Top 10 Alternatives to Concrete Garage Floors
Concrete garage flooring is often considered the best option for garages because it lasts longer than other types of flooring. In addition, it is waterproof and helps prevent moisture from seeping into walls. However, it has several drawbacks too.
For example, its surface gets slippery when wet and can trap dirt and other particles. That means it requires constant maintenance.
Check out these top alternatives to save time, money, and effort without sacrificing quality.
1. Resin Coating
Resin coating is a liquid coating that you apply evenly on your garage floor like paint. Before applying, first, mix the coating with a hardener. However, you cannot apply the mixture to the surface immediately. Instead, it needs to be left to set, which takes between 8 and 10 hours.
This coating allows you to choose your preferred color since you can either go clear or use different dyes to achieve a color you will love. In addition, you can add plastic flakes to create varying effects on your floor for a chic look.
However, it’s important to note that resin coating does not self-level. So, if your floor is uneven, the coating will not hide or flatten the bumps. This means you need to use a self-leveling compound before using the resin coating.
The advantages of using resin coating are: it has a professional chic finish; it is hard-wearing and readily available in various colors.
Its cons are: it takes up to 10 hours to harden, requires a lot of prep work, and is expensive.
2. Garage floor paint
Garage floor paint is a cheap and quick way to spice up your garage. It is cheaper than other alternatives and easy to apply. The paint comes in different colors and is hard-wearing. The cost of this option depends on the gallons of paint your floor requires.
Once you identify how many gallons you need and the price of each gallon, you get a rough cost estimate.
Garage paint gives your floor a professional finish. However, it takes time to dry and requires lots of prep work and maintenance. It also lasts, depending on the traffic your garage floor gets.
3. Epoxy flooring
Epoxy is a popular choice on many garage floors. It is almost similar to resin, but it takes a shorter time to harden, less than 90 minutes. In addition, it is readily available and cheaper and requires you to apply self-leveling compounds before application.
It is also good with oil spills since it does not absorb them and gives your garage a clean look.
The downside to using epoxy is the maintenance it requires. Epoxy requires extra maintenance if you want to keep it in its best condition.
The cost of installation depends on the size of your garage. Once you get your garage measurements in square feet and the cost of square feet of epoxy flooring, you can calculate a price estimate for your garage.
Then, add a 15% buffer to the approximated price to cater for labor, self-leveling compounds, installation costs, and other costs.
Epoxy lasts for up to 5 years without wear, depending on the amount of traffic your garage floor gets and the weather conditions it is exposed to. Ideally, refresh your epoxy floor after five years.
Epoxy flooring is perfect for any garage, thanks to its durability, low maintenance, and quality of finish.
4. Interlocking floor tiles
This flooring idea is perfect if you don’t want something permanent. If you want to change your garage flooring later, choose interlocking floor tiles. They do not require an adhesive as they slot together like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle to form one uniform floor.
You can use them for a specific part instead of the entire garage to add a touch of class to your space. It is, therefore, a great option if you want to divide your garage. You can park your car on one side and use the other side for a different purpose.
However, interlocking tiles are pretty expensive per square foot compared to liquid coating like epoxy. They also require cutting to achieve different shapes. The greatest advantage of using these floor tiles is carrying them when you move to a new house. They are also easy to assemble and are ideal for every garage.
5. Rubber Matting rolls
This flooring option is impressive and is available in rolls that can be shaped and cut around the appliances in your garage. This means you do not need to remove heavy equipment to install rubber matting rolls.
The matting is textured and therefore adds your floor additional grip. The rubber is also durable and does not misshape when blunt items drop on it. In addition, it doesn’t require an adhesive, suppresses sound, and is hard-wearing.
However, sharp objects can damage this flooring when they fall on it. Rubbing matting rolls are also expensive compared to other flooring options.
6. Vinyl plank flooring
This flooring idea is gradually becoming popular. As technology and materials advance, vinyl is no longer considered a cheap and low-quality floor material. Instead, it is now considered a luxury option for floor renovations.
Vinyl is a plastic topcoat embedded with a middle coat printed pattern. It is durable and tough and therefore suitable for garages.
The advantage of using vinyl planks is that they do not require adhesives. Instead, the panels lock into place using the interlocking panel technology used on wood laminate floors. It is also easy to install and comes in many colors and finishes.
Also, since it is not fixed to the floor, you can remove it when moving or when you need a fresh look for your garage.
The main disadvantage is that vinyl is pricey. It also requires shaping and may need an underlay. However, it is ideal for any garage, even if you want to turn yours into a home gym, as it isn’t damaged when heavy objects are dropped.
7. Carpet garage flooring
Carpet flooring is another cool choice, especially if you use your garage for different purposes like kids’ playroom. You need to carefully choose the carpet that can withstand the weather conditions your garage is exposed to and still perform well. Your carpet also needs to be hardy and have the fire safety ratings needed for safe installation.
Garage carpets can be expensive as they require adhesives and extra care to keep them clean. However, they give your garage a unique finish, are comfortable under your feet, and are available in different colors, giving it a welcoming look compared to bare concrete.
Other than the cost of installing a garage carpet, the other disadvantage of using this flooring is that it is not great with stains and spills. Cleaning them can be quite challenging. Also, the adhesives used degrade with time.
You can choose between a carpet roll and carpet tiles, depending on the equipment in your garage. If you can remove everything and leave your garage empty, use the carpet roll. If not, go for the carpet tiles as they are easier to install. In addition, carpet flooring suppresses sound, improves floor insulation, is aesthetically pleasing, and is easy to install and remove in the future.
Carpet flooring is ideal for garages used as home offices, playrooms, and other light uses. However, for heavy tasks, choose a more durable alternative like epoxy.
8. Rubber interlocking tiles
These interlocking tiles are ideal for any garage, especially if yours is a home gym. All you need is the size of your garage in square feet and the cost of the tiles per square foot. You can then install them alone.
The material is durable and can be used on one part instead of the entire floor. However, the tiles can be pretty expensive.
9. Concrete sealing and polishing
If you love your concrete garage floor but need to spruce it up, hire a professional to polish it. Polishing creates a smooth marble-like effect on your surface, giving your floor a high-class finish similar to a shopping mall.
The advantage of polishing is that it requires no extra maintenance, has a professional finish, and is hard-wearing. However, it requires a professional for superior results and needs a lot of prep work.
10. Replace the entire concrete slab
Finally, the last option is replacing the concrete slab altogether. Replacing could be because you no longer want the slab or want something exotic and novel, like underfloor heating or a wood floor. Wood is relatively cheap and is renewable and environmentally safe.
It is also a great floor option if you want to do additional things like installing piping, a task that is difficult on a concrete floor.
Check this too: How to Repair Cracks in a Concrete Garage Floor
Although this option can be time-consuming and expensive, it allows you to get a more modern floor and can be done in any garage with a concrete floor.
Your garage doesn’t have to be hideous and boring. You can spruce it up and make it more inviting and comfortable with the above alternatives. Consider your budget and the end look before choosing a flooring option.
Also, consider the activities you do in your garage. It would be a waste of time and money to install a flooring option that cannot withstand the activities, weather, or traffic your garage is exposed to.