When the first thing you see upon entering the garage is an old, dirty, stained garage floor, it may be time to update the flooring. But tearing up a concrete floor just to get rid of some stains isn't worth the time, effort, or cost. Instead, you can lay down garage floor tiles to cover the unsightly stains while increasing the aesthetic appeal of your garage.
Garage floor tiles come in several types based on the construction material and the installation method. These tiles cover and protect the floor underneath while providing a robust and durable surface for you to walk, stand, kneel, or otherwise occupy. The tiles can stand up to the weight of a vehicle and are designed to be resistant to water, oil stains, and chemicals. To learn more about garage floor tiles and their use in the home, check out this informative guide.
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Types of Garage Tiles and Flooring Options
There are three main types of garage floor tiles to choose from when you install floor tiles in your home: rigid plastic, flexible high-density foam or rubber, and peel-and-stick PVC tiles. Other flooring alternatives include flooring rolls and epoxy flooring paint. Take some time to learn more about each type before selecting the right option for tiling your garage.
Rigid plastic garage floor tiles are interlocking tiles made of strong, durable PVC flooring plastic. These tiles are tough enough to hold up under the weight of a full-size vehicle, so you don't have to worry about pulling the car or truck into the garage for routine maintenance. They can even withstand the targeted pressure created by a floor jack or jack stand as it holds up the weight of a vehicle.
Rigid plastic garage tiles are also resistant to water, oil, grease, and other common liquids and substances in a garage. This garage floor tile is typically the most expensive option to purchase and install.
Flexible High-Density Foam or Rubber
Flexible garage floor tiles are a great option if you spend much time under the car or kneeling on the hard garage floor. These tiles are typically made of high-density foam or rubber, providing a much-needed cushion to reduce physical strain as you work.
These tiles can hold up under the weight of a vehicle but may not last as long as rigid plastic tiles due to their softer construction. Opting for rubber tiles over high-density foam can increase the floor's durability, but the cost of rubber tiles is significantly higher than that of foam garage floor tiles.
While flexible and rigid garage floor tiles have an interlocking design, peel-and-stick tiles adhere directly to the garage floor. This can create a cleaner look than flexible or rigid tiles, though peel-and-stick garage tiles don't have a lot of shock absorption or high durability.
These thin polyvinyl chloride (PVC) tiles are inexpensive and easy to install. Just make sure that the first row and column of tiles are properly squared to the room to avoid spacing issues with the installation.
Garage Tile Rolls
Garage flooring rolls are low maintenance, inexpensive, and easy to install in minutes. They're not as showy as tiles since you can't lay them out in patterns, but they provide a clean, simple look. They come in several colors, thicknesses, and textures, such as coin and diamond, costing about $1.50 to $4 per square foot.
Before selecting the first garage floor tile product you come across, it's recommended to spend some time researching these products to get a better idea of what you need for your home. Common considerations include garage size, tile size, durability, aesthetics, and floor tile maintenance requirements.
When you are looking for garage floor tiles to update your garage, it's necessary to take measurements of the garage and compare the square footage to the size of the tiles. This will help you determine the tiles needed to finish the project. Garage floor tiles are typically available as 12-inch squares or 24-inch squares.
Larger floor tiles generally take less time to connect or adhere to the floor, but you may have more difficulty squaring the larger tiles. Additionally, smaller tiles can be an exciting way to create attractive floor patterns, like a checkerboard floor or another type of patterned design. Take your time deciding on the right size of floor tiles for your garage.
Garage floor tiles are designed to hold up under the weight of regular-size vehicles, so it should come as no surprise that durability is a main factor of consideration when looking for garage floor tile products.
Rigid plastic and flexible rubber tiles are typically the most durable, though they do not offer the same shock absorption as high-density foam. Peel-and-stick tiles are the least durable option, but you can usually find peel-and-stick products for a lower price than the other garage floor tile types.
Investing in garage floor tiles with a solid color design is an excellent way to improve the appearance of your garage. You can find garage floor tiles in a wide assortment of colors, allowing you to create bold, single-color floors, checkerboard patterns, unique designs, and more.
Before selecting garage floor tiles, take some time to decide what type of aesthetic you want to bring to your garage instead of staring at bland, grey floors.
After installation, you must keep up with floor tile maintenance to ensure that the garage floor stays in good condition through years of regular use. These tiles are typically made to resist water, oil, dirt, grime, and chemical solutions commonly found in the garage. They can also withstand the weight of a car, van, or truck, but if you want to protect the flooring tiles, place a rug or a mat under the floor jack before raising the vehicle.
Take care of oil spills by applying fine sawdust to the oil and allowing the sawdust to soak up the fluid. Vacuum the sawdust up afterward, along with any road salt, dirt, or grime that has fallen through the tile grates. You can also hose down the tiles to quickly clean out the garage, though you may still need to lift the tiles to clean beneath them every few seasons.
DIY vs. Professional Installation
No matter the flooring option, you must decide between a DIY or professional installation. Garage floor tiles are easy to work with, so if you have experience with DIY projects around the home, you will likely be able to handle this job.
Interlocking floor tile systems can often be installed without tools or with minimal tool requirements, like a rubber mallet to help put the pieces together. Similarly, peel-and-stick tiles don't require many tools and are relatively easy to install. Just make sure that the first row and first column are properly squared to the garage walls to ensure a proper fit.
If you hire a contractor for this job, you can expect to pay about $1,000, while paying for the materials and handling the installation on your own will typically cost about $700. Buying a flooring roll or coating the floor with an epoxy covering is even cheaper. Consider if you have the time and skills to complete this job or if you are okay with spending a little more to complete the installation by a pro.
One of the most important considerations before deciding on this project is the cost of materials. A single tile can range from $1 to $8 per square foot, so the job can quickly grow in price when you factor in the number of tiles to complete the entire garage.
Rigid plastic tiles typically cost about $2.50 to $5 per square foot, though these tiles are durable and long-lasting. Flexible rubber floor tiles will cost a little more at an average of about $8 per square foot.
If you want to save on the cost of materials, you can opt for flexible high-density foam, which is generally available for about $3 per square foot. You can also go with peel-and-stick garage floor tiles that start around $1 per square foot and get as high as $5 per square foot, depending on the tile thickness and construction.
Pros and Cons of Garage Floor Tiles
It's essential to understand the benefits and drawbacks of garage floor tiles to decide if this is the right option for your home.
Pros: Garage floor tiles are made to protect the garage floor, offering increased traction, water resistance, oil resistance, and chemical resistance. These flooring tiles are relatively easy for a DIYer to install and come in a wide variety of colors and patterns to update the garage's appearance.
Cons: The larger the garage, the more expensive it will be to purchase flooring tiles for the entire space. After installation, temperature changes or extended exposure to sunlight can affect garage floor tiles, leading to fading, shrinking, expanding, or even curling. Also, if the edges of the tiles start to curl up, this can create a tripping hazard in your garage.
Gene and Katie Hamilton. (n.d.). Cost to install garage floor tiles—2021. DIY or Not. https://diyornot.com/costs/install-garage-floor-tiles/
Garage floor tile options—A guide from plastic to porcelain | all garage floors. (2012, October 23). https://allgaragefloors.com/garage-floor-tiles/