Concrete becomes stronger when used in construction, whether in buildings, walkways, or garages. However, that smooth finish you once had for your garage floor wears away with time, bowing to foot and vehicle traffic pressure. The solution is restoring it through several processes called garage floor resurfacing, depending on whether you have polished concrete flooring or an epoxy floor.
An epoxy floor adds some durability and resistance against stains, but even that degrades when in contact with harsh chemicals. You can restore your garage floors through grinding, polishing, sealing, epoxy coating, and painting. Equipment like the OF16S-L grinders or higher grades will come in, depending on the size.
The process you’ll pick depends on the customer’s requirements, such as cost, durability, and maintenance. You can expect different finishes when working on garage floors at home compared to industrial facilities. Nevertheless, we will introduce you to the most effective ways to get that garage flooring sparkling again.
The Best Ways to Restore Garage Flooring
Foot traffic, tire marks, and chemical spill damage garage floors over time. In severe cases, cracks and crevices will appear on your once-highly polished flooring. That same thing often happens to the driveway, calling for replacement or repairs.
Restoration becomes more affordable than replacement when considering the cost per square foot of a concrete slab. You can do that in five ways, as follows:
Grinding concrete floors
Polishing concrete floors
Grinding and sealing
Epoxy coat application on the surface
The paint application on the surface
Let’s dive deeper and explore the equipment needed for each process to prepare for your next project adequately.
1. Grinding Concrete Floors
One thing about grinding garage floors is that it can be a standalone or part of another process. For example, you can only get polished concrete garage floors or those with epoxy coatings with grinding.
This process involves smoothing the rough concrete. The result is a smooth and shiny concrete surface. In addition, it is an excellent choice for a low cost concrete garage floor restoration project.
The cost will not break the bank while giving you the benefits of a smooth, durable concrete garage floor with low maintenance costs.
Reasons to Grind the Concrete Garage Floor
The reasons to grind a concrete garage floor include the following:
Even the surface and remove imperfections.
Cracks and crevices should be filled before the process begins. Afterward, you can use the machine to even out the surface and remove imperfections. The smooth, level concrete garage floor will look better with improved durability.
Remove adhesives and coatings.
The once-shiny paint wears off over time as machinery traffic presses against it. Again, you can quickly grind the paint off to restore the surface. Equipment like the OFI6S-H is an excellent choice for paint, epoxy, and adhesive removal.
Pre-process for other finishes.
Whether you want a polished concrete floor or an epoxy finish, the grinder is often the first machine on the surface. They require smooth and level surfaces before application. Hence, you will turn to the garage floor grinder on the journey to the final outcome.
Machines for Concrete Grinding
The concrete grinder is the primary tool, ranging from simple hand grinders to heavy-duty grinders. Unlike the relatively small home's concrete garage floor, you’ll need the latter to work on a large commercial space.
Other tools that may be handy for home improvement projects such as a hand trowel and dust mop. You can use the scoop to fill crevices and the mop to remove debris before and after your operations.
2. Polishing Concrete Garage Floors
Polished concrete garage floors bring more benefits than stopping at the grinders. You’ll need a polishing machine, which adds to the cost, but the final outcome will be a glossy and more aesthetic look. Also, you must grind the concrete garage floor before applying this flooring option.
Polishing and buffing the garage flooring comes after you’ve adequately ground it. For suitable polished concrete flooring, you’ll need a concrete polishing machine like the OF20Pro. The machine is versatile for polishing, sanding wood, and removing coatings and adhesives.
It is best to pick a machine that can cover a sizeable area of concrete flooring per hour. That will help you achieve “work completed” in a short time.
A densifier can come in after you’ve achieved the desired concrete polishing to harden the flooring. That will make the flooring more durable. Then, you can apply a polish guard sealer to seal the floor and make it water- and stain-resistant.
Reasons to Opt for a Polished Garage Flooring
Here are the reasons to pick a polished concrete garage floor:
The final finish looks beautiful.
A polished concrete garage floor is easy to maintain and durable.
The process is simple and cost-effective.
A polished concrete garage floor is resistant to dust, stains, and moisture.
These benefits, especially the durability and low maintenance, make polished flooring an efficient choice for garage floor restoration. Given proper care, the polishedconcrete garage floor can last up to 20 years.
Machines for Concrete Polishing
A grinder or polisher should be enough to finish the job on time. You can just interchange the wheels from a grinding type to a polishing type. Ensure you have an optimal vacuum system to evacuate the dust.
Pick a grinder that fits the area. For example, go for a larger diameter if the site is extensive. That will help get the job done more quickly.
3. Grinding and Sealing
A polished concrete garage floor is durable and easy to maintain. However, there are other solutions to obtain that aesthetically pleasing flooring. A grind and seal process can achieve similar results with less effort.
The only difference between a polished concrete garage floor and one from a grind and seal process is concrete polishing. You’ll grind the surface to create this solution, but apply a sealer instead of a polisher.
Imperfections must be removed and the ground leveled before a sealer application. The sealer is often made of acrylic or urethane. Epoxy sealers can also be applied to make it more durable.
Reasons to Grind and Seal
The reasons to pick this solution over others include the following:
It takes a shorter period than opting for a polished concrete garage floor. That is because it is easier to implement in any space.
This solution is cost-effective while still delivering a durable finish. Our expert advice will be to pick this one if your client wants something cheap but durable. You’ll need minimal preparations.
Machines for Grind and Seal
Again, the grinder is the most necessary machinery for this operation. You should opt for 100-grit refinement if you plan on sealing the floor. A high-powered grinder will be ideal for this solution.
4. Epoxy Coating
Epoxy offers good resistance to impact, chemicals, stains, and abrasions. It is the most durable of the solutions listed on this page but also the most expensive. You’ll also need more expertise to create epoxy flooring.
Here is what you must know about epoxy flooring: Epoxy contains a resin and a polyamide hardener. These parts must be mixed before being applied to the floor.
Be mindful of the time and temperature after mixing the resin and the hardener. Manufacturers often state how long you should wait for the mixture before application. They’ll also indicate what temperature is ideal for application.
The quality of the epoxy and its solid content determine the resistance of the epoxy coating and its performance level. Reduce the solid content if you want a thin layer that is easy to apply. You should see this information as a percentage.
A 100% solid content means the epoxy flooring will have 100% of the product after curing.
Reasons to Choose Epoxy Floors
Epoxy floors have a high visual appeal. Other reasons you should pick them include the following:
They are ideal for covering defects on the ground.
They hide imperfections better.
Instead of an epoxy coating, you can pick an epoxy paint. The solution produces the same results and allows the clients more flexibility in choosing the paint color for masking.
Machines for Epoxy Coating
Grinders are the primary machines you need for this job. However, grinding for epoxy coating requires a few technicalities. Other tools you’ll need include:
A vacuum system
Concrete patching compound
Protective clothing, including safety glasses, gloves, and a respirator
Floor paint differs from the epoxy paint mentioned earlier. It does not come as a two-part formula. Instead, you can get them in acrylic or water-based latex cans.
That does not mean garage floor paint may not have a small amount of epoxy coat in its formula. This would be called a one-part epoxy.
Acrylic and latex paints are cheaper and have less solid content, resulting in a less sticky consistency during application.
Reasons to Choose Painting
This solution is affordable for restoring a garage floor. You’ll have a good-as-new surface after applying the paint. Also, paints will toughen the surfaces and protect against minor chemical damage.
Machines for Painting
This process begins with grinders. You should patch the ground and cover cracks before you grind. Other essential tools in painting include the following:
Prepare with the Right Tools
The processes (options) mentioned above require tools. Some equipment, like grinders, is common to all options. Nonetheless, you must determine what you need to complete the job.
Onfloor Technologiesoffers a robust selection of grinders, vacuums, edgers, and replacement parts. You’ll find the right pick for your next project.