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Old 09-21-2010, 10:15 PM
 
Location: NC
2,904 posts, read 5,894,626 times
Reputation: 2152

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After what seemed to me like endless amounts of reading on GarageJournal.com, and narrowing my choices down to Wolverine and Epoxy-Coat, I decided to go with Epoxy-Coat based mostly on cost and ease of application. I didn't think that spending double would get me a floor that would be twice as good, so that's what I decided. I have a fresh 40-50 day old slab, no expansion joints, minor hairline cracks, never been touched by tires or any chemicals. Total of about 600 square feet.

This is the story of my journey from prep to finish and what I learned along the way. My floor didn't turn out as perfect as I had expected, but perhaps that's my fault for being an amateur or possibly for wanting a double thickness. I'll explain below with photos.

Last week I ordered my Epoxy-Coat - two and a half kits (so that I could do a double thick application of 20 mils) and on Friday night I began my prep process. Here are the steps I followed in general:

  • Remove contents (I didn't have much in there, since I knew I'd be doing this before "moving in" so to speak). This includes removal of the sink.
  • Blow floor clean, sweep for good measure:
  • Etch per Epoxy-Coat instructions. This process took around from 5-6 hours:



  • After being fully satisfied with the etch job across the entire floor, I rinsed twice, pressure washed once, and let it dry thoroughly. Next up was using a paintable (non silicone) caulk to fill the hairline cracks and any holes or imperfections I found. This process probably took around 3 hours or so:




  • The following day, after the caulk had dried but before application of the epoxy itself, I sanded all caulked areas with 120 grit sandpaper to remove any excess and keep the surface rough and ready. Then I did a final sweep and clean. This took around 1 hour.
  • Lay out all materials for the job and check temp before starting. Divide entire area into 5 roughly equal sized sections and apply a "double batch" of epoxy to each section (roughly 120 square feet per section, the double batch was to cover 20 mils of thickness):

  • Apply epoxy, flakes, and non-slip additive following Epoxy-coat instructions. This took about 6 hours total.


  • Finished job.





Here are things I found out or learned the hard way:

  • Their prep solution spread too quickly using a sprinkling can I bought at Home Depot - the sprayer shown in their video might be better, but even at a higher dosage per square foot, it didn't etch enough in many areas. I had to supplement with over 2 more gallons of 31% muriatic acid mixed about 50:50 with hot water to finish the etching properly.
  • Dividing up the job into sections is helpful, but their 10 minutes between sections suggestion is a little optimistic for someone who's never done this before. I had a helper and we worked as fast as we could and after trying to do 2 sections together as shown in the video, we realized it cured too quickly to get the second backroll completed properly and we began doing a section at a time.
  • You can see roller marks and areas where sections meet. Part of this is probably due to my extra thick coating, but I figured it would settle out a bit better than it did. Also, trying to flake most of the section you just backrolled can be challenging - we weren't sure where to stop flaking and how long the "old" section would sit and cure before we would be able to get around to the new section that would border it, and therefore we flaked the entire section and ended up going back over the border areas with a new coat of epoxy and flakes again later. This caused some imperfections in how those border areas turned out.
  • You can see some bubbling, but I'm not sure from what. It says if you have this to blow dry, but we didn't try that because it seemed as if they were closing themselves up. Only after it cured the next day did I notice that many of the bubbles "exploded" overnight and looked much worse than initially. They are not bad, mind you, but they make the floor "not smooth" in some areas.
  • The non-slip additive is very, very sharp. Be careful with it. I sliced a finger open simply rubbing my hand over the newly cured surface the day after it was done. If you have young children, make sure they wear shoes and be careful of falling - you can probably get scratched up pretty good! It does definitely work as a non-slip though.
  • This stuff is THICK. I want to do my other (primary) garage with it but will probably drop back to the standard 10 mil thickness in that area instead. I love how it feels and looks, but wish I didn't have the bubbles, overlapping areas, and one section that looks like it rolled out differently than the rest.


The bottom line is that I love it despite my installation errors with section overlap. The product seems to live up to its reputation, but the installation is not quite as easy as the video seems to imply, at least it wasn't for me. I spent a lot of time reading instructions, watching their video, and asking questions before I got started so I'd know what to do, and I felt like I had a good handle on the required steps, but the end result is not quite as good as I had hoped for. On the flip side, for the money I spent, the results are quite good and I feel confident that it will protect my floor for many years. For next time, I'll ask more questions to find out how I can avoid seeing the roller edges and overlap between sections and hopefully I can do a more perfect job next time.

I hope you find this helpful. Please ask any questions - I'm by no means an expert, but I know more now than I did last Friday!
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:14 PM
 
Location: Fuquay-Varina
3,999 posts, read 10,789,629 times
Reputation: 3303
It looks great! Are you going to finish the garage off into a man cave?
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Old 09-22-2010, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
217 posts, read 443,730 times
Reputation: 94
Looks great! I LOVE the walking on spikes idea!!!
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Old 09-22-2010, 07:02 AM
 
Location: Fuquay Varina
6,411 posts, read 9,699,514 times
Reputation: 18264
So when can you come and do mine? lol

looks great!
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Old 09-22-2010, 07:07 AM
 
9,848 posts, read 30,158,285 times
Reputation: 10516
Sweet pics. Thanks!

Nice Job -- Looks fantastic!
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Old 09-22-2010, 07:26 AM
 
Location: Wake Forest
2,835 posts, read 7,311,822 times
Reputation: 2052
Nice job! Definitely the way to go for a garage floor!
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Old 09-22-2010, 07:52 AM
T|K
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
890 posts, read 2,484,837 times
Reputation: 453
Looks good, how much did it cost you if you don't mind me asking?
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Old 09-22-2010, 08:34 AM
WDJ
 
286 posts, read 785,940 times
Reputation: 236
Uh oh, now you got me thinking about doing my garage...
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Old 09-22-2010, 08:40 AM
 
Location: FL
20,702 posts, read 12,409,746 times
Reputation: 5452
It look very nice. I want to do that to mine one day.
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:14 AM
 
Location: NC
2,904 posts, read 5,894,626 times
Reputation: 2152
Quote:
Originally Posted by sacredgrooves View Post
It looks great! Are you going to finish the garage off into a man cave?
Finish, yes, definitely. I still have to do my compressor lines (the compressor is in my basement utility room and already plumbed to the main garage, so I plan to run new lines into the new garage and convert the switch to a remote switch so I can turn it on and off at will without going to the basement), more electrical work, vacuum (not sure if I'll connect to my central vac or buy a separate garage vac yet), then insulate and pick wall material - considering plywood, OSB, pegboard, and slotted wall board.

It may have a nice stereo, possibly future TV, maybe a place to sit, and of course a car lift...and my wife loves being in there thanks to all the windows we added, so hopefully my daughter will like it too, and she can play there while daddy does brake jobs or rebuilds pumps or whatever it is I need to do around the house.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickAbdella View Post
Looks great! I LOVE the walking on spikes idea!!!
That's the only way to walk on the wet epoxy without leaving marks. The company sells spiked shoes for $40, but I got those from Amazon for $14.24 shipped. They're lawn aeration shoes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVTLightning View Post
So when can you come and do mine? lol

looks great!
Haha! Hey, if the economy gets worse and I lose my job, maybe I can do this on the side?

Quote:
Originally Posted by T|K View Post
Looks good, how much did it cost you if you don't mind me asking?
I have under $800 in all materials and parts. Labor is 20-22 hours or so of my own back- and knee-breaking sweat. And remember this required no degreasing because it was a fresh slab. An old slab with oil stains and other chemicals would require several hours more work. I went with a double thickness which cost me $300 more than a standard 10mil thickness, so it could be done for much less.

Keep in mind, also, that this is industrial strength 100% solids epoxy and not the water-based stuff you find at the big box stores. I'm sure that stuff is fine for a garage used mostly for parking, but mine will see harder use.
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