Garage Flooring Solutions-Do it Yourself to Professonally Installed
So many garage flooring options! Which to choose? What's the best flooring product for YOUR garage? Should you do it or have someone else do it? And the most important question, how much is it going to cost me??? Well here are the top choices for garage flooring! Hope this is helpful!
1. Epoxy Floors
(Available at Home Improvement Store-DIY or Store Subcontractor)
Cost: $109 + tax for 2 ½ Car Garage (approximately 500 square feet coverage)
My Review: These floors give “Epoxy” a bad name. But it’s cheap! Yeah, it’s cheap! Almost 75% of the floors I’ve been out to fix were these DIY floors from a can. Most were less than a year old and already the car tires were pulling up the coating, pealing, showing stains and leaving skid marks. The solid color floor always shows more dirt and debris than a speckled one. Could not find warranty information online.
2. Liquid Granite
(Available through Garage Floor Professional only)
Cost: Starting at $4.50/sq.ft (2 car garage = $1,800) includes labor, material, tax and lifetime warranty
My Review: Also called Hybrid Polymer or Epoxy Flooring, this is the best type of flooring for your garage if you park cars in it, play in it or want a seamless surface impervious to oil, transmission fluids, etc. Liquid beads up and you can wipe it up or hose down your garage. It’s a permanent finish that will raise the value of your property should you ever resell. It’s a 4-5 layer process only done by a professional. And it has to be done right! Ask your installer about VOC Vapors as well. There should be practically none!
1. Homeowner must clear all personal belongings off the floors. Some companies will do this at an extra cost. Flooring specialist can work around existing cabinet but if you want the flooring under refrigerators, laundry units, tell your designer. Please note that if it’s too windy or rainy, the job may be postponed.
2. First off! Your floor installer MUST PREP the floor! If you already have paint or rustoleum on your floor, it has to be removed. Then the contractor has to diamond grind your concrete. This is done with a machine that looks like a big floor buffer with a bag attached to collect the dust. It roughens the floor up and opens the pores so that the liquid layers seep in, harden and bite down so you don’t have that peeling problem. WARNING! Beware anyone that offers to ACID ETCH your floor! It is illegal to hose this off into our California storm drains because of the environmental damage. Contractors caught doing this can be fined $10,000!! Plus the floor remains smooth and you know what happens when you glue something onto a smooth surface…no stick!
3. Garage floor crack repair. Your garage designer should be able to assess floor damage as minor or major and if there are additional costs involved. Also keep an eye out for moisture damage. (Often leaves white ring stains on the floor) This could cause your new floors to bubble up in the future if not treated properly.)
4. The first layer should be an alkali moisture barrier. This keeps the moisture from the earth from coming up into the garage.
5. A layer of epoxy (if not mixed with the moisture barrier) is added.
6. Piles of vinyl chips are hand distributed to fully cover your entire garage.
7. Next day the excess is scraped off and sanded vertically and horizontally. What’s left is a textured “no skid” surface.
8. Impervious, UV clear coat is applied and left to dry. Garage door needs to be kept open for 6 hours to allow drying (depending on weather). Sometimes a smell is added so that when it dissipates, you know it’s dry.
9. Process takes 2-3 days and approximately 48 hours to dry. Some companies say 24 hours to dry that means the material dries faster during application and they may have less control.
10. Keep cars out of the garage until the drying process is over.
3. Stained Concrete
(Available through Garage or Concrete Specialist only)
Cost: Slightly less than the Liquid Granite Floor costs.
Stained and polished concrete can be absolutely beautiful! But staining concrete is like staining wood. You never know quite what it’s going to look like until it’s done. It depends on several things: grade of concrete, was it poured in parts or all at once, are there existing cracks, how many layers of stain do you want applied?? Have your floor specialist apply a little stain on a corner of your garage floor to get an idea before you start. Upside to this process is that it takes less time in application and drying. (Available through Garage Floor Professional)
4. Interlocking Rubber Mats
Cost: Starting at $3.50/sq.ft (2 car garage = $1,400) includes material, tax and manufacturer’s warranty
My Review: These floors are great in warehouses, play rooms or work areas. They are heavy duty, impervious to oil and car fluids. They add thicker cushioning than the liquid granite floors. They are interlocking 20x20 square puzzle-like pieces that come in several colors. You can create patterns and use your alma mater’s colors. You can install yourself if you have a mallet, some time and enough material. You need the squares, tapered edges and corner pieces. Installation is quicker and no chemicals like the liquid granite. The only drawback is the seams. You cannot hose down the garage without lifting up some tiles to dry out the floor underneath. Just make sure you get the industrial grade, not the ones you can get at Costco!
(Do It Yourself or Handyman)
If you are thinking of doing this, I have one word for you….DON’T!! The only way it’s slightly acceptable is if you never park cars in it and are not planning on selling it ever. Paint lowers the value of the garage. Hot tires will peal up paint like no one’s business!
6. Pressure Wash and Polish
(DIY or Handyman)
Cost: Simply the cost of renting a pressure washer and a polish kit.
This is a temporary finish that lasts a year or so depending on how you use your garage. Just remember you have to clean the garage every time, rent the pressure washer, etc etc. The downside will depend on how much oil damage and staining have already occurred. If the damage is too great, the pressure wash will be ineffective.