So I have two different spaces where I work on the triumphs, a typical two car garage, and a side room to my shop. Both are new construction, so the cement is new for both spaces.
I decided to use epoxy-coat http://www.epoxy-coat.com/ on the garage floor. The reviews show it is thicker, harder, and tougher than the big box store water based stuff. It is also more expensive!
For the side room, I decided on POR15’s Floor Armor http://www.por15info.com/msds/FloorArmorMSDS.pdf. The main reason was that the side room is not easy to rinse with water, which you have to do with epoxy-coat. POR15’s product does not require acid etching and rinsing. Once I started looking, I got a great deal on a gallon of Floor Armor from a custom speed shop that ordered it for a customer who didn’t show.
Epoxy-Coat Experience – Garage Floor
It has been two years since I did the epoxy-coat. I bought the full kit as my garage is 480 square feet, and the full kit covers 500. I have zero regrets, it is great! I use a floor jack on it, jack stands, etc. No chipping, flaking, it is perfect. I followed the instructions to the letter, and watched the DVD several times. I was really anal about scrubbing with the etching solution, and rinsing after words. In fact I etched, scrubbed, rinsed twice. I rinsed until the water was absolutely clear.
The scrubbing was a heck of a LOT of work (at least the anal way I did it), far more than the POR15 product. I should say, I worked the heck out of my son-in-law John, who did most of the scrubbing. He wore half the bristles down on the natural fiber brush we used to etch/scrub. I also let the floor dry for a month. Here is the TR6 looking quite nice on the new floor.
The only problem I had was bubbles forming after I finished laying down the epoxy. I was able to pop most of them using a leaf blower as recommended, but the blower couldn’t quite reach all the bubbles. I ended up duct taping the blower to a long pole, so I could reach in far enough to pop all the bubbles! It did leave little “craters” in the finish where the bubbles were, but they don’t hurt anything. The floor is still completely coated. In fact, they add to the “anti-slip” quality of the floor.
POR15 Floor Armor – Shop Floor
I have had good results with POR15 on metal for the triumphs, so when I saw that there was no water involved, I decided to try it. The room below is a 120 square foot side room to my shop, and I want to use it for things such as rebuilding engines, small painting projects, etc. So the 1 gallon size will just barely suffice. As I stated above, the floor is new construction, so the cement has never had oil, grease, or anything else on it, except the drywall hangers did leave a mess of “mud” on the floor, which had to be scrubbed off.
I followed the directions completely, which you can read here: http://qr.absolutecoatings.com/QR-assets/downloads/POR15/FloorKitInstruction.pdf. The only thing I did differently had to do with painting the edges first with a paint brush. When I discovered the recoat time was about 4-5 hours (less if really humid), I realized the project would take 4.5 hours first edging + 4.5 hours second coat edging + 4.5 hours first coat floor + 4.5 hours second coat floor = 18 hours. So I did the edging and first floor coat all at once, not worrying about second coating the edging. I remember from my epoxy coat experience that I will be able to get the roller right up to the edge.
Floor was scrubbed, and allowed to dry for several months. No special reason for the length of time, other than I was busy with other things. Vacuumed, and painters taped. I opened all the windows, and put old towels at the base of the doors going upstairs, to keep the odor out of the house. Turned off the AC.
2. Mixing the Floor Armor/POR15
I did not want to mix it up all at once, as I am going to do both coats with the single gallon, and you have to let it dry 4-5 hours between coats. I did not know how much I would need for the first coat, so I came up with the following approach. I grabbed a bunch of half quart throw away Tupperware containers, which have 2 cup, 4 cup lines on them. I added 3 cups of the POR15, dipping into the gallon can with a cleaned out jello cup (I have a bunch of these), then adding activator till it reached the 4 cup mark. I then wrote down the time. I stirred and let it activate for 10 minutes. Then before painting, I mixed a second batch in another container, and marked the time. I used the first batch, and noticed I did about a quarter of the floor. I figured I’d need 4 batches. So I then made a third batch, noted the time. Then used the second batch when it’s 10 minutes was up, and made a fourth, noting the time. I then used the third batch, then the fourth. This allowed each batch to activate, limited the waste, and allowed me to keep painting without having to wait 10 minutes for activation.
3. Single coat edges and floor
I decided to single coat the edges with a disposable paintbrush, then immediately put the first coat on the whole floor, all in one operation.
The picture above one coat of wet POR15, using a little more than half a gallon POR15 + activator. It isn’t a solid color yet, you can still see it needs another coat, but the instructions say don’t worry about it on the first coat. Now to let it dry for 4-5 hours. The test will be that I can drag my finger over it, and it drags, but won’t leave a fingerprint.
4. Second Coat
After 5 hours it was dry to the point it would not leave a fingerprint, and I could walk on it ok. For the second coat, I was worried I would not have enough. So I divided the remaining from the gallon can into 4 Tupperware containers, one for each quarter of the room. Fortunately, it covered, but it was very close… Here it is, done, still wet.
Here it is dry, a day and a half later
5. Odor concerns
As you can see above, my shop is part of the interior of the main house building. I had once rattle canned a car part in this room, and the odor permeated the house, upsetting the Mrs. Since I didn’t want to add the cost of a hotel room to this project, this time I opened all the windows, and put old blankets against the space under the doors leading to the rest of the house. No problem with odor inside the rest of the house at first. But my wife got up at 2am and opened more windows. The smell didn’t wake her, but once awake, it was pretty strong. After a day and a half it is a slight background odor, just barely.
6. Crack coverage
The instructions say it covers hairline cracks. I had filled most of the cracks with urethane crack filler, but left a few, thinking the Floor Armor would fill it. No such luck. If I had to do it again, I would fill every crack first. My own fault for being overly optimistic about what a “hairline crack” is.
7. Comparing the Two Products
For ease of application the Floor Armor wins for not having to etch and rinse, and it did not bubble. Appearance wise, they are the same. I have not abused the Floor Armor yet, so I cannot comment about how the two products compare for durability. I will update the post after I have used the Floor Armor surface for things like jacking up the car, etc.