“If you recently completed a garage organization project,
this may be the first time you have seen the floor of your garage in years!”
|Gladiator GarageWorks Charcoal
With so many options, how do you make the right choice? What will it cost? Where do you start? In fact, why would you even want to cover your concrete floor? Good questions. Here are some things to consider.
Does your floor need a facelift?
If you recently completed a garage organization project, this may be the first time you have seen your garage floor in years! You probably forgot the ugly oil stains, tire marks, chips, cracks, and other blemishes lurking under all that “stuff.” You now have choices.
You can ignore the floor completely or choose to live with what you have. You can hide the problem by letting the “c.r.a.p.” ooze back onto the floor (bad for the psyche). Or, you can read on and consider the many options that will not only beautify your garage, but make it much easier to maintain.
What’s wrong with smooth concrete?
Nothing, if it is properly maintained. Unfortunately, most homeowners ignore the garage floor until it becomes a problem, with oil stains, tire marks, etc. Once that happens, it can be difficult to reclaim your floor’s original luster. On the other hand, if you have new concrete and you can stay off it for 30 to 60 days while it cures, you then have the option to seal it and minimize potential staining problems.
Concrete is porous. Consequently, it’s more like a sponge than a piece of glass. Liquids, dirt, pet “accidents,” etc., will eventually find their way into the pours, leaving you with stains, odors, and a generally distasteful floor. In addition to the visual and olfactory problems (not only does it look bad, it stinks!), concrete can be cold and hard to stand on for long periods.
How many options exist?
Ask that same question 10 or 15 years ago, and the answer would be “very few.” Today, there are so many that I have dedicated separate web pages to some of the most popular options.
From garage floor paint (yes, there are paints specifically formulated for your concrete floor) to epoxy garage floor finishes (most commonly installed by professionals), to garage floor mats (several options in this category), to floor tiles(no, not ceramic tile – these are easy-to-install interlocking squares), there is a “flavor” for everyone.
In the “other options” category, you could include carpet (not a misprint), terrazzo (basically, marble chips and other rock particles set in a cement base with a variety of colors, then exposed by grinding and polishing the surface once it has set), “stamped” concrete toppings, and wood.
Learn more about your garage floor covering options, with product details and buying advice.
What Will This Cost?
That depends on what type of flooring you choose and the size of your garage (too obvious?). It also depends on where you live. If you simply want to clean and seal your own floor, you can get by for less than $.25 per square foot. If you decide topaint your floor, you can still spend less than $1.00 per square foot and have a contractor do the job for you. If you prefer epoxy finishes, you can spend from under $2.00 to more than $5.00 per square foot for installation.
What about floor mats? For a single car, you can expect to pay from a little more than $150 to more than $400. For interlocking floor tiles, expect to pay from about $2.00 to $4.00 per square foot, with many options in the $3.00 range.
What about high-end protection? For stamped concrete overlays, you could spend as little as $5 per square foot and as much as $15 or $20 per square foot for complex designs by an accomplished professional. This is not the typical do-it-yourself project.
For terrazzo, it really depends on the design. Simple floor grinding and sanding finishes can cost from $5 to $10 per square foot. However, you could spend five to ten times that amount for a truly custom terrazzo floor created from scratch. Wow!
With so many garage flooring options, how do you decide? It really depends on your taste, budget and vision for your garage. Take a closer look at your many options by following the links on this page. With a little thought, time and energy, you could be enjoying your new floor sooner than you might have imagined!