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You have quite many different options to choose from when it comes to garage floors. There are many benefits and some drawbacks to each one.
You can choose between paint, mats & rolls, tiles, epoxy, sealing, and stains/dyes. To cover your concrete garage floor. Each option offers something different with an extensive price range between each product type. In some cases, you can use multiple products at the same time.
This article is a collection of links to extensive articles and guides in each group. To help you compare an option suitable for your floors easily.
Choosing Garage Floor Coating
Choosing the garage floor coating should be done based on your personal needs and in which region you live. Cool climates with lots of snow and water need different protection to the garage floors than dry and hot places. Also, your budget plays a role and how you use the garage
Workshops have different flooring needs than just using the garage as a storage space. If you are a gearhead and fix cars, you need something that allows easy movement of toolboxes and creepers. Chemical, stain, and dirt resistance plays a significant role also.
Maybe you want a custom garage like no other and lots of colors to choose from. Perhaps you are converting the garage to a man cave. Fear not. There is a suitable flooring choice for any need.
One of the main reasons to cover, seal or coat the concrete floor is concrete dust. Untreated concrete gives off a lot of dust that goes everywhere every time you open the garage door. Inhaling the dust is dangerous, and prolonged exposure can lead to respiratory issues or aggravate pre-existing asthma.
- How large an area do you need to cover.
- Installation time.
- Ease of maintenance.
- Is it a DIY job, or do you need a professional?
- Price Range: Floor coatings vary significantly from under a hundred dollars to several thousand.
Different Types of Garage Floor Coating
Painting the garage floor is an easy and cheap way to improve and transform the whole look of the garage. Painting the floor is usually fast, and you only need to clean and prepare the floor properly beforehand. Painting the garage floor prevents concrete dust, protects the floor moderately, and you have an easier time cleaning the whole garage. Adding paint also brings more light to the garage, and you’ll have a nicer-looking garage for a low price and fast application time for the whole project. The paint’s downside is durability.
Mats & Rolls
Garage floors face a lot of traffic and wear and tear, so covering the concrete with matting is a good idea. The concrete will last much longer, and you have a better work surface with mats. Mats and rolls are easy and fast to install, and you have lots of styles, colors, and materials to choose from. Mats and rolls can be installed over stained or cracked concrete floors with no prep work necessary. There are many types and materials of garage floor mats and rolls and benefits, drawbacks, and things to look out for when choosing a garage floor mat or roll. Mats are easy to remove for washing or relocation.
There are many types of different tiles suitable for a garage environment. Some types are easy to install, and you have a lot of colors available to customize your garage to your liking. Tiles are easy to clean, generally, last a very long time, and are resistant to most chemicals, oil, road salt, water, and mold. There are interlocking polypropylene & PVC tiles, vinyl composite tiles, rubber tiles, porcelain tiles, and peel & stick tiles available for the garage floors. They come in many sizes & colors and offer easy installation and customization. Some tiles are permanent, while others can be removed or replaced easily.
You may be asking yourself what to use to upgrade the look and function of garage floors and hear about epoxy as a durable alternative to paint. Epoxy coatings have usage on all surfaces where heavy-duty service is required. They provide a tough, protective coating with outstanding hardness. Most concrete flooring receives a high amount of traffic and heavy wear and tear in garages. Using an epoxy floor coating is an excellent way to protect it. Epoxy has a long installation time and needs extensive floor preparation. It looks great, though.
There are many types of concrete sealers and much to know before considering the project onto your garage floors. Sealing the concrete protects it from water,freeze-thaw, dirt, oil, chemicals, mold, U.V., road salt, and wearing & tearing. Sealing also adds durability, longevity and prevents concrete dust. Sealing can also enhance the look of the floor. Sealing is the bare minimum with all concrete floors and should be done in any case. Sealing prevents the concrete from breaking down and extends the life of the concrete significantly.
Acid staining or color-dyed garage floor will completely change the whole look of the garage. These are translucent color additives for concrete to create multiple color hues with vibrant colors. Both methods are great budget solutions for those who want something else in their garage other than just a gray concrete floor. Stains contain acid and metallic salts. These react with the Calcium hydroxide in the concrete to produce coloring. The color palette consists of earth tones and makes a marble or mottled appearance. Dyes consist of water with polymers and pigments to create the color. Having a more extended color palette and producing a uniform effect. Stains or dyes need to be sealed with a topcoat to make them last longer.
How Much Floor Area Do You Need to Cover?
It’s important to assess how much any given material you need. Paint may need several coatings, for example. Determining the area you need to cover is simple as taking a few measurements from the garage floor and performing a simple calculation. Or use a square footage calculator.
Read here how to calculate your garage square footage.
You have exactly how much you need to purchase any given material with this information. You then get an accurate price for the materials. Add possible supplies and the price of professionals and machine rentals if you need to use them. And you have the total cost of the project. Or at least generalized estimates that are very close.
Take time to compare all the options you are thinking of for your garage. Doing so ensures you remain within your budget.
There is a separate section for typical prices for the given product in each guide.
The Durability of the Material
Durability should be a high priority if you use the garage for any other reason than storage. Garage floors face a lot of wear and tear from anything you or mother nature throws at it. Vehicle traffic in and out daily is a major source of wearing of the floors. So choosing a suitable coating that can take the punishment for years to come is a wise choice. And will save money in the long run, instead of coating the floor again every year or so.
Suppose durability is no concern or less important than style or customization. In that case, it can be better to choose something that can be removed easily. Or just use cheaper options.
Installation time for each product varies greatly. Mats & rolls and removable tiles can be put in place in hours. While some other options require concrete preparation that can take from hours to days. If your garage can not be out of commission for a long time, you need to consider this. The weather plays a role too. Most coatings can not be installed during winter. The condition of the concrete slab can also come into question in some regions, and you may need to test if the concrete can even be coated.
Ease of cleaning is also something to consider. The good news is that most materials in question are very stain, water, dirt, and chemical resistant, and easy to maintain and clean.
Is It a DIY Job, or Do You Need a Professional?
Installation is easy and fast in some cases and can be done by almost anyone with little know-how of DIY. While other coatings involve labor-intensive preparation with hazardous materials needing tools and supplies.
The guides have sections and videos that tell all about the installation process. Read and observe them and consider if it is something you could do yourself. Or would it be wiser to hire an expert?
Hiring a professional ensures that your floor project is a success and you have a guarantee.