Nowadays, garages are utilized for more than just storing cargo and parking cars. These days, they can serve as a garage man cave, a workshop, a personal gym, a family home theater, or extra storage. If you want to increase the value of your home on the market, you can also stage in the garage. A modernized garage is viewed as a luxury by prospective homebuyers. Additionally, a decent garage should have the floor marking tape in each location that requires it. Despite what some people may assume, placing safety tape marks on the floor saves lives!
The garage flooring is a substantial improvement that improves the space’s comfort and aesthetics. More importantly, it protects the concrete surface from:
- Engine fluids – Oil, transmission fluid, and anti-freeze from vehicle maintenance or leaking engines can penetrate the concrete, leaving ugly and dirty stains.
- Water – Concrete wicks water in when it comes into contact with it. There would occasionally be dark stains on the floor or white, powdery deposits erupting from the pavement (efflorescence).
- Cracks – Concrete may crack due to earthquakes, and the soil beneath it may settle and leave a gap. Water below the floor may freeze in cold weather and grow upward, harming the floor.
- Sweating – No, we’re not referring to human sweat here—we’re talking about concrete sweat. Due to the porous nature of concrete, cold air from underneath can ascend and cool the surface. Condensation will develop in the garage when the temperature and humidity are high. It causes efflorescence and gradually deteriorates the concrete.
- Water vapor – Through the pores of the concrete, water evaporating from the soil may ooze indoors. It causes moist areas when there is no flooring.
- Deicing road salts – Typically pulled from the road to the garage, these salts chemically damage concrete. As a result, the concrete pores get larger and lose some of their strength due to an acidic reaction. In addition, it creates a liquid brine that can result in destructive freeze/thaw cycles in the concrete, causing the top layer to flake, chip, and explode.
There are numerous flooring possibilities but plan your garage before installing one. What purpose will the garage serve?
It’s critical to understand how to protect your garage floors if you want to make the most of this section of your home. Although you might not have seen it, floors can occasionally sustain damage, particularly after years of continuous use. It’s best to perform preventive maintenance because it can be too expensive to repair and remodel your complete garage. How? Read on.
Importance of Protecting your Garage Floors
You may be able to relate to what it’s like to spill oil or gas on your concrete if you use your garage floor as a workshop. Or perhaps you detest having tire marks on your floor if you park your car in your garage daily. Protection for the garage floor is crucial for this reason.
Your garage floor could be vulnerable to several problems if it is not properly protected and maintained, including:
- Tire marks
- Moisture damage caused by snow, rain, or condensation
- Stains are caused by oil, gas, or chemicals
- Efflorescence (a white, powdery material created from mineral salt deposits)
- Scaling (when the concrete in your home ages and develops tiny dents)
- Spalling (when the concrete on your surface flakes or crumbles)
Why not take a little care of the flooring in this busy home area since there are so many things in your daily routine that can damage a garage floor?
The following list includes garage flooring alternatives for all garage types:
1. Garage Floor Epoxy
The most common option is probably an epoxy floor because it can accommodate any use for your garage. Car showrooms, warehouses, professional garages, and dining halls frequently use epoxy flooring. It is typically done in several coats and comes in various colors and patterns. It is finished with a great, glossy shine that will undoubtedly alter the appearance of your garage.
Most epoxies are available in two-part formulas that must be combined and thoroughly mixed before rolling on, but there are one-part epoxies that come pre-mixed. This is the most durable and glossiest floor you can get with proper preparation and application. For added toughness, apply a second epoxy coat or seal it with a urethane sealer. Because of its durability, it can last for several years without requiring maintenance.
The epoxy is also water resistant. Cleaning the epoxy floor would be simple; all that is required is a little scrubbing with soap and water. It can also withstand stains and chemical spills, preventing corrosion and deterioration of the floor.
Epoxy flooring can be challenging to install because it must be applied faster before it hardens. It is recommended that you seek professional assistance for this.
2. Garage Floor Tiles
Tiles are a popular choice for garage flooring. Vinyl composite tiles, hard plastic tiles, peel and stick vinyl, rubber tiles, interlocking tiles, and even porcelain tiles are available in various materials. The most appealing feature of a tiled garage is that you can create your own custom design for your garage because they come in a variety of colors, textures, and styles.
In addition to their visual appeal, tiles can protect the floor from components like chemicals, oils, and stains and make it easier to clean, depending on the level of resistance. Additionally, they are made to have a non-slip surface.
Most tiles come in 12 x 12 or 18 x 18-inch sizes. The interlocking tiles made of plastic or rubber are the easiest and quickest to install. They are chemical-resistant, durable, and help to reduce leg fatigue. It provides a softer feel underfoot but frequently traps dirt and moisture beneath. However, unlike mats and other floor coverings, it is simple to replace.
Vinyl composite tiles, or VCT, are a more unique garage tile option. It’s one of the least expensive but stylish garage flooring options available. The VCT is also long-lasting, resilient, and simple to clean.
3. Garage Floor Mats
Rubberized vinyl garage flooring is ideal if you want to install simple and convenient flooring in your garage. Rollout mat flooring is available in various colors, textures, and sizes, making it ideal for concealing concrete cracks, stains, and imperfections. It is also available in a variety of thicknesses. You can buy several mats and arrange them to cover the entire garage floor, then trim the excess with a utility knife.
The benefit of using mats is that they can be rolled up and moved if you ever need to remove them and place them somewhere else. It also provides extra cushioning to reduce fatigue, which is ideal for a workshop inside garages. Another benefit is its water resistance, which can help protect your concrete from freeze/thaw damage or road salt damage. It’s also a good insulator, acting as a barrier between you and the cold concrete, and it can absorb sounds to reduce noise and echoes.
Although garage flooring mats are mostly oil, chemical, and stain resistant, harsh chemicals, and hot tires can permanently stain them. They are also vulnerable to being gouged by motorcycle kickstands or cut by metal shards and gravel.
You may also check out our Guide to Selecting Garage Floor Coverings and Mats for mor tops and recommendations.
4. Garage Floor Paint
Floor paint is basically a more stable version of wall paint. This is the most common and least expensive method of improving your concrete garage floor, and it is still a popular choice. Floor paint is not as durable as other coatings and coverings. It may fade after a few years. While it is susceptible to chemicals and road salts, painting allows homeowners the most creative freedom in designing their floors.
Water-based latex paint is the easiest to apply, but epoxy floor paint has excellent durability and chemical resistance. Before using the epoxy finish, you must first patch some holes and cracks. A concrete floor primer is also required, and the epoxy coating must be mixed with a hardener before application. On the other hand, some epoxy paint brands do not require adding additives.
5. Garage Floor Sealers
Sealers, like paint, are simple to apply. However, this is more difficult than floor paint. The garage floor coating guards against oil, water, mild chemicals, and road salts. Because it does not conceal blemishes, it is ideal for floors that do not have stains or cracks. Depending on the product used, it can be tinted and dried to a semi-gloss or matte finish. Water or solvent-based sealers are common.
Latex or acrylic sealers are more vulnerable to chemicals but adhere to concrete floors better than urethane sealers. On the other hand, urethane sealers are more durable than the former. It has a clear, glossy finish and is typically used as a top coat over epoxy and concrete stain. It’s also less prone to yellowing from sun exposure.
6. Acid stain
Acid stain is not a coating, but it can completely transform the appearance of your garage floor. Because it does not act as a surface protector, it requires a urethane or acrylic sealer. It looks better, like a sealer, if the garage floor has good texture and condition.
When sprayed on the floor, the acidic chemical creates the appearance of marbled stone. It can hide minor stains, scratches, and chips, and because it can penetrate the concrete pores, it typically outlasts floor paints.
Water-based variants are easy to apply. There are available stains specially made for concrete floors with anti-skid additives.
7. Garage Floor Sheet Vinyl
Vinyl sheet flooring for garage floors is extra thick and durable. Peel-and-sticky types are simple to install, making them popular among homeowners who enjoy DIY projects. It can give your garage a welcoming appearance, and you can make your own patterns out of it. It is impervious to oil, gasoline, and other automotive fluids.
However, before you install any flooring, you must first prepare your garage floor. The surface must be clean, dry, and dirt-free. You may require an oil stain remover. Typically, all that is necessary for cleaning and maintenance is soap and water (plus hand gloves and a brush or broom, of course). Solvent-based solutions should be avoided because they can corrode your flooring.
While there are numerous garage flooring options, you must take the time to determine which one best fits your budget and needs. Read, inquire, and research, then persuade your spouse of the benefits of having nice garage flooring. Follow these expert tips on caring for new garage floors to ensure your garage floors always look their best.
Benefits of Using Garage Floors Coverings
These covers have several advantages, whether you’re considering using them for your residential or business garage. The surface of your garage floor can be improved for a relatively low cost by using a garage floor covering.
Here are some advantages of using garage floor covering that will make you think before assuming they are simply for aesthetic purposes.
- Concrete coatings are stain-resistant
- Floor coating is easy to clean
- Flake Floors and Slip-resistance
- Simple to install
Choosing the Best Garage Floor Protection
Your priorities will determine which garage floor protection is ideal for you. Do you care more about remaining on a budget or having something durable? The key factors to think about, along with the best choices for your garage.