Concrete Garage Floor – How Thick, and How to Finish?
LESLIE: Alright. Now let’s welcome a husband-and-wife team: Bill and Jean from Missouri, tackling a garage project.
JEAN: We’re building a garage and we were curious about the concrete floor in this garage. Does it need to be 4 inches? Should it be more than 4 inches thick? And then, also, what kind of finish would you recommend that we put on the concrete?
TOM: Well, for a garage floor, especially if you’re going to have any heavier equipment in there, I would probably go with at least 6 inches and I would make it a reinforced concrete garage floor. In other words, I would pour it through a woven wire mesh or whatever reinforcement to really you choose. You want to make sure that the soil beneath the floor is thoroughly tamped, because that’s where most people go wrong. If they’re in a hurry to get the garage floor poured, they don’t take the time to really thoroughly pack down the soil underneath. And if you don’t, it’ll ultimately crack.
And in terms of the finish, I think probably the best garage floor finishes today are the epoxy-based finishes. You mix up the epoxy. It’s two parts; there’s a hardener and the base product. You mix it together, you apply it, you have all sorts of different color and different finish options you could do with that. But it chemically cures. And once it does, it really locks in tight to the concrete so it’s not going to peel off. And it gives you really terrific protection.
JEAN: What about using a polisher to polish the concrete?
TOM: That’s an option, as well, but you still have to have something that’s ultimately going to seal in that surface. Because remember, concrete is extremely porous. And in a barn, who knows what’s going to be spilled on that?
JEAN: Right. OK.
BILL: Yeah, I did a little research on a concrete – or polishing and it’s quite an operation. I mean it’s not …
TOM: It’s not for the faint of heart, eh?
BILL: Yeah. No, I’m not going to do it myself. Oh, no.
TOM: No, you were going to have your wife do it.
BILL: Hey, you ain’t around. No, my concrete man said that 4 inches – all I’m going to put in this garage is a couple of old collector – old cars. Antique cars.
LESLIE: Yeah. Then you want that shiny floor so the cars look awesome.
BILL: That’s right. I want shiny.
TOM: Alright, Bill and Jean. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.