Garage floors are a place where the worst wear and tear happen. Once pieces of protective covering have been dragged on day in and day out, surfaces can start to show signs of damage. Particularly if the garage is used for heavy activity such as auto repairs or sports equipment storage, anything covering the floor becomes an important consideration. Flooring or covering must be durable to withstand wear and tear, especially from hot tires, and the harsh environment found in garages.
To protect your garage floor, choose materials that will fit your garage design and needs. You may want to choose between the all-purpose floor covering or specialized flooring for different activities. Then you must decide how to fit this flooring into your garage design.
Garage flooring ideas come in a variety of materials and designs. In this article, I will discuss the various garage flooring options available. I will also cover the environmental factors.
Concrete floors in garages need to be able to withstand tire marks, the weight of your vehicle, as well as any sports equipment or cars that are left inside. For this reason, most garages have several different types of flooring materials that can do so. Depending on the type of vehicle and how active the garage is can affect the choice of flooring.
Garage floor options
Since your garage can be used for multiple purposes, different kinds of flooring are required. Below is a list of the most common types of garage floors and the characteristics they need to have to withstand damage.
- Rigid Plastic Tiles
If you have a garage that is used for storage, the rigidity of this type of flooring gives it the durability to protect against moisture. The rigid, hard plastic tile is the most popular and versatile type of construction for garage flooring.
They are made of high-impact polypropylene, a thermoplastic polymer. Some manufacturers claim that a small percentage of rubber is mixed in to add anti-slip and anti-fatigue properties.
- Wood Composite Tiles
Wood flooring is an excellent option for those who have a garage that they are also using as a living space. The wood, in particular cedar, is great for blocking out moisture so it can be used in damp areas. The composite wood tile has a polyethylene moisture barrier that keeps the top dry. Wood panels are easy to install with their tongue and groove edges that fit together. You just need a hammer and block of wood, which is a tool that you likely have in your garage.
- Heavy-Duty Rubber Tiles
This flooring uses a rubber base that is crisscrossed with grooves that create traction. This provides the appearance of being non-slip, but it does not protect from moisture or damage. If you live in an area where the climate is damp, this may not be the best option for your garage.
- Roll-out Vinyl Tiles
This type of flooring looks great and provides traction. Vinyl flooring is relatively inexpensive and easy to install on concrete. Simply unroll it on your garage floor, cut off the excess, and it’s done. It is a good option for garages used for auto repairs or as a workshop. There are peel-and-stick vinyl tiles that are easy to install on any surface that is rated for high moisture areas.
- Carpet Tiles
Some garages have carpeting installed that is fairly easy to install and it provides a nice safety feature. If you have a garage that is used for a more static reason, such as storage, this may be the best option for you. It is also soft underfoot and does not require any special maintenance.
Garage floor coatings
In addition to the common option for garage flooring, there are garage floor coverings and coatings that you may want to consider if you have an active garage or a more particular taste in what you want for your floor.
If you have a garage that is a workshop, this may be the kind of flooring to consider. There are concrete stains that are made specifically for working on cement floors. These are high-gloss, durable coatings that provide better traction and resistance to chemicals.
Concrete Floor Paint
If you would like to have a floor that looks more natural, this is a good option. It can be poured right onto the concrete and it gives it a nice texture as well as color. It is available in a hard- or soft finish. This is not a permanent solution to your floor, so you will have to keep the paint on it for at least a year.
If you want to add a durable and protective layer to your existing garage slab choosing the right concrete garage floor coatings is the way to go.
- Acrylic Latex Paint – this type of paint protects against scuff marks and most chemicals and protects your garage floor from the elements.
- Epoxy Paint – this is more expensive than other types but it lasts longer because it repairs itself.
- Polyurethane – this type of floor coating protects against water damage and is good for absorbing shock.
- Oil-based Paints – these are just like oil-based paint used on walls and they resist moisture and water.
- Silane or Siloxane – these are similar to acrylics but they are more durable and lighter in weight.
While these garage floor coatings provide a great way to refresh an old garage floor there are also some other things to consider.
- Never install a coating on a damp surface. This could cause the coating to lift.
- Avoid applying garage floor paint above or below a door threshold because it is easy for the coatings to lift.
- Check with your local building department about required permits before you go ahead with this type of project.
- If you have a garage that is measuring 12′ x 20′ or smaller you should probably not apply a coat of paint. It is likely that it will not be cost-effective for the amount of area to paint.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How long will my epoxy floor coating last?
The time span it lasts for depends on the type of epoxy you use. High-gloss epoxy flooring will last 10-15 years and low-gloss will last 25-30 years.
- What is the advantage of an epoxy garage floor?
Epoxy garage flooring is non-slip and scuff proof. It also works to enhance the overall appearance of your garage.
- What is the best epoxy floor coating?
This depends on what you are trying to achieve and how long you want it to last. There are a variety of types of epoxy floor coating that you can choose from. Some are more resilient to damage than others.
- What is the difference between polyurethane and epoxy garage floor coatings?
The main difference is how long they last. Polyurethane coatings are great for wet areas such as basements because they do not break down easily but they don’t last for as long and are more expensive.
Epoxy garage floor coatings will withstand the weather better than polyurethane and will last longer with time. It is a good idea to go with epoxy if your garage will be exposed to moisture.
- How do I clean my garage floor?
The best way to clean an epoxy-coated garage floor is to use an automotive detailer or a concrete cleaner. You can also use household cleaners but avoid using soap. It can leave a residue that will build up and cause the floor to look dull.
When it comes to choosing from a variety of garage flooring options, consider the space that needs to be protected from dirt and moisture. If you live in a humid climate, it might be a good idea to go for the more expensive flooring that will last you longer.
For anyone who owns a house or does home repairs, garage floor coating can transform your garage into a clean and comfortable room for all situations. Garage floor coatings can be installed in a day and keep your garage looking as good as new. It is important that you consider the style of epoxy coating and apply it to the correct type of flooring for the best result.