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Containment Mats Vs. PVC Garage Mats Vs. Absorbent Carpet Mats

Containment Mats Vs. PVC Garage Mats Vs. Absorbent Carpet Mats

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Many of our blog posts come from real-world interactions with our customers. Let’s face it, our testing and our garages can only tell us so much about how a product will perform in different environments. Today we received an email from a customer who purchased the absorbent carpet mats for his epoxied floor in Minnesota. He wrote back to us with several questions and issues, and that conversation is the inspiration behind this post.

The perfect garage floor mat may in fact be a garage floor tile!

Containment Mats

First, it is important to understand that there are several types of containment mats on the market. Of the ones we have tested and used, as of December 2018, there are just two we would recommend. The 50 Mil Park Smart Clean Park containment mat or the TruContain containment mat. TruContain is our favorite. It is a one piece, relatively lightweight mat that you unpack and unroll. The downside to it is it is folded and does not relax real fast in the winter. That said it works amazingly well and even better if you tack it down at the corners.

The second option is the Park Smart Clean park product. We would only suggest the 50 mils. It comes on a roll, so there are no creases and folds to worry about. The downside is you do have to put it together, and you can break the edges if you are not careful. It is imperative that you drive over the ramp, not the sides. It looks better (on day 1) than the TruContain mat, but overall our customers love the TruContain product.

General Pro’s and Con’s of Containment Mats

  • Can be expensive.
  • A choice between assembly and creases.
  • Can move around on a smooth floor — we suggest securing at least the front edge.
  • Holds a lot of water!
  • Many products are super easy to install
  • No tools.
  • Easy to clean out.

PVC Garage Floor Mats

PVC garage floor mats are some of the most expensive garage floor mats we offer. They tend to weight between 1/2 and 3/4 pounds per Sq. Ft. They are available in different patterns, colors, and sizes. They are more decorative than containment mats and higher quality than carpet mats. PVC mats are less likely to slide around, but it can still happen. One major issue is PVC mats will stain from certain tires. Also, careful attention needs to be used when installing wall to wall to avoid expansion and contraction issues.

The ribbed pattern can be used to mitigate moisture, mud, and snow. That said, one thing to consider is that PVC mats do not have a containment edge. Even the ribbed mat has nothing to contain moisture at the front and back sides of the garage.

Absorbent Carpet Mats

Absorbent carpet mats are outstanding for absorbing oil and water. The look ‘OK’ but they are certainly not highly decorative and not a good choice for wall-to-wall garage flooring. They are intended to keep moderate amounts of moisture off the floor and keep oil stains from soaking into the concrete. They are lightweight and can be blown around or move when parked on if they are not secured. This would be a product that is more appropriate for Florida rains and areas like Grand Junction, CO that receive some snow.

So what is the perfect garage floor mat?

There is no such thing. In this case, given the customer’s location and that the primary concern was containing moisture — in an area with a lot of snow — I would have suggested the TruContain HD containment mat. Keep in mind; every situation is different. It is essential to weigh the benefits of each product before you make a decision.

The perfect mat may be a tile

One thing to keep in mind is a flow-through (ribbed) garage floor tile over the entire concrete floor will give you a clean, safe, dry surface to walk on. It looks beautiful and has almost no drawbacks to it.

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