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Top 10 – Alternatives To Concrete Garage Floors – Houshia

Top 10 – Alternatives To Concrete Garage Floors

10 ALTERNATIVES TO CONCRETE GARAGE FLOORS

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Ever looked at your concrete garage floor and thought what a brand new top coat of epoxy might look like? Or maybe you’ve seen your neighbors classic car sitting in their pristine garage with checkered floor tiles?

When you start researching the mind boggling array of cool garage floor options you realize that a plane old concrete garage floor just doesn’t cut it.

In this article we’ll run through some of the most popular alternatives to regular concrete garage floors. Hopefully after reading it you’ll have a good idea as to what’s available on the market and where you could take your own garage floor.

You might have found this article by asking about replacing the entire concrete slab itself. Don’t worry, we’ll cover that too. But for starters, let’s look at what options there are for garage flooring.

Which Type of Garage Flooring Should I Use?

This is a great question and it doesn’t have a one size fits all answer. This is totally going to depend on what your specific requirements are. If for instance you want to park your car in your garage then a carpetted soltuion isn’t the best fit.

However if you want to turn your garage into a home movie theater then a durable outdoor carpet might be the best solution! So understanding your use case or cases first is the best starting point to decide what garage flooring to go for.

In this article we’ll look at each type of flooring and list pros and costs associated with it. This should be a good guide for selected the appropriate coating for your floor.

Let’s dive in…

Resin Coating

resin/epoxy floors are used through industry

Similar to Epoxy Coating, resin coating is a liquid coating applied evenly to a garage floor just like paint. Just like epoxy, it requires mixing with a hardener before being applied to the surface. Unlike epoxy, it takes much longer to set. Somewhere in the range of 8-10 hours.

Resin coatings can be clear, or colored with a variety of color dyes. You can also add plastic flakes to create different types of effects in the floor.

One important thing to note about resin pours is that it is not self leveling. If your garage floor is not even, then the resin won’t flatten out the bumps. For this you’ll have to apply a self leveling compound prior to applying the resin coating. The same is true of epoxy flooring.

Pros

  • Professional Finish
  • Hard Wearing
  • Many Colors Available

Cons

  • Takes 10 hours to harden
  • Expensive
  • Lots of prep work

Epoxy Flooring

epoxy comes in two parts, a resin and a hardener

Quite possibly the most popular choice of flooring for garages in America. Epoxy flooring offers the same benifts as resin flooring but with one key difference.

It takes less than 90 minutes to harden!

You’ll have to take into account the same considerations such as leveling the garage floor etc… But in my experience if you’re going to chose one or the other I’d go with epoxy. It’s also cheaper and more readily available.

I’ve written an entire article on epoxy flooring. I highly recommend giving it a read if you’re considering an epoxy floor in your garage. Is An Epoxy Garage Floor Worth It?

Pros

  • All of the features of Resin
  • Sets Fast – 90 mins
  • Good with oil spills

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not self leveling

Inter locking floor tiles

interlocking floor tile
interlocking floor tile

This is another cool idea for flooring your garage. What I like most about this is that you don’t have to commit yourself to them if later down the like you decide you want something different.

That’s because interlocking floor tiles don’t require any type of adhesive. They slot together like jigsaw puzzle pieces to form one solid floor.

You can also do things you couldn’t do with epoxy of any kind of liquid coating. Such as only us the interlocking tiles on a specific part of your garage. This might make sense if you for instance want to park your car in one part of your garage and use another part for a different purpose.

They can get pricey though and per square foot they are more expensive than epoxy.

One of the unique benefits of tiles are that you can take them with you when you move house. Good luck doing that with resin or epoxy!

Pros

  • Non permanent
  • Easy to assemble
  • Interlocking

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Requires cutting around shapes

Carpet Garage Flooring

carpet can be used in garages

If your use case is something along the lines of turning your garage into a home cinema, office or maybe even a kids play room then carpetted garage flooring is my favoirate pick.

In fact I wrote an entire article exploring the pros and cons of carpeting your garage floor on Houshia – Installing Carpet In Your Garage

There’s a few extra things to consider with carpet. Not all carpet is designed for what is esentially outdoor use. So I highly recommend researching the correct time of carpet for garages that will weather and perform well in potentially rapidly changing environemnts such as hot summers and cold winters.

You’ll also have to think about the extra upkeep required to keep your carpet clean. But seriously, there’s nothing quite like the feel of carpet under your feet in your garage.

Pros

  • A unique finish
  • Comfortable under foot

Cons

  • Doesn’t wear as well as other options
  • Not great with spills and stains

Vinyl Plank Flooring

vinyl plank flooring works just fine as it is durable and water resistant

Vinyl Plank flooring has grown in popularity over the past few years. In the past vinyl was surnonymous with cheap low quality renovations. But as the materials and technology advanced, vinyl planks are now considered a luxery flooring option and rightly so.

Vinyl planks are designed to be installed in places like kitchens and bathrooms, where it’s reasonable to expect spills and stains. Also the occasional sharp object dropped on the floor by accident.

So what I’m saying is they’re designed to be tough. Therefore they are potentially suitable for garages.

One of the cool thing about this type of flooring is that it makes use of the inter locking panel technology you might have seen on wood laminate floors. So the panels simply lock into place. No glue required!

Just like the other two types of flooring mentioned above, I’ve written an in-depth article on vinyl planks and my own personal experience with them. Can Vinyl Plank Flooring Be Used In Garages – Read This Before Trying

Pros

  • Durable material
  • Available in lots of different colors and finishes

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Requires lots of shaping
  • Potentially need an underlay

Garage Floor Paint

garage floor / outdoor paint

I’ve literally just written an article about garage floor paint so it’s fresh in my mind. If you’re looking for a cheap and quick way to spruce up your garage then floor paint could be the wait to go.

Cheaper than epoxy and easier to apply. Garage floor paint comes in a bunch of colors and is designed to be hard wearing. I feel compelled to point out that there’s no such thing as paint specifically designed for garages. Just flooring paint that’s usually polyethylene based.

Paint makes sense if you’re on a budget. A 1 gallon tin of paint can comfortably cover a small garage and costs around $40. Where as epoxy will run in the hundreds of dollars. If your concrete base is in good condition then paint might also result in a pretty decent finish as well.

Check out my article here – Can you use Garage Floor Paint Outdoors? -todo add this link

Pros

  • Professional Finish
  • Hard Wearing
  • Many Colors Available
  • Cheap!

Cons

  • Takes time to dry
  • Lots of prep work
  • Requires maintenance

Rubber Matting rolls

This is an interesting option that I don’t think people consider initially. This stuff is pretty impressive. It comes in rolls and can be easily cut and shaped around your existing appliances. Meaning you don’t have to remove all your equipment before installing it (although I recommend you do).

A situation where rubber matting might be useful would be a home gym where the grip counts. The matting is often textured as well. Adding additional grip.

Rubbers durable to blunt impact and retains its shape. However it doesn’t fair so well if you’re dropping sharp objects on it. I’d probably avoid driving your car on to this surface under you’re sure it won’t damage it.

Strictly speaking you don’t need an adhesive to install rubber rolls. However it’s your judgement call if you think that your specific use case will require it.

I haven’t written a article diving into this material. Let me know if you would be interested in reading about it.

Pros

  • Hard Wearing
  • Sound dampening
  • Lots of grip

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not great with sharp objects

Concrete polishing and sealing

polished concrete is low maintenance

OK not exactly an alternative but worth considering. You can hire a professional to polish your existing garage concrete slab. This forms a smoth almost marbel effect on the surface.

I think it looks really cool and reminds me of the kind of high class finish you might see in a shopping mall.

This isn’t the kind of job I’d reocmmend doing yourself. I mean sure you could hire out the equipment and have a go. But a professional who’s done this a bunch of times will produce far superior results.

The great thing about this approach is there’s no additional maintenance as you’ve not added anything new to your garage.

Pros

  • Professional Finish
  • Hard Wearing
  • Low maintenance

Cons

  • Requires a professional
  • Lots of prep work

Rubber Interlocking tiles

Similar to rubber rolling matts, but combining the useflness features of interlocking tiles. Rubber interlocking tiles are the ideal solution for a home gym.

If you go to your local gym and check out the floor, there’s a good chance that it’ll be make up of rubber interlocking floor tiles. For large floor pans they tend to be large tiles. This is beneficial in a commercial setting, but you might not need it for your home garage so I’d suggest getting the smaller tiles.

One of the downsides of this approach is that the rubber interlocking tiles aren’t cheap. But then again, if you’re building your own home gym then it’s not going to be cheap to buy all that equipment and a little extra for high quality rubber floor tiles won’t blow the budget.

You don’t need to hire a professional. You can do this all yourself over a weekend. Even in a single day if you were super motivated.

Pros

  • Great for gyms!

Cons

  • Expensive

Replacing the Concrete Slab All Together

One question that you might have asked when reading this article. Is what are my options for replacing the entire concrete slab itself?

Or if you’re building a new garage you might not want to or be able to do a concrete pour. This could be for a number of versions including environmental ones. Since concrete isn’t carbon neutral.

You Might also be want to install something exotic like under floor heating!

In either case, I’d suggest looking at potentially a wood floor. Woods a renewable material and can be installed cheaply. It can also be useful if you want to do additional thing to the floor like installing piping, where concrete would be more difficult.

If you do want to use concrete but are concerned about the environmental impact then there are options to offset the carbon, such as purchasing carbon offset credits that go towards a planting trees.

Conclusion

So that’s a little summary of some of the most popular garage flooring options out there. If you’re interested in learning more about a particular flooring type then check out the links to the other articles Houshia have covered.

Here they are again if want to learn more:

I Hope you enjoyed reading this article. Please share it on social media or link to it on your own site if you found it useful. It really encourages us to keep writing more content!

Steve

P.s. if you want to learn more about Garages in general here’s Houshias garage section. We cover lots of topics like garage conversions, smart garages, lighting, flooring you name it! Garages

Steve Foster

Suburbanite, tech geek, handy man, automation enthusiast who started blogging about the stuff I do around my home and found he had a knack for it.

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