What Are Your Options For Garage Floor Finishes?
So you’ve finally made it to that item on your to-do list that you’ve probably been putting off for a while – renovating the garage. Re-doing a garage to make it more organized, appealing, and functional can be quite the undertaking, especially since there are so many elements involved. While adding or remodeling storage space, cabinets, shelves, racks, and things like that can help, the single most noticeable change will be your flooring. The flooring you choose will set the tone for the room. It can completely transform the look and the feel of the space while also improving the space for whatever purpose you most want it to serve – that is if you choose the right type of flooring material.
With garage flooring, you’ll come across several options such as roll-out mats, interlocking tile flooring or epoxy, among others. Choosing which might prove harder than you thought. However, once you start weighing the most important factors that go into making this decision, the flooring you should select will stand out to you very clearly. Before we get into how to choose the right flooring for your space in particular, here are a few options that are out there:
Garage floor mats, referred to as roll-out mats or seamless flooring, are perfect for a quick, one-day installation. There are mats that provide wall-to-wall coverage. There are containment mats that surround one small area, like a car – optimal for cars that might be tracking in dirt, snow, and moisture. There are absorbent carpet mats, diamond deck mats with a diamond pattern, carpet mats, specialty rolls and mats such as rubber floor mats, marine flooring, trailer flooring, and more. Their advantage is a quick and easy installation – they can simply be rolled out onto the floor and trimmed to fit. Floor prep is not hard – just a thorough cleaning and making sure there is no moisture trapped underneath the mat.
Garage Floor Tiles
Garage floor tiles, like the mats, can be installed with little to no prep work, no messes, chemicals, and quick installation. You can choose from rigid and flexible garage floor tiles. Rigid tiles interlock and are highly stain resistant; flexible tiles are made of PVC and give a seamless appearance while providing extra protection for the underlying concrete. These also require a thorough floor cleaning and a check to eliminate any moisture.
This category gets a bit broad and has a wide range of installation difficulty and price. There are coatings that, like acrylic sealers, that just seal the flooring, protecting it from moisture and add a gloss to the bare garage concrete. One can easily paint the coating onto the floor. Then there are heavier duty coatings like our Polyurea or epoxy coatings. These involve longer installation as they are applied in layers and require periods of time for curing. These are more sensitive to moisture underfoot, and they need the concrete to be sanded or etched, and there can’t be any cracks in the concrete either. However, these tend to look the most impressive and are better as a long term solution. The look of epoxy, for example, if done right, could make your garage flooring look amazing. Epoxy is the most durable option – it could even add value to your home.
Questions to Ask that can Help you Decide which Flooring Option to Install
So now that the basics of these different options are out of the way, here are some questions to ask yourself. These questions can help you decide which types of floorings are better for your space:
How will you be using the space?
Is your garage just a place to park your cars or is it a full-on workshop for you? Will it be taking on high amounts of foot traffic?
For high foot traffic, flexible tiles are a great option since they feel like rubber underfoot, and they provide sound insulation. The PVC rigid tiles are tougher and better for spaces that need strong flooring. If you’re just parking your car and are only worried about tracking in snow or dirt, a simple containment or absorption mat could be your solution. Another aspect to think about usage is maintenance and cleaning. A flat surface of epoxy is easier to clean than, say, a highly textured tiles floor with coin texture or diamond texture that creates grooves that are harder to thoroughly clean.
What’s Your Budget?
Do you need something cheap or do you have some room to choose?
If you’re looking at the budget as your most important factor, choosing a roll-out mat will be your best bet. Epoxy is also not too hard on the wallet. Tiles, however, can get pricier.
Do you want longevity or a quick fix?
The most durable options? Epoxy and tiles. If you’re looking to invest in your home, add value to it and make your garage flooring last, these are your two best options. But if you just need a quick fix, a roll-out mat is your answer.
What do you care about more, aesthetics or functionality?
When it comes to aesthetics, epoxy is the clear winner. You will see epoxy used in luxury car dealership showrooms because of the beautiful gloss finish and the variety of color options and textures available. Is your garage more about functionality? Then either rubber tiles or hard tiles could be a better option, especially if you’re worried about slip factor.
How much time are you willing to allocate to your garage flooring project?
Do you need something quick and easy to install, or can you invest some time for a more durable outcome?
Again, installation times can be your deciding factor. If you have to choose something straightforward and easy to install, go for a roll-out mat. Interlocking tiles are probably the next step up in difficulty of installation, although not by much, then comes polyurea and finally, epoxy. However, keep in mind, the quicker the installation, the less longevity you’ll be getting. The more time you invest in installation, the longer your flooring will last you.