Epoxy flooring is a popular option for garages, offering long-term durability and an attractive finish. However, there are several potential drawbacks that should be considered before committing to this type of flooring.
Before we get into these disadvantages, we want to point you to a few other resources in case you aren’t clear on what epoxy is or what an epoxy floor coating can do for you.
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Preparation and application challenges
Epoxy flooring requires an extensive preparation process. All contaminants must be removed from the surface of the concrete, and any cracks or other imperfections should be filled in with an epoxy concrete sealer to ensure a smooth finish.
Then, you should etch the concrete, and complete quite a few other steps. The point is – it’s a complex process, so either get a professional to help you out, or use our DIY guide for epoxy garage floor installation.
Epoxy flooring can be quite slippery when wet, making it a potential hazard, especially if you work in your garage frequently. If you’re considering epoxy for your garage floor, consider using a non-slip additive to make the surface less slippery.
Temporary nature of epoxy coatings
Epoxy coatings tend to last several years, but they are not permanent. Over time, the coating will begin to wear and fade, requiring reapplication. This can be a costly and labor-intensive process. However, don’t worry too much about this. A properly installed epoxy coating should last many years – it’s only in the cases where the floor is improperly installed where the coating doesn’t last as long as it should.
Long-term installation issues (dampness and lack of etching)
If your garage floor is damp, this should be addressed before applying epoxy. If it’s not properly addressed, the moisture can cause the epoxy to bubble and peel away from the floor.
It’s also important that you etch your concrete floor before you apply it. Odds are likely you’re debating whether or not to apply epoxy to your garage floor. If that’s the case, make sure to etch it beforehand! This will ensure that the epoxy coat lasts as long as it possibly can.
The way etching works is by cutting micro abrasions into the concrete. Then, applying epoxy to it will allow a deeper penetration and seal between the epoxy and the concrete.
Can be dangerous when wet (post-application)
Epoxy coatings can also be slippery after they have been applied. While the application of a non-slip additive can help reduce slippage, it is important to be aware that wet epoxy can become quite slick and may pose a safety hazard. This goes without being said for essentially any type of smooth surface, so it’s an obvious disadvantage of epoxy, but still worth noting.
Smell and sensitivity
Epoxy coatings have a strong odor when applied and for some time afterwards. If you or anyone in your home has allergies or sensitivities to the smell of epoxy, it is best to look into alternative flooring options. Or, have a professional install it while you are away.
Epoxy flooring requires regular maintenance to keep it looking its best. The coating should be cleaned regularly using a mild detergent and warm water, and any spills or stains should be wiped up as soon as possible. Additionally, the epoxy coating should be resealed every few years to maintain its durability and shine. This can add up over time to cost far more than you originally paid for – we go a bit more into detail on this topic in this post on the cost to epoxy a 2 car garage.
Price to remove
If you decide you no longer want your epoxy flooring, it can be expensive to have it removed. Professionals will need to come in and break up the coating using a jackhammer before disposing of the pieces. The cost for this process is often several times more than the initial installation, and it can also mess up the underlying substrate, leading to even more costs.
This means if you plan on installing an epoxy floor, know exactly what you’re getting into so that you aren’t surprised by costs in the future.
Epoxy flooring can be a great option for garage floors, but it is important to weigh the pros and cons before making your decision. While epoxy coatings can provide a durable and long-lasting finish, they come with several drawbacks such as cost, maintenance, and safety concerns.
If you decide to install an epoxy coating in your garage, make sure to properly address any dampness and etching issues beforehand, as well as adding a non-slip additive for safety. Additionally, keep in mind the cost of having it removed should you decide to go another route in the future. Only then can you be confident that epoxy flooring is the right choice for your needs.