Thursday, May 21, 2009

Epoxy Garage Floors | What Makes a Good Epoxy Floor Product?

Whether an amateur craftsman or a professional epoxy garage floor installer, the key to a successful epoxy garage floor job is using a great product. But with so many out there, how do you know which one is the right one? Or at least the one that won't bubble and come up the first time after you park your car in the driveway.

Although there are a lot of great products out there, there are some that can be described as mediocre at best. And, I must admit, a lot of the success of your epoxy garage floor installation is the person doing the installing. Like they say (although slightly politically incorrect), it's not the Indian, it's the arrow. In other words, the best product isn't going to set up correctly and hold up correctly if it isn't applied correctly.

With that being said, if you are looking for an epoxy floor product, whether or not you want to use a professional, there are some easy ways to check out some products. The number one way, of course, is probably how you go here. Google has a great way of bringing out the opinions of everyone. If you are interested in looking for epoxy garage floor paint, for example, you would google things like "epoxy garage floor paint," "epoxy garage floor products," or "epoxy garage paint." Those would reveal numerous types of epoxy paint products that you could then check up on further.

Once you figure out a product that you might like, do a search for reviews of that product. Behr epoxy paint reviews, Home Depot epoxy paint reviews, Roll on Rock garage paint reviews, etc. will yield numerous reviews and comments on these products. And most of the time they are from real world users, just regular people like yourself that thought a great weekend project would be to throw down a little epoxy paint on the garage floor. From there you should have a great idea of what epoxy garage floor paint product is right for you.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Epoxy Garage Floors | Finding the Right Epoxy Floor Coating Professional

Thank you for visiting epoxy garage floors, the official blog of Kyle Holland Construction, a Wichita, Kansas painting and contracting company. Our specialty is painting, particularly epoxy garage floor coatings, home exteriors, home interiors, fences, decks, and pretty much anything else you need. We can also handle your general contracting needs.

If you take a look around this site, you'll see some of our past epoxy garage floor work, information about epoxy floor treatments in general, and information on why you should seriously consider consulting a professional before installing your epoxy floor product (and it's not just because we want you to pay us!). What we haven't mentioned here, however, is how to find the right epoxy garage floor professional for your needs and tastes. That is what we are going to do today.

First, finding the right person to put in your epoxy floor treatment is not rocket science. But it is important. Like finding the right plumber, dentist, auto mechanic, or lawyer, if an incorrect decision is made, the effects can be painful and long lasting. So, first things first, don't rush into choosing your epoxy floor professional. Take the time to make sure everything looks and feels right. You'll thank yourself in the end.

Second, don't make a decision based solely on price. There is an old saying that goes something like "you get what you pay for" and that saying holds true here. For example, I'm sure Holland Painting isn't the cheapest epoxy garage floor painter in Wichita, Kansas. But the reason for that is simple. We are better than most at what we do. We provide great customer service and value customer satisfaction. And we will get your job done right the first time at the price we quoted you. Others may quote you a lower price and then try to up-charge you at a later date, or they may just use an inferior product and provide an inferior service. Epoxy garage floors are easy to mess up and hard to fix once they are. If you want to get the best help available to install your garage floor, then you'll have to pay the going rate.

Third, ask for references, and actually call and follow up on them. We love it when potential customers ask for examples of our epoxy garage floor work and if we have references available. There is no better spokesperson for our company, in my opinion, than past customers. And we have several epoxy garage floor examples to demonstrate our work, and hope that you actually call some of our past customers to check on us.

Fourth, and finally, ask the people you know if they have used anyone for this service or if they've heard of anyone that is reputable and does professional work. There is no better way to find a service professional that will work out than to get a referral from a friend or acquaintance that has used the service in the past. In this case, because epoxy garage floors are a fairly new phenomenon, at least residentially, there may not be a lot of referral advice out there. If that is the case, you should rely on the first three factors to find the right epoxy garage floor professional for you (and we hope you'll pick us!).

In the end, finding an epoxy floor treatment contractor doesn't have to be a laborious or difficult task. But you do want to make the right decision. We'd only ask that before you make a decision you give Holland Painting a call for a free estimate.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Epoxy Garage Floor | A Do-It-Yourself Story

If you couldn't tell from my blog we install epoxy garage floors professionally. All of my buddies know that. My family knows that. Everybody that knows me knows that. But, when somebody wants to install an epoxy garage floor by themselves, do they call me and even ask for any help? No. Why not, I have no idea.

But what they almost invariably end up doing (and I don't want it to sound like this happens all the time - two or three times only) is calling me once the job has gone south and they need help making their epoxy garage floor covering look as nice as it should. Here is one such story.

Let's call my buddy Fred, since that is a pretty non-descript name. Fred one day decides he wants to put in an epoxy garage floor. Not only have I been telling him about all the benefits, making your garage floor easier to clean, easier to maintain, provide homemade energy, and overall just look nicer, but I've been telling him how we can usually do a job in two days maximum. I guess this talk got him to thinking he'd just do it himself. So he did.

Fred is a pretty thorough guy, so he didn't just run out there and buy something. But he is cheap, so I think he became scared to even ask me for help when he learned of the approximate $2600 epoxy floor installation price tag Home Depot quoted him. After getting the quote, he priced out some what I call over-the-counter epoxy garage floor coating products, namely Quikrete epoxy garage floor coating, Rustoleum, and Behr. He ended up going with the Quikrete because it came with an accompanying product that degreases, cleans, and etches the concrete (a clean garage floor is very important to effective epoxy floor installation). It ended up costing him about $250 for the epoxy material itself.

After purchasing the product, Fred watched the instructional DVD and read the instructions (very important, although it doesn't give you the information an experienced epoxy floor professional would have accumulated over the years!). After that, he had to purchase additional tools for the job: 3 pack of 3/8" premium roller covers; 3" solvent resistant brush; roller tray, 3 disposable roller trays; goggles, rubber gloves (the epoxy product is actually pretty hazardous to work with - it gets very hot and can burn the skin, eyes, and anything else it comes into contact with); rubber boots; plastic water pail to mix the cleaner/degreaser in; roller and stick; garden hose; sweep broom; angled broom; thin stiff bristled broom; a buddy to help apply the epoxy garage floor product and spread the flakes; and a NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) mask to keep him safe from the fumes. I'm not sure what all of this cost him, but I'd bet it's at least another $200 bucks.

So far, he's spent $450 bucks, give or take, and he hasn't even started yet.

Once he did get started, it was on a Saturday, in the morning. He began, as I've described in previous posts, with the most crucial part of the project - cleaning and degreasing the garage floor. This is extremely important because you want the epoxy garage paint to bond with the concrete of the garage floor. If grease or dirt is on the floor, this will not happen. Fred used a cleaning product that came with the Quikrete epoxy floor product, and finished the entire process in about 4 1/2 hours.

Once he was satisfied the floor was clean, he began the epoxy floor paint process, which includes mixing the solvents to form the epoxy, applying them to the garage floor, and waiting for the epoxy to bond to the concrete (in very simple terms). When he started applying the product he immediately noticed that it was absorbing a lot more than he thought, and that it was setting up much faster than he thought it would, so he had to really hurry his effort to apply the product. Each can of epoxy paint took approximately two hours to mix and apply, so for his job it was about 6 hours of work.

Once finished he immediately noticed a bunch of alternating flat and glossy areas. In case you were wondering, it doesn't look good. So he tried to put some more product on the floor to match the area - it didn't work. What he thinks happened is that he used two different batches of mix in one area, and they weren't exactly alike (we make sure our epoxy garage floors match all the way across - that's the point, isn't it?)

To remedy the situation he called quikrete, who was nice enough to give him a refund for what he purchased. He used that money to buy more epoxy floor paint product and do the whole process over again (another 10 hours). At that point I think he was satisfied enough with the look to leave it be (although he mentioned it didn't look as good as some of the professional jobs he'd seen).

All in all not a disaster, but certainly a hassle and a pain. And let's review what actually happened here - supplies cost $450, at least 20 hours was spent on installing the epoxy garage floor, not to mention the time and hassle of talking with quikrete customer service, Lowe's customer service (to get the return and get the new product), the time to actually go pick up the new product, and then not knowing if it was going to be okay after that. That is a lot to deal with.

To put it another way, here I am, an epoxy garage floor professional, among other things (including general contract work). But you know what, when I have a plumbing problem or a problem with my car, I don't try to fix it myself, even though I could probably get it done. If I gave it a shot I might be able to save a little money, but I'd have to give up a lot of time and the possibility that I wouldn't do it right and would either have to eventually call someone to help or start all over. For me, my time is worth more to me than that, and I like knowing that if a job is messed up by someone I hire to do it, they have to fix it at no extra cost to me.

So the next time you are thinking about do-it-yourself epoxy garage floor installation, at least explore hiring a professional. It is safer, you are guaranteed to receive a great looking product, and you get to save the time and hassle of trying to do it yourself.