There’s no disputing just how popular epoxy flooring is in garages. It’s considered by many as the top tier of garage floor finishes. It’s relatively cheap to install, is long lasting and has a quality finish.
So why would you consider using anything else?
With all its merits. You might find that epoxy finish doesn’t exactly fit your specific needs. Maybe you’re installing a home cinema in your garage and would prefer something that absorbs sound a little better. Wouldn’t want to ruin the dolby atmos right?!
Or maybe you want to turn your garage into a gym. Epoxy for all its merits wouldn’t fair so fell with heavy weights being dropped on it all the time. Rubber matting would be more appropriate for this particular use case.
In this article we’ll explore some of the alternative to epoxy garage floors and why you might be smart to investigate them before diving straight into epoxying your garage floor.
|Carpet Garage Flooring||Great feel under foot|
|Vinyl Plank Flooring||A variety of finishes|
|Garage Floor Paint||Cheap and easy for DIY|
|Inter locking floor tiles||Non permanent|
|Rubber Matting rolls||Great for absorbing impact|
|Concrete polishing and sealing||No additional maintenance|
|Rubber Interlocking tiles||Great for home gyms|
Let’s dive in…
Carpet Garage Flooring
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.
- A unique finish
- Comfortable under foot
- Doesn’t wear as well as other options
- Not great with spills and stains
Vinyl Plank Flooring
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
- Durable material
- Available in lots of different colors and finishes
- Requires lots of shaping
- Potentially need an underlay
Garage Floor 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
- Professional Finish
- Hard Wearing
- Many Colors Available
- Takes time to dry
- Lots of prep work
- Requires maintenance
Inter locking floor tiles
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!
- Non permanent
- Easy to assemble
- Requires cutting around shapes
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.
- Hard Wearing
- Sound dampening
- Lots of grip
- Not great with sharp objects
Concrete polishing and sealing
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.
- Professional Finish
- Hard Wearing
- Low maintenance
- 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.
- Great for gyms!
So that’s it! We’ve covered a bunch of alternatives to epoxy garage flooring. Hopefully now you’ll have an idea of what to consider when re-flooring your garage.
Here they are again if want to learn more:
- Can Vinyl Plank Flooring Be Used In Garages – Read This Before Trying
- Installing Carpet In Your Garage
- Is An Epoxy Garage Floor Worth It?
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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