From epoxy paint to concrete stain, there are many different flooring options you can choose for your garage. Here’s an overview of what’s available.
The Difference Between Coatings and Coverings
A new garage floor coating or covering can help improve the look of your garage and also protect the surface of your floor from stains and deterioration. Depending on the condition of your concrete garage floor, this will determine which flooring option you should pick. A covering is better for a floor that has a lot of surface problems like cracks or pockmarks, as it can hide this type of damage. Coatings usually highlight blemishes and marks, so you should only consider this option if your garage floor is in good condition. To help you decide what type flooring is best for your garage, here is a breakdown of the different options.
Concrete Floor Paint
Concrete floor paint is one of the cheapest options for covering your garage floor. Just like the paint you put on walls, all you do is roll it on to apply it to the floor. This type of paint comes in latex and oil-based versions which both have their advantages and disadvantages. Latex floor paint dries to a low-sheen flat finish and is easier to apply and clean up than oil-based paint. However oil-based paint is more durable than latex and dries to a high gloss. Compared to other coatings, this type of floor paint is more vulnerable to damage and isn’t as long-lasting. To maintain a good quality floor covering, you will need to touch up areas every year or two.
Garage Floor Epoxy Sealer
If you want a tough new garage floor coating, epoxy sealer is a better option compared to concrete floor paint. The application of epoxy coatings for concrete floors requires proper preparation beforehand to ensure you roll it on properly. One of the disadvantages of this type of floor covering is that you can’t drive on it until it’s been cured completely, which can take up to a week. Despite the wait, you will be left with a beautiful glossy finish, and you will only need to recoat the floor every three to five years.
Concrete sealers are similar to floor paint but are a lot more durable. They come in clear and tinted versions to change the look of the concrete as well as form a protective layer that adheres to the surface. They are one of the least expensive floor coatings you can buy and can be easily applied with a brush or roller. You can get this product in clear satin or semigloss finish and there is also the option of water-based and solvent-based versions.
Acrylic sealer isn’t as tough as garage floor epoxy sealer but it will still provide moderate protection against vehicle fluids and oil stains. You can apply this type of sealer with a paint brush and rollers and it is sometimes used as a primer for epoxy and oil-based paint. To give your floor the best protection it is recommended that two thin coats are applied. An annual protective waxing or reapplication every couple of years is also beneficial.
Urethane sealer doesn’t bond well with bare concrete but it is a lot tougher than acrylic sealer. It’s usually used as a seal coat over stain and epoxy coatings for concrete floors. Once dry, the sealer provides a clear high-gloss finish which is very resistant against chemicals making it a great top coat for protecting garage flooring.
Applying a stain to concrete gives it a pigmented, marbled look of natural stone. It is not necessarily a coating, but it provides a decorative coloring which enhances the look of a garage floor. The stain is applied with a roller or sprayer and then worked into the concrete with a nylon scrubbing brush. As the stain doesn’t provide any protection to the floor, it is advised that the surface is rinsed once the stain dries. Then one or two coats of urethane sealer are applied to give it protection against chemicals and stains. To keep the flooring in good condition, an annual waxing and a touch up every two years is recommended.
Rigid Heavy Duty Garage Floor Tiles
Rigid snap-together tiles are easy to install and come in a variety of different colors and styles. They are made of a very stiff plastic which is able to handle heavy loads, so if you use kickstands or floor jacks, these are an ideal floor covering. The tiles are very easy to clean and if you choose a perforated version they drain spills and snowmelt.
Rollout mats are incredibly simple to install and they are available in a range of widths, lengths, colors and patterns. The mats are made out of durable thick rubber and are very easy to clean. You need to be aware that they can be stained permanently by hot tires and chemicals and are at risk of being cut or gouged by kickstands and hot metal shards. To fit them in your garage all you need to do is either unroll the flooring and connect the mats together or overlap them and trim the mats to fit with a utility knife. Due to the mats being susceptible to temperature fluctuations it is recommended that they are not taped together at the edges.
Interlocking Flexible Tiles
Flexible plastic tiles come in a variety of colors and patterns and are very slip resistant making them a safe choice. To install this type of tile, just cut them with a utility knife and press the interlocking edges together. They are more comfortable underfoot compared to rigid heavy duty garage floor tiles which snap together. However one of the disadvantages is that they can be prone to staining. Luckily these tiles can be individually replaced, so it won’t cost you a lot to swap damaged tiles with brand new ones.