Detached Workshop Garage Design

What are you planning for floor covering?

This will be a "working garage" so I was thinking some sort of floor paint. What have people found to work best to avoid "oil stains" and be a good value? The floor already has some scuffing/scratches in it from the skid steer tractor they used to lift blocks up on the scaffolding. I'm not that worried about it as like I said, it will be a working garage (e.g. metal grit, O/A welding flux, sparks, floor jacks, machining oil all present) that just might need a floor touchup from time to time.

The expansion joints in the floor were put in via a concrete saw instead of the traditional hand tooled joints. This looks like a much better way to go as floor jacks should easily roll over the 1/8" wide, square edge joints much better than the 5/8" wide, rounded edge joints.

It appears they didn't put the 1% grade (called for in the plans) in the floor at the large entry doors as water pooled inside the garage from a rain storm before the plastic lining was applied to roof sheeting. I'm not all that upset about it as I wanted a "level" floor throughout and the grading at the doors would have been in conflict with that. My main worry will be making sure the door bottoms seal and don't let rain water in as it runs down them. The doors will be "coil style" rollup doors. Have you guys found water leakage under your garage doors to be an issue? If so, what have you done about it?
 
Go ahead and pour 5 quarts of used motor oil on and spread it around with a squeegee. Then power wash it, scrub with some laundry detergent, sprinkle kitty litter and walk around on it. After all of that, broom it and seal it with a penetrating type sealer.

From here on out, you won't see any stains.

Did they give you the 3/4" depression for the doors to close into and set the drive at that higher level?
 

Randy V

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I used Epoxy Coat from this place https://epoxy-coat.com/ --- They only had the "Good" coating when I bought mine. It held up very well in my shop to everything but brake fluid. Brake fluid would soften the exposed chips. I would not do the chips ever again, however, as they made it nearly impossible to spot small things dropped onto the floor. Instead, I would buy extra traction (sand) additive... You don't want to even try to walk on an epoxy coated floor when it's wet without some sort of traction compound. Whichever you choose, look for an Epoxy floor coating that has low VOCs and 100% solids.
 
It's too late for you to do this, but I had the concrete guys sprinkle black pigment on the top "butter" before they troweled it, and troweled it in. It made a nice mottled color that hides stains. I sealed it with an inexpensive penetrating sealer. I has fared very well and most liquids bead up and don't get in. Oil doesn't, but it also doesn't leave a stain like fresh white concrete.
 

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Jim Albright

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I've had good results with epoxy (the good stuff used in military aircraft hangars) - been on the floors for 10 years with no problems. Preparation is the key to good results, even with new concrete (acid wash). Race deck tiles are tough and look great, but on the pricey side. Large rubber mats are also an option and better to stand/work on for long periods. It looks like your garage is on high ground, so water intrusion shouldn't be much of a problem - the rubber seal on the bottom of the doors should keep rain out.
 

Howard Jones

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The light grey epoxy stuff works best I think. It's light in color so it reflects light well. However, IMHO leave out the sprinkles. They make it very hard to find small screws, nuts, and other small items. This is the way I specked the electronic shop I managed. I asked for white but it wasn't available so I went with the lightest shade of grey. By the way, they used the same stuff out in the main maintenance bays where we repaired and maintained transit vehicles. Rail in the floor and right across 7 foot deep pits big enough to park a 70 foot train car overhead. Lots of big steel heavy stuff, 3/4 inch power tools etc. You get the idea. That stuff was still 95% perfect after 10 years. If done correctly it would last forever in a home garage.

Here's one in white.Nice and bright!
 

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Randy V

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Howard‘s spot-on regarding the light colored epoxy without the flakes! I would, however, advise that you purchase the traction additive because bare epoxy floors are ICY slick when wet…..
 

Neil

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Howard‘s spot-on regarding the light colored epoxy without the flakes! I would, however, advise that you purchase the traction additive because bare epoxy floors are ICY slick when wet…..
On the other hand they are easy to slide across on your back. No need for a creeper working under your car.
 

Randy V

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On the other hand they are easy to slide across on your back. No need for a creeper working under your car.
The only creepers I use anymore are cardboard or a moving blanket/carpet…. Creeper’s rarely go where I want them to, I was forever running over tools or cords and getting stuck…. The last creeper that was given to me was used as a dolly for rolling blocks and transmissions through the shop….
Just sayin’….
 
I have the flakes sprinkled on top of the floor sealer at present in the workshop. I would not be doing this a second time. I have not put a sealer over the top of it and this may be the problem that I have with it presently.

My main problems with it are that because of the texture with the flakes, it is hard to clean, it traps dirt in and around the flakes. Now it just looks dirty (because it is). Running the vacuum or broom over it does not seem to get all the dirt up. It was a cheap Ish two-part epoxy system from our local hardware store. It has been quite soft, scratches if you drag something across it, it burns easily if you get any welding splatter on it. Ie you can see where a ball of splatter bounces and rolls across the floor, it will leave a brown burn trail.

Dy-Mark 8L Slate Epoxy Coat Garage Floor Kit - Bunnings Australia

I went for the Slate grey with the blue and black flake. As others have said, next time I won't be going for the flake. I will just go with a plain color.
 
Garage construction is progressing along. I'm having a 50' long 4" by 6" I-beam mounted on the trusses for use with a trolley mounted chain hoist. The trusses were engineered for lifting 1,500 lbs. from this I-beam.

I-beam being prepped for mounting.
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Three 16' 4X6 wooden beams were positioned end to end in the middle of the trusses and 50 1/2" threaded rods suspend the I-beam under the trusses. Given the 21' ceiling height where the I-beam mounts, a high lift hoist was required to lift the heavy I-beams for mounting. The two I-beam sections were then welded together.
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A quick garage update...

The first coat of stucco is on. The bottom 4 feet of walls will be covered with veneer stone once the stucco is complete.

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I decided that better drive-in access to the "big door" was needed if that door was to be fully useful. After removing a bunch of scrub oak, I excavated soil for a semi-circular ramp drive down to the door.

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The rocks and dirt excavated were used to extend the entrance area outward on the other side of the garage.

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Ceiling insulation goes in next week and then the dry wall can go up.
 

Larry L.

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The only creepers I use anymore are cardboard or a moving blanket/carpet…. Creeper’s rarely go where I want them to, I was forever running over tools or cords and getting stuck…. The last creeper that was given to me was used as a dolly for rolling blocks and transmissions through the shop….
Just sayin’….

lol! You TOO?!
I'm currently using one as a dolly to maneuver my dad's old wood planer back and forth when I need to use it!
Have made a couple of 'home made' creepers to store and move stacks of wheels/tires out of the way when I need to access stuff stored behind them...
 
The snowy, wet winter here in Northern AZ has limited garage construction progress. It's another rainy day today which provides me the chance to give a progress update while staying inside to keep dry.

The spray-on insulation went up a couple of weeks ago. It's suppose to do a better job than fiberglass battens and no itchy arms after a trip up to the rafters. Also since it insulates at the roof level, there's no venting into the attic, so fewer places for critters to make their way in. The spray-on installation is interesting. It gets sprayed on as a liquid that immediately swells up and hardens in about 10 seconds. The curing process happens so fast that nothing drips down on the floor.

How do you hang 12' X 4' sheets of drywall on the ceiling of a building with 16 ft walls? A scaffolding on wheels makes it look easy, which I'm sure it isn't.

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Three guys up top to hang the sheet and two guys down below to muscle the scaffolding along for the next sheet placement while the guys up top hang on tight.

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Looks much better with a ceiling than bare trusses. I'm sure it will look even better once the tape and texture followed by paint is completed.

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In addition, the large coil rollup doors are now hung. I went for the coil style versus sectional doors so the doors wouldn't block the lights when open.

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Once the ground dries a bit, the trenches go in for the sewer and power lines.
 

Neil

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The snowy, wet winter here in Northern AZ has limited garage construction progress. It's another rainy day today which provides me the chance to give a progress update while staying inside to keep dry.

The spray-on insulation went up a couple of weeks ago. It's suppose to do a better job than fiberglass battens and no itchy arms after a trip up to the rafters. Also since it insulates at the roof level, there's no venting into the attic, so fewer places for critters to make their way in. The spray-on installation is interesting. It gets sprayed on as a liquid that immediately swells up and hardens in about 10 seconds. The curing process happens so fast that nothing drips down on the floor.

How do you hang 12' X 4' sheets of drywall on the ceiling of a building with 16 ft walls? A scaffolding on wheels makes it look easy, which I'm sure it isn't.

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Three guys up top to hang the sheet and two guys down below to muscle the scaffolding along for the next sheet placement while the guys up top hang on tight.

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Looks much better with a ceiling than bare trusses. I'm sure it will look even better once the tape and texture followed by paint is completed.

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In addition, the large coil rollup doors are now hung. I went for the coil style versus sectional doors so the doors wouldn't block the lights when open.

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Once the ground dries a bit, the trenches go in for the sewer and power lines.
Nice! The drywall ceiling will give you a much brighter interior than otherwise.:)
 
Getting close to finished with the garage/workshop construction phase. Main items that remain are the outside concrete slabs, painting doors/trim and to hook up the plumbing to fixtures. I plan to paint the outside doors the same color as the stucco so the building will blend in better when viewed from afar. It's located on a ridgeline (tallest building on ridge) and when viewed from a couple of miles away, the white doors really stand out.

The electric chain hoist is installed and working although I've yet to put it to a real lift test. It's rated lift capacity is 500 lbs. so less than I'd like as a 1,500 lbs. capacity would be more ideal. These things are expensive new (~$2,500) so I continue to look for a good used one. The one installed was a Craigslist find for $40 with another $40 for paint and refurbished controls, so the price was right.


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So here's a lesson learned already. The coil roll up doors are great in that they don't block the lights when up or down. The main downside is they have a 3" gap between the lintel and the door surface. The gap is there because the coil diameter gets larger as the door is rolled up. When the wind blows, there's a decent draft through the building (such that winter heating would be very inefficient) and I'm sure dust, insects and probably birds will start finding their way in if the gap is left as is. The main solution I've found so far is "brush seals" (e.g. https://jacorinc.com/ ). Does anyone have experience sealing coil roll up doors of the corrugated steel variety. If so, are brush seals the best way to go or is there a better alternative?

In addition, I've started looking into floor paint in detail. I'm told that polyurea finishes are far superior to the old school epoxy. There are some professional installers that even provide a lifetime warranty against wear, bubbling, and pealing. The main downside I see is, you guessed it, they are expensive. The first quote I received was ~$11,000 (that's a lot of car parts ;)) for full prep and install on the 2,000 sq. ft. surface I have. I'm told the life expectancy of 100% solids epoxy is 5 - 10 years and a well applied polyurea is 20 - 30 years.

I'm guessing I could do it myself at 1/3 to 1/2 the cost but that's still a lot of coin. I would though certainly welcome the thought of never having to worry about the condition of the garage floor for the rest of my lifetime. It might just be worth the extra $1-2,000 if the heavy machinery and car lifts don't ever need to be moved to re-paint the floors down the road. I do know there will be no sprinkles used and just some "traction additive" over a light colored base.

Does anyone have first hand experience between epoxy and polyurea materials for floor covering? If so, is polyurea really worth the extra cost?
 

Davidmgbv8

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My floor was 1600sq feet and was $6500 before pandemic and with the rise of cost of the resins the last 2 years $11,000 is not out of the ball park.
Mine is a tan basecoat that then had flakes cast in to rejection, then scraped and topcoated clear and it is really tough, hides dirt well and the downside is if you drop something small on the floor it can be hard to find. Here in the south it has also stopped the wet floor cycles from the warm and cool fronts that pass thru frequently this time of year.
 
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