If you're 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 extra 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.
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Garage Floor Coatings
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.
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.
Before you start on a garage floor epoxy job, however, you need to decide which style of epoxy to choose from.
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Garage Floor Coverings
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.
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.
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Garage Floor Repairs and Preparation
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.
Oil and grease stains make any garage floor unsightly and messy, but they can also cause problems with paint and epoxy finishes.
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.
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Garage Floor Insulation
If you are converting your garage into a 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.
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.