Top 3 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Garage Floor Epoxy Coating
Garage Kings – Top 3 Epoxy Floor Coating Questions
Are you looking for the best garage floor coating available? Tim Frazer and Jamie Seamans started Garage Kings to create a consistent floor coating experience for clients across the country. They have traveled across North America learning from the best minds our industry can offer. They have been invited to speak at events, to run training classes in various locations, and are frequently called upon to offer advice to installers.
As industry advocates, we focus on two key areas:
- Educating the public.
- Educating coating installers.
Educating the Public
There are so many different options when it comes to garage floor and concrete floor coatings. It’s far more technical and specialized than it looks!
The biggest problem facing consumers around coatings today is that they simply don’t know what questions they should be asking. There are four questions that are super important, and if you can get good answers to each of these questions, you can be confident in the installed floor coating you are purchasing. Here are the questions:
1) What equipment are you using to prepare my concrete?
When you’re dealing with concrete coatings, nothing is more important than prepping the surface right. If you don’t, you are in for a world of hurt. Removing a failing coating is not fun!
There are a couple of different concrete preparation methods out there. The right way to do it so your coating lasts a good long time is mechanical prep. That means your entire floor is either diamond grinded or shot-blasted. This can all be a very clean, dust-controlled process with the right equipment.
The reason diamond grinding is best is because unlike other methods, it actually cuts off the cream layer of your concrete and exposes the tiny pores inside the concrete. This means that when the coating is poured it will actually absorb deep into the concrete. A properly installed coating that has been prepared by diamond grinding will not let go. The concrete underneath will break before the bond between the coating and the open concrete does.
If your installer is suggesting an acid or citrus etch, this is likely because they either don’t know how to do it properly, or they don’t have the right equipment. If your installer is saying they will simply degrease and go, do yourself a favour and find someone else.
2) What specific product are you using and how much product are you installing?
There are a lot of do-it-yourself kits available today. We won’t say anything bad about the products themselves; the chemistry works the way it is designed to. The amount of product recommend on these kits tends to be far lower than we would recommend. Perhaps to make the total install cost more palatable.
There are also fly-by-nighters that will offer you a super low price to install a coating. They might only be installing one coat or 3-5 gallons of product for a whole 2-car garage.
The best way to compare apples to apples is to find out how many gallons are being applied and how many square feet the installer has calculated for your project. You will find that a quality installer will install enough product to ensure your coating holds up to years of enjoyment. A quality concrete installer will typically install 6-9 gallons of product in a typical 2-car garage, depending on the specific requirements of the project. That same installer will have no problem explaining how much they are using, and why.
3) How were you trained to work with these products and by who?
Quality concrete coatings are not for the part-timer. If you aren’t considering a career in coatings, you should be looking for a pro. In the floor coating industry, there are several large companies that make huge profits running 1-3 day training courses. Some of them are quite good. Some of them involve applying product to small pieces of wood and watching 3 days of demonstrations designed to sell product before receiving a ‘certification’.
If you can, you want to find an installer who didn’t just learn online in their basement. You want to find someone that has apprenticed, that has worked beside successful installers. We hope you find someone that has a credible history of mastering their trade. Again, this is far more technical than painting, and a mistake during installation can create a world of pain.
An optional fourth question is “what is your guarantee”, but we think this is a given. If your installer has truly mastered their craft, they will have no problem providing a long term guarantee against peeling or ‘delamination’ of the coating.
Educating Coating Installers
Our vision is to improve the entire floor coating industry by teaching what we know both to consumers and installers. We are happy to share knowledge so that everyone can benefit, improve, and grow. A big part of the Garage Kings brand is simply knowing that you’re dealing with an installer that has the specialized knowledge they need to do things right.
We believe that consumers will buy from people they feel comfortable with. That means we don’t speak negatively about other installers. We will keep sharing knowledge publicly, even if it means helping our ‘competitors’. We do this to protect consumers, and to protect the installers who have put in the time to learn our trade right.