Pretty vs Functional Garage Floor
Here’s a quick and dirty guide on which types of garage floors you should be primarily looking at depending on if you want your garage to be pretty or useful. For the purists among us, we’ll start with useful.
Useful Garage Floors
1. Epoxy Garage Floor Paint – It’s cheap, it covers the entire concrete garage floor, and it’s nearly impenetrable. The more expensive versions will even cushion your step. The biggest downsides involve failed installs.
2. Garage Floor Tiles – If tools get dropped, they bounce. Laying on good garage floor tiles is like laying on a bed in comparison to concrete. The biggest downsides are cost, and the fact that you likely won’t end up covering your entire concrete garage floor.
3. Garage Floor Mats – Similar advantages to tiles, with the notable exception that they typically cover far less concrete. Also, be careful that, if you’re going for function, you don’t purchase simple parking mats. Those are not for working, but rather for trapping the dirt and debris that vehicles drag in.
4. Garage Floor Stain – Useless for anything but aesthetics. Most stains do state that you should use some sort of sealant, though, which might provide some protection.
Pretty Garage Floors
1. Garage Floor Tiles – Tiles can be had in a variety of colors, can include things like team logos, and some of them just look downright cool. Even if they’re not any more functional than a good epoxy paint job, they can certainly look like they are.
2. Garage Floor Stain – Stained concrete can look downright elegant. Some stains actually make concrete look like some sort of stone. It’s also the cheapest option, and probably the most unique.
3. Epoxy Garage Floor Paint – Paint can be as colorful as tiles, though it sometimes takes some searching. One can also add color flakes for extra flare. Many garage floor paint kits can be ordered with different color flakes, too, so that you can actually make yours look unique.
4. Garage Floor Mat – It’s a mat. It’s really not that interesting to look at, unless you just really like rubber.
Now let’s discuss them form the different point of view.
Garage Floor Finishes
This will be just a quick overview of all of the various garage floor finishes that can be used. I figured I would post this just in case some people didn’t know about some of these options.
Epoxy Garage Floor Paint
As opposed to some other applications that also carry the name “paint”, the goal is not just to change the color of the garage flooring. An epoxy garage floor coating will also provide some of the best protection for the concrete underneath. It’s often the cheapest, too, as long as you can afford to install it yourself. It will likely be the most difficult of any finish to install. Epoxy garage floor coatings have a very long life span, and can often be installed over other paint jobs, depending on the kit.
Garage Floor Tile
Tiles are probably the next best thing when it comes to the most comprehensive solution. Garage floors with tiles are protected almost as well as those with epoxy, but the install is not nearly as finicky, though it can be just as time consuming depending on the type of garage floor tiles used. Unfortunately, tiles can also easily be the most expensive of all garage flooring. Interlocking garage floor tiles will give you the flexibility and leak resistance of a mat, but they can be costly. Peel and stick garage floor tiles are just as finicky as paint when it comes to the cleanliness of the concrete, and they depend on the human hand and eye to create a seal by getting them close enough together.
Garage Floor Stain
This option is not for those who want to protect their garage flooring, but more for those who want an interesting looking floor where they park. The object is not to add any type of garage floor coating, but just to change the color of the existing concrete garage floor. Concrete staining is really seen less in garages than interiors, so this would probably be the most unique choice.
Garage Floor Mat
There are two main different types of garage floor mats: parking mats, and compartment mats. Both can be referred to as garage floor coverings, so be sure to check the sizes of what you are buying to be certain that you get what you’re looking for. A parking mat may take up your entire garage, and be referred to as a whole garage floor mat. Alternatively, it could only take up as much space as the vehicles that park there, since the purpose is to protect your garage flooring from their leavings. Compartment, or containment mats generally have raised edges or some other method of controlling the flow of any dropped liquids, and are used primarily for working on vehicles. They are not intended to be a full time garage floor covering, being only a temporary, used-as-needed tool.
So, that’s all of the various garage floor finishes in one post. Check out some of the other posts for more information about each individual option.
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