How To Install Garage Floor Tiles
Rigid Garage Floor Tile Installation Instructions — Wall to Wall Only
These instructions are for TrueLock Diamond, TrueLock HD, TrueLock HDXT, and great guidance on RaceDeck tiles. They are NOT intended for flexible or PVC tiles.
These garage floor tile installation instructions are generic instructions and do not override specifics provided by the manufacturer. These instructions are directly applicable to TrueLock Diamond, TrueLock HD, and TrueLock Extreme HD tiles. It is the responsibility of the homeowner and installer to make sure that proper personal protection is used. Always wear safety goggles, gloves, and other PPE as suggested by any tools in use. Download as PDF
Prior to installation, we suggest cleaning out your garage and sweeping off the floor. It is always best to start with a clean dry surface. Garage floor tiles do not require any specific floor preparation, but we always like to start with a clean floor. We find the use of synthetic landscape fabric under any solid rigid tile to be very beneficial. It is inexpensive and easy to use. Also, the use of a densifier and sealer such as TrueLock B4 over unsealed floors can help protect the concrete itself. We like to remove the baseboard molding and replace it with a molding that can sit lightly on top of the tile — this will cover the gap and still allow the floor to expand and contract.
It is highly suggested that tiles be left out in the sun during the installation process. After the tile installation is complete, we recommend that heavy items are added back immediately.
Separating Tiles: Tiles typically come boxed in stacks of connected 2×2 tiles. To separate the tiles, simply place the connected tiles over the knee, pattern up, and bend the tiles down over the knee until they ‘pop’ apart. Bending the tiles with the wrong side up will likely result in breaking the tiles. Watch this 30-second video on separating tiles.
Battle of the Sexes: Male versus female. We’ll explain it. If it does not make sense, just trust us. The flat side of the tile is the MALE side. The side with the loops is the FEMALE side. If you look under the flat side of the tile, there are pegs. The pegs are inserted into the loop and engaged using your foot or hand. FEMALE edges, which you should use at the overhead garage door have the loops. This is the number one place people make a mistake. We always start with the male side of the tile facing the garage door and to the left. Then, we use a Female edge piece at the garage door. This is a female edge piece.
Circular Saw or Table Saw preferred
Jig Saw for small cuts
Laminate or plastics cutting blade for all saws.
Flat Head Screwdriver
Optional: Sprayer for sealant, tape for fabric
You should have FEMALE edges for the overhead door(s)
TrueLock HD, HDXT, and RaceDeck tiles come 2 tiles by 2 tiles and can be easily separated if you are doing a single tile checkerboard. With the pattern facing up, push the outer edges of opposite tiles down over your thigh or a workbench. Always pattern up. Snap your hands quickly and they come apart very easily.
Apply any sealers and let dry (if applicable)
Install Landscape Fabric (if applicable)
Remove Baseboard Molding (if applicable)
Using a ruler or tape measure measure the edge pieces. These may also be called ramps or ramp edges. They typically range in size from 2″ to 3″ wide. We will call this number Measurement A.
Add 1/2″ to 3/4″ to Measurement A. We will call this measurement B. If it is cooler than your average summer day, we highly suggest you use 3/4″
Your first row of tiles should start measurement B from the garage door. If done correctly, you will have 1/2″ to 3/4″ . Important Note: If you have a ‘step up’ onto your garage — your garage floor sits higher than the driveway– we would suggest starting 2-3″ further back. In some cases where a floor has been coated or is unusually slick additional precautions may be necessary to avoid sliding of the tiles.
Getting oriented: Open your garage door. Stand outside the garage and look in. This is the perspective all instructions are written from unless otherwise specified. We will refer to the garage door as the ‘front’ with the opposite side being the back of the garage. “Left” would be defined as on your left when standing outside the garage looking in.
When you install garage floor tile, you ALWAYS want to work from left to right and front to back. This allows tile locks to be placed over tile loops and makes for a much easier installation.
By now you likely have a pattern in mind. Keeping the pattern in mind you need to decide on an installation method. There are two basic methods. Easy and the Perfectionist method. I prefer the easy method. Some of you, you know who you are, will prefer the perfectionist method.
Easy method: Start with a full tile. Only make cuts on the right hand side and at the back of the garage. Your pattern will be slightly off center. But, its a garage!
Perfectionist Method: Cut equal amounts off the left side of the first tile and the right side of the last tile in each row. This will make sure your pattern is centered left to right. NEVER cut the front edge of the tile (facing the garage door) you can only make those cuts at the back.
Step 4: Start laying tile
Using the line pr mark you created with ‘Measurement B’ start your first row of tile. Standing outside the garage looking in, you want a flat side towards you and a flat side to your left. Keep the edge 1/2″ to 3/4″ away from the wall and keep the front on your mark. We find it helpful to use small pieces of plywood for spacers to maintain a constant gap. Make sure you remove them when done. Work from left to right and make the cuts you decided on in step 3. Complete ONLY the first row.
How to interlock tiles: All tiles should be oriented with a flat side to the left and a flat side facing the front of the garage. Place the pegs in the next tile over the loops in the previous tile. Use your hand or your foot to engage the locks — one at a time. We find that while wearing sneakers, your foot will hurt a lot less than your hand.
By this point you should have only the first row done. Keeping the tiles oriented exactly as before, install a tile behind the first one. Work all the way back, just off that first tile. When you are done you should have an ‘L’ with a one tile wide strip going straight back and one row across the front. The flat side should be facing the overhead garage door and the other flat side should be to the left. If not, now is the time to fix it!
Pro Tip: If you have something heavy, slide it onto 1/2″ plywood about the same size as the base just in front of where it will sit. Tile the area it will sit and slide it on. The warmer those tile are before putting a fixed heavy object on, the better
Using your eyes and a tape measure, check to make sure both sides are square. In some cases your garage will be out of square and you can’t have the front and the side squared up. In these cases, you need to keep the front edge square to the overhead door while still maintaining a minimum of 1/2″ to 3/4″ all the way along both sides. Once you are satisfied that the floor is squared up, please proceed to the next step.
Working left to right and front to back continue locking the tiles together. When you reach the back row you will cut it 1/2″ to 3/4″ shy of the wall. You will keep that same clearance from any immovable object such as a post or stair.
Install the front edge. The only difference is you need to slide the loops under the tiles. Generally speaking, the edges are installed from track to track of the garage doors. Often the track sits above the ground and you can run the edges under it if you prefer.
Replace / install baseboard as applicable. Remember, it should cover the gap but sit only loosely on the tile.
Move everything back in the garage.
Leaving the garage door open so your neighbors can be jealous, open the cold beverage of your choice. Grab a chair, stare at your floor and send some photos of your creation to Justin@garageflooringllc.com