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DIY vs. Professional Concrete Floor Coating. Which is Right For You?

September 27th, 2021 | 10 min. read

DIY vs. Professional Concrete Floor Coating. Which is Right For You?

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*Disclaimer: Southwest Exteriors does not recommend a DIY garage floor coating for a high-quality outcome. However, we want to provide an accurate, unbiased comparison of a DIY and professional garage floor coating.

After looking at your garage floor every day when you walk out the door, you start to resent its appearance. There are oil stains, some sporadic scratches here and there, and you want something that matches the elegance of your home. 

A garage floor coating is a perfect solution to cover up these blemishes and give your garage the stylistic edge you’ve been looking for. 

You think to yourself, “It doesn’t look that hard, does it?” So you research how to DIY your garage floor coating and come across dozens of “How To” articles and videos, giving you a boost of confidence. 

When you dive deeper, you start to see other content pop up with “DIY garage floor fails” and “What can go wrong with an epoxy coating.” 

Should I coat my own garage floor? Can I do it? What does a professional offer that I can’t do myself? These are all valid questions that may go through your head when thinking about having your garage floor coated. 

Video: "DIY vs. Professional Concrete Coating Installation" Down Below

Southwest Exteriors has been a home remodeling company in San Antonio for over 30 years. We offer Penntek Industrial Coatings for garage floors, outdoor patios, driveways, and more. 

Every week, we see many homeowners with a botched coating that they or their handyman neighbor did for them. The concrete wasn’t prepared correctly, the coating wasn’t mixed correctly, and it wasn’t applied correctly, making it peel up and fail within a year of use. 

However, there may be successful DIY garage floor coatings that we don’t see.

This article will outline the pros and cons of both a DIY and professional garage floor coating so that you will be familiar with what comes with both. Before diving into a DIY garage floor coating, it’s critical that you understand these benefits and drawbacks. Without this knowledge you risk lost time and money and a potentially large headache.

That’s why this article will help you understand what is good and bad about each of them and decide which is right for you. 

What are the pros and cons of DIY garage floor coating?

Any DIY home improvement project can be risky. You have to be highly skilled to perform even the simplest projects, like restaining a cabinet or coating your garage floor. 

While you have some benefits of a DIY garage floor coating, there are also key drawbacks that you need to be aware of before deciding to jump into this project yourself. 

Benefits of a DIY garage floor coating

There are three big pros of doing your garage floor coating yourself: the cost, not stressing to find a contractor, and timeliness. 

1. The cost is much lower

A DIY garage floor coating is going to cost significantly less than a professional coating. You can get concrete coating kits for less than $300, while a professional can cost over $2,000. 

If cost is the most important element of this project, then DIY might be the right route. 

2. You don’t have to stress to find the right contractor

Something you may not realize as a pro of doing your garage floor coating is not having to stress to find the right contractor. 

Because there are so many contractors out there, it can be hard to find the right one, schedule multiple consultations, and compare them all before finally choosing one. 

The benefit of doing your garage floor coating is that you are your own boss. You get to make all the decisions without having to confirm them through a contractor and waiting to hear back. 

3. You get to choose your timeline

The third pro of a DIY garage floor coating is that you get to choose your timeline. You do not have to wait to go through a consultation or two, wait for your products to be ordered, and for the installation date. 

You get to do this on your own time, which may be a huge pro for many with a busy schedule. 

Cons of a DIY garage floor coating

Now that you know the pros of a DIY garage floor coating, you must also be aware of the cons that come with it. 

The three major cons of a DIY garage floor coating are the quality of the coating, longevity of the coating, and servicing the warranty. 

1. The quality of the coating is lower

With a DIY concrete coating kit, what you get is what you pay for. The quality of the product and installation will never be as high as a professional coating would. 

Even if you are a skilled handyman, materials a professional contractor uses typically are not available for the average homeowner to purchase, affecting the overall quality of the application. 

2. The coating will not last as long 

Because of the quality of the coating product and the quality of the application, it is not going to last as long as a professional garage floor coating. 

Quality of installation is just as important as the quality of the product. If a product is not installed properly, it will never last as long as it should. 

The average homeowner is probably not a professional concrete coater, so the coating will not last as long as a professional application. 

3. You have no warranty

With a professional garage floor coating, your coating will be backed by the product and contractor’s warranty. 

This means that if something goes wrong with your coating for the time it is in your garage, it may be covered under warranty, and you’ll be provided with a refund or replacement, depending on the details of that warranty. 

When you DIY your garage floor coating, you are the one to service the warranty. If something goes wrong with the coating, like peeling, chipping, or blistering, then you are going to have to pay to have it fixed. 

The big takeaway with a DIY garage floor coating 

Overall, if you’re looking for a quick and cheap garage floor coating and aren’t concerned about the longevity of the coating, then a DIY project may be what you’re looking for. 

However, you must be aware of the risks you take with a DIY garage floor coating and know that it may not come out as high-quality as you may expect it to. 

Pros and cons of a professional garage floor coating

A professional garage floor coating is the ideal choice if you want a high-quality coating that will last. However, it might not be the right choice for everyone, depending on your goals and priorities for your project. 

Before deciding to do your garage floor coating yourself, you should know the benefits of hiring a professional as well as some of the cons. 

Benefits of a professional garage floor coating

There are many benefits of hiring a professional for your garage floor coating. The top four pros of hiring a professional for your project are the design options, quality of the product and installation, the longevity of the coating, and the warranty. 

1. More custom design options

If you’re looking for a sleek, solid color coating or an elaborate pattern, hiring a professional will give you that. 

When coating your garage floor yourself, there are limited solid color options for you to choose from. A professional contractor offers different finishes, patterns, colored flakes, and designs for your garage, and some can even do custom logos. 

2. The quality of the product and installation

Industrial coating products used by professionals are of higher quality than a DIY kit you can buy at the hardware store. 

A professional contractor is a professional for a reason. Installers are trained to follow best practices to apply the coatings carefully and properly. A high-quality product combined with a high-quality installation will ensure the success of your project as well as longevity. 

3. The longevity of the coating

As a professional coating contractor will apply the concrete coating at a high level, it is going to last longer than a DIY coating. 

With any home improvement project, you want to only have to pay for something once and for it to be done right. Hiring a professional concrete contractor for your project may be more expensive, but you will only have to go through it one time. 

4. Warranty of your coating

When you hire a professional contractor for your project, your new garage floor coating will be backed by the product and contractor warranty. 

If your coating starts to peel, crack, chip, or is damaged, it may be covered under warranty. Most manufacturers will offer a replacement coating or refund if anything happens under the defined terms of the warranty. 

A high-quality contractor will also back up their installation with a warranty, meaning they will cover the cost to reinstall the coating if the damage is warranted. With a DIY coating, there is no contractor to fix the damage, and you are left to pay for the replacement. 

The pros of a professional garage floor coating are that you will receive a high-quality coating that fits your aesthetic and is going to last for many years. 

Cons of a professional garage floor coating

Although a professional garage floor coating seems like the best option in all scenarios, sometimes, it may be more of a hassle than just doing it yourself. 

The common three cons of a professional garage floor coating are that it is a higher cost, it can be hard to find a trustworthy contractor, and the process can take longer. 

1. It costs more

The biggest thing most look at is the cost of a project. A professional garage floor coating is going to cost more than if you were to do it yourself. 

You are looking to pay around $2,000 for a single-car garage, including installation and labor. While the quality of the product and installation will be higher with a professional, the cost may be a make or break for you. 

2. It can be hard to find a trustworthy contractor

The home remodeling industry can be tricky to navigate. It’s hard to find a contractor that wants the best for you. 

With all the different contractors out there, how can you choose one? Sometimes it can be overwhelming and not seem worth it. However, if you know what to look for, finding the right contractor doesn’t have to be so scary. 

It all depends on how much time you’re willing to spend to find the right one. 

3. It can take longer than just doing it yourself

When working with a professional, you are not the only client. You may have to have multiple appointments, have technical measurements taken, wait for products to be ordered and the installation day to come. 

Doing a project yourself means you can work on your own timeline. If you are looking for a quick coating and need it done fast, then hiring a professional may not be the best option for you, depending on the outcome you want. 

The big takeaway with a professional garage floor coating 

Overall, hiring a professional contractor has its benefits and its drawbacks. You will get a high-quality garage floor coating that is going to last, but you are going to have to pay more and undergo the process, which can be lengthy. 

DIY or professional garage floor coating: which is right for me? 

When you’re evaluating whether you should coat your own garage floor or hire a professional, you must evaluate what you want the outcome to be and understand the risks you take with both. 

If you are looking for a quick coverup for your garage floor, aren’t concerned with the longevity of the coating, and want to save some money, then a DIY project may be what you’re looking for. 

On the flip side, if you want to pay more one time for a garage floor coating that will meet your design needs and last for decades, then hiring a professional is your best option. 

At Southwest Exteriors, we always recommend hiring a professional for any home improvement project. However, we understand that it might not be realistic for every homeowner. 

We ultimately want you to be educated on all your options so that you can make the right decision for yourself and your home. 

Want to learn more about all that goes into a professional garage floor coating? Check out this article and video outlining the step-by-step process of a concrete coating application, including prep work, base coat application, and topcoat