Garage Floor Tile Buying Guide
Given the great variety of manufacturers currently operating today, it can be very difficult to decide which garage floor tile company deserves your hard-earned money. Every manufacturer has its own reasons why it is the best in the business, but it’s important to regard these claims with healthy skepticism. Naturally, companies will try to cast their products in the best possible light, and this is true across the whole range of garage equipment and products, including epoxy garage flooring, garage cabinets, overhead storage units, garage floor mats, parking mats, garage door seals, garage door thresholds, and more. There are quality manufacturers out there, but there are also a lot of dubious outfits that make false or inflated claims about their products.
With a first-rate distributor like Garage Flooring LLC, you have access to experienced professionals who can assess your needs and help you find the products that are suitable. We employ garage flooring consultants who do not work under commission, and will try their best to identify the right kind of garage floor covering for you. We don’t just sell one flooring product; we have a wide variety of them, each type carefully constructed to fit the needs of today’s consumer. Our catalog includes an assortment of garage products, ranging from top-of-the-line garage storage cabinets to BLT’s famed G-Floor garage flooring mats. Our vast experience with garage organization and flooring products gives us an edge over the competition.
A Simple Solution for Many
For those out there who are just looking for reliable and reasonably priced floor tiles for garage use, it’s not necessary to spend lots of time comparing all the varieties of tiles on the market. If you’re among the thousands of consumers who are shopping for affordable garage flooring that can support your car, you will likely find what you’re looking for with our TrueLock or TrueLock HD garage floor tiles.
Budget vs. Desires
Before you make a purchase, you should take a clear-eyed look at your finances and determine what you can get with the budget you have to work with. Our catalog features a variety of garage flooring products at a range of prices, but you can’t expect the relatively inexpensive items to give you the same level of performance as the more high-end ones. For those with limited budgets, we offer the following pieces of advice:
• Select American-made garage floor tiles that have been on the market for a substantial length of time.
• Before ordering, be sure to get some full-sized samples of the garage tiles you’d like to purchase. In many cases, the more expensive products are free to sample, while the less expensive products are available for a small fee (to make up for the relatively small margin of profit of these items).
• Our belief is that our TrueLock Diamond and TrueLock HD Tile products will probably provide the best value for your money. To be sure, you can find garage tile flooring that sells for less, but ours have been constructed from high-quality materials. Literally thousands of square feet of these products have been successfully installed, and they have proven to be highly dependable and durable. These are essentially $4/SF products that we sell at $1.99 – $2.99/SF.
• The chief difference between the high-end and the relatively inexpensive tiles in our catalog lies in what is commonly termed the “fit and finish.” What is this, you ask? If you closely examine the different tiles, you will notice that they feature varying levels of gloss, and you may also observe that the marks from the injection molding process are more obvious on certain tiles than on others. It’s up to you to decide which types are acceptable to your tastes and your budget. But before you make a decision, we suggest setting out two or more tiles on your garage floor so you can see how they look in their proper environment. It’s possible that the injection molding marks that seem ugly when examined at close range are perfectly acceptable to you when actually installed.
Which of the following are important to you?
1. I want a cool checkerboard look for my flooring.
2. I have a lot of moisture in my slab.
3. I do not want spilled gasoline to stain my tile, but I do not care about the concrete underneath.
4. Price is my primary concern.
5. I do not want spilled gasoline to stain my tile OR seep through to the concrete below.
6. My concrete is new or like new and I do not want it to become stained.
7. I will be using forklifts and/or other industrial equipment.
8. I would like a single solid color for my flooring.
If any of statements 2-4 were important to you, then you should consider Polypropylene.
Agreeing with statements 5-7 usually indicates that you should go with PVC. Item 5 requires PVC and a topcoat.
Agreeing with statement 1 usually indicates you should go with polypropylene, but if something from 5-7 was important, then you should select our True Lock Premier PVC product.
Item 8 would give you a seamless floor in PVC, but it can also be done with polypropylene.
Polypropylene vs. PVC
On the market today you will find two primary types of garage floor tiles: Polypropylene and PVC. Polypropylene tiles are the traditional plastic, square-edged types. These will have a varying number of locks, and they’re good if you’re looking for garage flooring with a checkerboard or similarly complicated pattern. They should be around ½” thick and weigh about one pound per square foot or more. By contrast, PVC tiles tend to be (but aren’t always) thinner and more flexible; they generally utilize a puzzle-like locking system. They are also usually heavier and more expensive than Polypropylene products.
Both Polypropylene and PVC perform very well on residential garage floors. However, PVC tends to have certain advantages in industrial applications or in areas where it is important to protect the substrate below the garage flooring. There are cases when PVC has to be adhered with epoxy garage floor coating or similar products to ensure optimal performance, but usually garage floor epoxy is not necessary. But Polypropylene tends to work better when there is moisture issues to deal with, and these tiles are superior at providing resistance to tire marks and petroleum-based substances (such as gasoline). Polypropylene is also the more affordable option if you’re going for a checkerboard look for your flooring.
In contrast to Polypropylene tiling, PVC is designed to keep spills from penetrating the tile. Our True Lock PVC garage floor tile features extremely tight locks, which are nearly invisible in single-color flooring arrangements. This top-quality tile is watertight, and the dual locking system keeps moisture from leaking through the garage tile flooring. True Lock provides the benefits associated with PVC as well as a dual locking system that gives a “square edge” appearance.
This PVC garage flooring is not a snap-together lock system. It has been designed to lock permanently, and so it is highly resistant to accidental separation due to spinning tires or similar kinds of pressure. These tiles usually require a rubber mallet for installation.
We can sum up the differences between these two products as follows. For the average residential garage, Polypropylene tiles are ideal. But if you have an area with a lot of industrial traffic, or if you need to keep the floor beneath the tiling clean, you should select PVC. Keep in mind that if the area experiences frequent gasoline spills, PVC may stain unless you apply a topcoat or, alternatively, you may apply three coats of commercial acrylic floor finish with a clean finish mop or applicator. There is absolutely no way to guarantee a PVC product will not stain from tires. We suggest black tiles under the vehicle tires.
It’s important for consumers to exercise caution before making a purchase, as the many cheap garage floor tiles have appeared in the market in recent years. Some are manufactured in China, while others originate in the U.S. As products of inferior design, these tiles have issues with expansion and contraction, fading of colors, and separation even under normal conditions. We have decided to avoid dealing with these low-quality garage tiles. In an effort to improve on these poorly designed garage floor coverings, we have sacrificed a lot of profit so we can offer our customers a top-quality tile at a reasonable price.
Which Polypropylene Tile Is Right for Me?
This is an important question, and it’s one that we mean literally. Some people would ask which tile is the best, but it’s more important to ask which garage floor tile is the best for you and your specific requirements. It basically comes down to a question of budget. How much can you spend and what can you get for your money?
We classify Polypropylene tiles in three different grades: Good, Better, and Best.
Good: We label the TrueLock Diamond garage tile flooring as a “good” product for our customers’ garage floors. This well-engineered product features a locking system with 24 locks on each tile. It performs well, and in this respect we have not had a single problem with it. The only consideration keeping the tile from the Better or Best rating is its fit and finish. We have other garage tiles where the injection marks are not so visible, and the product would be improved with a better finish appearance. In addition, this product is available in only a single pattern at the present time. In sum, this is a high-quality, reasonably priced product. Since this article was originally posted the finish on the TrueLock Diamond has gotten exceptionally better.
Better: TrueLock HD tiles are made by a leading manufacturer of garage floor tile and are an outstanding value. They have a retail price of $3.49 but we frequently have them on sale at prices ranging from $2.39. For most of our customers the TrueLock HD garage floor tile is a great way to go!
Best: Our TrueLock HD Ribbed tile and all RaceDeck products are world-class garage floor tile. Beyond all doubt, it can’t be surpassed in the categories of engineering, locking system, and finish. We’re so confident in this product that if your tiles become permanently stained, we will replace the damaged tile at no cost to you. But keep in mind that high quality isn’t inexpensive. This product starts at $3.49/sq. ft., and it is never on sale.
Which PVC Tile Is Best for Me?
In terms of quality, Our True Lock PVC and Tuff Seal garage floor products stand on the same level. Both are made in the U.S., constructed from top-of-the-line materials, and feature same performance characteristics. The “best” one is really a matter of opinion. Since this article was originally posted Exelia garage floor tiles have become an outstanding American Made garage floor tile option. NORSK is also a good option, but it is imported.
How Much Material Do I Need?
We have provided a waste-free calculator for all of our products. This will allow you to figure out how to buy only the number of garage tiles you really need. You just have to enter a couple of measurements.
The calculator helps you analyze your garage in terms of tiles instead of square feet. Estimating your garage space in terms of square feet will typically result in buying too much or too little.
If you would rather do it the old-fashioned way, you should begin by dividing your garage area into squares and rectangles. That is, if you have two separate areas and one is larger or offset, break it into two separate areas (or three or four) and calculate it separately OR you can square it off.
A. Width of Your Garage in Inches (or Section) __________________
B. Length of Your Garage in Inches (or Section) __________________
C. Width of Each Tile ______________________
D. __________ (answer to (A)) divided by ________ (answer to (C)) = _________(D)
E. __________ (answer to (B)) divided by ________ (answer to (C)) = _________(E)
Tiles Needed = (D) x (E)
Edges Needed: = (A) divided by 12 (for wall to wall applications)
OR A+A+B+B divided by 12 for a parking pad. PLUS four corner pieces.
Hint: If you are installing a checker pattern, order half in each color. If you are installing a more complicated pattern, give us a call and we will walk you through the process.
For more information on our garage floor tiles click here