Garage Floor Tile Options (Part 1)
How to Select Which Garage Floor Tile is Best For You
There are a lot of ways to reverse these steps. You could pick a pattern before you pick a raw material, but we find that starting from the raw material works best for our customers.
Step 1: Choose A Raw Material
There are a lot of options in materials for garage floors. VCT, Porcelain, Ceramic, Polypropylene and PVC. By far the most common and appropriate are Polypropylene and PVC. So what’s the difference between the two?
Polypropylene garage floor tiles have been used by the major manufacturers of sporting floors and garages for some time. They are typically about 1/2″ thick and interlock using a hook and loop system. Usually when you see a checkerboard pattern those are polypropylene garage floor tiles.
Polypropylene tiles are tough and perform very well in many applications. They are an open system which means moisture, dirt and debris can easily get from above the floor to below the floor but they also let moisture out from underneath. Polypropylene tiles do not flex, or have minimal flex. If you have an uneven floor or if you have an unclean floor it is possible for them to echo a little and be noisy. This can be reduced by utilizing an underlayment or even a landscape fabric from your local supplier.
Polypropylene will expand and contract and installation precautions need to be taken to make sure your floor does not raise, move or buckle.
PVC tiles are not near as popular for residential applications but provide some great benefits. They are a fairly solid tile and tend to be quieter than polypropylene. Their puzzle locking systems are inherently stronger and the tiles can be glued down with an adhesive in areas of high industrial traffic , fork lift use or in areas where you are turning your vehicles tires at a standstill. Many PVC tiles can be coated for a high gloss look. In a single color they provide the look of a continuous, seamless, floor and they are a more closed system. They are not completely impervious to liquids finding their way through, but generally what lands on top of a PVC system stays on top of a PVC system. Many manufacturers argue they are more resistant to abuse as you could strike it with a hammer and not crack it.
The big downside to the PVC tiles is if you are looking for a checkerboard system, in most cases you are going to have that puzzle look.