Getting your garage ready for DIY work on your car involves more than just the right tools. If you have a concrete floor, the best garage flooring treatment can make cleanup a breeze and add a stylish touch to your home. There are a number of options out there, but what’s the best for your garage? Here are some estimates to protect 500 square feet of floor space, which is a bit larger than a typical two car garage.
Choosing the Right Coating
If you know how to paint, then you already well on your way to finishing your garage floor. Here are some of the most effective treatments:
- Latex floor paint: This is the least expensive way to go, but it is also the least durable. It’s an easy two-hour DIY job and costs less than $100. It should last a couple of years with light use, such as for storage or parking your car.
- Concrete staining and sealing: This technique is more complicated to apply than latex paint, but looks stunning when it’s done. Unfortunately, there’s a disparity between cost and durability: It can cost up to $750, but will only last a couple of years under light use.
- Epoxy coatings: Applying this coating can be tricky, but with the proper equipment and technique, a seasoned DIY-er can handle it. Epoxy coatings will put you back a few hundred dollars and can last up to five years with light abuse, such as DIY automotive repair or lawn equipment storage.
- Polyurethane coatings: This is the industry-standard, the go-to garage flooring for exceptional durability. Costing around $500 and requiring an exceptionally complex and lengthy application process, it may be overkill for the average DIY garage, but it also lasts between five and eight years under normal use conditions.
Opting to Cover Your Garage
What should you do if you don’t have the time or tools required to lay down a coat? Here are some options for covering your floor:
- Ceramic or stone tiling: This isn’t a project that you’ll want to tackle on your own, particularly if your day job isn’t in tiling. It can take a few days to properly tile and set a garage floor. Depending on materials chosen, pricing can range from $600 to $6,000, but it will last forever.
- Modular tiling: This new garage tile option is extremely easy to trim and install, because it is made of plastic and doesn’t require any bonding agent. Price may be an obstacle, nearing $3,000, but modular tiles are exceptionally durable and will last more than 10 years. Because modular tiles aren’t attached to the floor by anything other than gravity, you can replace a single damaged tile easily, and if you relocate, you can take your floor with you to your new garage.
- Roll-out garage mats: These mats roll out just like carpeting and are easy to trim and install. Slightly less expensive than tiles, these mats are fairly comfortable to work on, but can be damaged easily by things like motorcycle kickstands and welding slag.
When considering the best garage flooring, you’ll need to take a number of things into account. If you plan on moving in the coming years, a less expensive, modular option may suffice. If you’ve put down roots, why not consider one of the more permanent options? Finding the perfect balance can be difficult, but it’s well worth your while.
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Ben has been taking things apart since he was 5, and putting them back together again since he was 8. After dabbling in DIY repairs at home and on the farm, he found his calling in the CGCC Automobile Repair program. After he held his ASE CMAT for 10 years, Ben decided he needed a change. Now, he writes on automotive topics across the web and around the world, including new automotive technology, transportation legislation, emissions, fuel economy and auto repair.