best clear coat for garage floors

Best Clear Coat for Garage Floor

Best Clear Coat for Garage Floor

Are you looking for the best clear coat for a Garage Floor?

The best clear coat for a garage floor is epoxy, and epoxy is the most common and well-known solution for garage floors, especially concrete pads, and concrete floors. Epoxy is durable, scratch-resistant, long-lasting and relatively inexpensive.

If you are refinishing your garage or moving into a new space, you may want to protect your garage floor by applying a topcoat, or clear coat. This may be a daunting undertaking, as there is not just one clear coat option– there are many formulas to choose from. However, there is no doubt that applying a clear coat will protect the floor from colour flaking and from elemental damage. Plus, it will enhance the look of your flooring, too! Read on to learn more about the options available to you. 

Epoxy Clear Top Coat

Epoxy is the most common and well-known of the following options. It comes in a few different formulations, such as water-based, solvent-based, and 100% solid. Epoxy is one of the more cost-effective options, but not necessarily the best option out there in terms of longevity. 

It has a lower abrasion resistance than other options, so it will wear faster over time. It also cures to a very hard coating that lacks flexibility, which can make it less scratch-resistant, too. These scratches tend to be so tiny that they are not very noticeable, but will start to degloss the finish as more scratches collect on the flooring, making it look dull and old. 

Some additional pros and cons are below:

  • Inexpensive
  • Low in VOCs (except for solvent based epoxy)
  • Good chemical resistance
  • Lower abrasion resistance
  • Not UV stable
  • Slippery when wet
  • Not exceptionally clear

System Three 0500K44 Mirror COat Self Leveling Bar and Tabletop Coating

This epoxy option specifies that it is for tabletops, but can be also applied to concrete as well! It features an easy application and is resistant to scratches, some abrasion, and alcohol. It is also waterproof.

Polyurethane Clear Top Coat

All things considered, polyurethane is typically considered to be the #1 option for a garage floor’s clear coat. Most polyurethane options are solvent-based, making them safe if any solvents were to spill in your garage. However, there are also low VOC coatings that are water-based instead, so be sure to do your research before you buy! The water-based versions do not perform quite as well as the solvent-based options. 

Polyurethane has great abrasion resistance– up to three times that of most epoxy options!– and is also more resistant to chemicals. This can be especially important if your garage functions as your shop, too. It is also UV stable, which means that, when exposed to sunlight, polyurethane will not amber and discolour. 

Some additional pros and cons are below:

  • High abrasion resistance
  • Cures very clear
  • Easy to apply 
  • High gloss and high satin finishes available
  • More expensive than epoxy
  • Thin film that requires several dry coats
  • Does not adhere well to raw concrete

Eco-Poly Polyurethane Sealer and Floor Finish

This is a water-based option and features a low odour and multi-layer protection. Two coats are what is recommended for optimal results. It is VOC free and resistant to cracks, scratches, and other such damages– including UV.

Polyurea/Polyaspartic Clear Top Coat

The two-part polyurea and polyaspartic options are newer topcoats that have risen in popularity in recent years. These new formulations allow for better application techniques but may require the assistance of a professional. If you use one of these options, you will have a faster cure time– typically around 24 hours– for the entire flooring system, which is perfect if you are unable or do not want to discontinue daily use of your garage during the installation process. 

Both polyurea and polyaspartic coatings are also thicker than polyurethane options. These types of clear topcoat are more flexible, which therefore makes them even more abrasion and scratch-resistant. Plus, they will feature an extremely clear glossy finish once complete.

Some additional pros and cons are below:

  • UV stable
  • Clear as water
  • Fast cure rates
  • Fantastic abrasion and chemical resistance
  • Most expensive clear coat option
  • Very slippery when wet 
  • Short shelf life once opened

Rust-Oleum 282829, 1, Clear

This is a great option for your floor. As can be expected, it is a bit pricier than other topcoat options on the market for polyurethane or epoxy! However, you get what you pay for and your garage floor will experience a longer life with this option. It is ready to walk on in 8-10 hours and the vehicle is ready within 24 hours as well.

Avoid This

While there is more than one option for a clear coat for your garage floor, there are also some options that you should avoid. Acrylic is one such option. It is not a good choice for your flooring because it is very thin, and therefore will not do as well as epoxy would. Acrylic is lacking in many important characteristics, such as stain resistance, wear resistance, and scratch resistance. If solvents were to spill in your garage space (such as gas or automotive chemicals), certain acrylic coatings may then smear or soften.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you clear coat a garage floor?

If you are applying a clear coat to your garage floor, you should first rough up the surface with sandpaper or some other sort of abrasive treatment. Then, clean the floor by sweeping and mopping to ensure that you get rid of any grime or dust– including the mess you made while sandpapering it.

Can you clear coat a painted garage floor?

Yes, you can clear coat a painted garage floor. In fact, it is often recommended! A lot of the clear coat options are referred to as a seal coat or concrete sealer, and they can protect your floor from damage, staining, and more. 

Can you use clear coat on concrete?

Yes, you can use a clear coat on painted or raw concrete. If you do, it helps to lengthen the lifespan of your floor and protects it from damage, discoloration, or stains. 

What is the difference between clear coat and epoxy?

Epoxy is the cheaper option when you are comparing clear coat and epoxy. It may also end up being a thicker coating than it would be if you had used a clear coat, rather than epoxy. This does depend on the solids content though.