result is a coating that is much thicker than paint and bonds tenaciously to a properly prepared surface.
BENEFITS OF A GARAGE FLOOR EPOXY COATING
So what makes an epoxy coating one of the best finishes for your garage floor? Besides looking nice, the hardened and thick application that you get from epoxy creates a coating that is very durable and resilient to impacts, chipping, chemicals, stains, and surface abrasion. You don't have to panic about damaging the floor if you drop a wrench or a bicycle falls over.
The thicker coating also does a great job of covering over minor imperfections such as small spider cracks and flaws in the concrete. Because epoxy is a topical sealer, it is also anti-dusting. Much of the dust in a garage is created from the powder that a cement floor can shed. Normal traffic on bare concrete can kick up this dusty powder that has a tendency of collecting on cars, tool benches, and storage items, as well as being tracked into the house.
As a topical coating it is also naturally moisture resistant. This is a great benefit for people who live in snowy climates. It makes for easy cleaning of icy brines and road salts that can collect on the floor during the winter. Just a little mild soap and water is all it takes. Dust and debris can be collected with a dust mop or soft broom when the floor is dry.
Depending on whether you added colored acrylic flakes to the floor and the type of topcoat used, some surfaces can be slippery when wet. For people who live in drier climates this usually isn't an issue. If you want some extra grip however, you can add slip resistant aggregate to the final coat that will create a non-skid surface.
Epoxy coatings receive high reviews from the home mechanics and hobbyists as well. Since it is both chemical and stain resistant, oil, brake fluids, anti-freeze, gasoline, and other caustic car chemicals can easily be wiped up without worry - even if it sits for a while. Rolling tool boxes, jacks, and jack stands will not damage the floor either. It also brightens up the garage environment because it is very light reflective depending on what type of finish you choose.
As tough as this type of garage floor covering is, it's not resistant to everything however. Welding is hard on epoxy because it can create burn marks from the hot slag that falls on it. It's also not a good choice for garage floors that have moisture issues. The rate of moisture vapor transmission from underneath the slab can cause epoxy to delaminate if it is too high.
A common question that pops up about epoxy garage floors is hot tire pick up. This is caused when the hot tires from your car can soften lessor quality coatings. The tires then cool down and contract after driving which causes the tire tread to literally grab and pull at the surface of the still soft coating. This process will actually cause the epoxy to delaminate as the tire pulls it up off the floor.
Hot tire pick up is a problem that is associated more with the lesser quality products such as store bought epoxy paint kits. These are usually water based coatings that are 50% solids at best and only 3 mils thick, as compared to 100% solids epoxy that is 10 mils or more thick. These thicker coating are generally found in quality commercial grade product or professionally installed coatings.
Because the thicker, multiple coat epoxy floors wear so well, warranties of up to 15 years or more for installation by professional installers is becoming common. Many manufacturers of 100% solids epoxy warranty the product against defects for the life of the floor.
The subject of a polyurethane or epoxy coating for a garage floor eventually comes up when deciding on what materials to use for your project. Admittedly, it can become a bit confusing when asking around or researching which floor coating is best to use.
Epoxy and polyurethane are great for protecting your garage floor against stains, damage, chemicals, oils, and wear. They are both light reflective, easy to clean, and long lasting. They also have their own advantages depending on the application.
So which one should you use and what is the difference? Well, the short answer for most applications is to use both. Let's see why.
EPOXY FLOOR COATING BENEFITS
Epoxy is a thermosetting polymer coating that also acts as a concrete sealer. It is available in three different formulations; water based, solvent based, and 100% solids. These formulations allow for varying degrees of thickness from 3 mils to over 10 mils for a single coating. They can also dictate the ease of application, provide special bonding characteristics, and offer different VOC considerations.
Epoxy bonds extremely well to properly prepared concrete. It is sometimes used as a resurfacing agent for old or worn concrete and as a repair material for concrete cracks, pitting, and other surface repairs.
The best epoxy formulations are high solids to 100% solids. They are an extremely hard, thick, and impact resistant surface. This self-leveling thickness contributes to filling in the small hairline cracks and imperfections of the surface as well as providing a high build coating for protection.
They also work well against hot tire pick up and wear from abrasion. Though some epoxy formulas come with U.V. inhibitors, they will still eventually yellow or amber as the industry calls it when exposed to sunlight for any length of time. This is something to consider when choosing an epoxy garage floor coating.
POLYURETHANE FLOOR COATING BENEFITS
Like epoxy, polyurethane is a thermosetting polymer and considered a high performance coating. It is commonly known as urethane for short, though that it is technically incorrect. There is actually a big difference between polyurethane and urethane. If someone is advertising a urethane coating, it is actually polyurethane.
Of the different formulations available, aliphatic polyurethane is the desired choice for garage floors. Though they are approximately 60% to 70% solids depending on the manufacturer, a polyurethane coating is only about 2 to 3 mils in thickness. It can't be applied any thicker in one application as some epoxy coatings can.
Don't let the thinner dry film thickness fool you, however. Aliphatic polyurethane has more flexibility than epoxy which makes the surface much more scratch resistant. It also aids in absorbing impacts better and provides much higher abrasion resistance. In fact, some manufacturer's claim that the wear resistance of polyurethane over epoxy is almost 3 to 1.
Polyurethane also has a higher resistance to chemicals than epoxy. This includes resistance to petroleum products and solvents, such as methylene chloride, which is the primary ingredient in paint stripper.
Another advantage of polyurethane over epoxy is that it is U.V. stable. This means that it won't yellow like epoxy does when exposed to small amounts of sunlight over a period of time. It can also tolerate larger temperature swings and handles humidity much better.
Polyurethane concrete coatings have a very glossy finish, though some brands have the option of a satin finish. It is also a better medium than epoxy to mix in anti-slip aggregate if you want an anti-slip surface.
Despite the fact that polyurethane has many advantages over epoxy, it does not bond well to concrete. Its thin dry film thickness means that it is not a high build coating either. It will not work well to fill in small cracks and divots in the surface. Another consideration is that most polyurethanes are solvent based, meaning some can have high VOC's and may not be shipped to your state or to particular counties.
So, which should you use? As a rule, you will get maximum performance by using both polyurethane and epoxy together for your garage floor coating. Whether you are applying the coating yourself or hiring a professional, epoxy is best used for building up the thickness of your floor coating and providing color. You would then follow up with polyurethane as a clear coat to protect it. The clear coat will provide for a longer wearing and more scratch resistant surface.
If you don't want to worry about yellowing at all, one option is to apply a full color flake floor. The acrylic color chips are U.V. stable and will not yellow. Follow up with a couple coats of clear polyurethane over the chips and yellowing will never be a problem.
Another option is to apply a colored polyurethane over an epoxy primer. You can then apply a clear polyurethane over that. This is an excellent choice for those that want a floor without color chips.
Something else to consider is that most epoxy clear coats are not actually crystal clear. Though they may be clear in color, there is still a slight tint to the coating. Polyurethane on the other hand is considered water clear. It can provide a very clear and glossy surface that gives your floor depth.
So unless you are just doing a one-coat epoxy coating for your garage, a combination of epoxy and polyurethane is almost always the best answer to get the maximum combined benefit out of both materials. The result is a high performance garage coating that will stand up to the rigors of a working garage for years to come.
Grinding a garage floor versus acid etching is a topic of much discussion when it comes to preparing concrete for epoxy or other garage floor coatings. Also known as profiling, it sometimes comes as a surprise to people when they find out that you just can't paint or coat over the concrete and expect it to adhere properly.
Typical questions asked are "Why do I need to grind or etch my concrete?", "Which method is better?" or "Why do I have to etch new concrete?" With these questions in mind, let's look at why concrete has to be prepared properly for a coating and which method may be best for you to achieve the results that you need.
DO I NEED TO ETCH OR GRIND MY CONCRETE?
Unlike applying paint, garage floor coatings need to penetrate and bond mechanically to concrete in order for them to adhere properly.
The problem, however, is that concrete for a garage is always finished to provide a smooth and even surface. This finishing process reduces the porosity of the concrete. As a result, the thick and viscous nature of coatings cannot penetrate and soak into the surface very well.
Profiling exposes the pores in concrete so that the epoxy coating can penetrate the surface better in order to get the best bond. It also creates a rougher surface for the coating to adhere to. This is typically done by either grinding the surface or by acid etching in order to expose these pores. Poor profiling, or lack thereof, is the number one reason why floor coatings fail and peel up.
Contrary to what some DIY installers assume, newly poured concrete or concrete from a new home still needs to be profiled (etched or grinded). Though it is fresh and clean without any stains, it needs the pores of the finished concrete to be opened up in order for the epoxy to penetrate and bond to it.
WHICH IS BEST, GRINDING OR ACID ETCHING?
When it comes to preparing concrete for a garage floor coating, the best method is to grind the garage floor. One of the reasons for this is that the profile of the surface can be controlled to provide the desired outcome. It provides a rougher and more porous surface that is considered ideal. It will also remove excess laitance that acid etching doesn't always remove.
Concrete laitance is a very thin and weak layer of concrete at the surface which can be created from the finishing process.
If a garage floor coating attaches to this weak layer, it can easily chip from impacts or eventually peel up, exposing a fine layer of concrete on the underside of the coating.
In addition, if you have any garage floor repairs that need to be made first, grinding will smooth out those repairs so that they don't telegraph through the coating.
Professional garage floor coating contractors who warranty their work will always grind the concrete knowing that their floors will not fail due to insufficient profiling.
The problem with grinding your garage floor, however, is that it's not always feasible for the average person to do so. There is the question of where to rent the equipment, how to control the dust, gouging of the surface due to inexperience, and finally cost. Sometimes it's just not in the budget.
This is why acid etching is still a popular practice. If done properly, acid etching can provide a satisfactory surface for an epoxy coating to adhere to. It is fairly easy to do as long as you are safe.
It provides a better alternative to grinding for many and can be downright cheap in terms of cost.
The problem is that the uniformity of acid etching cannot be controlled like it can with grinding. Because the density and finishing process of a concrete surface can vary, so can the effectiveness of the etching. This is why it is important to test multiple areas of the surface for porosity and texture once you have etched.
The easiest method is the water drop test. If the concrete immediately turns dark and begins to absorb water, then that area is good. If it doesn't, then you will need to etch those areas again. If you don't test the concrete after etching, you run the risk of having areas of your coating that can fail.
Note: If you have a sealer or coating on the concrete, acid etching will not work. You will have to grind the floor to remove it.
If you are going to hire a contractor to install an epoxy coating in your garage, make sure that they grind the concrete. Any contractor that wants to acid etch is just cutting corners to reduce costs and should be suspect of providing a good quality floor.
If this is a DIY installation and you are fairly confident with your abilities, you can rent or purchase the proper grinding equipment necessary for the job. In most cases you should be able to grind a two or three car garage in less than a day. There is also the option of hiring someone to do it for you.
If grinding is not in the budget or you are not comfortable with doing it, then acid etching is your answer. If you are uncomfortable with using muriatic acid, there are a few commercially available products other than muriatic acid that can etch your floor safely as well.
Remember, acid etching will not remove dirt and oil from your concrete floor. It still needs to be cleaned first. Etching works by reacting with the free lime in concrete. If the concrete is coated in oil or grime, the acid will not be very effective.
Whether grinding or acid etching, if not done properly, your coating is destined for failure. It is the most important part of applying a garage floor coating and crucial that you do it correctly.
There is nothing worse than spending the time to apply a beautiful epoxy floor coating only to have it fail due to the improper profiling of your concrete. If you take the time to do it correctly, you will be rewarded with a coating that will adhere like it should.
All seasoned epoxy applicators will agree that thorough surface preparation is key for the long term success of a successful flooring project. There is nothing more heart breaking for a client to discover his beautiful epoxy floor to start chipping and breaking just a few weeks or months after completing. Most of the time poor surface preparation is the culprit. The substrate had not been properly ground, cleaned and prepared to be able to accept the epoxy.
So what constitutes proper surface preparation? Which method is the best? This is a good question as depending on the application in question you may need to approach the problem in a different manner. I have identified several levels of surface preparation according to their mechanical intensity. Some methods (like sanding) are light and barely scratch the surface. Other methods (like scarifying can) be deep and intense.
Sanding - This is the lightest form of surface prep usually done with an angle grinder or a light floor sander. Done with sanding paper (of varying grits) attached to a disc. Such surface prep is only appropriate for re-coat jobs, or if you are just applying a light paint job. Even if you use a rough, low grit sandpaper, the surface scratch will be little
Stone Grinding - These machines were very popular before diamond grinders came out, but I see that epoxy applicators are not using them much these days. Basically this is a heavy floor grinder that has stone tools fastened to the bottom. Works well for a soft concrete surface but it does not grind well on hard concrete or epoxy.
Diamond Grinders - I love diamond grinders because they are so versatile. Most diamond grinders allow easy switching out of diamonds. They can therefore handle all types of floors from soft cement to hard concrete. They can strip old paint layers and clean out oily patches of the floor. Diamond grinding leaves a much deeper and harsher scratch profile of the floor (compared to sanding) and this therefore enables better bonding of the primer to the floor. I also find if you are dealing with messy and contaminated patches, a bit of persistent diamond grinding is enough to give you a nice clean floor. This is my preferred choice if I'm working with standard floor systems up to 2-3mm
Shot-blasting is a more aggressive method of surface preparation than grinding. It leaves a nice deep profile that makes the bonding conditions for high build flooring systems (3mm and over) ideal. However shot blasting requires very good high quality concrete to work properly. If you try shot-blasting a weak substrate you could very well end up damaging the substrate.
Finally, Scarifying is my solution of last resort. This is a very aggressive form of surface preparation that digs into the surface. Several time when I was faced with horrible looking contaminated floors, using a scarifier saved the day. We were able to clean the surface and apply a new thick heavy build coat.
As a final comment, the thicker the system that you plan to apply the deeper the preparation needs to be. This holds also vice versa. If you scarify a surface, you need a thick coating to cover that surface. A thin epoxy coat will not be able to fully cover the heavily scarred profile.