How to Choose Garage Flooring
Updating your garage flooring is a great, fun project to add fun and appeal to your home. How do you know which type of flooring to choose? We’ll help you with the ins and outs, pros and cons, and all the dirt on how to choose garage flooring.
Okay, so you’re ready to spruce up the ol’ garage and take your space to the next level, but where the heck do you even start? We like to start at the bottom – with the floor!
Most people have never gone through the process of having to choose garage flooring before. There are so many things to consider from tiles to rolls to epoxy–it can be overwhelming! Well, let’s simplify things a bit, shall we?
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Garage floor tiles are the most popular for the average DIY-er. Tiles are one of the easiest floor coverings to install and typically interlock or have a peel and stick backing.
Garage tiles can be made of a durable polypropylene (basically a really strong high-density plastic composite), a flexible PVC material (people like this because it feels like rubber underfoot, it’s quiet and has some cushion to it), or peel and stick vinyl tiles.
Pros of garage floor tiles
- Easy Install. If you’re looking for a DIY install, you can do this regardless of experience! Trust me, I just helped with one the other day, and I have never installed a flooring in my life, but it was a snap–literally–just snap the tiles together! No painter or installer necessary.
- Color & Pattern Options. If you want full control over how your garage will look, this is a great option! Mix and match colors and patterns, add the classic checkered look, or add your own creativity–you have tons of color options in every pattern. Definitely fun for the creative type!
- Easy Swap. Tiles are designed to be chemical and stain resistant. However, if one gets damaged, you’re not out the whole floor! Easily swap it out for a new tile and your floor looks like new!
Cons of garage floor tiles
- Price. Modular garage floor tiles have the widest price range of all the garage flooring solutions and can be the most expensive option. They range from $1.98 / square foot all the way up to nearly $6.00 / square foot. Like anything, you get what you pay for: The more expensive the tile, the more expensive (usually) the material is.
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Roll out vinyl / PVC flooring (fun fact: they are the same thing!) is the second most popular garage floor solution for the DIY homeowner.
Pros of roll out vinyl/PVC garage flooring
- Ease. Rolled vinyl flooring a.k.a. PVC flooring is the easiest garage flooring to install. All you have to do is roll them out, make any necessary cuts with a utility knife and BOOM! Sit back, relax, and enjoy your new floor!
- Color & Pattern Options. Garage rolls come in a variety of patterns including coin pattern, diamond plate pattern and more. Numerous colors are also available.
- Maintenance. Maintaining vinyl flooring is super simple. All ya need to do is sweep or hose off the flooring as needed. As a person who hates cleaning, I find this very appealing.
- Cost. Vinyl garage rolls are also one of the lowest cost garage flooring options. Prices typically range from $1.50 – $4.00 / square foot. The cost variances stem from the thickness or grade of the vinyl, color (some colors can cost more to make than others), and whether you are purchasing a custom sized roll to better fit your garage or a pre-cut generic sized roll.
Cons of roll out vinyl/PVC garage flooring
- Customization. Unfortunately, there is no way to make a custom design. You will always end up with a single pattern (coin, diamond, etc.) and a single color floor surface.
- Replacement Options. Although PVC is chemical and stain resistant, what do you do if the roll does get damaged? The answer usually is live with it or buy a replacement since you can’t just pop out and replace a tile.
- Time to Shine. The secret about rolls is that they don’t really look their best for 1-2 weeks. When rolls are shipped, it is not uncommon for flat spots to develop in the rolls. When this happens, you may roll out your new vinyl garage flooring and see waves in the flooring that don’t seem to go away. It usually takes 1-2 weeks for the vinyl to then settle and for the waves to disappear. Tiles on the other hand, look great right away which allows you to brag about your new flooring immediately. And yes, we brag too so don’t be shy about showing off your new garage flooring 😉
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Garage Floor Coatings
The last major type of garage floor covering – garage floor coatings. There are three major kinds of coating: Epoxy, Latex Paint, and Polyurea. Of these three solutions, we only recommend one for the do it yourself homeowner and that is latex paint over a brand new slab of cured concrete. Epoxy and polyurea are an excellent floor covering option. However, they usually should only be installed by a professional.
The reason for this is that garage floor coatings require the concrete subfloor surface to be diligently prepared. This usually involves, sweeping off the floor, pressure washing the floor, diamond grinding the floor, and then acid washing the floor.
Pros of garage floor coatings
- Price. Cheap 1 car garage kits are available from hardware stores for $80-100 ($0.33/sqft). Commercial grade 2 car garage kits cost upwards of $400 ($0.83/sqft). If you have a spare weekends worth of time, have a limited budget, and are a very resourceful DIY-er, this might be the best solution for you.
Cons of garage floor coatings
- Difficulty. Epoxy and Polyurea garage floor coatings require the concrete subfloor surface to be diligently prepared. This usually involves, sweeping off the floor, pressure washing the floor, diamond grinding the floor, and then acid washing the floor. That sounds a little difficult doesn’t it?Well it is. Once this is done, all the cracks in the floor should be repaired to ensure a smooth even floor surface. From there, paint the latex on with a roller. The polyurea and epoxy solution require the installer to pour out a 1-2 mm base coat of coating.From there, you can add color chips for more splashes of color. Then after a day of curing, add another clear coat of epoxy or polyurea. Then after another day or two of curing, the flooring can be driven on.
- Maintenance. Even after all that is done, garage floor coatings are the one and only garage floor covering that will crack if your concrete subfloor cracks, which is likely over time. If that happens, you either live with it or call out a professional once again to patch the floor.
Ready to get started? Order free samples of your garage flooring today!
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