The best flooring for a garage is not always the most popular option, but it’s the one that will keep your tools in one place. This article will cover everything you need to know about choosing the right type of flooring for your garage and installing it to have an organised space where you can work on projects with ease. A storage solution from Garage Storage Solutions can transform your garage into a social focal point for visitors with a modern look.
Types Of Garage Flooring
Your concrete garage floor takes a lot of abuse from moisture, oil drips, chemical spills and road salt as it ages.
Applying a garage floor paint coating or covering will not only improve the way your floor looks but also protect it against stains and deterioration, make it easier to clean, and hide cracks and other surface problems.
Many different garage flooring options are out there, but will they work and look good in your garage? The answer is—it depends. This article will outline the main flooring options and their pros and cons to help you choose a floor that’s feasible, durable and affordable.
There are two general types of garage flooring: coatings and coverings. If your garage floor is in good condition, you can pick either one.
But if the floor has lots of cracks or pockmarks, a covering is better because it hides damage. In addition, a coating, even a low-sheen version, tends to highlight blemishes. Veneers are also immune to moisture problems that can make layers peel.
Garage Floor Paint Coatings
Coatings include floor paints, epoxy paint, stains and sealers. Coatings generally cost less than coverings if you apply them yourself.
They protect against stains, corrosive chemicals (like road salts) and moisture penetration. But coatings can fail for two reasons: damp concrete and incomplete floor prep.
Coatings can’t be used where ground moisture rises through the concrete and keeps it consistently damp.
Moisture prevents the coating from sticking to the concrete, and the layer soon delaminated chips and flakes. That’s why it’s critical to test your concrete slab for moisture before you apply a coating.
The main disadvantage of coatings is that they require several hours of careful floor prep.
Depending on how dirty or greasy your floor is, this can include intensive cleaning with a pressure washer using solvents or degreasers to remove any sealers, grease or previous coatings.
You need to repair cracks, holes and other surface problems and then finally etch the concrete with muriatic acid to leave it completely clean and porous. Look at online reviews to decide the best garage floor paint for your needs.
Polished Concrete Flooring
Polished concrete flooring is the best option for garages. Concrete flooring is generally complex and resilient.
They can perform under high pressure without any wear and tear. Concrete floors are less priced and are readily available for customers with low budgets.
Polished concrete surfaces look graceful and elegant that compliments the entire semblance. In addition, polished concrete finishes are generally stain-resistant and easy to clean, making it the best option for garage flooring.
Pros Of Concrete Floors
Low-maintenance: The same properties that make concrete floors so durable also make them easy to care for.
Adequately sealed concrete floors shrug off dirt, grit, stains, spills, and hard impacts. A little sweeping and damp mopping is all that’s required to keep them looking like new.
Beautiful design options: Modern techniques for concrete finishing have moved concrete floors from ho-hum to luxurious.
Dyes added as the wet concrete is being mixed produces concrete in a massive range of earthy colours.
Surface treatments such as acid stains, concrete stains and paint made for concrete floors turn plain concrete into beautiful, one-of-a-kind finishes. Also, concrete can be stamped with rubber stencils to give it texture.
Combined with the suitable dyes or colouring agents, finished concrete can mimic ceramic tile, natural stone, brick, even dirt!
Heated floors: For new construction or concrete poured over an existing slab, you have the option to add radiant heat — electrical cables or hot water tubes embedded in the concrete to create warm, comfy floors.
Cons Of Concrete Floors
Hardness: There’s no denying that concrete is hard underfoot, a quality that some find uncomfortable.
It’s also unforgiving — a dropped glass definitely won’t survive — and it may be a concern if there are small children or elderly folks in the household. But, again, area rugs can help alleviate concerns.
Moisture: In below-grade basements, water migrating up from underneath the slab may make concrete unacceptably damp and damage any surface treatments, such as paint.
Proper sealing of the concrete helps mitigate any outside problem areas like leaky gutters and poor soil drainage.
Cracking: Like it or not, even expertly installed concrete may develop cracks over time. That’s because the large expanse has to endure changes in temperature, moisture and settling. Coloured cement paste and patching materials help disguise cracks.
Environmentally suspect: While concrete itself is an inert, biodegradable material, making cement requires a lot of energy and produces carbon dioxide.
Compared to other building materials such as steel, wood and glass, concrete has the most embodied energy.
If your budget is tight, your garage flooring options are limited. Luckily for those with concrete garage floors, simply sealing your floor might be enough.
The slight sheen that sealing can add to a plain grey concrete floor will make it look more attractive, and the sealer will ward off stains, ensuring that the bed keeps looking fresh.
Opt for a solvent-based sealer, which can create a wet look and offer exceptional floor protection, or a water-based sealer that might not last as long but is less harsh to breathe in.
Sealers are like floor paint but tougher. After colours, they’re the least expensive coating, and they’re straightforward to apply with a brush or roller.
Depending on the product, they dry to a clear satin or semigloss finish, and you can also get them tinted. Again, there are water-based and solvent-based versions.
Like floor paint, acrylic/latex sealer is vulnerable to chemicals and isn’t as challenging as epoxy, so it’ll benefit from an annual protective waxing or reapplication every few years.
Acrylic/latex sealer will stick better to a concrete floor than a urethane sealer, which is why it’s sometimes used as a primer for oil-based floor paint or epoxy.
Urethane sealer is significantly more challenging than acrylic/latex sealer, but it doesn’t bond well with bare concrete.
It provides a clear, high-gloss finish that resists chemicals better than epoxy alone and is less likely to yellow in sunlight, which is why it’s used as a seal coat over epoxy and concrete stain.
However, urethane sealer is more expensive than acrylic sealer, and solvent-based versions require a respirator during application.
Unlike epoxy and paint, concrete stains can be applied in a thin coat that lets the old floor show through.
If your concrete is in good shape, this is one of the cheapest and easiest garage flooring options; you can wind up with a beautiful watercolour or natural stone look.
It’s not so great if your floor is spotted and splattered because those imperfections will show through. Stain tends to last longer than paint because it becomes part of the concrete, so it doesn’t chip off as easily.
A stain isn’t a coating but a translucent decorative colouring that soaks into the concrete and creates a pigmented, marbled appearance that resembles natural stone. It typically requires two coats and is applied with a roller or sprayer and then immediately worked into the concrete with a nylon scrubbing brush.
The stain itself doesn’t protect the concrete, so after it dries, you rinse the surface and then apply one or two coats of urethane sealer to protect against moisture, chemicals and stains.
Depending on the traffic your floor gets, you may need to wax the sealer annually and touch up the stain and reseal the floor every two years.
Garage Floor Coverings
Coverings come in two forms: interlocking tiles and rollout mats. The significant advantage of veneers is how fast and easy they are to use.
You can cover the floor of a three-car garage in a single morning. And the only prep involved is an excellent, thorough sweeping or vacuuming.
Best of all, coverings hide cracks and craters and go right over damp concrete, so they can make a nasty floor look better than new. The downside is that coverings can easily be four or more times as expensive as coatings.
Epoxy Flooring – The Smart And Feasible Option
Epoxy flooring is quite feasible and an intelligent choice for existing flooring. Epoxy is a challenging and long-lasting coating that can be used on any flooring.
It can be used on concrete floors, stone floors, or any bed to increase your garage floor’s performance and durability.
Epoxy flooring is available in many attractive colours and can be cleaned easily. Before going for epoxy, make sure your subfloors are resistant to moisture and no dampness is observed. Epoxy is not suitable for floors that absorb moisture.
Just like painting with latex, applying epoxy—a type of paint containing a built-in hardener—requires that you patch, clean, and etch the floor if necessary.
Then you blend your epoxy paint and hardener and apply it to the garage floor—quickly because the mix is viable for only two hours. Next, scatter colour chips across the floor’s surface and seal with a clear coat to create a durable, long-lasting floor that resists oil stains and wipes clean easily.
Diy Garage Floor Coatings: Epoxy Paint
Most epoxies are two-part formulas that you mix just before rolling them on (one-part epoxies come premixed). With proper site preparation and application, this is the most challenging floor you can get (and a glossy, beautiful one at that).
Epoxies can be tricky to work with because the floor prep is so critical, and you have to work fast to apply them before they harden. Also, you can’t drive on them until they’ve healed completely, which can take up to a week.
A typical DIY epoxy kit provides enough primer (or sealer) and epoxy to apply one coat of each to an average one-car garage. For extra durability, consider using a second epoxy coat or a finish coat of urethane sealer. Depending on the wear your floor gets, you may need to recoat every three to five years. Garage Storage Solutions’ smart wall storage system (hooks, racks, baskets and shelves) can be used in unlimited configurations and be adjusted over time as your requirements change. They are making it a perfect investment for your garage.
Rubber Tile Flooring – Easy To Install Or Diy Option
Rubber tiles are available, like flexible mats and tiles. This type of flooring can be easily installed and is a good option for DIYers. Rubber floor tiles are loose and come in attractive interlocking patterns to provide extra strength and stability to the floors.
These are primarily available in the dimensions of 12×12 inches or 24×24 inches. In addition, rubber tile flooring requires less maintenance and can be cleaned easily. Therefore, the most feasible option at a reasonable price is rubber tiles.
They can withstand any climatic conditions. These floors can be installed on any sub-floors, especially concrete floors.
Vinyl Flooring – For Low Traffic Garages
Selecting vinyl flooring for garages is not at all a wrong choice. If your garage doesn’t face much traffic and heavy pressure, enhanced Urethane coated vinyl tile flooring is the best option. These tiles are flexible and comfortable.
You can enhance a unique look to your garage by picking the multiple colour shades and attractive vinyl composite tile flooring available in the market. Vinyl flooring requires very little upkeep and cleaning is extremely easy and comfortable with the cleaning agents available at home.
Stone Flooring – Excellent But Expensive Option
Stone flooring like sandstone, graphite, and flagstone are excellent choices for garages but are expensive.
Stone flooring is extremely cold in winters; hence considering your budget and local climatic conditions are vital before going for stone flooring for your garage. Stone flooring is resilient and extremely hard and available in eye-catchy designs and pleasant colours.
Roll-out Vinyl Flooring
Without a doubt, rollout flooring is the best garage flooring idea. Not only is it easy to install, but it hides a multitude of sins).
It works just as the name suggests: You unroll it on your garage floor, cut off the excess, and your work is done!
Although easy to install, it isn’t as easy to repair as tile flooring, which allows for cutting out and replacing damaged sections. It also doesn’t lend itself to the creation of custom patterns.
While most garage flooring ideas require unique installations and equipment, this chore is simple enough to execute using supplies you probably already have on hand.
Painting a garage floor is a highly inexpensive way to improve its look, although it is labour intensive.
Before beginning, be sure to repair any cracks with concrete filler and clean the floor thoroughly.
Then prime and paint using materials designed specifically for covering floors. Unfortunately, paint is the least durable of all garage flooring options, and you may need to repeat the process in approximately three years.
Carpeting your garage floor might seem like a crazy idea, but there’s a product called TuffCarpet that’s specifically designed to hold up to the rigours of life in this multipurpose room.
It can be power-washed and resists staining from petroleum products, so even if your car leaks oil, you should be able to wipe the surface clean.
The carpet is installed as a series of peel-and-stick square tiles, so it’s super easy to install, and it allows the flexibility to create eye-catching patterns.
Moving onto garage floor covering ideas, plastic tiles are a great choice, and you can choose between rigid and flexible options.
Rigid plastic tiles, made from hard plastics such as PVC, offer a solid and stable base underfoot, and more importantly, under the wheel. As a result, they can stand up to very heavyweights, including the pressure exerted by a tire jack or kickstand.
Plastic tends to be easy to clean and resistant to damage from chemicals, oil, and grease, all of which can be present in the garage.
The other good thing about these plastic tiles is that they do not expand and contract due to heat or humidity, so they will keep their shape and position as you let cold and hot air in and out of your garage when opening and closing the doors.
Standard plastic tiles for your garage will come in either 12×12 or 24×24 inch tiles that are ¼ inch thick. In addition, they come in a variety of different colour and style options so you can personalise your look.
These tiles are easy to install as there is nothing to do to prepare the concrete beyond leaning it and ensuring it is in good condition.
They also generally come with a snap closure system for installation. But be warned, the seams are not watertight, so they can allow water to seep through from the top to the concrete layer underneath.
These rigid plastic tiles cost between $2.50-$4.25 per square foot, so they are not one of the cheapest options on the market, but they are one of the most versatile. In addition, these types of tiles generally come with a warranty of around ten years.
If your garage doubles as a workshop and you spend a lot of time on your feet there, hard floors such as concrete and rigid tiles can be hard on your joints. In these circumstances, flexible plastic tiles may be a better option.
They are very similar to rigid plastic tiles, except they have a flexible, rubbery finish that makes them soft underfoot.
Coming in similar sizes and colours, the seals on these tiles are watertight. They are also less slippery than rigid plastic tiles, but they are also a little more challenging to clean.
Unlike rigid plastic tiles, flexible plastic tiles are more likely to expand with temperature changes, which needs to be considered when installing.
Flexible plastic tiles cost between $2.50-$5.00 per square foot and usually come with a warranty of around ten years.
You can cover the surface with peel-and-stick tiles if you have a level garage floor without severe cracks or height imbalances.
Typically made from heavy-duty vinyl, these tiles are easy to cut and quick to install, and because they’re tiles, you can create custom patterns by combining different colours. Be sure to clean the floor thoroughly and let it dry before laying down your tiles.
Made from heavy-duty vinyl or rubber, these colourful squares snap together to provide stability rather than sticking directly to the garage floor.
They’re great for hiding cracks in a concrete floor, although they’ll work best when the bed is level. As with peel-and-stick tiles, you can combine several different colours to create unique patterns and borders.
These are typically 12 x 12-in. or 18 x 18-in. flexible plastic tiles come in many astonishing patterns and colours that allow you to create custom designs in your garage.
To install them, you cut the tiles with a utility knife and then tap or press the interlocking edges together with a rubber mallet or wallpaper roller.
They’re more slip-resistant than rollout flooring, and compared with rigid snap-together tiles, they offer better resistance to liquid seepage through the seams and are more comfortable underfoot.
Like rollout mats, flexible tiles are subject to staining, but damaged tiles can be easily replaced, unlike mats. However, the tiles contract and expand in extreme temperature changes and exposure to direct sunlight, leaving the expansion room near walls and other obstacles.
Flooring Options To Avoid
Reading through our list of recommendations, you might now be asking yourself, “what about…”? So, let’s quickly look at the flooring options you might think would look good in your garage but don’t work well.
While we can probably all agree that wood floors of all varieties, from hardwood to laminate, aren’t durable enough for the garage and that vinyl plank flooring is also too supple to be a good choice, what about a porcelain or ceramic tiles?
While these tiles are very durable, they aren’t as strict as their plastic counterparts. For example, they are much more likely to shatter and crack under the intense weight exerted by a tire jack or if something hard, like a tool, is dropped directly onto them.
Even the weight of a car might break a tile if they are not laid correctly, as any unevenness can leave a slight edge of a tile bearing the full brunt of the weight of your car.
Porcelain and ceramic tiles can also become more fragile in colder temperatures or when exposed to extreme changes in temperature.
This means if they are installed in your garage where they do not benefit from the same insulation as your home, they can be even more sensitive and prone to cracking.
It may seem like an easy question, but there is no “best flooring” for a garage. To determine the best option for your space, you’ll need to consider how often it will be used and what type of vehicle(s) are stored in the area. We’ve given you some great tips on choosing the suitable material for your needs below. Garage storage wall hooks should form part of any garage makeover as they provide a clean and really easy way to lift anything from your garage floor and have it accessible via your garage wall.