Let’s face it, as the garage flooring industry grows, it feels like it is getting more and more complicated. With the help of the right garage floor designs and the best tile for garage floors, you can experience plenty of benefits. The ideal choice will be easy to install, come with the right colors and patterns for your application, and easily swap in the event of wear or damage.
However, with so many options available, it can be hard to pin down what tiles to use in a garage. You might ask, can you tile a garage floor on your own? You may need some guidance to point you in the right direction.
If you are looking for garage floor tiles in 2023 this article will tell you the ten things you need to know. This article addresses rigid tiles.
#1 There Are Two Types of Materials for Garage Tiles
Rigid tiles are made from a hard plastic-like material called Polypropylene. Flexible tiles are made from PVC. We prefer Rigid tiles for garages and PVC tiles for basements and non-automotive.
PVC tiles will stain from tires. Instead, opt for something more durable in the form of rigid tiles for garage floor designs that can withstand wear and tear more easily. Rigid garage floor tiles come in many design options and offer plenty of customization options, whether you want smooth, diamond, coin, vented, or other tiles.
Another advantage of using polypropylene in floor tiles is their ability to undergo injection molding due to their thermoplastic polymer construction. Through injection molding, manufacturers can design rigid tiles in many thicknesses and custom designs based on your specific application’s needs.
#2 Thickness Matters
There are many high-quality American-made rigid iles that measure a nominal 1/2″. We refuse to offer the 3/8″ and thinner knock-off tiles that are imported. They are flimsy and, despite inflated warranty claims, will not hold up.
When shopping for the best tile for garage floor designs, a key question to ask is: “How thick are floor tiles?” You want to make sure you find the right thickness for your application. Thicker tiles are particularly important for applications with heavy vehicle traffic.
#3 Insist on Full-Size Samples
Sample requests cost us $15-$20 to send out because we send two full-sized tiles. We do this because the only way to understand the quality of a tile is to see the whole thing. Even cheap garage floor tiles feel okay when you are looking at a small piece.
With full-size size samples to help you gauge quality, you can better determine if you can tile a garage floor with the material and get the desired results. Otherwise, you may remain in the dark about the actual quality, only to find all too late that you’ve invested in a low-quality product that wastes time and money.
#4 Looks Can Be Deceiving
A couple of years ago, my son got a deal that was too good to be true on a certain brand of sneakers. They looked identical, but the quality was very different — even if not apparent to a 14-year-old kid.
The same is true with garage tiles. Just because it has the same diamond pattern and color does not mean it is the same tile. Overseas plants have spent thousands of dollars creating look-alike garage tiles.
While you may pay a bit more for top-quality garage floor tiles using rigid tile, you’re getting superior quality in many cases. Keep in mind that while initial costs could be cheap, this may result in a lot of headaches later as your tiles fall apart and you need to pay for repairs and replacements. Do your research and look for the best garage tile products that will last and give your garage floor the durability it needs for the long haul.
#5 Flow-Through Tiles Are Amazing
We have solid tiles and flow-through tiles in our showroom. We have flow-through tiles in another business we own that details vehicles.
Flow-through tiles always seem to look cleaner and stay drier. We can vacuum or pressure wash right through them if we need to. They can be combined with solid tiles.
#6 Use Landscape Fabric with Solid Tiles
Perhaps you have seen a review that says solid tiles can be noisy. It’s true. Fortunately, a quick trip to any hardware store or garden center will fix that.
Use landscape fabric (weed barrier) as an underlayment. Problem solved!
#7 You MUST Leave a 1/2″ Gap, but You Don’t Have to See It
You need to leave a 1/2″ gap around the permitter of your floor for expansion and contraction. The same thing goes for any permanent feature you are working around.
While many just leave that gap, hardboard siding trim is a quick, easy, and attractive way to cover the gap and still allow for expansion and contraction.
#8 Garage Floor Tiles Don’t Need a Perfect Substrate
Unlevel floors, cracks, chips, stains, and more can easily be covered with garage floor tile. While minor imperfections are fine, if you had a major slope change or a huge bump in the floor, you would want to talk to us before ordering.
If damage or wear to your floors is more extensive, you may benefit from getting repairs before installing your new garage floor. We can help determine if your flooring requires these repairs before installation begins.
#9 You Don’t (Always) Need the Best
This industry has junk, good, better, and best. Which tile is right for you?
If it’s ‘just a garage’ and you want a nice place to park, and that is that, have a look at the TrueLock Standard garage floor tiles.
If your garage sees a little work and tends to be active. If quality is important, but you are not using jack stands and a 4-Post lift, TrueLock HDXT is our go-to garage tiles.
If you fancy yourself a mechanic and you have a project car on a lift, and your spouse’s car on jack stands, then you seriously need to consider either HDXT flow-through tiles or the RaceDeck diamond tile.
#10 They Were Created Male & Female
If you look at a garage tile they have loops that stick out on two sides. There are also pegs on two sides. The pegs stick into the loops. The peg is the male side, and the loop is the female side.
Typically you want the male side facing the overhead garage door and the left. That means you will want female edges for the garage door.
These features are what make interlocking rigid garage tiles reliable when installing them. With this design, they won’t slip out of place, keeping your floor in good shape and helping you get the most from your installation.
Bonus Material: How To Cut a Garage Floor Tile
If you can rent a laminate floor cutter (it looks like an oversized paper cutter), you will thank me later. If not a table saw with a plastic or laminate cutting blade works well.
If you have irregular cuts you will want a jig saw with a laminate or plastic blade.
A circular saw can work, but it’s neither attractive nor efficient.
Get Started on a Garage Floor Design Today
These tips will help you get going on a rigid tile installation in your garage. Knowing what to expect and how to select the best tile for a garage floor will help you avoid low-quality products for the best results.