How Much Does An Epoxy Floor Cost?
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Flooring repairs can get expensive. To protect both indoor and outdoor flooring that sees a lot of heavy traffic, homeowners are installing epoxy floors in their garages, basements, patios and pool decks. With a terrific design, epoxy floors protect anything you put under it.
Of course, there’s an average epoxy flooring cost you should know. See all epoxy floors cost below. When ready to install, ImproveNet can help you find local flooring contractors ready to tackle your epoxy flooring project.
Table of Contents
- Epoxy Flooring Cost
- Epoxy Floor Cost Factors
- Epoxy Floor Types & Their Costs
- Epoxy Flooring Maintenance & Repair Costs
- Where To Use Epoxy Flooring
- Epoxy Flooring Advantages
- Epoxy Flooring Disadvantages
- Garage Epoxy Flooring Cost Comparison
- DIY Or Hire A Contractor?
- Epoxy Flooring Installation Tips
- Find A Flooring Contractor
Epoxy Flooring Cost
Epoxy is a floor coating. It does not act as its own floor. Therefore, epoxy flooring is in addition to other flooring materials, such as concrete, laminate or wood. With that in mind, the average epoxy flooring costs per square foot are:
Total Epoxy Floor Costs
Epoxy Flooring Material Costs
Looking at the table above, material and labor costs are generally split in half. More often than not, you can keep your epoxy floor material cost below $3/sf if you choose neutral colors and a water-based epoxy. To ensure you’re not overpaying for your new epoxy floors, please see all epoxy flooring price factors below.
Epoxy Flooring Labor Costs
Most homeowners hire local flooring contractors to install their epoxy floors. If you do the same, you have to assume an extra $1/sf to $5/sf on top of your epoxy material costs. Other homeowners try to minimize their total project cost and DIY. However, unless you are a DIY veteran, epoxy flooring installation can be difficult and messy. On the other hand, experienced contractors can ensure a beautiful and clean job in one day.
Epoxy Floor Cost Factors
The epoxy flooring costs above can seem daunting, but fortunately, there are ways to decrease your epoxy costs (besides DIYing):
- Epoxy Type: There are two types of epoxy; solid and water-based. Solid epoxy last longer and as expected, costs roughly twice as much as water-based epoxy. We’ll cover the pros and cons of both epoxy options in the section below.
- Size of Project: Just like any flooring project, larger areas require larger pocketbooks. Installing epoxy floors is a very manual process. Besides more materials, larger projects require more time. If you hire a pro, that extra time costs more. Therefore, to limit your epoxy floor cost, consider helping out.
- Epoxy Color: Epoxy floors, whether for your garage, basement or patio, come in a variety of colors. From light blues and greens to more neutral colors such as gray, white or clear, you have plenty of options. Of course, neutral colors are less expensive. If you’re adding epoxy to garage floors, we highly recommend gray or clear. Furthermore, choosing neutral colors on larger projects could save you hundreds on your final cost of epoxy flooring.
- Necessary Repairs: You can’t apply an epoxy coating on damaged concrete floors. If you do, you’ll see cracks and bumps. Sadly, concrete floor repair costs are not cheap. Luckily, most epoxy flooring contractors can also handle concrete floor repairs.
- DIY or Hire A Pro: While we do not suggest it, you can DIY an epoxy flooring project. If you do, you could save up to $5/sf. Before starting, do your research. One wrong move could end up costing you more than if you hired a contractor in the first place.
- Tools: If you DIY, you need the right tools. Before you begin, strongly consider buying trowels, brooms, shoe protection and paint sprayers. All these tools will not only give you the best odds of completing the project successfully, but they’ll also protect you.
Epoxy Floor Types & Their Costs
Touched on earlier, there are two primary types of epoxy; solid and water-based epoxies. Back in the day, solvent-borne epoxy was popular, but has fell out of favor due to health concerns.
Solid epoxy is also known as the pure epoxy option. Whereas water-epoxy mixes other materials, solid is 100% pure epoxy. Solid epoxy floors cost nearly twice as much as water-based epoxy floors, but they bring numerous advantages. Solid epoxy last longer than water-based. Solid epoxy is thicker than water-based. If you’re remodeling a garage, we highly recommend solid epoxy as it can stand up to heavy traffic, tires, oils and other materials found in garages. Finally, solid epoxy can be altered if you want to change designs later on.
On the other hand, solid epoxy comes with a few limitations. Solid epoxy floors are not ideal in high moisture or extreme temperatures. Additionally, solid epoxy floors are harder to install. They require a bonding agent that can be hard to find. This bonding agent makes installation a bit difficult, increasing your total epoxy floor cost.
If you’re DIYing your epoxy project or are looking for a cheaper alternative, go with water-based epoxy. This thinner epoxy option acts more as a sealer. It’s easier to install and protects all surfaces from scratches and stains. Because it’s water-based, this epoxy type is ideal outdoors or in humid climates.
On the downside, water-based epoxy is not as durable as solid epoxy. Over its lifetime, you’ll have to add additional coats. So, while the upfront cost is less, your overall water-based epoxy flooring costs will add up.
Epoxy Flooring Maintenance & Repair Costs
One of the primary advantages of all epoxy floors is minimal maintenance. Unlike standard concrete floors, epoxy coated floors are made to withstand very heavy traffic. Nonetheless, if you want to ensure a bright and shiny epoxy floor for years to come, you should consider the following maintenance items, none of which cost more than $200 and a few hours of your time.
- Monthly Dusting: To ensure a bright epoxy floor, take a dust mop and swipe off any debris. This maintenance item applies to all epoxy floors, not just garages. For textured floors, you may need a soft bristle push broom to really remove all dirt and grime.
- Quarterly Heavy Cleaning: Anyone who owns a garage knows oil, grime, water and all sorts of stains show up under the car. As soon as you see any, get out the cleaning supplies. First, dust the entire garage, patio or basement. Then, mix hot water and clear ammonia (only a little bit) in a bucket. Using a heavy-duty mop, use the solution and clean the whole floor.
- Stain Removal: Rust and oil stains do occur. If the mop doesn’t get rid of them, you’ll have to use a stiff bristled brush. Try hot water first, but if that doesn’t work, try Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) or biodegradable cleaning solution. This method can also be used for tire marks.
Note: Avoid cleaners with soap, citrus cleaners and vinegar. They’ll do more harm then good.
Finally, after years of use, you may want to resurface your epoxy floors. The average cost should hover around the costs above. For DIY tips, please see SF Gate.
Where To Use Epoxy Flooring
While epoxy floors are quite common in the garage, there are plenty of areas you can install this shiny, bright surface. However, before you add any epoxy coatings, consult a local realtor to see if others in the area are doing the same. If so, chances are, you’ll see a good return on investment the day you sell.
- Pool Decks
- Pool Surfaces
- Living Rooms
- Dining Rooms
Epoxy Flooring Advantages
There are both practical and decorative benefits in selecting an epoxy finish. First and foremost, whether the material is used for a patio, pool surface or dining room, the product is extremely durable once curing is complete. The underlying slab is protected from moisture, grease, food and any other product that might stain an unprotected surface. This can save a great deal on maintenance costs, eliminating the need to clean a carpet or grout.
Cleaning is easy, and the new look of the flooring can last for years. In fact, TSP may produce the most effective update to an epoxy floor that seems to be losing its luster. Although epoxy flooring can potentially last for decades, it’s also versatile in that new materials can be applied if a different effect is desired later on. For example, some homeowners remove the epoxy and just polish their concrete slabs.
Textured epoxy flooring adds a grip to the surface, which is important in areas that experience dampness. Pool decks are particularly dangerous if the surface lacks any texture. Of course, you don’t want anyone slipping in the pool. Luckily, epoxy flooring with a textured finish eliminates that worry. This type of solution may be ideal in an active kitchen as well, helpful for avoiding inadvertent slips after a spill.
Finally, one of the most significant reasons homeowners install epoxy flooring indoors is the ability to achieve beautiful architectural effects. In some cases, flaked materials are used in the epoxy products to produce a result similar to terrazzo at a fraction of the cost. In other cases, beautiful colors can be used to create marbling effects and different colors can be used to create subtle highlights or stark contrasts. Simply put, you have more options then you need with all epoxy floors.
Epoxy Flooring Disadvantages
No matter where you add epoxy coatings, a few drawbacks come with it. First, moisture levels in a floor can affect the durability of an epoxy product. Because the material doesn't breathe once it cures, any moisture trapped below the surface can be a problem as it evaporates. In some cases, bubbling or buckling in the flooring material may occur as a result of moisture being present, leading to the eventual need for repairs or refinishing. It's important to work during a time of year that involves low humidity levels, and it's ideal to have a professional evaluate the moisture tolerance of the floor to minimize the potential for de-lamination.
A lack of experience can be a drawback during the application process. It's important to recognize that time limits with polymer epoxy products are important. Once the material cures, the effects are set. Changes after this stage of the project will either require fresh material over the previous layer or removal of the damaged material. Marbling effects may look easy, but professionals are trained in obtaining those effects. A lack of experience on a homeowner's part could lead to undesired results.
If installing yourself, you must wear a respirator. It’s also important to maintain a good flow of air through the space receiving the new flooring to ensure fumes don't become overpowering. Additionally, it's wise to tape off edges at walls and columns, just as you would before painting a room.
Garage Epoxy Flooring Cost Comparison
While epoxy is used throughout the home, more often than not, homeowners add epoxy coatings to their garages. However, epoxy is not the only options for garage floors. Below are the primary alternatives and their costs:
- Polyurea Polyaspartic: Used more as an industrial product, polyuera polyaspartic is more durable than epoxy. It sets quickly, so installation has to be fast. Because it’s more durable, polyuera polyaspartic costs more than epoxy.
- Concrete Paint: You can paint your garage floor in any color you want. While this is quite common, paint does not protect your floors like epoxy. Painting garage floors is cheaper than epoxy, but chances are, you’ll pay more in repairs over its lifetime.
- Porcelain Tile: Believe it or note, you can use tile in your garage. While it looks pretty, porcelain tile will not hold to casual garage wear and tear. Unfortunately, porcelain tile is more expensive than epoxy.
- Interlocking Plastic or Rubber Tiles: By far the easiest to install, interlocking tiles can also be used in the garage. They are durable, but spills and stains can seep through the tiles, making maintenance a bit of pain. The material cost for interlocking tiles starts at $5.92/sf
DIY Or Hire A Contractor?
As you saw above, installation costs can add up to $5/sf. That’s $1,000 in labor for a 200sf garage. While $1,000 is no small check, most homeowners bite the bullet and hire reputable flooring contractors to ensure quality work.
The primary reason to hire a pro is due to the quick drying times. In addition, the area needs to be perfectly prepped before starting. Otherwise, you’ll end up with bumps and cracks along your new epoxy floors. All in all, a contractor can work quickly and efficiently with materials that are familiar, providing an excellent product without the need to redo steps.
Epoxy Flooring Installation Tips
If you’re trying to install epoxy floors on your own, you have to know the tricks of the trade. Keep all in mind before you add epoxy floors.
First, you need the right tools to ensure a successful project. Therefore, consider buying trowels, brooms, shoe protection and paint sprayers. Next, make sure your floors are ready for epoxy. Look for cracks, spills, stains and other imperfections. Since concrete is prone to cracking over time, future damage is possible if a slab hasn't had time to settle prior to the addition of an epoxy covering. A primer should be used to fill cracks and chipped areas. Once these areas are filled, they must be smoothed to achieve a level surface.
In some cases, epoxy products can be used directly on top of the existing slab. However, using a product that is part of a system may involve additional materials and costs. It’s imperative to follow the manufacturer’s instructions if you are DIYing.
Find A Flooring Contractor
Epoxy is a beautiful and durable flooring option for your garage, basement, patio, pool deck and many other areas of the home. If the epoxy floor cost sounds right, ImproveNet can help you find local flooring contractors.
Get free estimates from local flooring contractors
Last updated on Jul 3, 2017