Epoxy flooring can be the perfect modernizing solution for drab, dull concrete floors. On average, they cost between $3 and $12 per square foot, which is cheaper than many flooring replacement alternatives. If you’re searching for a long-lasting and beautiful flooring option, epoxy garage floors might be your best bet. This guide reviews the specifics surrounding the cost of installing epoxy floors.
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What Is Epoxy Flooring?
Epoxy flooring consists of a synthetic resin coating that you typically add over concrete substrates, such as a garage or basement floor. Epoxy, also known as resinous flooring, is a robust and durable material that adds a functional design element to any space.
While you’ll often see it in garages and shops, epoxy is suitable for various areas in your home, including basements, patios, kitchens, and bathrooms. Unlike other types of flooring that require careful measurements and cuts to create a perfect fit, epoxy flooring is a liquid you pour over the substrate. Once the resin cures, it’s extremely strong and resistant to water, oil, grease, and chemical spills.
Types of Epoxy
When installing an epoxy floor, you’ll need to choose the type of epoxy you want. There are three main types: solid epoxy, solvent-based epoxy, and water-based epoxy.
As the most durable and priciest of the trio, solid epoxy is an excellent choice for those without a strict budget. It’s made of 100% epoxy and hardening agents, which makes it durable and long-lasting.
Solid epoxy is resistant to oil, grease, water, chips, and scuffs, so it holds up well even under heavy traffic. It is also an environmentally safe option that doesn’t contain volatile organic compounds. Due to its longevity and durability, it’s a go-to choice in industrial and commercial installations.
While solid epoxy is an excellent option, it usually requires professional installation and isn’t suitable for every project. It has a low pot life (how long the epoxy lasts in the bucket while applying it), so the installation process must be rapid and efficient and is best left to a pro. In addition, solid epoxy costs more than solvent- or water-based epoxies. Finally, it isn’t suitable for floors with moisture problems.
Solvent-based epoxy is an excellent mid-tier option that blends a mixture of solvents and epoxy to create a glossy finish. It isn’t as pricey as solid epoxy and offers more durability and longevity than water-based epoxy.
Solvent-based epoxy is easy to install, as it’s unaffected by lower temperatures and higher humidity percentages. It dries rapidly, so wait times after application are minimal.
However, solvent-based epoxy is high in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and is highly flammable during the application process. Due to its VOC content, this option is banned in certain states, so it might not be available to you.
As the most budget-friendly option, water-based epoxy is easy to install and durable. It consists of water, epoxy, and hardener. As the water evaporates from the epoxy, it hardens into a durable and glossy surface. Since it contains water, installers don’t need to wait for the concrete substrate to dry before installation.
Water-based epoxy is low in VOCs and is environmentally safe, making it a solid, affordable option. However, while it has its merits, it has a few drawbacks. For example, spot rusting may be an issue, and it can wear out quicker, leading to more frequent reapplications. Because of this, it isn’t suitable for commercial or industrial settings.
Factors in Calculating the Cost of Epoxy Floor Coating
Every epoxy floor installation differs, so costs vary dramatically from house to house. An array of elements go into the final price, including the application method, labor costs, materials and equipment, room size, site preparations, and epoxy choice.
The table below offers a quick look at costs based on several factors, but continue reading beyond the chart for an in-depth look at each variable.
|Factor||Average Cost Range|
|Type of Epoxy||$0.50 to $3|
|Application Method||$5 to $12 per square foot|
|Equipment and Material Costs||$0.35 to $1.50 per square foot|
|Labor Installation Cost||$4 to $7 per square foot or $50 to $150 per hour|
|Room Size||A one-car garage (200 square feet) can cost between $700 to $2,900|
|Site Preparation||$1 to $5 per sq ft|
Type of Epoxy
Once you decide that epoxy flooring is the best option for your home, you’ll need to choose between water-based, solvent-based, and pure solid epoxy floors. Since pure solid epoxy is the most durable of the trio, it’s usually the most expensive.
Water-based epoxy is thinner, easier to work with, and less durable than the other options and is usually the most budget-friendly option. Solvent-based epoxy falls between these two options, as it’s stronger than water-based epoxy but not as durable as solid epoxy.
Your final cost will vary based on the type of epoxy you choose, but most homeowners pay between $0.50 and $3 per square foot.
When installing epoxy floors, you or your contractor can use several application methods. The best application method for your installation varies based on your epoxy choice. For example, a water-based solvent is easy to install and should not significantly affect your labor costs.
However, if you choose solid epoxy paint, you’ll need to devote more time and budget toward installation, as the process can be complex. Generally, installing solid epoxy requires the assistance of a professional, as it requires special tools and experience.
You can also expect to pay more if you add decorative aspects to your epoxy flooring, such as metallic notes, decorative flakes, or multiple colors. On average, these features add $5 to $12 per square foot, as they require custom installation.
Unless you’re DIYing your epoxy floors, you’ll need to pay labor costs, which comprise a considerable portion of the cost. In some cases, labor may account for up to 65% of the total price.
Although labor costs vary from area to area, most epoxy flooring contractors charge between $4 and $7 per square foot. If your contractor charges by the hour, you’ll probably pay between $50 and $150 per hour.
In addition to labor costs, you might need to pay a flat fee to cover extra overhead costs the contractor may incur. These usually include travel, equipment, and unique epoxy flooring materials, but it varies from contractor to contractor. Additionally, most contractors offer a warranty.
Materials and Equipment
To install an epoxy floor system, you need specialized materials and equipment, including spiked rollers, wet-dry vacuums, power washers, squeegees, and sprayers. These can often be bought as part of an epoxy floor kit. In addition, you’ll need protective equipment and special shoes to prevent inconsistencies in the installation.
If you DIY this home improvement project, you’ll need to buy this equipment unless you already have it on hand. If you hire a contractor to refinish your floors, you’ll likely pay a set amount for their equipment, as most contractors factor the equipment cost into their client estimates.
The size of your project significantly impacts the overall cost. Since larger rooms require more material, time, and labor, they usually cost more than smaller areas. Generally, you can expect to pay more for larger jobs, even if you do it yourself (you’ll still need more material).
For example, a three-car unit at 700 square feet can cost $2,200 to $9,500, while a small one-car garage at 200 square feet can cost between $700 to $2,900 for epoxy flooring. A typical basement of 1,000 square feet costs between $2,800 to $11,500.
Of course, costs might be comparable in some cases. For instance, choosing an inexpensive epoxy for your large installation might be comparable to a smaller space with the most expensive epoxy.
Before installing an epoxy floor, you’ll need to prepare the flooring. The epoxy may not adhere correctly without proper preparations, resulting in a sub-par finish. You must complete the necessary preparations to ensure a beautiful, durable, and seamless finish.
Prep work will vary based on the scenario, as some floors require more preparation than others. Generally, the process can include power washing, acid etching, or sandblasting. On average, acid etching chemicals cost approximately $20 (if you buy them yourself). Most people pay between $1 and $5 per square foot for sandblasting.
If you hire a contractor to install the flooring for you, they will likely include these costs in the total price instead of invoicing separately for the prep work.
Additional Cost Considerations
Beyond the basic costs of epoxy floors, a few additional factors contribute to the price. Although these may not affect every installation, keeping them in mind is important.
Although concrete is durable, it is susceptible to wear and tear after a few decades. In some cases, the damage occurs due to poor workmanship. Either way, you must repair the chips and cracks in the concrete substrate before installing an epoxy coating.
Most professionals charge between $6 and $14 per square foot to repair small cracks and chips. If your concrete foundation is crumbling or has large chips and cracks, your foundation might be failing.
You’ll need an inspector to evaluate the damage and determine the best action. On average, repairing a foundation costs between $2,200 and $7,800, depending on the severity of the damage.
Some situations may require you to resurface the concrete substrate before installing the flooring. Resurfacing can correct various issues and is easier than tearing out the old concrete and starting again.
On average, resurfacing concrete costs between $3 and $25 per square foot. The considerable gap stems from variations in each project.
Painting and Sealing Concrete
After completing the installation, some homeowners may add a coat of sealant or paint to increase durability or match the floors to the rest of the space. To add paint or sealant to an epoxy floor, most homeowners pay between $40 and $150 per hour for the extra labor. Or, if the contractor charges by the square footage, the cost typically falls between $1.50 and $5 per square foot.
A coat of standard sealant may be adequate for some installations but might not offer enough durability for others. In these cases, a traffic coating can be the ideal solution. Traffic coatings are industrial grade and offer extra durability for areas with heavy foot traffic or vehicle traffic, like homes with large families, workspaces, or busy garages.
Traffic coating costs approximately 20% to 30% more than standard sealers.
Best Rooms for Epoxy Flooring
Epoxy floors can be the perfect finish for various spaces, but they’re most common in basements, bathrooms, kitchens, patios, and garages.
The table below outlines the costs for these rooms based on average sizes and prices. We used each estimate’s average cost per square foot for epoxy installations.
|Room||Average Room Size||Average Price per Square Foot||Total Average Cost|
|Basement||30 x 30 feet||$7.50||$6,750|
|Bathroom||5 x 7 feet||$7.50||$262.50|
|Garage||24 x 24 feet||$7.50||$4,320|
|Kitchen||12 x 12 feet||$7.50||$1,080|
|Patios||16 x 18 feet||$7.50||$2,160|
Your installation may be higher or lower than these estimates based on factors specific to you. We recommend getting a few personalized estimates from professional contractors to ensure the most accurate pricing.
Benefits of Epoxy Flooring
Before you commit to new flooring material, consider the benefits of epoxy flooring and ensure it matches your expectations:
Installing an epoxy floor is an excellent way to bring a modern touch to your home without undertaking a complete overhaul. The process is relatively simple yet brings a clean, sleek, and stylish touch. Homeowners can add their personal twist to the installation by incorporating multiple colors, a metallic sheen, or features such as stone or decorative flakes.
Though unexpected expenses, such as repairing cracks or resurfacing concrete, may increase the price, epoxy floors are more cost-effective than many alternatives, such as natural wood. The installation is straightforward and doesn’t require a significant overhaul, which reduces labor costs.
On average, epoxy flooring lasts between 10 and 20 years under light traffic. However, the lifespan can shorten to as little as two years in areas of heavy foot and vehicle traffic. The type of epoxy you choose will impact its lifespan, but epoxy flooring can last more than 20 years with proper care and maintenance.
Since epoxy dries and hardens into a durable coating, it can’t contaminate the environment, making it an eco-friendly flooring option. In addition, solid and water-based epoxies contain little to no VOCs. These can be toxic and carcinogenic compounds that seep into groundwater, damaging water and air quality. Unfortunately, solvent-based epoxy is full of VOCs, so it doesn’t score as highly in this aspect, but the other two are excellent options.
Compared to other types of flooring, such as natural wood, epoxy floors are low maintenance. Although they need a daily sweep and a quick mop now and again, they don’t require meticulous maintenance. Use a soft-bristled broom to sweep away dirt and debris, then mop to clean up residual gunk.
Epoxy floors are a popular choice in garages, and for a good reason. Epoxy is durable once it dries and offers a protective layer over the flooring underneath. So, if you drop a heavy tool, you won’t damage your floor.
Despite the smooth, sleek surface, epoxy floors are slip-resistant. Additionally, they’re much less abrasive than other types of flooring, such as concrete, so even if you slip, you won’t contend with harsh scrapes or scuffs on your skin or clothing.
DIY Epoxy Flooring vs. Hiring A Professional
While DIYing an epoxy floor installation is entirely doable, it’s not always the best option. Some installations are tricky, especially those with substrate issues such as cracks, chips, or crumbling. If you’re set on DIYing the project, you can buy epoxy kits that guide you through the process.
It’s usually better to call a professional for a longer-lasting result and professional-looking finish. Contractors have the equipment, materials, experience, and knowledge necessary to install your new epoxy floors properly.
Questions To Ask Your Flooring Pro
Before you hire an epoxy contractor, it’s vital to ensure you’re both on the same page regarding your project. This way, you can avoid confusion and iron out expectations to make the process smoother. Once you find a potential fit, here are a few questions to ask:
- Are you insured?
- How much experience do you have?
- Do you have your own crew, or do you subcontract each project?
- Do you own epoxy coating equipment or rent it for your projects?
- Do you have references I can contact?
- Do you have photos of your work I can see?
Final Thoughts: Epoxy Flooring Cost
The cost of your epoxy flooring project depends on factors unique to your needs and budget. While this guide will give you a general idea of pricing, it’s best to get personalized estimates. We recommend obtaining quotes and comparing from a few contractors in your area.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is epoxy cheaper than flooring?
The cost of your epoxy flooring project depends on factors unique to your needs and budget. While this guide offers a general idea of pricing, it’s best to get personalized estimates. We recommend obtaining quotes and comparing from a few contractors in your area.
What is the disadvantage of epoxy flooring?
Although epoxy floors are an excellent fit for many homeowners, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks. For example, if your substrate isn’t perfectly level or has cracks, these imperfections may appear in the epoxy coating. Proper preparation is essential to ensure the smooth application of an epoxy floor.
In addition, epoxy flooring is cool to the touch, like tile. If you live in a cold climate and don’t want freezing floors, epoxy might not be the best fit for your home. Underfloor heating can correct this issue, but that will cost more.
How does epoxy hold up against water?
Although epoxy is water resistant, it isn’t waterproof. While it offers a layer of protection for the flooring underneath, it isn’t a fail-proof layer. Voids in the epoxy may allow liquid to penetrate and seep into places it shouldn’t, which can be problematic. The epoxy can become waterproof for several years with a sealant coating or waterproofing paint.
What is the cost of epoxy flooring per square foot?
On average, epoxy flooring costs between $3 and $12 per square foot. The exact cost of an epoxy floor for your home hinges on various factors, including the type of epoxy you choose and the decorative elements you add.
Are epoxy floors cheaper than wood?
In general, epoxy floors tend to be cheaper than wood. Hardwood flooring installations usually cost between $6 and $18 per square foot, while epoxy floors cost between $3 and $12 per square foot. In some situations, hardwood flooring can cost up to $25 per square foot, making it much pricier than epoxy floors.