What Are the Best Garage Floor Coating Options?
Acrylic Sealers and Coatings
Acrylic sealers and coatings provide a quick and simple way to protect garage floors. They add a thin layer of protection, but they’re easy to apply and have a fast return-to-use time.
Acrylics offer basic support against hot tire pickup and chemicals, but they tend to wear or stain if the floor is hit by heavy spills. Additionally, there are water-based acrylic sealers that are specially formulated to prevent UV damage and minimize wear from dirt or grime.
- Easy to apply and feature a short return-to-use time
- Protect against water exposure
- Hold up to moderate salt and oil spills, as long as stains don’t have time to set
- Often don’t include UV protection and can yellow with sunlight exposure
- Less durable than other coatings
- Need to be reapplied every 18-24 months
Epoxy concrete sealers tend to be thicker and more durable than acrylic finishes. Because epoxy sealers are nonporous, moisture is less likely to seep into the concrete, swell, crack, or cause damage. These sealers excel at protecting floors from abrasions, and they don’t emit strong odors—making them a solid choice for garage floors without access to steady air circulation.
Unfortunately, unless you use a 100 percent solid epoxy sealer, this substance may have a tendency to lighten or yellow under UV contact.
- Strong chemical resistance
- Thick, allowing fewer coats to be applied
- Low-odor and zero-VOC options available
- Can be vulnerable to scratches
- Tend to come in less clear finishes
- Can be slippery when wet
Looking for an even more durable sealer? Polyurethane sealers tend to be even more sturdy than epoxy, even though they’re made of thinner materials. They’re also known for their ability to hold up under harsh sunlight.
Traditionally, these sealers were clear, but they’ve advanced in recent years. In many instances, you can now choose from different coating textures, including various colors, high-gloss shines, and matte finishes.
However, it’s important to note that many bare concrete surfaces will require a primer before you lay down polyurethane. These substances also can become slick when wet, and they’re generally more expensive than epoxy.
- Excellent chemical and abrasion protection
- Come in clear finishes
- Resistant to scratches and UV wear
- Generally come with nonslip options
- Relatively easy application
- Because application is thin, usually requires several coats
- Tend to be more expensive than epoxy coatings
- Can become slick when wet
- Usually require a primer on bare concrete
Polyaspartic Sealers and Coatings
Polyaspartic sealers and coatings are quickly becoming a popular option for anyone who wants to combine stunning visual elements with high durability. The substance is known for its chemical resistance, abrasion resistance, UV resistance, zero-VOC makeup, and hot tire pickup resistance.
Additionally, polyaspartic sealers have an extremely short return-to-use time, so you can get back to using your garage quickly. Unlike aliphatic polyurethanes, polyaspartics can be applied at higher film builds, with up to 15 mils of wet film thickness (WFT) in a single coat. Because of their high film build capabilities, many manufacturers recommend using polyaspartics as primers, body coats, and top coats.
However, if you use this method, be cautious. It may cause potential problems in the future due to debonding with the substrate. Instead, it’s a good practice to use epoxy coatings for priming and body coats while using polyaspartics for sealing the surface.
What’s more, polyaspartic sealers aren’t just used in garage floors. They’re also well-suited for high-performance flooring systems used in industrial and warehouse floors, restaurants, retail outlets, amusement parks, auto showrooms, and commercial floors.
- Superior chemical, impact, and scratch resistance
- Come in high-gloss and visually stunning finishes
- Rapid return-to-use time
- Low-odor and low-VOC options available
- Tend to be more expensive than most other options
- Usually need to be applied by experienced professionals
- Can be slippery when wet