DIY Epoxy Nightmares | A Do-It-Yourself Story
Does a DIY Epoxy Flooring Job Save Money?
As a leading provider of garage flooring solutions for Northeast Ohio, Ohio Garage Interiors takes pride in offering superior quality and value for our garage flooring services. We do our best to work within our customers’ budgets, so they can install the flooring they need without breaking the bank. However, many Ohio homeowners see professional installation as a luxury they simply do not need.
As a result, they turn to low-cost solutions like DIY floor kits. These products can be found at virtually any hardware or home improvement store with extremely low prices, so they are an attractive alternative for anyone looking to save some money. DIY also allows homeowners to cut out the middleman and skip working with professional contractors entirely.
Unfortunately, DIY floor kits involve low-quality materials that lead to a wide variety of hidden costs. Many of our customers come to us to solve defects caused by DIY flooring. Some have even spent extra money reapplying these products only to encounter the same issues.
Here at OGI, we encourage Ohio homeowners to avoid deceptive DIY flooring alternatives. We do not tell these stories to simply attract people to our business but to inform Ohio residents and help them avoid wasting valuable time and money. The story below covers a particularly troublesome encounter with DIY flooring products.
Case Study: John’s DIY Garage Floor Resurfacing
Let’s use John, since that is a pretty non-description name. John one day decides he wants to put in an epoxy garage floor. He calls us out for an estimate, and we give him all the details. We explain, for instance, how we’ll first fix the cracks and chips in his floor first. We continue to explain how the floor then needs to be treated before we place any epoxy flooring. Finally, we explain all the benefits of our professional-grade flooring options: our coatings make your garage floor easier to clean, easier to maintain, and overall just easier on the eyes. John asks, “How long?” “Typically, we can do a job in a day and a half.” Then we see the glimmer in John’s eye. He believes he can just do it himself, and save a lot of money. So he tried.
John’s Epoxy kit was more expensive than he anticipated
John was a pretty thorough guy, so he didn’t just run out there and buy something. He priced out what I call over-the-counter epoxy garage floor coating products that you can buy at your local big box store. He ended up buying one that came with an accompanying product that degreases, cleans, and etches the concrete. Ultimately, the kit cost him $400 for the material itself. He still had significant time he was going to have to invest.
More tools are needed before John can start the job
After purchasing the product, John watched the instructional DVD and read the instructions that came with his materials kit. As a result, he realized that he had to purchase additional tools for the job to be done correctly. These tools were another $200 dollars, so he was up to $600.
The cost of time adds up, and the results are disappointing
Eager to transform his garage floor into the same beautiful, glossy wonder shown on the front of the epoxy can, John picks spends his whole weekend in the garage. Overall, he does exactly what the instructions tell him to do. He’s meticulous in his attention to detail, and waits between stages as the instructions stress. The final product? Well, it’s an uneven coating of epoxy with roller marks and with a blotchy pattern of flakes sprinkled on top. John’s floor does not match the promised beauty on the can! In addition, he has to park on the street an entire week for this low-grade epoxy to cure (rather than the day and a half of our professional-grade options). To add insult to injury, the first time he rolls into the garage, his warm tires peels up the epoxy and sprinkles, leaving a bare concrete spot behind! Each time he rolls in and out, he sees more tire marks and stains on his floor.
Why it’s hard to get the same results as the professionals
It’s not you, it’s them! First, it’s the quality of materials used. As professional installers, we have access to products that are superior to what consumers can buy in stores. Ours cures faster and results in a non-porous finish. Second, experience does matter. We’ve worked in different temperatures and different humidity levels, so we know how our products respond. Thus, we can adjust our application as needed for the best results during the current weather situation. Finally, our tools are top of the line. Again, the quality of roller heads and other tools the consumer can buy don’t match the quality of our tools. We match the tool to the desired result, rather than trying to force the result from a subpar tool. It all adds up to superior application and superior durability. Your floor will look better than the pictures on the DIY cans!
The REAL price of John’s DIY job
All in all not, John’s floor could have been a lot worse. Still, it’s not the transformation he was hoping for. Instead, he now has a single epoxy layer with no protective clear coat to protect against stains and tire mark lines. After a year or two, he finds himself investing more money and time, re-coating the floor and hoping that this protective clear coat he found will work with the compount he put on the floor. It yellows and bubbles. Now he’s made his floor worse. No worries, he has next year to do it again…right? Three years in, he has spend more than $2,000 in materials, tools, and time. Worst of all, he still doesn’t love the results.
With professionals, you know it’s done right the first time
Even if you are still considering DIY, it would not hurt to explore your options with professional installation. In fact, you can schedule an on-site inspection with OGI. We will send one of our professional flooring contractors to your home to inspect your current flooring and provide you with a free quote!
Here at OGI, our epoxy flooring solutions utilize the highest quality materials in the industry. With polyaspartic polyurea, our epoxy garage floor coatings will protect the underlying concrete from any incoming wear and tear. Dirt, dust, stains, mold, mildew, flooding, road salt, corrosive chemicals, and even industrial-grade impacts are no match for OGI flooring!
Most importantly, our staff will perform a thorough, two-day installation to ensure you receive the best flooring for your garage. Our two-day process gives our high-strength epoxy ample time to cure to the concrete flooring. As a result, it can form a strong, long-lasting bond, forming a surface that looks better and lasts longer without frequent repairs and maintenance.
If you are interested in installing garage flooring in Northeast Ohio, get in touch with OGI today and set up a free consultation. Work with Ohio’s leading garage flooring contractors and avoid all the hidden costs and issues of DIY flooring.