Differences in Garage Flooring
All Products are NOT Equal
All of our posts are written based on experiences within our day to day of running our business. The more you the customer know, the better it is for everyone. The majority of our customers choose to work with us on our very first visit, because they trust our reputation, we are licensed and insured GC and we consistently deliver quality results. The customers that don't choose us on the first visit are typically "contacting three contractors" to bid out accordingly. This is a good practice because you get three different perspectives and three different prices. The final customer is the one that is thinking of doing the project themselves.
To the customers that are receiving multiple bids for garage flooring, please be prepared and understand the process and materials required for a great installation.
First - make sure the contractor is licensed and insured.
Second - make sure the contractor is preparing the concrete by mechanical grinding using a heavy grinder and vacuum system. If your contractor is pressure washing and acid etching I would lean towards the side of caution for several reasons.
1. Why don't they grind? This falls on the side of not a lot of experience. 2. Acid etching is the lowest of the low in regards to prep. 3. There is too much room for error, not neutralizing the acid properly, acid discoloring your pavers or driveway when cleaned, and many times multiple etches are required for the proper profile (most will only do once).
Third - understand the products the contractor is using. Not all epoxy is the same, not all clear coats are the same. Are they using something from Home Depot or Lowes? If so, steer clear. Floor coatings all have solids content that differ from the next, high quality products have higher solids content (up to 100%). Big box store epoxy is at best 20% solids. We use either a 97%-100% solids content epoxy system that is also a moisture vapor barrier. Most contractors will not use a vapor barrier because it cuts down on their profits. Do you always need a vapor barrier? No, however we choose to use them on every job because our customers deserve a quality product. Applying Flake? We almost always broadcast our decorative flake chips to rejection, meaning all the color you see if from flake which results in a more durable coating. And for clear coats we use a 85% solids polyaspartic material. This product is extremely durable, UV, chemical resistant and can go on quite thick compared to other clear coats. Urethanes go on quite thin so we choose not use them for our standard installations.
I hear quite often that another contractor came in below our bid, and thats fine. But check what they are doing to prep your concrete and what type of materials they are using. Mediocre prep and materials results in mediocre product that will likely fail in the coming years, meaning you will have to do the process again.
The DIY Customer
The pride of looking at the final result of something you have done yourself is a great feeling, I simply want you to have a great product that will last for years. Why spend several hundred dollars, your time and effort for the product to peel, chip or flake? If you currently have a coating on your floor that is fading or chipping, get ready to get on your hands and knees to start grinding! Going over other coatings will almost surely result in a failed project. 3/4 of our customers installed their garage flooring themselves or the owner prior to them did to sell the house. ALL these coatings have failed! Take your time, grind and give us a call for some high quality products. Don't touch the Home Depot or Lowe's style epoxy, we can help you with easy to install materials should you not want them professionally installed.
Obviously the DIY customer doesn't benefit our installation company in any way, shape or form. However helping people is what we do.
Final Thoughts on Garage Flooring
We are here to help people however we can. Be prepared when getting multiple bids, be prepared when attempting a do it yourself, be prepared to use quality products. Give us a call, if you are thinking of transforming your garage into a great, bright usable space we can help. From complete clean out, organization and flooring services we can do it all. Garages are either the first thing you or a guests see, or it's the shunned room no one ever goes into. We will change that for you and make it a room you can be proud of.