All types of garage floor coverings will improve the appearance of your garage, increase its durability and add to the value of your home. A garage floor takes a lot of abuse, quickly becoming an unsightly and smelly mess that can be dangerous to work on. With so many products currently available, anyone can change their garage from an eyesore to a luxury car showroom overnight, while adding years to the life of the original cement by protecting the floor from wear and tear. There are three methods to covering the floor surface: epoxy paint, garage floor mats and garage floor tiles. All three can be installed easily and inexpensively and are simple to maintain.
Epoxy floor paint is used to seal porous cement floors from mold and cracking damage caused by garage spills and ground moisture. It is a must for long-term durability. Used alone it will improve the appearance of your floor, and make cleaning up fast, but painted cement is a hard and slippery surface ill-suited for standing and walking upon. A non-professional can apply epoxy paint, which costs from $2.50-$5 a square foot, but the preparation, mixing and painting is time consuming and difficult. Applied by a professional, the labor costs from $5-$15 and hour on top of supplies. Using additional coverings over a sealed floor will lengthen its life even more.
Garage floor mats are economical, improve the look of the floor and are quick and easy to install. Costing less than $2 a square foot on average, they are the fastest of all three options to put down. They can be purchased online, as a roll or a complete mat, and installation is as simple as cutting them to fit the garage as needed, and then unrolling. They create a seamless look in a smaller garage or can be used only under the car in a larger garage. Manufactured with raised patterns to reduce slipping, they are not a good solution for use on unsealed cement floors, as the ground moisture seeping upwards through the pores of the concrete will be trapped under the non-porous polyvinyl of the mat, causing mold and bacteria to flourish and eroding the floor over time.
Finally, garage floor tiles are an excellent option for a custom look. There are more styles and colors available than epoxy paint or floor mats, and the tiles themselves interlock for easy installation. They are more expensive and only slightly more difficult to install than floor mats, and range in price from $3 – $6 per square foot. The tiles come in wood, rubber or polyvinyl. Wooden garage floor tiles have a plastic interlocking system underneath them and provide a cushioned surface for standing, but they are noisier to walk or drive on than polyvinyl or rubber tiles. Rubber and polyvinyl garage floor tiles usually interlock themselves, without a plastic frame underneath, and are durable, withstanding up to 50,000 lbs of pressure. They absorb sound, do not damage easily, and maintain their good looks for years. All three types of garage floor tiles are porous enough to allow liquid to drain through them without allowing small pieces of hardware to fall through, making them an excellent choice for flooring if you regularly hose down your garage floor.