Without question, this topic has been covered numerous times, from countless sources. I’m a do-it-yourselfer, I get it. Typically, i’d rather build it myself than hire certain things out; I do know my boundaries, but there is a level of satisfaction attached to getting a project done in your own garage.
Tackling a large project yourself isn’t always ideal if you think about the long-term ramifications. Or in this case, short term ramifications.
Lasting a Lifetime, or a Couple Years?
What do I mean? The most common DIY epoxy garage floor coating is a water-based product from Home Depot or Lowes. To cut right to the chase, the level of preparation they outline in the installation instructions just doesn’t cut it for a true, worry-free, life-time bond to the concrete.
I know from experience – long before starting this business I used one of the DIY kits from Home Depot and sure-enough, it only took just-shy of a year before it started peeling. It was a huge disappointment. My expectations were higher. Keep in mind, if you tackle this yourself, it is a LOT of work regardless of the prep methods used – it is just-plain time consuming.
Lightly into the Details
Thickness is also a factor – it weighs heavily in regards to durability – that is a common question we get asked when talking to customers: “how thick is the end product?”. To compare, our Platinum Granite product pushes 35mil in thickness; whereas the DIY is typically around 2.5-3mil without their sealer; you might push it to 6mil with their sold-separately sealer.
Next thing to address, in relation to the thickness topic, is the solids content. This simply relates to how much evaporates into the air throughout the drying process. A product that is 100% solids (like ours) does not evaporate, which results in a thicker coating. While we’re comparing, the DIY water-based product is typically 50% solids (to reiterate, half of the chemical rolled out on to the floor, will evaporate).
I’ve read comparisons where the epoxy manufacturer would break down the cost-per-mil when comparing the do-it-yourself brands against a professional-level product. Without going into details, yes its a better deal going with a professional-level product, but to be blunt, I don’t think most customers care about the finite comparisons like this.
Recognize Your Expectations
Here’s our own most direct and honest approach to the comparison: It depends on what you want and what your expectations are – more than likely the DIY kits will fail fairly soon (1-2 years), then you’ll have an ugly mess of peeling & flaking paint on your floor.
This sounds like a typical sales pitch, but again I’m merely gauging expectations – if you have higher expectations and want a beautiful floor that will always be easy to clean and rock-solid for the life of your home, you probably want to step it up and hire a professional operation to do the installation.
When it comes down to dollars & cents, a DIY kit can’t be compared to a professional installation when considering the cost over the lifetime of owning your home.
Most of the work we do is repairing faulty epoxy installations – people will deal with “it” for a while, but there is a breaking-point where they just want it done right.