Garage Flooring - Interlocking Tiles Or Epoxy Coating?
Garage Makeover 101
A new floor is the easiest way to transform your garage from a concrete box into a dazzling show room. A well designed and fitted floor can turn your garage into a comfortable, warm and attractive space to work in.
What's wrong with my current Floor?
Well, why bother with a D.I.Y garage if your not going to get creative with a new floor? Sure, your old floor is perfectly functional, but with minimum effort you can add a splash of colour and turn your garage into a haven for your prized ride or tools
I've done enough research to be able to narrow my contenders down to two. The majority of garage enthusiasts end up here too; in fact one of the most common questions regarding garage flooring something along the lines of...
"What's better Epoxy Coating or PVC Floor Tiles?"
Let's put them head to head and find out who comes out on top.
Prepare to figh..Floor
Preparation is key in most applications, It's no use emptying your pocket on a brand new floor if you don't execute the installation correctly.
Preparing for Epoxy -
- Probably the longest and most challenging process in D.I.Y is tidying up before and not to mention afterwards. Preparing for Epoxy is not easy. for a start, you'll need to empty your ENTIRE garage of any objects, furniture, vehicles and dust. Epoxy-coated floors have to be laid all in one go, the start and stop method is way out of the garage door!
- Your floor should be even, clean and slightly rough so get patching those cracks and holes. When I say clean, I mean virtually spotless. Slight grease or dirt will compromise the epoxy bonding process. Cleaning your old floor is not optional with Epoxy.
Preparing for Interlocking Tiles -
- I can't count the amount of times I've heard that PVC flooring requires zero preparation. Don't be fooled by any of this. Remember, you are installing a brand new floor, you can't expect it to all go down perfectly on top of a dirty, uneven and cracked floor surface and last a lifetime.
- Using a clean as you go technique is perfectly OK for said application.
- With PVC tiles, you don't need to empty your garage or do anything drastic, its just a case of moving objects from one side of the garage to the other whilst you tap the tiles together.
Ok, so you're all cleaned up and your garage looks clear and is just screaming out for a new floor. The next question is, how convenient and easy is the installation process?
Well, the majority of the work has been done in preparation; the rest can be fairly simple. Before you get started, just remember, if you have recently filled or laid fresh concrete it's not a good idea to coat the floor until the concrete is at least 60 days old.
Most people installing Epoxy in their garage will want to buy a kit. Most coating kits come with everything you need. (All-though you usually end up buying extra supplies) It is recommended you apply two coats, although most kits only supply enough for one.
When coating epoxy, it needs to be the right day. It shouldn't be damp from rainy weather and it shouldn't be too hot. Once you mix your solution together, you have approximately 1.5 hours to work with it. Make sure you plan out the best way to coat the floor before you start. You don't want to end up at the back of the garage & then have to walk back across the floor.
Interlocking tiles are one of the easiest floors to install. There really is little to no preparation. Most suppliers recommend you start from the middle and work your way out towards the edges. Typically no adhesives are required.
Grab a mallet and work your way out from the centre of the room installing in a circular pattern. Move your furniture appropriately around the tiles. When you get close to the walls calculate the space that is left and make cuts so that the tiles can be installed as close to the wall as possible.
The best thing about these tiles is how easily they can be installed!
When its ready
So you just spent your entire day applying your new floor, but when is it ready to use?
Ideally, you have to wait 12 hours between coats and approximately 24 hours before the epoxy dries. It usually takes around 72-128 hours before the floor is ready to hold your vehicle and can be longer depending on the weather. But the question is, is it worth the wait?
PVC tiles are usually required to acclimatise and "set" before they can be used. You can find relevant information relating to the product you choose, but it usually depends on the temperature and application of the tiles. The longest I have ever seen for recommended setting time is around 48 hours.
Is Epoxy Coating worth the wait?
There is no doubt that epoxy coated floors look absolutely fabulous when installed. The entire floor shines and looks extremely professional and smart. The floor is hard wearing and doesn't stain easily. Cleaning the floor is not usually a problem either. Epoxy does have a very long preparation time, and when it isn't applied correctly their can be some major problems. Epoxy coating has a limited life time (like most flooring), and can be a pain in the backside to replace.
PVC Tiles are very ideal for garage flooring. The style, ease of install and attractive price that come with them is a main selling point. They are exceptionally durable, colourful, and even allow for custom logo printing. Their is a growing market out there for plastic tiles, and there are some terrible options out there. Most of them can dent and stain rather easily, but there are some great options available too. The best thing you can do is do your research before purchasing anything.