It’s quite an easy decision when it comes to choosing floor types within your home. Tiles in the kitchen and bathroom, carpet in the living room and bedrooms, maybe some vinyl. But what are your options when it comes to choosing a floor covering for your garage?
Carpet, vinyl or ceramic tiles don’t seem like very practical alternatives, which only leaves us with one option — concrete. But is concrete the best and only suitable floor covering for the garage?
What Type of Flooring Is Best For The Garage?
For most Aussie homeowners, a concrete flooring in a garage is a standard and affordable asset offered by majority of builders. Despite it’s non-slip properties and solid foundation, it’s also highly porous material that is a magnet for oil stains and other spills.
In most households, you may notice an odd piece of cardboard or vinyl placed underneath parked vehicles to prevent oil leaks from soaking into the concrete, but these will need to be replaced. They are also aren’t the most appealing thing to look at as you enter and exit your garage each day.
Here are three ways you can protect your garage floor and give it a new look at the same time.
Latex paint is the easiest and most affordable way to add a splash of colour to your garage concrete floor and brighten up the space. Although there is a wide selection of colours to choose from, latex paint does very little to protect the floor, and is prone to chipping and peeling. Latex paint is a cost effective option that provides character to your space, if that’s all your after.
Polyurethane coating provides an extremely durable protective layer with a glossy finish that is resistant to chemicals, oils and other spills. However, polyurethane, when used on it’s own, does not adhere properly when applied directly onto concrete, it also lets off potent and harmful fumes for several weeks after it’s been applied.
Arguably, the most popular and practical choice of garage concrete coatings is epoxy floor coating. Not only does it provide a glossy finish that can be etched or stained to a pattern or colour of your liking, it can also withstand the harshest of abuse. Epoxy coating is highly resistant to scratching, chipping, and scuffing and will last for 2 to 3 years before you need to do a re-coat. In addition, it’ll also provide a protective layer from oil spills, chemicals, and other staining liquids.
Garage Floor Coverings
If you’re after a quick and simple method of covering your concrete garage floor, you can opt for interlocking tiles or rollout mats. The biggest advantage of choosing one of the two mentioned is how fast and easy they are to use. You can cover your entire garage in a single morning with a quick DIY job with minimal prep required — a quick sweep or vacuum will suffice. These types of floor coverings can hide cracks and stains in an instant while providing a design, colour and style of your choice. The only downfall is that garage floor coverings can be quite expensive.
How much does garage floor coating cost?
Depending on the amount of surface preparation required, such as concrete resurfacing, prices in Australia can vary. A garage floor coating done by a professional can cost anywhere between $30 to $35 per square metre for two coats and up to $80 – $100 square metres for a decorative finish after diamond grinding the concrete. Double car garages tend to cost less than single car garages.
When should I re-coat my garage floor?
Epoxy coated floors can last for years with proper care and maintenance. Generally, the lifespan of epoxy floors can last 2 to 3 years depending on the amount of floor traffic. For residential spaces, it can last even longer providing it has been taken care of.
How to maintain epoxy floors?
Proper maintenance and care will ensure you get the most out of your epoxy floor coating. Here are 9 simple tips to maintain your epoxy floors:
- Clean up any spills, including oil leaks, immediately using a paper towel or a soft cloth.
- Give your floors a good daily sweep.
- For a more heavier clean, after you’ve done your daily sweep, use a mop and some warm water diluted with 100mls of ammonia to remove any stains.
- DO NOT use any hard bristle brushes, abrasive cleaning chemicals or cleaners that contain acids. Eg: vinegar, citrus.
- A simple hose down and dry.
- Avoid using soap based cleaners, as these will leave slippery residue behind that detracts from the shine and becomes a slipping hazard when wet.
- Place a door mat at the entrance to scrub off any dirt on shoes before entering.
- Ensure all areas are clean before lifting heavy loads using a rolling car jack.
- Place plywood underneath jack stands that are bearing heavy loads.
- Weatherproof your garage so no moisture comes in, including the windows and garage door.