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Garage floor - paint, seal or stain?

I have a new garage, built a year ago and I'd like to protect the floor from water, salt and snow. Here are my options as I see it:

1) Do nothing. Probably not a good option in this climate: North Midwest US.

2) Use a latex epoxy paint like Rust Oleum's Epoxy Shield. I've heard all sorts of opinions about the epoxy paints, good and bad. I'd hate to put it down and have it come up shortly thereafter. That would just make the floor look worse.

3) Stain. I expect this would make the concrete look better (it's new and has no stains currently). Will a sealer over the stain help protect the concrete?
4) Just use a concrete sealer.

I'd like to hear some recommondations and opinions as I'm not sure which way to procede.

Re: Garage floor - paint, seal or stain?

I used epoxy paint on my garage floor. I applied it in the dead of summer, so I know the floor was dry, and I power washed it to make sure it was clean before applying. It peels badly and looks really bad. I power wash it from time to time in an effort to get it back to the way it was.

I used a Behr brand product I got from Home Depot. Beware! :(

Mike Parent
Re: Garage floor - paint, seal or stain?

I have a question:

The video related to how to apply the epoxy to a garage floor speaks of ideal temperatures. I presume these are outdoor temps. What if the garage is heated and the work can be done with closed doors at the indoor temperatures suggested. Please comment. Mike Parent

Re: Garage floor - paint, seal or stain?

There is a very high rate of failure with "kits" in my area. Preparation is key! Acid etching doesn't work in most homes, especially newer homes in our area (Kansas City) We diamond grind to prepare our floors always.

Look into a professionally installed floor, and get references-lots of new companies popping up, and going out of business.

If you don't want to make that kind of investment in epoxy, concrete sealers will hold up very well in garages in your climate.

see video at www.amazinggaragefloors.net

Hope this help!

Re: Garage floor - paint, seal or stain?

Before you put any sort of coating on the concrete, you'll need to check for moisture - remember that concrete is porous. Tape a 12" square of plastic sheeting to the floor, sealed on all sides, and leave it there for 24 hours. If there is moisture on the back of the plastic when you take it up then any sort of coating is out of the question - it will just bubble up. You might want to do it in several places, and if time allows at different times of year.

Have you considered a garage floor mat, rather than a coating?

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