The Best Garage Flooring Options

Good ideas for the toughest flooring in your house.

By: John Riha

Any good DIYer knows a garage can be key to successful home improvement. It’s the place where you stash tools, paints and lawn care equipment, so it’s gotta be tough enough to stand up to hard use (and two-ton cars). And if it’s easy to clean, that’s a big plus.

Taking the brunt of all your good intentions is your garage flooring. That old gray slab may weather the storm, but you can make it extra durable — and good-looking — with some of the easy-to-install garage floor coverings currently available.

Concrete Sealer

Clear concrete sealer is one the least-expensive options, and it’s easy to apply. It’s a topical garage floor coating that helps protect against water, mild chemicals, oil and road salts. Application is easy, so it’s DIY-friendly.

It won’t hide blemishes, so it’s best if your garage floor is free of stains and cracks. It can’t be used over existing paints and epoxy coatings, but it will add protection to concrete stains and dyes. Choose either a glossy or matte finish.

Concrete Stain

Concrete stain is basically a sealer with pigments. When dry, it lets the existing concrete surface show through. Like a clear sealer, it looks best if your existing garage floor is already in good shape. 

Stain actually penetrates the concrete so it tends to outlast paint. Minor chips and scratches won’t show through.

To make application easy, look for water-based acrylic products. Some concrete stains are made specifically for garage floors and have anti-skid additives.

Epoxy Paint

Popular epoxy floor paint is an extra-tough garage floor coating that resists marring, chemicals, oil and gasoline. It comes in many colors. Water-based epoxies are easy to apply and clean up with soap and water.

Applying an epoxy finish is a multi-step process. The floor must be clean and free of grease or oil, and holes and cracks should be patched. Next, the floor should be sealed with a primer made for concrete.

Epoxy garage floor coatings require premixing the base product with a hardener before applying. However, some manufacturer’s have simplified the product so it can be used right out of the can — mixing additives isn’t necessary. 

Rubber Tiles

DIY-friendly rubber tiles have interlocking edges and install without glues. They’re tough, resistant to chemicals, help prevent leg fatigue and come in many patterns and colors. If a tile is damaged, it’s easy to replace. Most have-anti skid textures to help prevent slips.

The knock on rubber is that it naturally breaks down over time. However, most rubber garage flooring products have 25-year warranties.

Sheet Vinyl

Made extra-thick and tough for garage floors, vinyl sheet flooring is a good low-cost option for upgrading your garage floor. It’s textured for traction, resistant to oils, gasoline and cleaning fluids, and it’s relatively easy to install.

Another alternative for DIYers is peel-and-stick vinyl tiles. It’s a bit labor intensive, but you’ll get great looks and can even create your own patterns.

Carpet Tiles

Yup, there are carpet tiles specifically for garage floors. They’re made of tough synthetic polymers that resist oil and other chemicals, they can be power washed, and they’re virtually crush proof. You can get them in peel-in-stick versions in a host of colors to give your garage floor a custom design.

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