Your garage floor sees a lot of abuse. It is exposed to water, snow and ice, de-icing and road salts, oil and gas spills, and foot and vehicle traffic. When left unsealed you will notice cracks, pits, and stains start to form. Sealing a garage floor can help to extend the life and look of the concrete.
When it comes to sealing your garage floor there are a few different types of garage floor sealers you can use. The best garage sealer for you floor will depend on the current condition of the floor, what you want the floor to look like once sealed, and whether or not the floor has been sealed before.
Increase the Strength of Your Garage Floor
Let’s start with the most common type of sealer, a silicate. Silicate sealers are used to increase the strength and density of the concrete. If you are worried about the strength of your concrete, have issues with concrete dusting, or just want to strengthen the floor, a silicate is a great choice.
Densifiers penetrate into the surface of the concrete where they chemically react to form a hardened calcium silicate hydrate (CSH) barrier within the pores. Once cured, they help to increase the surface strength and density of the concrete by as much as 45%. A few things to note about silicates:
- They should be applied to concrete that has never been sealed before.
- They can be applied to new and old concrete.
- They only need to be applied once and never again – the CSH formed is permanent.
- Silicate based sealers simply spark a chemical reaction. Once the CSH is formed, there is no longer any “sealer” left.
Still need some more information on silicates for sealing your garage floor? Consider these resources:
Best silicate sealers for garage floors:
- Armor S2000 – Concentrated sodium silicate densifier that needs to be diluted with 3 gallons of water prior to applying. Average 4.8 star rating on FoundationArmor.com, HomeDepot.com, and Amazon.com. $64.95 plus $9.95 shipping.
- RadonSeal Silicate Sealer – Pre-diluted sodium silicate densifier. Average 4 star review on RadonSeal.com and HomeDepot.com. $189.00 plus free shipping.
- PS107 Silicate Sealer – Pre-diluted sodium silicate densifier. No reviews available accross any networks. $99.00 plus $25.00 shipping.
- Armor L3000 – Concentrated lithium silicate densifier that needs to be diluted with 3 gallons of water prior to applying. Average 4.8 star review on FoundationArmor.com, HomeDepot.com, and Amazon.com.
Protect Your Garage Floor Against Water and Vehicle Spills
Cracking, spalling, pitting, and staining can be caused by a variety of things, but the most common factors are water absorption. Water causes deterioration, cracking, spalling, and staining from within the pores of the concrete. Water also aids in the formation of mold, mildew, and efflorescence on the surface. To help reduce deterioration and staining, mold and mildew, and efflorescence caused by water absorption, a water repellent sealer should be used.
The best type of water repellent sealer to use on a garage floor is a Silane-Siloxane sealer. Siliconate sealers can also be used, but they should not be used on smooth troweled or medium-dark gray surfaces (they can leave behind a white surface residue). Silane Siloxane sealers do not leave behind a film or coating, and they don’t change the look or color of the concrete. They form a long lasting hydrophobic barrier within the pores that reduces surfaced water absorption by up to 95%. Silane Siloxane sealers can help to reduce staining caused by oil spills, but they can’t stop staining because the surface of the concrete is still left exposed. To completely stop staining, a coating needs to be applied instead (see next section).
- Armor SX5000 Concrete Sealer (average 4.8 star review)
- Siloxane PD Concrete Sealer (average 4.5 star review)
- DryWay Water Repellent Concrete Sealer (average 3.8 star review)
Enhance and Fully Protect Your Garage Floor
Sealers are designed to reduce staining and deterioration, but coatings are designed to stop staining and deterioration. Sealers work below the surface, but coatings work on the surface. If you are looking for complete protection against staining and deterioration, or want to enhance your garage floor with a wet look, low gloss, high gloss, or colored finish, then you want a garage floor coating.
There are a few types of concrete coatings that can be used to seal a garage floor:
- Acrylic Sealers: Acrylic sealers are the best type of garage flooring if you are looking for a wet look, low gloss, high gloss, or colored coating that requires little to no surface prep. Most acrylic sealers can be applied to concrete that hasn’t been etched or ground. They can be applied with a roller or sprayer, and will last for up to 5-7 years before the need for a recoat. Acrylic sealers are resistant to certain spills, but large or constant spills can cause the acrylic to deteriorate. Repairing acrylic sealers however is very easy, making them a very popular coating option for garage floors. The best acrylic sealers for garage floors are the Eagle High Gloss Sealer (residential grade, average 4.6 star review), Armor AR350 Wet Look Sealer (professional grade, average 4.8 star review), Armor AR500 High Gloss Sealer (professional grade, average 4.9 star review), and Enduraseal SB Acrylic Sealer (residential grade average 4.5 star review).
- Epoxy Coatings: Epoxy coatings are a step up from acrylic sealers, but they require the surface to be acid etched or ground with a floor machine. They are harder to apply and maintain, but they are great on floors that have high moisture, and floors exposed to consistent vehicle spills. The best acrylic sealers are the Armor AR500 and Armor AR350 (professional grade, average 4.8 star review), Eagle Sealer (residential grade, average 4.5 star review).
- Urethane Coatings: Urethane coatings are the strongest garage floor coating and they are resistant to oil, gas, and chemical spills. The surface prep is a bit more involved, and so is the application process. If you are worried about oil, gas, or chemical spills, or want a coating that will last for years without issue, then a urethane coating is best. The best urethane coatings are the Armor UTN60 High Gloss Coating (professional grade, average 5 star review, $275) and the Sika 735 AL (no reviews found, $500).
Resealing a Garage Floor
If your garage floor is currently sealed, or has been sealed before, it may have an impact on what you can reseal your garage floor with.
|Current Sealer||Can Be Re-Sealed With|
|Silicate||Silane-Siloxane, Acrylic, Epoxy, Urethane|
|Silane Siloxane||Silane-Siloxane, Acrylic|
|Water Based Acrylic||Water Based Acrylic|
|Solvent Based Acrylic||Solvent Based Acrylic|
Additional floor prep may be required when resealing, and not all sealers are compatible. Before resealing, it is important to contact the manufacturer and apply a test spot to verify compatibility.