A good garage floor coating offers several valuable benefits. It’s particularly good at protecting a concrete floor, which otherwise can flake and crack. It makes it easier to clean. Some coatings provide added grip, making the garage floor safer. It can also improve appearance, which may increase the value of your home.
The challenge is choosing the right one for the way you use the space. Garage floor protection options vary considerably, as does the cost. This article offers solutions for all cases. We looked at chemical compositions, ease of use, durability, and other key issues when making our selections. We also include recommendations for the best garage floor coatings currently available.
- BEST OVERALL: Rust-Oleum RockSolid Garage Floor Coating
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Kilz 1-Part Epoxy Concrete & Garage Floor Paint
- BEST POLYUREA: Master Protective Coatings Polyaspartic Floor Coating
- BEST EPOXY: Rust-Oleum EpoxyShield Garage Floor Coating Kit
- BEST LATEX: Drylok Low Sheen Latex Concrete Floor Paint
- BEST NONSLIP: Rust Bullet DuraGrade Concrete Coating
- BEST SEALER: Seal-Krete Clear-Seal Concrete Protective Sealer
How We Chose the Best Garage Floor Coatings
People use their garages for all kinds of different purposes. While many simply park their vehicles inside, others turn them into workshops, hobby or craft spaces, or even dance or exercise studios.
During our research, we wanted to ensure that we provided garage floor coatings for every purpose and budget. In collating this list, we looked at chemical composition, ease of application, coverage, durability, and color options. Price is always a major factor, but value for money isn’t just about low cost; the finish also needs to be hard-wearing.
Sustainability also had an impact. Where possible, we chose eco-friendly water-based products, though unfortunately some of the toughest are still solvent-based. In this case, we looked for low volatile organic compound (VOC) levels and low odor to maximize user safety.
Our Top Picks
We thoroughly researched the following best garage floor coatings on the market for DIY application. Each of these recommendations has been assigned a category so that you’ll have quick and easy access to information relevant to your needs.
Rust-Oleum claims its RockSolid garage floor coating is 20 times tougher than epoxy alone. It uses a proprietary combination of epoxy, polyurea, and urethane called Polycuramine. In addition to durability, the polyurea and urethane elements also make it one of the best crack sealers we found. It comes in easy-to-mix burst pouches, is available in six high-gloss colors, and includes decorative chips (though their use is optional).
Rust-Oleum RockSolid is self-leveling with low odor and low VOCs. You can walk on it in around 8 to 10 hours, and it can be driven on in 24 hours. Once cured, it is resistant to oils, fuels, and most chemicals.
While this is probably the most durable garage floor coating available for DIY application, careful preparation is a must for optimal results. Complaints are rare, but it is comparatively expensive, and some buyers felt the number of feet of coverage was not as high as advertised.
- Type: Unique combination of epoxy, polyurea, and urethane
- Coverage: 450 to 500 square feet
- Ease of application: Moderate
- Manufacturer claims that its proprietary self-leveling formula is 20 times tougher than epoxy
- Low-odor, eco-friendly coating is vehicle ready in 24 hours
- Comes in a choice of 6 high-gloss colors, and decorative chips can be added
- It’s quite a bit more expensive than the other picks on our list
- Some buyers had patchy results and expected better coverage
Get the Rust-Oleum RockSolid garage floor coating at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Walmart.
Kilz single-part epoxy garage floor paint is as easy to use as ordinary household paint but is tougher thanks to the addition of epoxy. Apply it straight from the can using a brush, pad, roller, or spray gun. It is water-based, so cleanup just requires soap and water. The basic color range is limited to white and two grays.
Kilz epoxy acrylic can be walked on in 24 hours but should be left a week for tire traffic. While it isn’t as hard-wearing as two-part epoxy, it does offer good scuff resistance and helps stop common problems with concrete like cracking, peeling, and flaking. Given the very competitive price, it is an ideal floor coating for low-use garages.
- Type: Epoxy acrylic
- Coverage: 300 to 500 square feet
- Ease of application: Easy
- Water-based product has low environmental impact and comes at a budget-friendly price
- Good scuff resistance and helps prevent concrete from cracking, peeling, or blistering
- Can be applied indoors or out, and walked on in 24 hours
- Requires a week to dry enough for vehicle traffic and 30 days before cleaning
Get the Kilz garage floor coating at Lowe’s or Walmart.
Polyaspartic polyurea combinations are widely acknowledged as the toughest of garage floor coatings. However, complex application requirements mean that they are usually only available to professional installers. The Master Protective Coatings (MPC) two-part formula is one of few offered to DIY users. It is known for excellent adhesion to a variety of surface materials and creates an extremely hard-wearing barrier that is resistant to most oils, fuels, and chemicals. The finish is clear high gloss and does not fade or go cloudy.
Coverage will vary depending on the surface and is unlikely to exceed 200 square feet per gallon. This makes MPC polyaspartic polyurea quite an expensive option. While application itself is not difficult, careful preparation of the floor is necessary, and once the two parts are mixed, it only remains workable for an hour. Both parts are solvent-based and contain toxic ingredients.
- Type: Polyaspartic polyurea
- Coverage: Up to 200 square feet per gallon
- Ease of application: Moderate
- Super-tough polyaspartic polyurea coatings are recommended for high-use garage floors
- Provides a crystal-clear finish that will not yellow over time
- Offers excellent adhesion to surfaces as well as unrivaled chemical and abrasion resistance
- Requires time-consuming preparation and has toxic, solvent-based ingredients
Get the Master Protective Coatings garage floor coating at Amazon.
Two-part epoxy is a popular choice for garage floor coatings thanks to its combination of toughness and affordability. Rust-Oleum’s EpoxyShield provides a high-gloss finish, is available in three colors, and can be enhanced with the included decorative chips if desired. Once fully cured, which takes around 3 days, the surface is resistant to abrasion, motor oils, gasoline, antifreeze, and salt. It also helps prevent concrete from cracking.
Rust-Oleum EpoxyShield is water-based so cleanup is easy. It’s both low odor and low VOC; however, the packaging warns that it can burn eyes and skin, so care is needed. Working time is around 2 hours when mixed (depending on ambient temperature) so it’s more forgiving than some, though it’s still important to follow instructions carefully.
- Type: 2-part epoxy
- Coverage: 200 to 250 square feet
- Ease of application: Moderate
- Provides a long-lasting, hard-wearing surface while remaining comparatively affordable
- Offers high resistance to abrasion, gasoline, antifreeze, motor oils, and salt
- Can be applied with a brush or roller, and has a 2-hour working time
- Curing may be slow, and a few buyers found the parts failed to mix properly
Get the Rust-Oleum EpoxyShield garage floor coating at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Walmart.
Most people know latex paint as a decorative wall covering. The paint can be attractive but is not durable enough for floors. Drylok’s latex concrete floor paint overcomes the problem with what the company calls a ceramic x-linking formula providing added toughness. It is ready to use straight from the can, doesn’t need a primer, and is easy to apply with a brush or roller.
This is a multisurface coating suitable for concrete, brick or block patios, and even wooden steps. It can be used indoors or out. The finish is nonreflective and also nonslip for added safety. It is dry enough for foot traffic after 24 hours but requires 5 days before it is ready for vehicle use.
- Type: Latex with ceramic additives
- Coverage: 300 to 400 square feet
- Ease of application: Easy
- All-in-1 primer and paint with low-VOC formula created specifically for concrete floors
- Creates a low-glare, anti-slip surface with ceramics added for improved wear resistance
- Offered in a variety of colors
- It is largely problem-free, but periodic recoating will be necessary
Get the Drylok garage floor coating at The Home Depot.
Slippery garage flooring can be a real danger for people who work in the space regularly. While several of the best garage floor coatings have nonslip properties, Rust Bullet is the only one that offers a specific anti-skid layer that can be added on top of the base polyurethane. It does involve extra cost, but it’s a relatively modest sum to ensure safety in a workshop or hobby area.
Rust Bullet DuraGrade can be applied directly to concrete and has excellent adhesion. It is scratch-, chip-, chemical-, impact-, abrasion-, and ultraviolet-resistant with low VOCs. No priming or etching is necessary, and it is easy to apply using a brush, roller, or spray equipment. There are 18 colors to choose from, and decorative chips can be added (though a clear top coat would then need to be applied).
- Type: Polyurethane
- Coverage: Up to 350 square feet
- Ease of application: Easy
- Hard-wearing coating with a specific anti-skid layer as an extra for maximum safety
- High resistance to impact, cracking, and abrasion tested to independent American Society for Testing and Materials standards
- Available in 18 colors, plus optional flakes, and cures in just 72 hours
- One of the more expensive coatings, and can thicken dramatically if stored too long
Get the Rust Bullet garage floor coating at Amazon, Lowe’s, or Walmart.
One of the easiest and quickest ways to protect a garage floor is by using a sealer. Seal-Krete Clear-Seal penetrates the surface to help prevent flaking and peeling, plus it dries to provide a waterproof, stain-resistant barrier. It goes on milky and dries clear, enhancing the color of the underlying surface material. Satin, low-gloss, and gloss finishes are available, and it can be used on painted, stained, or bare concrete. Two coats may be necessary for optimal protection.
The low-VOC water-based nonyellowing formula has urethane added for greater durability. It is resistant to moisture, ultraviolet light, oil, salt, and chlorine, so Seal-Krete Clear-Seal can be used for the garage as well as outside on paths, patios, and pool surrounds.
- Type: Acrylic with urethane
- Coverage: Up to 300 square feet
- Ease of application: Easy
- Creates a protective waterproof barrier over painted, stained, or bare concrete surfaces
- Water-based low-VOC acrylic fortified with urethane for improved durability
- UV-, weather-, and chemical-resistant formula can be used indoors or out
- Works on most but not all surfaces, and some buyers experienced poor results
Get the Seal-Krete garage floor coating at Amazon, Lowe’s, or The Home Depot.
What to Consider When Choosing a Garage Floor Coating
Different types of garage floor coatings have different chemical properties. It’s worth looking into the practicalities of applying them, how long they might be expected to last, and what they will look like.
Ease of Application
Latex is the easiest type to use. It is very safe, low odor, fast drying, and easy to clean up. Most can be applied with a brush, roller, or spray gun and can be used straight from the can without a primer. Acrylic is similar, though it often takes longer to dry.
The unique polyurethane formula used by Rust Bullet is also easy to use, though it may require several coats and takes around 72 hours to fully cure. The term “cure” is used rather than “dry” because drying simply involves the evaporation of water, whereas curing means the product solidifies.
Epoxies are two-part products that need to be mixed before use. It’s important to follow instructions carefully for optimal results. Epoxy garage floor coatings also take longer to cure, typically 7 days or more. Some are quite challenging to use, so it’s worth considering calling in the pros. Polyurea and polyaspartic coatings are not normally recommended for DIY use, though the occasional exception does exist.
As always, it’s vital to read instructions. Some of these products are flammable or produce noxious vapors. They may also be toxic. It is often advisable to wear eye protection and not to leave skin exposed.
Durability and Longevity
It is important to think about how you use the garage while in the process of choosing the best floor coating. If all you do most of the time is roll the car in and out of there and use it for storage, then latex or acrylic will suit most people’s needs. The floor will probably have to be repainted every couple of years, but the job can be done in a day.
Garages that are used frequently need a tougher coating, and epoxy is the most popular in terms of price and performance. It is resistant to oil, fuel, and many other chemicals and is usually easy to keep clean. While longevity will always vary depending on wear rates, it is reasonable to expect an epoxy garage floor coating to last 10 years.
Polyurea and polyaspartic coatings are super tough. In addition to the properties offered by epoxy, these are also impact-resistant. When installed properly, they can last 20 years or more, in even the harshest environments.
While gray and white are perhaps the most common choices for garage floors, today’s high-performance coatings are available in a wide range of colors as well as matte, satin, or high-gloss finishes. There are also optional “inclusions” (such as flakes) that can result in a very attractive surface.
Concrete sealers are often clear. Latex and acrylic usually come in fairly muted colors and a matte finish. The appearance options get more interesting with Rust Bullet’s polyurethane and with many epoxies. Bright colors are available and chips can be added to give a high-quality Terrazalike appearance. Some have an inherently anti-skid surface for added safety or they can be added as a top coat.
Types of Garage Floor Coatings
Understanding the performance of each finish type is a key aspect to finding the most suitable garage floor coating for a particular application. Some types are more hard-wearing than others, and that will be important for those who use their garage frequently. For those who just want to smarten the place up, then a finish that is cheaper and easier to apply may be a better choice.
Epoxy is one of the most popular choices for garage floor coatings. These are usually two-part products that need to be mixed before use. One-part epoxy also exists, but it is actually latex or acrylic paint with a small amount of epoxy resin added. The latter is easy to use and often very affordable, but it is nowhere near as durable.
Two-part epoxy is good at filling minor cracks and, once fully cured, can be extremely tough. It is probably the most durable of garage floor coatings for DIY application. However, some of the hardest-wearing types can be challenging to apply, so it may be worth contacting a professional installer.
Technically speaking, polyurea is an elastomer made by combining isocyanate and amine (an ammonia derivative). In basic terms, it is a kind of polyurethane, a varied group of plastics known for toughness and elasticity. One of polyurea’s common uses is for making truck-bed liners.
Polyurea is resistant to water and most chemical spills. It cures reasonably quickly, creating a very hard-wearing barrier, and is a favorite in commercial situations. However, polyurea garage floor coatings are usually expensive, and almost invariably require professional application. As a result, they are not something generally available to typical customers. That said, polyurea is sometimes combined with epoxy for DIY use.
Polyaspartic coating is an aliphatic (carbon-based) polyurea. Its main benefits are that it can be applied over a much wider temperature range (in some cases from -30 degrees Fahrenheit up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit), and it is usually more forgiving to work with than polyurea, which tends to dry and cure very quickly. Additionally, polyaspartic is unaffected by any moisture within concrete garage floors.
A polyaspartic coating is usually crystal clear and won’t yellow over time. It adheres to concrete well and will penetrate deep cracks, though it shouldn’t be considered a repair product. It has high stain and chemical resistance, and high heat tolerance, too. As with polyurea, it is expensive and should be applied by a suitably experienced contractor.
Latex and Acrylic
Most people will be familiar with latex and acrylic as a decorative product for walls. They are usually water-based, and as a result, can be a more environmentally friendly option. Cleanup is easier than mineral or spirit-based alternatives. Generally speaking, they are less expensive than other types of garage floor coatings.
Latex dries fast and is easy to apply, but it’s probably the least durable of these products and won’t prevent a concrete garage floor from cracking. Acrylic is equally user-friendly and a little tougher, with a higher percentage of epoxy that provides a degree of elasticity. However, it is more expensive than latex. Both are worth considering as a quick fix, though not for garages that are used for workshop or hobby purposes.
As you might guess from the name, cementitious urethane’s main components are cement and liquid urethane (a type of polymer). Water, aggregates, and a variety of other compounds may be added, though it’s usually necessary to look at technical specifications to find out which. It is self-leveling, creates a seamless surface that is stain- and chemical-resistant, and is easy to clean. However, it is expensive, needs to be installed professionally, and is more suitable for commercial applications.
Urethane is sometimes used in other formulations that are not cementitious, and these are perfectly OK for garage floors. Performance is similar to that of epoxy.
We’ve provided comprehensive information to help you choose the best garage floor coatings for the way you use your space. A few questions that come up regularly are answered below.
Q. Should the garage floor be light or dark?
The best color for a garage floor will often depend on how it is used. Dark colors hide dirt well. Bright colors reflect light better, so they are a good choice if the garage is used for work or hobbies. Neutral grays are a popular compromise. Leading brands of garage floor coating often offer several alternatives, so it shouldn’t be difficult to find the color that meets your needs.
Q. Is it a good idea to paint a garage floor?
There are a number of garage floor paints available, and they are easy to apply with reasonably fast drying times. It can be a good idea to paint a garage floor when it is only used for parking vehicles, bicycles, or lawn mowers, but if it doubles as a workshop, something more durable may be preferred.
Q. What is the strongest garage floor finish?
Polyurea and polyaspartic products generally offer the strongest garage floor finishes, but they are expensive and difficult to apply. It’s usually a job for a professional installer, which of course adds to the cost. Rust-Oleum RockSolid garage floor coating combines polyurea with urethane and epoxy, providing hard-wearing results from a coating suitable for DIY application.
Q. What is the cheapest way to seal a garage floor?
The cheapest way to seal a garage floor is with an epoxy acrylic like Kilz garage floor coating or a concrete sealer like Seal-Krete garage floor coating. They are easy to use and deliver good all-around performance. However, there is a limit to their durability, and they may have to be applied more frequently than other products.
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