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Garage Flooring: Laying Out Your Options

Garage Flooring? What For?

Nowadays, garages are being treated with new found respect. Instead of a place to store piles of their old junk and not the car, people are creating workshops, game rooms, or tidy car (!) and stuff storage. Garages are the new kitchen. Remember when remodeling your kitchen was the hot trend for homeowners? Well now transforming your precarious heap of stuff into a clean, orderly and functional space just makes more sense.

Updating your garage floor not only makes it look better, but improves the value of your home. Home buyers are starting to pay more attention to the condition of the garage more than ever before. Just having a clean, tidy garage proves that you take good care of your home better than a cracked, stained concrete floor would.

The Different Types

When choosing the flooring for your garage, it's important to know ahead of time exactly what you want. Do you want to have a pattern or would you prefer a solid color? How much maintenance are you willing to do? Would you want to be able to remove it if you moved?

Once you know the basic look you're going for, you should check out the different types of flooring available on the market. You'll find tiles, roll out flooring or roll on flooring.

Tile flooring will allow you to be able to incorporate a pattern or design, have the ability to remove and replace damaged tiles, and be able to take it with you if you move. The tiles are pretty easy to install and keep clean. You can even add drain tiles if you have a drain in your floor. They also provide a cushion if you spend a lot of time standing while working in your garage.

Average cost: $500+

Roll out flooring is a lot like linoleum. It comes in a roll that you would simply cut to size and lay out. Typically, you would use a double-sided tape to keep the flooring from sliding around. It is easily cleaned and removed if need be and also provides some cushion.

Average Cost: $800+

Roll on flooring is an epoxy based paint. This type of flooring completely seals your garage floor and is a permanent improvement to your garage. There is no worry of mold or staining underneath, and it is almost maintenance free. It is a great choice if you're looking to have a floor with a high gloss.

Average Cost: $700

Each of these types are durable enough to handle the weight and movement of your car for years to come.

I Picked Out My Flooring, Now What?

Garage flooring is easy enough to install yourself, but if you need some help, you can hire a private contractor to come in and do it for you. Garage designers are popping up everywhere and are ready and willing to help you make the transformation complete. If you're planning to fly solo on your mission, keep a few pointers in mind:

When laying the tile flooring, make sure you order enough to cover the entire garage! Each tile is a square foot, so just use basic math and multiply the length by the width to figure out your square footage and the total tiles you'll need. Don't forget to get the trim tiles to put the perfect edge on your floor. If you're going to create a pattern or design, get some graph paper and lay it out before you start so there won't be mistakes. The tiles just clip into place like Lego blocks or you can get the type that have sticky backs and press them into place for a more permanent tile floor. This type of flooring is easy enough for a single person to install alone.

The roll out flooring comes in rolls of different widths and lengths. Based on the size of the area you want to cover, you'll want to get the exact footage and then about 10 feet extra just in case. You'll probably want a second set of hands to help roll out the flooring and tape down the edges. The rolls also come in different colors or patterns to match your walls or cabinets.

Roll on flooring is probably the most time consuming and difficult to install, but is the only truly permanent flooring option. You usually get a kit with a bucket of the epoxy base coat, a bucket of water phase urethane and a box of flakes that add color. Typical installation includes deep cleaning the floor, priming the floor, rolling on the body coat and then tossing the flakes on the epoxy base and letting it set overnight. You would have to come back to it the next day to scrape the extra flakes off the top and then set it all with a clear top coat to create the shine, which would also need to dry.

Remember that your new flooring needs maintenance like any other investment. All of these types of flooring clean up easily by scrubbing it down with a general cleaner and a quick blast from the hose.

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