A garage floor covering isn’t the top flooring priority in a home, but putting one in has real benefits. You may not be concerned with creating a beautiful garage floor, but the fact is that it is likely to incur abuse, unlike anywhere else in your home. Automotive fluids can leak from your car staining the floor and creating an unseemly smell. At the very least, snow and/or grime is probably going to begin to migrate into your garage.
Contaminated garage floors can also contribute to accidents. If you use your garage as a workshop, you may need to install a floor covering just to be safe and reduce the chance of slipping. Of course, you can always just lay down mats to fix this problem, but more advanced floor coverings will give you total coverage and a more permanent, reliable garage floor.
Decided it’s time to upgrade the look of that garage? Revamping the garage floor will transform your garage from boring to beautiful. A basic concrete floor provides a space to walk and park on.
However, a little time and effort completely change the atmosphere of your garage. What was once a bland room hidden away becomes the room of choice for sports games and hangouts.
Once you begin your search for different types of garage floor options, you’ll find there’s a lot more to it than you thought. Figuring out what product to cover your garage with is daunting to many homeowners.
Commercial and domestic garages need a hard-wearing floor surface. The floor is always exposed to spilt oil, water, grease and mud, so flooring should be quick to clean, slow to stain and reluctant to take damage! You never find carpets, lino or wooden flooring in a garage, and for a good reason – these types of flooring simply aren’t up for the job. The common choice for garage owners are painted a concrete floor or floor tiles, whether interlined plastic or ceramic.
Two popular and well-known choices are epoxy and garage floor tiles. Both products have their costs and benefits. Information on the pros and cons before purchasing a product sets you and your floor up for success. It is essential to compare these products to make a well-informed decision.
Yes, we know: you could turn any space into a dream garage if you could park three Porsches in it, like the lucky owner shown above. But we’re not talking about the vehicles you put in your garage; we’re here to help you turn it into a happy place to house any set of wheels you happen to own.
You’ve put the pegboard up, the garage walls are freshly painted, and you’ve finally installed the bright lighting. You’ve just about turned your workspace into a proper shop for money-saving repairs on the family chariots or your special ride. What you need now is the finishing touch: a great garage floor, using either a garage floor coating, a garage floor epoxy, or some type of solid flooring.
Epoxy is a commonly-used floor coating in industrial, commercial, and home settings. It is a hard-resin two-part system. Epoxy is a combination of polymer resins and hardeners that react to one another by chemically bonding with each other and the concrete floor underneath.
The result is a solid and glossy material that is impeccably smooth, seamless, and stunning. With the glossy epoxy, any space will feel luxurious.
As mentioned, epoxy looks excellent. Also, it is easy to customize – add colour for designs, custom hues, and unique looking designs. Flake is an additional way to spice up the floor. Also, epoxy is highly resistant to heavy-duty wear and tear, a significant factor to weigh for installations in workshops or high-traffic areas. Epoxy floors can chip or crack if abused. Polyurea offers an easier and even more durable option.
Customers love how tightly sealed epoxy floors are because it protects the concrete below the coating. When the epoxy is applied correctly, the surface protects against spills, leaks, and any potentially damaging moisture. Because of this feature, epoxy lasts for decades when maintained adequately. As a result of the smoothness and gloss finish; epoxy is also a breeze to clean. Ensure the clean condition of the floor through sweeping or mopping often.
While time saved on cleaning and maintenance, in the long run, is a highlight of the epoxy, the installation process is lengthy. The success of and epoxy-floor installation depends on how meticulous you were in the prep process. Thoroughly etching or grinding the concrete floor allows the epoxy to bond to the concrete.
After mixing components, keep in mind that epoxy must be applied quickly. Each layer applied requires several hours of curing time for each coat. You will need at least a day of prep time. Also, if the concrete floor is often damp or retains moisture, then epoxy is not recommended. Lastly, epoxy is a smooth surface, so if you require friction to avoid slipping hazards, you will need to lay down mats to provide it. For customers looking to avoid the stressful installation process, check out our All-Weather Floors Polyurea.
Tile floors are interlocking tiles that are either flexible or rigid. They come in a variety of options, from specialized textures like the TrueLock HDXT Coin garage tiles to ribbed tiles to snap carpet tiles and more. If you’re going for an impressive aesthetic look, diamond plated tiles are a bold choice that also offers extreme durability and resistance. We HIGHLY suggest rigid tiles over PVC tiles for automotive applications– PVC tiles can stain from tires. If you do go PVC, use black under the tires.
Compared to epoxy, one of the main pros of tiled garage floors are the fact that they are much easier to install than epoxy. Sweeping and assuring the absence of large rocks or bumps is pertinent to a successful installation. We also recommend that customers apply a low-cost concrete protector like the B4 floor prep. Tiles can be installed over low-quality concrete or even wooden floors (not a feature epoxy can boast.)
Like epoxy, tiled floors are also a wonderful choice for a homeowner or business owner that cares about aesthetics, due to the full range of textures and designs that are available. Flexible tiles offer a softer floor underfoot and offer amazing impact resistance, while rigid tiles take more stain-resistant. Lastly, interlocking tiles are less permanent than epoxy – beneficial for customers that move often or will move in the near future.
While interlocking tiles create a fantastic look for your garage floor, it is the less seamless option in comparison to epoxy. Rigid interlocking tiles are also not quite as easy to clean as epoxy. Tiles with an uneven profile may be difficult to roll over. In an area with rolling toolboxes, drawers, and other similar workshop items, we recommend the TrueLock HDXT Coin tiles. Flexible tiles tend to be susceptible to staining and have the potential to expand and contract in direct sun-exposure or high heat. Finally, a textured tile could prove more challenging to keep clean than a smooth surface like epoxy.
The Argument For Floor Tiles…
Many people come down on the side of the floor tiles, for the following reasons. Once floor tiles are installed, so the argument goes, they need very little maintenance. They are tough, crack resistant and simple to wipe clean. They are less prone to frost damage and present a smooth floor surface, making them less susceptible to collecting dust and contaminants. You also won’t have to paint a tiled floor every couple of years. You may pay more for a tile floor, but once it’s down, your expenses essentially stop.
Why Garage Floor Paint Is A Better Option
Unfortunately, part of this argument simply isn’t true. Garage floor tiles do require regular maintenance in order to change the grout, which quickly discolours and starts to break up over time. With damaged grout, a tiled floor loses its water resistance, making the flooring susceptible to damp. Also, the smooth surface of a tile is as much a hazard in a garage as it is a help, as it presents a greater slip risk when oil and water are spilt. As far as the ‘no painting’ argument goes, tile advocates may have a point if they use low-quality paint. Low-quality paints will wear out and flake when subjected to heavy use, rendering them useless in a garage.
However, when high-quality garage floor paints are used, there are significant advantages to choosing the painted garage floor option.
- A painted floor, with the right coatings, provides a greater range of spill resistances to tiles. For instance, you could treat your floor for acid resistance if these substances are used in your garage.
- With the addition of an anti-slip coating, a painted garage floor provides less of a slip hazard than a tiled floor.
- High quality painted concrete is a tougher surface than tiles. Tiles crack and require regular maintenance to replace the grout – none of this is necessary with a painted floor.
- Providing the surface is prepared correctly (see below), good quality garage floor paint will last for years.
Here are some tips to make sure you get a great result:
It’s Not The Paint, and It’s The Flooring
When people experience problems with floor paint in a garage, more often than not, it is the surface that is at fault and not the paint. If you are laying down a concrete floor, ensure you buy a high-quality mix and apply properly. You want to ensure that new concrete is left at least 28 days before you try and paint it. Then, clean and prepare the surface. Dust and contaminants from the concrete cause blistering and loss of adhesion, so thoroughly dry, repair, sweep and clean the surface before applying your paint. Areas of old flaking paint from previous coats should also be removed.
Choose The Right Paint And Coatings For Your Garage Floor Type
Once your floor is repaired and prepared to the highest standard, choose the correct type of paint for your garage floor type. A bare concrete floor should be suitable for most types of floor paint and coating if prepared properly. If your garage floor is sand or cement screed, you should still be able to apply most paints, although the correct preparation is key for a long-lasting coating.
If your garage has an asphalt floor, as some entrance and exit areas do in professional garages, you will need to select an asphalt compatible paint for your flooring. An epoxy floor paint or PU floor paint will provide an extremely tough, durable surface on most concrete floors.
Take Care When Applying Your Paint
The quality of the paint finish is affected by how you apply the coatings. Ensure you have the right equipment to give an even coat, such as a high-quality bristle brush, mohair roller or quality spray gun. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for spray guns. We recommend thinning the first coat up to 25% to aid application, coverage and will help the paint penetrate the concrete offering better mechanical adhesion.
Paint v. Epoxy for Your Garage Floors
The cheapest garage floor covering is simply a coat of paint. The paint will provide a layer of moderate protection for your garage floor and improve its overall look, but painted garage floors, as you might imagine, don’t last very long. You should plan on repainting once a year, maybe more, to achieve any kind of consistent protection or look.
A better investment of your time and money is probably epoxy. Epoxy costs more than paint, and the surface of your garage floor will have to be prepared to ensure a quality finish. Properly applied epoxy will give your garage a showroom-like finish, a greater amount of protection, and will be significantly more durable than paint. Because of the need for surface preparation, epoxy is a great idea for new garages. The potent chemical composition of epoxy requires safe ventilation and a multistage application process. Plus, you’ll need to make sure your garage doesn’t get wet if slipping is a concern.
Garage Floor Tile Cost
DIY Starting at $820 all costs included. If you pay someone to do it, it will take about 3 hours. If there are many cuts, it may take an additional hour or two to install. You may need to add $200 to your budget if you pay someone to do it.
This example refers to a two-car garage of 400 sq ft.
Epoxy Paint Cost
DIY (do-it-yourself) Home Kits will range between $900 to $1100 if you take the time to do proper concrete preparation. If you pay someone to apply the home kit, the cost includes the price of preparing the garage, which is a two-day process. The price for a typical installation is an additional $700 for labour.
High-end Commercial Grade Epoxy Paints (aeroplane hangar quality) will cost about $5500 with professional installation and proper concrete preparation. This example refers to a two-car garage of 400 sq ft.
Tile and Permanent Garage Floor Coverings
Neither paint nor epoxy can offer the benefits of a garage floor tile. Tile is going to be more expensive, but professionally installed tile should give you a garage floor you can trust for several years, at least. Interlocking tiles can decrease the cost of installation, or high-end tiles can give an unmatched look to your garage. Floor tiles should be able to be laid down right on top of your concrete, so long as the concrete is in reasonable condition. The biggest difference between garage floor tiles and tiles you might use inside your home is the adhesive you use. Garage floor tiles don’t require the same additives that are frequently needed for interior home use.
Garage Renovations and Uses
Garages are typically designed to protect your automobile, but this doesn’t mean you have to use it for this. If you have a car that’s five years old and/or lives in a more mild climate, you might find that there are better things you can do with your garage space than sheltering your ’03 Ford Taurus. Installing a tile floor or staining your concrete can allow you to place a small pool table, ping pong table, or card table in your garage and convert the space into an entertainment area. You might also want to upgrade your insulation, windows, lighting, or walls to create a livable space. You’ll be rewarded, as these renovations are often worth the trouble. Double garages, in particular, are good candidates for these types of conversions. By installing the right garage floor covering, you can park one or two cars in your garage for most of the week and pull them out to the driveway and set up for poker night.
When comparing epoxy to interlocking tiles, it all comes down to what matters most to you. For an easier installation, durability, and mobility, the interlocking tiles might be your pick. On the other hand, for customers that desire a beautiful, long-lasting, and easy-to-clean floor and don’t mind an involved installation process, epoxy is a great option. Polyurea takes much of the complexity out of the installation while still offering the Pros of epoxy. Polyurea tends to be more chemical resistant and more durable.