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Best Choices for Garage Floor Finishing

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If you are looking to add a little style and color to your garage, one of the best places to start is with the floor. Standard concrete garage floors are functional, but with a little effort they can also be attractive . . . and even comfortable.

One of the problems, though, is that there are actually quite a number of options for sprucing up a garage floor and most homeowners have trouble deciding which way to go. The way to start thinking about a new garage floor is to divide the choices into two primary categories: coatings and coverings. Coatings are applied with a roller or brush and adhere directly to the floor. Paint and epoxy are the chief products in this category.

Coverings are products that are set on top of the garage floor. They can be moved or removed at any time. Tiles and mats are the products that fit this description. Below, you can find brief descriptions of the choices, with links to more detailed information and how-to instructions.

All good garage floor coatings begin with preparing and repairing the concrete surface. Find information on crack and stain repair below.

Finally, those turning their garage into living space will want to study the different methods of insulating the floor as well as enclosing the big opening in the wall created by removing the garage door. That information is covered at the bottom of the page.

Garage Floor Coatings

garage floor paint
Photo © bigstockphoto

Garage floor coatings comprise two different types of products, paint and epoxy. Although it is easy to confuse the two, as both are applied with rollers and brushes, they are actually quite different from a chemical and performance standpoint.

If your garage floor is stained with oil, grease and rust, you can easily give it new life with some garage floor paint. Latex paint intended for use on concrete floors is relatively inexpensive and easy to apply. Learn how to apply a paint job that will last in How To Apply Garage Floor Paint Like a Pro.

The standard for a tough, good-looking surface on the garage floor is garage floor epoxy. Although it is common to hear people refer to “epoxy paint,” in reality epoxy and paint are different products, with different chemical compositions. Preparation and application are a bit more complex than is the case with paint. You can feel comfortable doing the job yourself, however, by following the instructions in How To Apply Garage Floor Epoxy Like a Pro.

Before you start on a garage floor epoxy job, however, you need to decide which style of epoxy to choose from. That decision will be easier if you first study Choosing the Best Epoxy Floor Coating.

Garage Floor Coverings

garage floor tiles
Photo © Swiss Trax

There is nothing stopping you from throwing any kind of carpet or other covering on top of your garage floor, but if you want a surface that can stand up to the rigors of routine garage life, a product manufactured specifically for garage floors is necessary.

There are three basic types of garage floor tiles – rigid plastic tiles, flexible rubber and plastic tiles and wood composite tiles. Learn more about each in How To Choose the Best Garage Floor Tiles.

There is no easier way to cover your garage floor than by rolling out a mat. Garage floor mats come in a variety of styles, colors and materials. Find out what's available in How To Choose the Best Garage Floor Mats.

Garage Floor Repairs and Preparation

repairing concrete crack
Photo © coun2rparts @ flickr/Creative Commons

Garage floor coatings and coverings shouldn't be viewed as a means of putting damaged slabs in an "out of sight, out of mind" condition. Learn how to patch cracks in:

Oil and grease stains make any garage floor unsightful and messy, but they can also cause problems with paint and epoxy finishes. Learn how to get rid of the stain in Removing Stains from Concrete Floors.

Finally, those garage floor coatings and coverings will not eliminate moisture problems, nor will paints and epoxies last long on concrete that is too wet. Before you  put anything on top, take a moment to Test the Concrete Floor for Moisture.

 

Garage Floor Insulation

If you are converting your garage into living space, or even if you just want to make your garage more comfortable in cold and hot weather, you should consider insulating the concrete slab. Learn about the different techniques in the following articles:

For a garage conversion, preparing the floor involves more than simply adding some insulation and installing a finish floor surface. If you plan to remove the garage door, you will also need to fill in the opening this step creates. Find some suggestions for this in Preparing a Garage Floor for Living Space Conversion .

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