Can You Skim Concrete Over a Concrete Garage Floor?

Whether you want to resurface the floor for aesthetic reasons or to address minor imperfections, pouring fresh concrete over the old slab can provide a smooth and durable finish. However, it’s crucial to ensure that the new mixture is at least 2 inches thick to guarantee proper structural integrity and longevity.

What Can You Put Over Concrete to Make It Smooth?

One option to make a concrete surface smooth is to use self-leveling cement. This is particularly useful if the concrete floor is sloped, as it can be poured onto the surface to create an even, level finish. Brands like Ardex offer self-leveling cementitious mixes that can be applied to the concrete and then ground down afterwards, similar to regular concrete. This process can result in a smooth, shiny surface.

Another popular option to achieve a smooth finish on a concrete floor is to use an epoxy coating. Epoxy coatings not only provide a smooth and glossy appearance, but they also offer excellent durability and resistance to chemicals, stains, and abrasion. These coatings can be applied directly onto the concrete surface, creating a seamless and easy-to-clean finish.

For a more natural and rustic appearance, concrete overlays can be used. These overlays are typically made of polymer-modified concrete and can be applied directly onto the existing concrete surface. They can be troweled on to create a smooth texture or stamped to resemble a variety of other materials, such as stone or brick.

In some cases, a thin layer of cement skim coat can be used to smooth out a concrete surface. This involves applying a thin layer of cement directly onto the existing concrete, which can then be carefully troweled to create a smooth and even finish. This method is commonly used for small imperfections or uneven areas rather than for larger-scale resurfacing projects.

This involves using specialized machinery to grind down the surface of the concrete, removing any irregularities or rough spots. The process is typically done in several passes, starting with a coarse diamond-grit disc and gradually moving to finer grits to achieve a smooth and polished finish.

Whether you opt for self-leveling cement, epoxy coatings, concrete overlays, skim coats, or grinding and polishing, each method offers it’s own benefits and can be chosen based on the specific requirements and desired outcome of the project.

When it comes to skim coating concrete, typical application thicknesses range from featheredge to 1/4″ for large areas and up to 1″ for small fill areas. Most floor coverings can be installed over skim coat in 1-3 hours, while impermeable coverings and coatings may require 16 hours of curing time.

How Thin Can I Skim Coat Concrete?

When it comes to skimming concrete over a garage floor, it’s indeed possible to achieve a smooth and level surface. The process involves applying a thin layer of material over the existing concrete, commonly known as a skim coat. The thickness of this skim coat can vary depending on the specific application.

This is suitable for most cases where the goal is to level out minor imperfections or create a smoother surface. However, for smaller areas that require filling, the skim coat thickness can go up to 1 inch (2.5 cm). This allows for a more significant level of repair.

The advantage of using a skim coat is that it provides an efficient and quick solution. Most floor coverings can be installed within 1 to 3 hours after the skim coat application. This saves time and minimizes the disruption to your garage usage. Furthermore, impermeable coverings and coatings, such as epoxy or urethane finishes, can be applied over the skim coat after it’s cured for approximately 16 hours.

The existing concrete floor should be clean, dry, and free from any contaminants, such as oil or grease. Any loose or crumbling areas should be repaired beforehand to ensure a solid base for the skim coat.

Most floor coverings can be installed within a few hours, and impermeable coatings can be applied after 16 hours.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Skim Coating Versus Other Methods of Repairing and Resurfacing Concrete Floors

  • Skim coating:
    • Benefits:
      • Provides a smooth, level surface for finishing
      • Helps to hide imperfections on the concrete floor
      • Can be used to create decorative effects
      • Relatively quick and easy to apply
    • Drawbacks:
      • Requires proper surface preparation for adhesion
      • May require multiple coats for desired results
      • Not suitable for severe damage or structural issues
      • Can be more expensive compared to other methods
  • Other methods of repairing and resurfacing concrete floors:
    • Benefits:
      • Can address structural issues and severe damage
      • May be more cost-effective for large-scale projects
      • Offers a variety of options for different floor finishes
    • Drawbacks:
      • May require more extensive surface preparation
      • Can be labor-intensive and time-consuming
      • May not provide as smooth of a finish as skim coating
      • Some methods may involve strong odors or hazardous materials

This self-leveling resurfacer is designed specifically for indoor concrete slabs, making it the ideal choice for repairing garage floors or enclosed patios. It’s thinner consistency allows for easy application and ensures a smooth, level finish.

What Is the Best Concrete Resurfacer for Garage Floor?

Quikrete Self-Leveling Resurfacer is a top choice for repairing indoor concrete slabs, such as garage floors or enclosed patios. This product stands out due to it’s thinner consistency, which allows for easy self-leveling during application. When poured onto the concrete surface, it effortlessly spreads and levels itself, eliminating the need for extensive manual leveling or smoothing.

Another advantage of using this concrete resurfacer is it’s ease of use. The simple application process involves mixing the product with water, pouring it onto the prepared concrete surface, and using a squeegee or trowel to spread it evenly.

By resurfacing your garage floor with this product, you can restore it’s functionality and appearance without the need for expensive removal and replacement of the existing concrete. This not only saves you money but also reduces the time and labor involved in a complete concrete overhaul.

It’s self-leveling properties, easy application process, durability, and cost-effectiveness make it an ideal solution for repairing and renovating indoor concrete slabs. With this product, you can skim concrete over a concrete garage floor effortlessly and enjoy a smooth, professional, and long-lasting result.

Benefits of Resurfacing a Garage Floor

  • Enhances the appearance of the garage
  • Increases the value of the property
  • Provides a smooth and even surface for parking
  • Improves safety by reducing the risk of slips and falls
  • Protects the concrete from damage caused by stains, chemicals, and moisture
  • Requires less maintenance compared to untreated concrete floors
  • Offers customization options with various finishes and colors
  • Helps to prevent dust and debris accumulation
  • Reduces tire wear and tear
  • Creates a more comfortable and inviting space


By ensuring that the existing concrete is in optimal condition, this project can be successfully accomplished. It’s crucial to pour a new mixture that’s at least 2 inches thick to provide a strong and durable surface. When executed with care and precision, this method can effectively rejuvenate and enhance the functionality of your garage floor.

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