The Garage Makeover Blog by Slide-Lok

Best Floor Coatings for Auto Mechanic Shops

1/31/2019

New Commercial Floor Coating This new polyaspartic floor coating turned out great in this auto shop!
Commercial floor coating The floor coating is chemical resistant to most solvents and auto fluids - Perfect for an auto shop!
Epoxy flooring High Solids Polyaspartic/Polyurea and Epoxy coatings are the best floor coatings.

Garage Workshop Floor Coating - Milford, DE

Here's a great example of a garage workshop floor, similar to an auto mechanic shop floor. The main shop floor was approximately 30'x40', representing over 1200 sq. ft. of floor space. Our team even coated the bathroom floor! Slide-Lok of the Eastern Shore completed this commercial floor install in Milford, Delaware. The commercial space is used as a vehicle wrap center to apply new colors and advertising to small cars, trailers and even semi trucks. The installers prepped the floor by filling and repairing all cracks using a polyurethane crack filler and then diamond grinding the concrete pad. Then 3 coats of polyaspartic, tuxedo vinyl chips, and non-slip gripping agent was applied. This job was completed in just 1 day thanks to our high performance polyaspartic coatings.

Polyaspartic vs. Epoxy for Garage Floors or Auto Mechanic Shop Floors

We are often asked "What is the best garage floor coating or garage floor epoxy for an auto mechanic shop?" There is no one Best product, because there are advantages and disadvantages among all floor coatings. Our two most popular floor coatings are our High Solids Polyaspartic / Polyurea and 100% Solids Epoxy. Polyaspartic and Epoxy can both be considered the best garage floor coatings when you carefully consider the pros and cons of each. When choosing the best floor coating you need to consider several factors:

note: click on the boxes below to see a dropdown.

  • Will the floor coating yellow in the Sun? (Is it UV resistant?)

    Polyaspartic

    Our high solids aliphatic polyaspartic floor coating has excellent UV stability. The aliphatic structure of polyurea provides excellent chemical and UV resistance.

    Epoxy

    Most epoxies are not resistant to yellowing and have poor UV stability. Do not be fooled by buzzwords another flooring company might use. Epoxy hardeners or amines are often cycloaliphatic, which are UV stable. However, the benzene rings in epoxy resins are aromatic and are not UV stable. The ultraviolet radiation from the sun causes photo-oxidation or degradation of the aromatic ring over time.

       The WINNER: Polyaspartic / Polyurea floor coatings

  • How chemical resistant is the floor coating?

    Polyaspartic

    Excellent chemical resistance to most chemicals and solvents. (Yes this includes gasoline and oil)

    Epoxy

    Most epoxies have good chemical resistance to household and industrial chemicals and solvents.

       The WINNER: Polyaspartic / polyurea coatings. Epoxies aren't far behind.

  • How long will the floor last?

    This is really going to come down to how much traffic your floor will see. An auto mechanic shop that sees 30 cars pull in and out over the course of a day will show much greater wear than a household garage that sees 2 cars pull in and out each day.

    Polyaspartic

    3-4x more abrasion resistant than epoxy.

    Epoxy

    Known for having excellent hardness properties. When compared to polyaspartics they do not wear quite as well.

       The WINNER: Polyaspartic / Polyurea floor coatings.

  • Will the floor be resistant to hot tire pickup?

    Polyaspartic/polyureas and epoxies are known as crosslinking technology in the coatings world. They offer excellent chemical resistance, impact durability, tensile strength, cohesive strength, and adhesion to concrete. The phenomena known as hot tire pickup is seen in a small number of floors and more often on floors with an acrylic sealer. This has to do with the heating and cooling of your tires over the substrate. When you drive your car your tires heat up and expand, and when you park your car the tires cool and shrink. When the tire shrinks over a coated substrate the tire is pulling on what is underneath and rips it off the concrete. Acrylic sealers are substantially weaker in tensile and cohesive strength compared to other crosslinking technology. Cohesive strength is important because it is the strength of bonding between the particles of the material itself. If the cohesive strength isn't strong enough the material rips away from itself under stresses such as seen when hot tires cool down.

    Polyaspartic

    With proper floor preparation and application hot-tire pickup should not occur.

    Epoxy

    With proper floor preparation and application hot-tire pickup should not occur.

       The WINNER: Tie

  • How much will it cost?

    As with most things in life you have to pay for performance. Polyaspartic representing the newest sports car, and epoxy the old reliable pickup truck. Polyaspartic is the newer technology, represents a smaller market share, and costs substantially more than epoxy. Epoxy has been used in flooring for well over 30 years now, the technology is a workhorse being very tough, dependable, and inexpensive.

    Polyaspartic

    Materials alone cost about 2x as much as epoxy. Represents smaller market share in flooring compared to epoxy.

    • 1 Day Garage Floor Install
    • Drive on 24 hours later
    • Excellent Chemical Resistance
    • 4x More Abrasion Resistant

    Epoxy

    Inexpensive compared to newer technology. Represents large market share due to its low price compared to its high performance.

    • 2-3 Day Garage Floor Install
    • Drive on 7 days later
    • Good Chemical Resistance
    • Good hardness

       The WINNER: Epoxy costs less, but lacks the performance of polyaspartic.

Obviously, the best garage floor coating is the one that best suits your needs. Epoxy and Polyaspartic are both considered to be great coatings, choosing one over the other depends on what you need in a floor and your time constraints.

If you want our recommendation. We recommend calling or e-mailing us to discuss your flooring needs. We could recommend one over the other or even a combination of both. Many flooring installers will actually recommend epoxy for the primer and mid coat and then to top coat with polyaspartic. That way you get the cost savings of epoxy in 2/3 of the floor and reap the benefits of the increased chemical resistance, abrasion resistance and UV resistance in the top coat from polyaspartic. This floor will resist all of the common chemicals found when working on cars, resist hot tire pickup, make for a great looking and easy to clean floor.

Regardless of the chemistry you choose, we always recommend flooring preparation be done properly using a diamond grinder or shot blasting machine to properly profile the concrete. Many of the flooring failures we've seen over the years appear due to improper flooring prep which results in poor adhesion of the coating. If you have any questions, Slide-Lok's team is knowledgable and has flooring experts standing by to assist you all across North America.

So what are you waiting for, get your FREE ESTIMATE today: Contact Slide-Lok Garage Interiors.

Local Slide-Lok Authorized Dealer - Slide-Lok of The Eastern Shore

Call: (302) 945-2200
email: click here to e-mail this local dealer

About The Author

About the author

Samuel Strayer has a B.S. in BioChemistry from Arizona State University. He's skilled in specialty chemical formulations, marketing, photography and graphic & web design. His expertise spans multiple industries from commercial and industrial to consumer goods. When he's not working he enjoys mountain biking, off-roading and working on his cars.

Keywords: commercial, floor, coatings, epoxy, polyaspartic, polyurea, polyurethane, flooring, auto, mechanic, workshop, best, delaware, milford, delmarva, 19963

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