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Garage Floor Epoxy Preparation: Concrete Grinding vs. Acid Etching

Choosing the Correct Preparation Method For Your Garage Floor Epoxy

When it comes to garage floor epoxy preparation methods, you have two options: concrete grinding and acid etching. There is a difference between the two and everyone has an opinion over which is best for certain garage floor epoxy applications. To help you to make the best decision, we have put together information about both types of preparation and their pros and cons.

Making the right decision for your garage floor is important, so let's go over both options and see what will be right for you.

Concrete Grinding Preparation

Concrete grinding involves removing the top layer of your garage floor to expose the concrete beneath. The top layer is smooth, where the concrete layer underneath is rough and raw. A concrete grinder that is properly equipped with diamond grinding blocks, or even a hand grinder with diamond discs, is used for grinding the surface of the floor. You can grind the floor down to prepare for new garage floor epoxy, or you can polish it down to have a beautiful concrete floor.

Pros & Cons of Concrete Grinding


  • Ideal for older homes with existing wear on the garage flooring
  • Concrete flooring is durable and resilient to foot traffic, which makes it a hard floor to damage
  • When you have ground down the concrete, you have a flooring that is polished and offers a very long service life
  • Easy to maintain
  • Friendly to your budget (we'll talk costs shortly!)
  • Design options are unlimited with concrete grinding, and you can achieve colors and designs that suit you
  • Straightforward process
  • Produces the best results and is safer than other methods


  • You may need an expert to do concrete grinding for you
  • It can be challenging to acquire the tools to do the job yourself

Costs of Concrete Grinding

Contractors all have different costs, but usually, it can be $60 cents to $2 per square foot for grinding a concrete floor. This can change depending on whether you want to include design and finishing for the flooring.

Acid Etching Preparation

This involves the application of acid to the top surface of the concrete flooring, and it's good enough to prepare your flooring for a protective coating or new concrete. The acid etching exposes the pores of the concrete, but it won't get rid of caulks and other stains.

Pros & Cons of Acid Etching


  • A good fit for new construction
  • Less labor-intensive than other methods of roughening concrete
  • Ideal for the smaller spaces
  • A good option for those who are doing their garage floors themselves and have no access to grinding equipment
  • A better option than power washing


  • Not a viable option for more significant places
  • Not a good choice for older concrete flooring

Costs of Acid Etching

Acid etching can cost between $25 cents to $1 per square foot, but that depends on any staining or colors you want to add later on.

Acid etching a garage floor is excellent for those doing the job themselves, but it's always better to concrete grind if you have a larger surface to consider. Each method differs, and every case is different, so it's not a one size fits all solution.

Have additional questions about correctly installing your new garage floor epoxy? Visit our garage floor epoxy installation guide or contact Idaho Epoxy Pros in Boise.


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