Date: April 16, 2019
While trading in your old garage door with a new, fully-customized one can be an exciting change, you shouldn’t forget that your garage interior needs attention, too! It’s the perfect project to do once you’ve cleaned out your garage for spring since you’ve already decluttered, organized, and removed dirt and dust. Take a look at the benefits of finishing your floor, the best garage floor finishes to consider, and some additional tips to help you tackle this upgrade.
Benefits of Finishing Your Garage Flooring
There are numerous benefits to finishing any part of your home’s interior or exterior. Even the smallest details matter when it comes to your home’s aesthetics. The following are just a few of the advantages that come with finishing your garage flooring.
- Increases Your Home’s Value — Finishing your garage’s flooring allows you to take a drab, discolored concrete floor and make it look high-end and polished. No matter which finish you choose, it’s sure to look much more appealing, which can increase your home’s value!
- Protects Against Stains & Moisture — Most garage floor coatings and coverings are specifically designed to resist stains, spills, and moisture. They’re great for keeping your flooring looking clean and pristine.
- Quick & Easy to Apply or Install — Depending on the size of your garage, finishing the flooring is generally a smaller project that won’t take up too much of your time or energy. If you plan on applying or installing the flooring yourself, you may just need a few hours on a weekend to complete the project.
- Won’t Require Much Maintenance — Once your flooring is finished, it won’t require much maintenance over time. While it may need to be touched up after years of wear and tear, a majority of the maintenance you’ll need to do will consist of only sweeping or cleaning up dirt and debris as necessary.
The Best Garage Floor Finishes
Garage Floor Paint
Painting your garage floors is one of the least expensive finishing options. It’s also one of the easiest finishes to apply, making it a great DIY project. The drawback of garage floor paint is that it isn’t as durable as other flooring options. It’s also more vulnerable to salts and chemical wear and tear over time.
This type of garage floor finishing paint requires the use of a primer, so there are more steps involved. While it does usually require multiple coats to achieve the desired high-gloss look, this finishing option generally lasts longer than latex paint.
Garage Floor Epoxy
While some people may think of epoxy as paint, it’s actually a product that utilizes resins and hardeners for enhanced durability. It’s much thicker than traditional paint and creates a stronger bond to the original flooring. Plus, epoxy is a more flexible material, helping to prevent cracks that may occur with floor paints.
Epoxy is resistant to oil, gasoline, and other harsh chemicals, allowing it to stand up to heavy wear and tear. It can also withstand high temperatures such as the ones your garage interior could experience in summer. One thing to note, though, is that you won’t be able to park your car on top of the surface until the epoxy has completely cured. This may force you to park somewhere else for up to a week.
This floor finishing option comes premixed, eliminating the need to thoroughly combine chemicals to complete your project. However, this option usually isn’t as durable as its two-part counterpart.
This type of epoxy requires you to mix two formulas together prior to applying it to your garage flooring. It’s incredibly durable and will outlast paint or one-part epoxies.
If you’re looking for a guide on applying epoxy to your garage floor, the following This Old House video offers a great tutorial:
Garage Floor Tiles
Tiles are another fantastic option for garage floor finishing, but it’s generally the most expensive. Most tile selections are easy to install and come in a range of colors, patterns, and styles. Plus, if a part of your floor becomes damaged for any reason, you can simply remove the tiles and replace them with new ones.
These titles are resistant to chemicals, oils, grease, and other liquids. There’s no adhesive required for installation and the surface is incredibly easy to clean. In addition, the high-impact construction allows it to hold large amounts of weight without causing any damage to the tile.
Flexible tiles are great because they are a little cushioned, making it easier to walk on. It also helps to absorb sound and minimize loud noises in the garage. There’s no adhesive required for installation.
These tiles can be a beautiful, attractive finishing option for conditioned garages with controlled climates. However, they may not be watertight. This means water, oil, and other fluids may seep down between and under tiles.
Other Garage Floor Finishing Considerations
There are a lot of things you may not think of when it comes to finishing your garage floors. The following are a few considerations to take into account before you start this project.
Check Your Moisture Levels
If your flooring is made of concrete, it’s important to check the level of moisture that reaches the surface. If there’s too much moisture, your floor finish (paint or epoxy) may not adhere properly or could peel and blister. To figure out your garage floor’s moisture level, you can use relative humidity (RH) tests.
Remember to Prep & Repair Flooring
Before applying any adhesives or coatings to your garage floor, you’ll want to make sure it’s free of grease, dirt, cracks, and holes! You can use a hose or pressure washer to clean the floors. For stubborn stains, try a degreaser or chemical agent. Once that’s taken care of, fill in and repair spots that cracked, pitted, or spalled. This will create a nice, even surface for your flooring finish.
Make Your Floor Slip Resistant
To prevent any slips and falls, you may want to consider looking into slip resistant floor finishing options. If you’re searching for a temporary solution, adding mats or carpet runners to your garage floor can make it slip resistant in high-traffic areas. However, if you’d like a more permanent option, you can add anti-skid grit into your paint or epoxy formula. Tiles typically have anti-slip properties built into them.
Try Garage Parking Mats
Top off your flooring with mats that absorb liquids from the bottom of your car or tires. They’re useful during winter snow and slush, as well as spring and summertime rain. Plus, during the peak of summer, your tires can become extremely hot when you drive your car. After you park in your garage, you may experience “hot tire pick up.” This happens when the heat of your tires softens the bond between your floor and garage floor paint finish. As a result, the finish is removed.