Lately, at Tough Floors, we've had a surge in enquiries about installing metallic epoxy floors in garages. It's no surprise, given the sleek and modern look these floors can bring to any space.
But, before you dive headfirst into installing metallic epoxy floors in your garage, let's hit the brakes for a moment. Contrary to popular belief and as sexy as this style of flooring is, this may not be the ideal choice for your garage space.
In this article, we look at 5 key reasons why these eye-catching floors may not be the most suitable option for your garage space, shedding light on considerations that go beyond surface-level appeal and aesthetics.
Why metallic epoxy floors should not be used in garages
1. Safety concerns
One key reason we advise against using metallic epoxy floors in garages is safety. We're all about creating spaces that not only look good but also prioritise your well-being.
In garages, especially those prone to water exposure (the type that falls off your floor on a rainy day when the car comes in), slip resistance is an important factor to consider. In areas likely to get wet, we add slip resistance to prevent any unwanted slips and slides.
Keep in mind that your bare concrete is porous. Yes, any water that falls off your vehicle when parked will seep into the concrete…or evaporate. With a sealed epoxy surface, the water tends to sit for longer as epoxy is impermeable. It will either need to be wiped dry or to let it evaporate. A quick mop will help with this.
Now, here's the catch – when it comes to metallic floors, adding traditional slip-resistant features isn't straightforward. It will affect that sleek, unique effect that makes metallic epoxy floors stand out. Bluntly put, it just doesn’t make sense.
So, when you're thinking of garage floors and safety, consider alternatives that balance both style, functionality and security. We have numerous options and colours that don’t have to be too ‘garagey.’
2. Metallic epoxy’s gloss finish
The glossy finish of metallic epoxy floors might be visually striking, but it presents a practical challenge when used in high-traffic areas like garages.
The constant movement of tyres and the inevitable debris brought in from outside can take a toll on the surface over time, gradually dulling its lustrous appearance.
We understand the demands placed on garage flooring, and while the gloss finish may initially dazzle, it's essential to consider its long-term durability in the face of daily wear and tear.
Opting for a finish more resilient to the rigours of garage life could be a practical choice, ensuring that your floors maintain their aesthetic appeal for the long haul.
There is, however, an emerging and more popular option of adding a harder-wearing top coat that is part of the ‘poly’ family. This may include poly aspartic, polyurea or polyurethane. However, while this adds a protective layer to your floor, it also dulls it down so it’s not as shiny. It can also distort the reflection, particularly if your metallic epoxy is a true self-levelling product.
3. Hard to touch up
While metallic epoxy coatings bring questions of durability and slip resistance to the table, the downside is their tricky nature when it comes to repairs if you accidentally damage the floor with a chemical spill, equipment gouge or accident.
Fixing minor issues with this finish will be visible and noticeable, often leading to having to strip off the existing coating and completely replace it with a new one.
Every metallic floor is unique to the client and also the area it is being installed. Every client gets a set of unique sample boards tailored to their style and colour preferences. We get the boards together and record the colours and finishes. You can then see how they look, over time and in various conditions. We also encourage you to do your own ‘destruct testing’ so you are aware of their capabilities.
Metallic epoxy floors are a treat for the eyes, offering captivating colour variations, and an ultra-smooth, mirror-like finish. But, opting for a metallic finish might not be the best choice for your garage floor.
4. High cost
Consider the price tag when thinking about metallic epoxy flooring. The custom blend and thick application mean you'll need more product to cover the same area compared to an epoxy flake finish.
With such uniqueness of each floor and highly technical installation components, not every floor is a candidate for metallic epoxy flooring. Further, this style of flooring is a specialist field. It’s not easy and takes precision, knowledge and immense skill.
See below for a client who opted to go with a more ‘cost-effective’ competitor and then ask if we could repair it. As you’ll see from this, any patching needed just cannot be blended well.
The considerations of the above translate to a higher cost per square metre for the installation of a metallic epoxy floor. It's a point to factor in as you consider our epoxy flooring finishes.
This form of finish is the highest level of client engagement, communication and skill. Although some risks are harder to mitigate, our job is to ensure we advise you of all areas to do with this style, finish, and ability to clean and that we project manage all aspects.
When it comes to warranties, we're all about being upfront and honest.
Unfortunately, based on the issues mentioned here, we can’t offer a warranty for garage floor metallic epoxy installations. In our time, we have consulted with clients who have had this done but maybe not to their level of expectation. We possibly previously advised them away from this as a considered option as well. Ultimately, if having this done, like all other trade considerations, have a look at other work done by the considered contractor, online reviews and the company’s ability to do this style well.
Safety considerations, the wear and tear in high-traffic spots and challenging repairs make it difficult to provide that peace-of-mind coverage. If opting for a straight high gloss epoxy finish, this form of resin is ‘softer’ than say one of the ‘poly’ finishes mentioned above. The pros and cons have been discussed.
If warranties concern you or if you want to check out other flooring options, get in touch, and we’ll figure out what works best for you.
What epoxy flooring would suit your garage floor?
Metallic epoxy flooring looks great but when it comes to your garage, we highly recommend one of our Garage Blends instead. You can use our online visualiser to check out what blend will look best for your space.
Contact us for trusted epoxy flooring installation in Brisbane, Gold Coast, and the Sunshine Coast.