While a garage technically isn’t inside of your home, it’s still part of the house and one that tends to see a lot of wear and tear. That’s why you won’t find hardwood flooring in garages although there are a few flooring alternatives that will certainly surprise you.
The best garage floor options should all be able to withstand more than heavy foot traffic. Cars, kids, oil, and grease are just a few hazards found in garages, and our guide will cover those and tell you how to keep your garage flooring looking great!
Why do you need to replace or repair garage flooring?
A garage is a special room. You can park cars in it, turn it into a workshop, or even convert it into a living space. There are a lot of things you can do with a garage, so before you think about flooring, consider why you want to fix up that old concrete floor in the first place.
If you plan on putting gym equipment in your garage, bare concrete will work, but rubber and other materials are better suited for the job. Homeowners with workshops will want a floor that’s easy to sweep, but also durable with a minimal amount of nooks and crannies. Consumers that want to convert their garage into a living space… well, your options are unlimited so you may want to browse our site and select a flooring style.
Cracks, Grease, and Leaks
Whether you plan on using your garage to store a valuable collection of comics or will use it as a gym, consider the current condition of the floor. Whether you handle the remodel yourself or call in a professional, there will be a degree of prep work involved.
Concrete is tough, but chips and cracks can appear for a number of reasons. They can also spread if not filled and introduce a series of new problems. Thankfully, it’s not hard to patch bad concrete or get it even as long as the slab isn’t too damaged to begin with.
Cars can introduce their own set of problems like grease, grime, and oil. The latter can be extremely difficult to remove, but it’s something you will need to deal with before considering any of the best garage floor options. You may be able to simply cover those issues up depending on your needs, but oils and other substances will break down certain types of material over time.
Types of Garage Flooring
As mentioned, everyone’s needs will vary, so a slick coat of epoxy may work for some folks but isn’t what you want beneath your feet if you’re converting the room into a living space. With that in mind, here is a quick list of the best garage floor options for your home.
Garage Floor Coatings
Our first batch of options involves coatings or ways to finish a concrete garage floor without covering it up. Most of these methods are cheaper but can be more time-intensive than other methods. You may also have to do more prep work if you’re concrete is already in rough shape.
Garage Floor Paint
The easiest way to spruce up your tired concrete floor is with a thick coat of paint. It’s also the cheapest fix overall as the price of paint and primer is considerably cheaper than large rubber mats or tile. Several companies make paint specially geared towards garage floors, and we also think you will be surprised by the color ranges available.
While quick and easy, paint isn’t the most durable choice overall and requires quite a bit of prep work beforehand. That includes thoroughly washing the floor, dealing with damage and you will need to reapply paint at least once every 2 - 3 times each decade as well.
Concrete Stain for Garages
Paint can give you an amazing range of colors, but the affordable garage flooring alternative can look cheap. Stains are a great alternative to latex paint and can add a touch of class your garage once sealed and finished. If you want your floors to look more like marble or natural stone, you’ll want to seriously consider concrete stains.
The same amount of prep work goes into this method, but you will need to seal the floors afterward, which can be more difficult than actually staining concrete garage floors. You will need to apply fairly frequent touch-ups with stains as well although they generally hold up better than paint.
Epoxy Garage Floors
If you’re not keen on frequent maintenance, two-part epoxy paint may be a better option in your garage. You can give your floor a smooth, even finish with an epoxy-based product and there are hundreds of options to choose from in a variety of styles.
The downside to epoxy kits is the fact they dry quickly, which makes them difficult to work with compared to latex paint. It’s critical that your floor is properly prepped with this method as well considering it hardens, so it can crack if the foundation shifts or you forget to fix a crack.
Garage Floor Coverings
While coating your floors will definitely breathe new life into your garage, covering your floor in a new material can transform your garage into an entirely different room. These options are more expensive but are ideal if you want something different, durable or
If you want an affordable all-purpose floor covering for your garage, it’s hard to argue with vinyl. It’s a product we’ve covered numerous times, including in our guide featuring the best basement flooring. Vinyl is resilient, easy to clean and take some abuse, although it comes down to the type of vinyl and its overall thickness at the end of the day.
We’re big fans of vinyl, and several manufacturers make specialty products geared for garages. The downside can be the price if you have a large garage as a roll of thick diamond tread isn’t cheap, and neither are luxury vinyl planks.
When you want to cover up your concrete, rubber is one of the most popular options in multi-purpose garages. It’s available in several forms, and you can even find a few different shades depending on the form factor you choose. It’s the best choice for gyms and exercise equipment and capable of providing shock-resistance underfoot.
On the downside, oil and other chemicals can cause rubber to break down. If you’re going to park on rubber, you will want to make sure it’s vulcanized and not a glue-based product.
Carpet may seem like a bizarre choice, but it’s a great one if you’re converting garage space into a living area or just want something unique. You can find garage carpet in vivid colors or wild patterns as well, so your options are not limited to the primary colors.
Garage carpet doesn’t use the same type of fibers found in home carpeting, so it’s more resilient overall. Its price can be a drawback, but carpet made for garages can handle oil. Cleanup may take extra time, however, and other chemicals may not be nearly as friendly.
Another unique garage flooring options, porcelain is commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms – not in a garage. Well, you’ve probably walked across it in a dealership without even realizing it considering porcelain can mimic a wide variety of materials. It’s an interesting choice for converted garages, but also a material you can park on.
As mentioned in our porcelain tile guide, it’s a tough material that doesn’t chip easy, and extremely easy to keep clean. Oil and other liquids can stain your grout lines, however, and it’s not ideal if your garage doubles as a workshop.
How is Garage Flooring Sold?
The kind of flooring you choose dictates the installation method. This could mean the difference between doing it yourself, and calling in a professional as some forms of flooring are much easier to deal with than others.
One of the most popular forms of flooring for garages are tiles. They can be made from plastic, porcelain, rubber, vinyl, or even carpet, so your options are unlimited from a design standpoint. Tiles are typically easy to install as well considering they use an adhesive, are peel and stick or simply snap together like a puzzle.
Tiles are usually 12” x 12” or larger in the garage, but larger formats are available if you step up to a sheet-based product or mat. Mats are usually rubber and can be quite expensive depending on the size and thickness. They are also a good choice when you want to protect areas of your garage floor whether it’s stained concrete or covered in porcelain tile.
Wood isn’t the best choice for garages if you have moisture concerns, but engineered products can withstand the elements better than hardwood. You can also find plank-based flooring made from luxury vinyl and porcelain as well. Planks are usually installed like tile, so you can find plenty of products with click-lock systems, floating floors, or ones that require a bit of glue.
Garage Flooring Cost
The price to cover or coat your garage floor depends on the type of material you use, its quality, and how much repair work needs to be done. Before you can figure a price, you will need to know the square footage for your project. Given the number of garage flooring products available, our chart will give you an idea of what to expect in terms of price.
Nitro Diamond Tile
Per square foot
400 – 500 sq. ft.
Charcoal Garage Floor Mat
17’ x 7.5’ (125 sq. ft.)
EVA Foam Tile
Black Thick Tile 24” x 24” x 1”
24 sq. ft.
200 – 250 sq. ft.
William F. Kempf
25 sq. ft.
Garage Flooring Inc.
Impressions Carpet Tile
Per square foot
Regardless of the type of flooring you have in your garage now, you will always want to keep water and moisture in mind. A small leak or heavy rain could run your new garage flooring rather quickly, and any organic materials can swell and rot. Any of the materials we’ve mentioned will work in a garage, just follow our tips to ensure it’s the perfect fit!