This article was updated on 07/03/20
Traditionally, almost all home garages were used to park the familys car, a workbench, landscaping tools, and a multitude of cardboard boxes filled with a collection of Christmas decorations that just didnt fit in the attic.
But now, many garages have become family rooms, man caves, or woodworking and craft workshops.
So when remodeling the garage, what flooring options are on the market to consider? Epoxy coatings are the most effective, but there are others that work well. The objective is to customize the space, increase your home equity and curb appeal, and generally add aesthetic value to your home.
Epoxy Garage Flooring Finish
Important: When you work with epoxy components, be sure to wear protective gloves and safety glasses, as well as making sure that the work area is well ventilated.
An epoxy garage floor finish (called an epoxy paint system by some manufacturers) is very popular today, and for very good reasons: its a breeze to maintain, its resistant to oil staining, and it beads water like a car with a new wax job.
Theres no need to hire a professional flooring contractor. This is a DIY project that can be completed over a weekend, but if youd rather hire someone, just locate a professional.
While rolling out the epoxy, its not a bad idea to wear those paper booties like you see at the hospital over your shoes. This will ensure you don't track in any debris. Lets look at the basic steps:
Wash the garage floor. This will start you with a clean slate.
Acid etch the concrete slab. This will provide a deep cleaning treatment and affords the epoxy a solid surface to bond with.
Repair any existing cracks by filling them with a commonly available concrete/mortar repair compound.
Get the epoxy paint ready. There are two components: a hardener (your kit may call it a catalyst) and the epoxy paint. Mix them in the specified ratio and set it aside for the recommended amount of time to let the chemical process begin.
Next, apply the epoxy mixture. This is similar to painting a sheetrock wall; first cut in the corners and then use a roller in the open field.
Distribute the color flakes evenly by hand as the sections are painted.
When this first coat is dry, apply the top coat. Mix it well just like before, and let it sit for the recommended amount of time. As this coat is applied, anti-skid granules may be added at this time if so desired.
Allow the manufacturer's specified drying time before using the garage.
Alternate Garage Floor Finishes
An epoxy treatment isnt the only way to dress up the garage floor. There are other materials that do a good job, can be easier to install, and dont have as many VOC concerns. Many of these materials are being used in automotive repair shops rather than traditional paint.
Vinyl Garage Flooring
Vinyl sheet goods; arent just for the homes interior any more. This material has several benefits. For one thing, its anti-static. This is a distinct advantage in the dry winter months. Its also designed to be anti-slip.
Installing it is straightforward; just give the concrete slab a good cleaning and either butt the sheets together or overlap them. Vinyl also provides a moisture barrier.
Rubber-Based Flooring Systems
Rubber is a popular alternative. It can be purchased in floor tile format and sheet goods. Tiles are easier to install and can be replaced individually in the event of damage. Also, different colors may be used to create intricate patterns.
An added benefit is that rubber is more cushioned and shock-absorbing than vinyl. This is important if the garage is used as a woodworking shop and the homeowner spends time standing in front of a lathe or band saw. Your feet and back will thank you.
Rubber floor tiles are generally use a locking system for installation. Simply layout the floor, and then begin adding and locking the tiles together. Any trimming is easily done using a straightedge and a utility or an X-acto knife.
Garage floor epoxy is a good choice in my opinion. Choosing the right color will give it a cleaner appearance and going non-skid is just a bonus in my estimation.
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About the Author:
Kelly R. Smith was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation and financial and energy trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.