BLT G-Floor Garage Floor Mats Installation Update
Selecting the best method of installing G-Floor garage floor mats is essential to your long-term satisfaction with the products. With over a decade in the market, G-Floor has a time proven installation method for most applications. As we explain too many of our customers, it is like purchasing a car. While a rear wheel drive convertible might be a great choice for Florida it will not do as well as a 4WD SUV might in the mountains of Colorado. It is important to pick the right product and method for your specific project.
In a recent video and blog post we discussed how to best install a BLT garage floor mat. It is important to note that there are several different ways to install G-Floor and the video was discussing one specific method. This post gives you a brief overview of the various methods but it is not designed to replace the manufacturer’s instructions. Ultimately the decision how to install the product has to be made by someone on the job site. With any of these methods make sure you read the STOP AND READ and make sure you allow the product to relax
Free Floating – easiest to install. Just roll out
Perimeter Tape – easy to install. This method uses a double-sided acrylic floor tape (not double-sided carpet tape) to adhere the floor along the edges and keep the floor from moving.
Full Adhered install – this method with gives you the best results for the flooring
Free Floating Installation
In our opinion this is perhaps the most user-friendly and most commonly used installation method. It also has a lot of variations. A modified version of the free-floating installation is what we show in our installation video. It is how I did my garage.
The benefits of a floating installation are simplicity and the ability to easily remove the floor. In its truest form, the floating floor consists of one or more mats that are simply rolled out and trimmed. A gap has to be left all the way around each piece to allow for expansion and contraction.
Most of our customers use a modified version of a free-floating installation. In a modified version the mats are butted together and seam tape or a center strip is used. In most cases this installation method works very well. Like any installation method there are some potential pit falls.
Both free-floating installs and modified free-floating installs have some potential issues associated with them. In most garages we have heavy storage items and relatively large temperature changes. BLT garage floor mats are made from PVC and like all PVC and other plastics it expands. If your flooring can expand and contract in some places and not others it is possible that from time to time you can develop a ripple or bubble. Often when the temperature normalizes the mats will contract and everything will go back to the way it was.
Sometimes it is necessary to secure the areas to the floor using a double-sided acrylic tape or 3M #80 spray adhesive. Other times simply repositioning the mats and allowing them to relax again will fix the problem. In a small percentage of cases these two solutions will cause other areas to ripple. If that is the case you may have to consider a fully adhered option.
I’ve been in this business for over a decade. It is still my professional opinion that the benefits of the modified floating installation far outweigh the downsides. While we have certainly had a few projects with the issues described above, it is important to understand that this is a very very small percentage of the garage floor mats we sell –and in many cases it’s because the directions were not followed. Well over 90% and perhaps as high as 99% of the mats we sell are installed in this way with very few issues.
Perimeter Tape Installation
This is just what it sounds like. The mats are rolled out, trimmed and dry fit. They are then allowed to completely relax. A double-sided acrylic tape is installed around the perimeter of the area to be covered and along the seams. The mats are then secured to the floor using the double-sided acrylic tape.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have never attempted this installation method. The manufacturer does not offer the tape and we have not sourced one. The upside is the mats are not likely to move. The downside is in the wrong conditions the middle of the mats will move and the edges cannot. You end up with bubble or ripples like you would with a floating floor.
Fully Adhered install
This is a permanent and professional installation method that when properly done will yield the best results. It should almost always be done in commercial, industrial and trailer applications. Professional flooring installers and contractors should give it serious consideration in residential installations. The average DIY consumer needs to proceed with extreme caution before attempting this installation. It is extremely important to note that issues that arise from this type of installation are generally due to improper installation or poor site conditions and are not covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.
The mats should be rolled out, allowed to relax and then trimmed to fit. Seam tape should be used at the seams. The appropriate adhesive should be selected and applied to properly prepared substrate.
Surface prep will vary depending on the adhesive and the installation. Generally you want a clean, oil free floor that is neither sealed nor coated. In some cases you will need to prime the floor. It is very important that you follow the directions from the manufacturer.
Once the surface is prepared, the adhesive is applied and the mats are rolled back out. Then a heavy roller should be used to make sure there is positive adhesion.
The fully adhered install presents major advantages for commercial and industrial applications. This is especially true in shop settings where heavy equipment is being rolled around on the floor on a regular basis. When properly done you will have a quality, almost seamless floor that is as professional in appearance as it is durable.
Common issues we see with this is failure to use the adhesive properly causing bubbles or poor adhesion. We also see people trying to adhere the floor over coated or improperly prepared substrates. Different adhesives do better in different circumstances. If you are considering a fully adhered floor please give us a call so we can discuss the best options.
In most cases I would highly suggest residential customers start with a modified floating installation and use the fully adhered method only as a last resort. One last note. Installation methods are always changing. Web sites and articles, including this one can become outdated. You must read the current installation information provided with the mat and we highly suggest contacting the Garage Flooring LLC or Better Life Technology with questions on which method is best for you. Again, because you are the one who knows your job site conditions best, only you can decide what is likely to be the best method of installation for your project.