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When I completed my garage in 2017, I chose Sherwin-Williams Armorseal Rexthane 1, a Urethane Sealer. I had new concrete so, concrete prep was not extensive. If you follow their instructions, the sealer goes down with no problems.
Four years later, the floor still looks good, with no lifting or cracking. I have not regretted using this product.

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Sherwin-Williams offered a very fine anti-slip additive and I used some of it but, I wouldn't use it again if I did another floor. To me, it doesn't really feel slippery when wet. Plus, the floor isn't wet very often. My floor has a 1 inch drop from the rear to the front for cleaning purposes. The traction additive reduces the effectiveness of the squeegee when cleaning the floor. Sherwin-Williams also offer this product in several different colors.
 

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When I built my garage in 2007 a bought a commercial epoxy through a guy that had just done the floors in the dealership I was service manager at. My wife daughter & myself put it down a 2 part epoxy 2 coats then top coated with a urethane top coat that brought out the shine I did not want the flakes in it but I should have added the grit as it was very slick especially with antifreeze on it. The epoxy has held up well not peeling anywhere but has chipped quite a bit in the bay with the lift where I've dropped stuff on it.I need to recoat at least that bay some day maybe.
 

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My 6 year old rustoleum epoxy holds up well to to everything but battery acid and dragging heavy sharp metal objects. Jack wheels and jack stands don't hurt it. Oil spills don't hurt it.

The epoxy is flaking over areas where crack sealer was applied but that was my fault for spreading the sealer beyond the cracks.
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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Fortunately, the garage floor in question will be brand-new, never used, but down long enough to cure properly before applying the coating. The builder is also good about using enough expansion joints throughout the floor, so settling cracks shouldn't be a problem.

Years ago, a guy in a car club I was in was talking to me about working on tri-fives at another member's garage. Member #2 had sealed the garage floor with some sort of concrete sealer. Member #1 said the floor looked great, but was "slick as h*ll" (his exact words) when it was wet. That's why I always ask about being slippery.

The builder and I are also "discussing" the floor. Each of his houses has the garage floor sloped downwards to the driveway. On one hand, that seems like a good idea, but after thinking about it, I said I wanted level floors. He gave me a funny look. I explained a sloping floor didn't seem like a good idea with a car on jack stands. And, forget ever putting a manual transmission car in neutral with the brake off, even for a few seconds. He wasn't sure what code had to say about a level floor. I asked him to check on it. (He doesn't seem like the type to BS me on something like this. Maybe code has changed in recent years, or maybe he's just gotten into the habit of doing things that way and nobody ever questioned him about it.)

Since starting this thread, I also realized I could consider putting in a lift, so a level floor is a must if I do that.

A sloped floor would be nice for hosing it out. OTOH, I can do like I've always done - hose it out, use a push broom to sweep out the puddles, and leave the garage door up until it dries. Here in central NC, there are only a handful of days during the winter where you'd have to worry about it freezing instead of drying (if you hose it down in the middle of the day).
 

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A 'slightly sloped' floor is not a problem, either for jack stands or a lift.. I put about 2" of fall over 42 feet (about half of what is typical for a garage floor)..
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Why can't you just put a drain in the center of the floor? Or install a channel drain?
Todd
I've included the question of the drain in a list of questions I sent to the builder yesterday. It wasn't mentioned either way in the quote I received.

I'm still working on the details of the garage (and the house) with the builder. We got the quote on the house a couple of weeks ago, but just got the quote on the garage last Thursday. So, I put together the latest round of questions over the weekend.
 

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1 coat with the Rustoleum Professional Epoxy covers approx 450 sf (2 gallon 2 part kit) for $100... and that's all I've done although one can certainly do more or add a clear topcoat ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 · (Edited)
An interesting side note:

The instructions for applying the epoxy paints tell you to etch the concrete with muriatic or phosphoric acid (the latter being the same stuff used as "metal prep" when doing a bare metal repaint on our cars). After you're done, they tell you to hose it down multiple times.
https://www.rustoleum.com/-/media/DigitalEncyclopedia/Documents/RustoleumUSA/instruction-sheets/300436_274534_01 Professional Solvent.ashx

While looking around at feedback on other web sites (like Home Depot), somebody mentioned neutralizing the acid with baking soda. Hmm...good idea - though you still have to wash it down well afterwards. When you combine an acid with a base, you get a more-or-less neutral pH somewhere around 7, plus a deposit of some type of "salt". (In this context "salt" is a chemical term, not to be confused with salt you'd put on your food. Table salt aka sodium chloride is but one of the many compounds classified as a salt.)

I then Googled "what is the pH of Tide laundry detergent", as that's what I use in my pressure washer. Turns out it's alkaline as well (pH 10-11.4), so it'll neutralize the acid every bit as well:

Note that the instructions mentioned above say to run your finger across the floor after it's dry and see if you find and dust or powder on your finger. (if you do, rinse again) I wonder if that's concrete or a "salt". Maybe I'll email their support folks to find out more details.
 

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The Sherwin-Williams Armorseal is a one coat system. I purchased 4 gallons to do 1008 square feet. If my memory is working, I think the counter person said 3 would cover the floor but, like us old guys do, better safe than sorry. I still have almost a gallon left on the shelf.
I would use this product again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
The Sherwin-Williams Armorseal is a one coat system. I purchased 4 gallons to do 1008 square feet. If my memory is working, I think the counter person said 3 would cover the floor but, like us old guys do, better safe than sorry. I still have almost a gallon left on the shelf.
I would use this product again.
I agree - better safe than sorry. You don't want to run out of anything partway through the job, especially with these 2 part epoxies. It's interesting to note you have "almost" a gallon left - which means you would have run out if you'd bought 3.
 

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I guess I am lazy. All I did to install my Racedeck floor was to use my leaf blower and then a broom. A few hours later a new floor ready to use. If I damage a tile, I can pop it out and install a new one any time. If epoxy works for you, awesome. Be sure to post pictures when you're done.
Todd
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
I guess I am lazy. All I did to install my Racedeck floor was to use my leaf blower and then a broom. A few hours later a new floor ready to use. If I damage a tile, I can pop it out and install a new one any time. If epoxy works for you, awesome. Be sure to post pictures when you're done.
Todd
I'm a very analytical person. There's a reason I call myself "stoveboltgeek" instead of "stoveboltguy". :)

I'm researching all possibilities completely. Racedeck is easy to fully understand all the important facts. The various sealers and paints are much more complicated if you want to do it right.

At the moment, none of the options are off the table.
 

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Probably many would be interested in your comparison once you finish, especially the $cost analysis... :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 · (Edited)
Probably many would be interested in your comparison once you finish, especially the $cost analysis... :)
That's fair. Here's where things currently stand.

We'll take a look at the following products:
RaceDeck vinyl tiles
GarageTrac vinyl tiles
Sherwin-Williams Armorseal Rexthane 1 (a single-part urethane)
Rustoleum PROFESSIONAL Epoxy floor coating (2 part urethane)
Seal-Krete (a waterproofing sealer)

We're comparing 3 very different approaches to the problem of a clean garage floor. So, I'll address them one at a time.

For purposes of this comparison, we'll be considering the proposed 28'x40' garage floor. Assuming it's an unobstructed rectangle and those are the exterior foundation dimensions, we're talking roughly 1100 square feet. It might be slightly less than that, but there's likely a little wasted material, so we'll just go with 1100 as a round number.

RaceDeck and Garage Trac are essentially identical products. They're 12 inch square vinyl tiles that snap together. They're made by the same company. From what I've read, the RaceDeck is the premium version - nicer gloss and nicer detail in the patterns on the top of the tile.

The main pluses for both are ease of installation and a visual presentation that can't be beat. Also, there are no smelly/dangerous chemicals involved in the installation.

As far as the visuals - if you want a garage that impresses your friends, this is what you want. Period. Picture a "man cave" with a couple of very nicely restored cars on display. Then, as you walk by admiring the cars as they sit on this spectacular looking floor, you make your way over to some oversized couches, a huge TV with surround-sound, and a fully stocked mini-kitchen. The only down side will be getting your friends to leave at the end of the evening. :)

Prep work is simple - clean the floor. Sweep it, pressure wash it, whatever you think it needs. Then start snapping the tiles together. If you pressure wash the floor, you might want to wait until the next day to lay the tile. Otherwise, this looks like a job that could be done in a single day. If the floor is stained - but not smelly - this will fix you up much more quickly than any paint or sealer.

How does it hold up to what level of repair work? It depends. If you're doing light duty cleaning and minor maintenance, it should be no problem at all. If you're doing heavier work with floor jacks and jack stands, you might need some sheets of plywood under them. If you spill nasty stuff, vinyl should clean up with detergent or mineral spirits. I don't know if oil, antifreeze, etc. will seep between through the joints where the tiles snap together. That might be a problem.

The main limiting factor is cost. From my earlier research:
GarageTrac® 48 Pack Garage Flooring – DIY Garage Floor Tiles lists GarageTrac at $2.54 per sq. ft.
Shop RaceDeck - RaceDeck Garage Floors lists their standard tiles at $3.40 per sq. ft.

So, for my 1100 square foot floor, we're talking $2794 for GarageTrac and $3740 for RaceDeck. In comparison, a 5 gallon bucket of SealKrete Satin Concrete Sealer #604005 will do 750-1500 square feet (depending on surface smoothness and porosity) for $122 at Home Depot. But, a) there's much more prep work to do, and b) I'm getting ahead of myself.

As we take a look at the sealers and paints, it's important to remember - there are water and solvent-based products, and there are one-part and two-part products. This is very important, because if you go back later to coat it again in a few years, the different types are not compatible (will react or won't stick to each other). Beware...

So, next up is the Seal-Krete. Stay tuned...
 
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