Sooner or later, it happens to most homeowners. They punch the button on the garage door opener and realize that, even though they may have expensive hardwood floors and Italian marble throughout every room in their house, it is the grungy concrete floor in the garage that is exposed to the neighbors, each and every day. Once that realization sinks in, it’s time to make a change.
There are several options available for garage flooring, but not all are equal. The first that tends to spring to mind for most people is to simply paint. Unfortunately, there is nothing simple about painting a concrete floor.
The best chance to be successful is in the very beginning, before the garage has been used to park vehicles and store all the different kinds of chemicals and liquids that are typically found there. That concrete may appear pretty solid, but it is actually quite porous and might as well be a sponge for anything spilled on it. What’s worse is that the resulting staining is nearly impossible to remove. Unless all dust, dirt, oil, chemical residue and anything else that might be present is totally cleaned from the surface, paint will not adequately bond. Even the use of the epoxy paint that is designed for concrete may well end up peeling, in a fairly short amount of time.
Unless a do-it-yourselfer is confident that the surface can be properly cleaned, it is advisable to consult a professional before proceeding. There’s a lot of work involved and it would be a shame to invest that much time and energy, only to be rewarded with bubbling and peeling.
A safer option might be the use of mats or garage floor tiles. Matting comes in various sizes and shapes and is intended to be movable, so that it can protect where needed. Garage tiles, on the other hand, will usually be installed over the entire floor. They come in a wide range of colors and patterns and are extremely easy to install. With tile, there is not the same concern about the cleanliness of the concrete and, actually, require no floor prep whatsoever.
In the past, the garage floor was pretty much ignored. That is no longer the case, today, and homeowners take pride in the condition and appearance of their garages. Besides presenting a much better view to passers-by, a bright, clean garage, while perhaps not adding to the market value of a home, will certainly increase buyer appeal.