Garage floor coatings like epoxy paint or concrete stain, or coverings like snap-together tiles or floor mats instantly improve your garage. Here’s an overview of what’s available:
Two Types of Garage Flooring
Your concrete garage floor takes a lot of abuse from moisture, oil drips, chemical spills and road salt as it ages. Applying a garage floor coating or covering will not only improve the way your floor looks but also protect it against stains and deterioration, make it easier to clean, and hide cracks and other surface problems. A lot of different garage flooring options are out there, but will they actually work and look as good in your garage? The answer is—it depends. This article will outline the main flooring options and their pros and cons to help you choose a floor that’s feasible, durable and affordable.
There are two general types of garage flooring: coatings and coverings. If your garage floor is in good condition, you can pick either one. But if the floor has lots of cracks or pockmarks, a covering is better because it hides damage. A coating, even a low-sheen version, has a tendency to highlight blemishes. Coverings are also immune to moisture problems that can make coatings peel.
Garage Floor Coatings
Coatings include floor paints, epoxy paint, stains and sealers. Coatings generally cost less than coverings if you apply them yourself. They protect against stains, corrosive chemicals (like road salts) and moisture penetration. But coatings can fail for two reasons: damp concrete and incomplete floor prep.
Coatings can’t be used where ground moisture rises through the concrete and keeps it consistently damp. Moisture prevents the coating from sticking to the concrete, and the coating soon delaminates, chips and flakes. That’s why it’s critical to test your concrete slab for moisture before you apply a coating.
The main disadvantage of coatings is that they require several hours of careful floor prep. Depending on how dirty or greasy your floor is, this can include intensive cleaning with a pressure washer using solvents or degreasers to remove any sealers, grease or previous coatings. You need to repair cracks, holes and other surface problems and then finally etch the concrete with muriatic acid to leave it completely clean and penetrable.