So, you’re sick of the bare concrete and oil stains that litter your garage flooring and you want to upgrade to something a little nicer, and a little more durable and stain-resistant. Good choice. A finished floor can turn the purely utilitarian space of a standard garage into a showcase for your vehicles with both class and style. But, what kind of flooring should you pick? With dozens of options available in material, color, texture, and finish, making the right choice can be a daunting process. So, here at Motor Trend Garage, we’ve put together a quick guide to the main types of garage flooring and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
1. Latex Paint
By far the quickest and easiest way to finish your garage floor, latex paint can go down in a couple of hours and gives you a lot of flexibility with color and it will do a basic job of covering the concrete while adding a splash of color to your garage.
Unfortunately, latex paint is not very durable and, even if you use anti-peel product, it will stick to your tires if they are very hot, leading to a peeled floor that may look worse than the bare concrete. You’ll probably have to repaint the floor every year or two in order to keep it from looking shabby. Furthermore, it’s not very resistant to the chemicals that you might keep around your garage, and in case of a spill, it will likely require a touch up. The paint also scuffs easily, so if you do a lot of work in your garage you may find yourself leaving a lot of marks on it. At best, latex paint is a temporary flooring solution.
2. Polyaspartic Coating
If you still want a whole-floor solution, but need something more durable than latex paint, your next stop will be something in the epoxy/polyurethane family of garage floor finishes. And of that family, no type of flooring is better than a polyurea polyaspartic coating, which is commonly known as polyaspartic flooring.
Polyaspartic coating is extremely durable, temperature resistant and it can be fully installed and cured in less than 24 hours. That makes polyaspartic coating unlike many other kinds of epoxy or polyurethane coating, which take between three and five days from the beginning of the installation process to the moment when you can move your car and possessions back into the garage.
The coating also has a number of other benefits: unlike other kinds of epoxy flooring, polyaspartic will not yellow over time, it has very high scratch and abrasion resistance and its high heat tolerance means that it won’t pick up or peel with hot tires like latex paint does.
An unmodified application of polyaspartic coating is very glossy and may be a little slippery, however this is easy solved by adding paint chips or an anti-slip aggregate. Overall, for a permanent garage floor coating, polyaspartic is the way to go.
3. PVC and Metal Tiles
For an incredibly durable, yet still portable solution, try interlocking Metal or PVC floor tiles. Both are available in a variety of colors with different grip patterns available for the PVC tiles. The tiles are extremely sturdy, and the pattern on them makes them non-slip right out of the box.
They are also very easy to clean, and since they are not permanently bonded to the concrete, in the unlikely event that you damage one, you can simply replace that single tile rather than having to fix the entire floor itself. Furthermore, it’s easy to transport the tiles to a new location if you think you’ll be moving any time soon, which makes them practical if you are renting your house, but still want a stylish garage flooring solution.
The differences between the PVC and metal tiles are small in number, but still important. The PVC is available in a wider variety of grip patterns than the metal tiles – standard diamond plate, drain grid, sport aggressive, and circular. They are also available in a number of semi-glossy colors. The metal tile is obviously much heavier, more durable and quite resistant to all kinds of chemicals and stains, but they’re only available in a standard diamond plate grip pattern. However, a number of finishes and colors are available for the metal tiles.
Hopefully this guide has helped clear up some of the choices you have for your garage flooring and makes your installation process easier. If you’re ready to get your new garage flooring installed, Motor Trend Garage would love to help out: just fill out the form on the right, and one of our designers will contact you to deliver the classy, durable garage floor you deserve.