If you manage an auto repair shop, you know the physical demands your work places on your facility. When it comes to flooring, you want something that’s going to withstand the daily rigors of mechanic work and doesn’t need to be replaced every couple of years or so.
We’ve found that one of the best flooring options for auto shops is an epoxy coating applied directly to the concrete. You may be familiar with epoxy coatings for home garages; these industrial versions operate by the same principles and offer a practical solution for commercial garages.
Here are some of the main benefits of epoxy floor coatings for mechanic shops:
Unlike untreated concrete, which is porous, an epoxy coating forms a solid barrier that’s impervious to liquids such as oil and gasoline. This means any spills stay on the surface of the floor, where they’re easy to mop up, instead of soaking into the floor and leaving permanent stains.
The other advantage of epoxy is that it’s a single smooth surface, unlike tile or other grouted surfaces that can capture debris and easily discolor. The easy-to-clean nature of epoxy will help even the most-used areas of your shop look neat and professional—great for impressing customers and even boosting worker morale.
An epoxy is more than just a layer of paint. It involves laying down two liquids—a polyepoxide resin and a curative—which bond chemically to one another and to your floor. This interaction results in an extremely hard and durable surface, stronger than either of the parts alone.
This is why epoxy coatings can withstand scratches, dents, cracks—all the sort of damage that’s typical when you’re working with heavy tools and machinery.
In places that tend to have frequent oil and grease spills, you can have special anti-slip textures added to your epoxy coating to give workers better traction. Epoxy is also available in multiple colors (see point below), which means it’s simple to add floor markings for safety or to delineate particular zones. (Learn more about safety markings and slip-resistant flooring options.)
Epoxy comes in a near-limitless array of colors and patterns, including confetti-like flakes and shimmering metallics. You can really make an impression on customers by using these effects in your lobby. And since the decorative nature doesn’t compromise epoxy’s strength and durability, you can apply it throughout your entire facility.
A note about surface preparation
While you can find DIY kits for epoxy at your local home improvement store, an amateur-applied epoxy rarely performs well enough for a commercial setting, for several significant reasons. One of the biggest issues to keep in mind is that the existing floor must be thoroughly cleaned of oils and grease, or the epoxy coating will not bond to the floor, resulting in peeling, bubbling, or other coating failures that not only are eyesores, but compromise the protection the floor offers.