Your concrete garage floor takes a lot of foot traffic and heavy vehicle movement, including a lot of abuse from moisture, car oil drips, liquid spills, antifreeze, and road salt. Without proper protection, your garage floor will soon start seeing cracks, rips, and color fades.
Garage flooring adds protection to your concrete surface and prevents damage from heavy vehicle movement, moisture, liquid spills, and chemical stains. Planning for garage flooring is as important as building a new garage because you’d not only be using it as a vehicle storage unit but a place to work, stay, or even party.
Let’s talk more about garage flooring’s importance and the different garage flooring options you can find in the market.
Why use Garage Flooring?
Garage flooring adds a protective layer onto the concrete garage floor to make it more sturdy, durable, and resilient to liquid and chemical spills, heavy vehicle movement, and harsh weather conditions.
A garage flooring may include adding a resilient layer of thick paint, covering the floor with a thick-textile (mat), or sometimes applying tinted concrete sealers. The choice of garage flooring entirely depends on your budget and need.
Importance of garage flooring
Many homeowners ask about the need for an additional garage upgrade when they’ve already built a sturdy garage floor. Well, because your garage isn’t just a vehicle storing unit but a part of your home. Garage flooring is the only upgrade that ensures to keep your garage floor durable and resilient for years to come.
Other than parking your vehicle, you can convert your garage into another room in your house. It can become a perfect place to throw a small party or even build a makeshift workplace. There are endless possibilities that your garage can offer in the long run; hence protecting the garage floor becomes more than necessary.
You wouldn’t want to pay thousands of dollars redoing your garage floor every few years because the concrete would start cracking under pressure. Flooring efficiently prevents the usual wear and tear your garage floor receives daily and saves you from many future expenses.
Benefits of garage flooring
- Your garage floor will stand out with the new sleek and unique texture, adding a modern touch to the unit.
- The polymer and protective coating provide an additional layer to the concrete floor to resist foot traffic and vehicle movement.
- The superior floor coating won’t quickly fade, wrinkle, blister, or peel, keeping the protective layer on for years.
- It’s easy to clean dust, spills, and burns from the floor coating. This means less maintenance for you.
- Almost every garage flooring manufacturer offers a written warranty, so you can be at ease.
- It takes less than a day to complete the floor coating, so you need not worry about keeping your car outside for days.
- You can choose from a wide range of colors, textures, materials, and floor coating manufacturers.
Garage Flooring Types
There are broadly two types of garage floor coating; Paint and Epoxy, and Tile and Mats. You can choose the floor coating depending on your budget and preference. Here is the complete list of garage flooring types that you can find in the market.
1. Floor Epoxy
Epoxy flooring is a quick and intelligent choice for floor coating. By far, it’s the most durable floor paint. It’s a type of flooring polymer paint containing a built-in hardener. Homeowners choose epoxy for its durability and shiny, glossy surface that easily repels oil spills and chemicals.
The hard-wearing, durable surface can easily withstand heavy traffic. The epoxy floor has few other benefits because it’s durable and easy to clean. It contains anti-slip additives for enhanced safety, requiring little to no significant maintenance.
You can easily apply it over a new or existing concrete floor. Before applying epoxy, you must clean and cure the concrete floor. Test the concrete floor surface for cracks and chips and repair it before applying the solution.
You can choose from two different types of epoxy materials; water-based epoxies and solid epoxy. The cost to epoxy a floor may range anywhere from $750 to $5000, where epoxying the existing concrete floor may cost up to $7 per square foot.
2. Floor Paint
Concrete floor paint offers additional protection to the bare concrete floor. It’s a stricter version of paint that goes on walls and is the least expensive floor coating type.
You can choose from Latex floor paint to oil-based paints. Latex floor paint is easier to apply and clean up. It dries up quickly, too, but it may last lesser than oil-based paints. Oil-based paint is more durable than latex paint and offers high gloss.
Before painting, ensure to repair any cracks with concrete filler and then apply the primer. A well-painted cover can last anywhere from three to four years. However, it’s especially vulnerable to road salts and antifreeze.
The cost for painting a garage floor could run anywhere from $0.78 to $3.51 per square foot.
3. Floor Tiles
Tiling is a durable floor covering option to protect and enhance your garage floor. It can withstand heavy foot and vehicle traffic compared to the painted concrete floor. However, it can be four times more costly than inexpensive floor painting.
You can choose from Vitrified tiles and plastic-based tiles. Vitrified tile is a ceramic tile with very low porosity and can withstand traffic and harsh weather easily. It’s the most expensive choice for garage flooring. You can choose from soluble salt, double charge, full-body, or glazed vitrified tiles. Plastic tiles are cheaper than vitrified tiles and can handle heavier loads, including floor jacks or kickstands. Rigid plastic tiles are easy to clean and more chemically resistant than softer plastic tiles.
The cost for installing rigid tiles may range from $2.5 to $4.25 per square foot. Installing ceramic tiles could cost anywhere from $1 to $35 depending on the material used.
4. Floor Mats
Floor mats are inexpensive flooring options. Unlike paints and ceramic tiles, the floor can easily be installed and replaced.
Many homeowners wonder if they should install a carpet in the garage. Standard carpet isn’t made for the garage; hence it’s a good idea to install carpets made for resistance. Tuff Carpet and fabric garage floor mat is a flooring carpet designed to hold a lot of weight, dirt, and traffic.
The significant advantage of using floor mats is that they come in significant sizes, colors, and patterns. You can choose any floor mat for a reasonable cost.
Although mats are durable, they are prone to damage by hot tires, chemicals, and fire. They can also be slippery in snow or icy condition.
5. Vinyl flooring
Vinyl or Vinyl composition tile (VCT) is used chiefly indoors, such as in the kitchen. Although it’s rarely recommended for garage use, you can consider installing it under the right conditions. Vinyl flooring cheaper than using tiles, and it comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns.
It’s for coating; hence you should use it as such. Clean the concrete and degrease it before applying the VCT. Wait a week before applying three or more coats of sealer to make it more glossy and durable.
It’s best suited for temperate climates or a heated garage. The cost for installing VCT may cost anywhere from $0.25 to $4 per square foot.
6. Concrete Stain
Concrete stains are applied on concrete flooring to give it a natural stone look. However, a concrete stain is a decorative coating but flooring option. It quickly soaks into the concrete to create a pigmented and marbled appearance.
You can apply it the same as the garage floor paint, usually two coats. The stain doesn’t necessarily protect the concrete floor; hence you should rinse the surface and apply an additional two urethane sealers to protect from moisture, chemicals, and stains.
You may need to wax the sealer annually and touch up the stain and reseal the floor every two years. The cost for applying concrete stain may cost $0.20 to $0.85 per square foot.
7. Concrete Sealers
Concrete sealers are like garage floor paint but tougher and glossier. They’re cheaper than epoxy flooring but expensive than paints. You can apply on concrete sealer for a transparent satin or semi-gloss finish depending on the product.
You can depend on either an Acrylic/latex sealer or a Urethane sealer.
- Latex sealer is a cheaper option that doesn’t offer much protection from chemicals; hence you should apply protective wax every year. It’s sometimes used as a primer before painting for its durability.
- Urethane sealer is tougher than latex sealer and provides a high-gloss finish that resists chemicals. It’s more durable than epoxy coating; hence it’s used as a seal coat over epoxy and concrete stain. It’s more expensive than a latex sealer. Applying sealer may run from $0.25 to $0.50 per square foot.
Things to Remember
Before considering garage flooring, you should look into essential things such as whether the coating will deliver the looks and durability that meet your needs.
We have tried answering few critical questions.
How will the garage flooring look?
Applying a coating on a new concrete floor and existing floor offers different results. Epoxy floors and concrete floors stain look more attractive and glossy than most other flooring options. Tiles offer more durability but offer a less glossy look.
You can consult with the manufacturer before applying any flooring to ensure that you get the required look at your budget.
The durability of Garage flooring
The durability of garage flooring depends on the material used and foot/vehicle traffic. Garages that see the heavy vehicle and foot traffic require sturdy and durable material such as garage epoxy floors, mats, and tiles. Concrete paint can offer resistance against chemicals but can’t withstand heavy traffic.
Consider these factors before installing the garage flooring.
Level of Maintenance
Concrete paint coat, epoxy floors, tiles, and mat require minimum maintenance. Concrete sealer and vinyl may require more maintenance in the long run. Consider how visible will dust and dirt be on the floor. It’s best to install garage flooring that offers protection against chemical spills, harsh weather, and traffic.
Will floor coating complement your garage floor?
The garage flooring should complement the overall garage look. It should match the color of the wall, cabinetry, and lighting. Choose garage flooring that complements the rest of your garage’s style and color scheme because redoing the garage can cost you three times more.