Historically, homeowners have paid little attention to their concrete garage floors—but times are changing. As garages expand from two-car to four-car (and larger) slabs of expansive concrete, the attention paid to finishing these spaces has similarly increased.
And it’s no wonder: garages are not just a place to park the family car. Today, the garage has become the quintessential multi-purpose space, and with a whopping 600+ square feet of concrete it’s the largest “room” in the house. So what options are available to transform the floor of this potential-packed space?
EPOXY GARAGE FLOOR PAINT
There’s not much value in painting your garage floor, even so-called “epoxy paint.” It’s just a latex acrylic with a dab of epoxy in it to extend the cure time by about two hours. Big box stores sell it with a small bag of flakes in a “kit” so you can feel like a pro—until you read the instructions. Skip the disappointment and go right to the professional version.
EPOXY / FLAKE FLOOR COATING
Epoxy / Flake floor coatings (distinctly different from an epoxy garage floor paint) are a two-component product consisting of resin and a polyamide hardener that when combined form a chemical bond that is extremely strong. Most installers add vinyl flakes to provide a decorative look while adding a level of slip resistance to the coating. A polyurethane or polyaspartic top-coat is the last step in the process, and the most important step to providing a chemically resistant surface. A typical epoxy/flake floor will set you back about $5-6/sf, but it’s an investment you’ll make only once in the lifetime of your garage. It’s best left to the pros for the simple reason that they have the equipment and experience to get the job done quickly and correctly. An epoxy-coated floor will help reduce dust, give you a long lasting surface that is easy to maintain and looks beautiful.
When money is no object and you need the abrasive resistance of an industrial quality epoxy coating, you might want to consider a quartz floor. Made of a fine silica sand combined with epoxy resins and a polyurethane top coat, these floors can withstand virtually anything. If you have a flair for the finer things or you’re a serious gear-head (or you actually are a NASCAR® pit crew member), quartz will not disappoint. Available in just about any color you can think of (including neon and glow-in-the-dark), you can create custom designs, logos, and intricate graphics that are truly one-of-a-kind. A quartz floor is expensive ($8/sf), but beautiful! Definitely leave this one to the pros.
Unless you don’t plan to ever put your car in the garage again, don’t consider a metallic floor. So why even suggest it as a transformation option? Because metallic coatings are so cool! If your garage has been converted to a studio, exercise room, home business or the like, a metallic floor is a great way to transform an ugly concrete floor into a one-of-a-kind work of art! It will be slippery when wet, but barring that, your floor will be talked about and remembered by anyone who sees it. This is also a great option for basements, sun porches, foyers and any focal point where conventional products (carpet, tile or wood) won’t do the trick. Plus the price is actually pretty reasonable at $7-9/sf.
RUBBER GARAGE FLOORING
If you’re the kind of person who’s afraid of commitment, you might want to consider a rubber garage floor. Available in tiles or sheets, you can easily install a rubber floor by yourself in about a day. The tiles lock together, are available in a variety of colors and sizes, and they’re not installed permanently. Be prepared to do a lot of cutting, measuring and fitting. As for cost, you’re likely to spend around $4-$5/sf for materials.
Regardless of which system you choose, doing something is better than leaving your concrete to weather naturally (option 5). Although doing nothing is inexpensive at first, replacing bad concrete (especially in your garage) will set you back about $20 grand.
Lifetime Flooring Solutions, Inc. is a NC-based company serving both commercial and residential customers throughout the state. For more information or free estimates, call 704-771-6721 or visit LifetimeFlooringSolutions.com/contact.