If you’re looking for great garage flooring ideas and inspiration, let us help. The perfect garage floor product is out there waiting for you, but it’s not always clear which direction to take. That’s why I’ve researched the most popular garage flooring options and split them into categories so you can understand which option best suits your needs.
Then I sat down with garage flooring expert Justin Krauss of Garage Flooring LLC to get further tips and advice and demystify some common confusions.
From cheap and cheerful garage floor paints to beautiful epoxy, polyurea and polyaspartic garage floor coatings, you may be surprised at the range of your garage flooring options. We bring you six of the very best ideas that will be sure to inspire.
ADVICE YOU CAN TRUST: Here at Home Flooring Pros our in-house editorial team has decades of experience and expertise working in the flooring industry. Even with our years of knowledge we go further, consulting and collaborating with trusted home flooring professionals, drawing on their know-how and familiarity with the latest products and installation techniques to bring you accurate and up-to-date information.
Home Flooring Pro’s Contributor: Justin Krauss
Founder and President of Garage Flooring LLC, Justin has been at the forefront of the garage flooring industry since 2001 (find out more). Along with a passion for matching customers to their perfect garage floor, Justin works closely with suppliers and manufacturers to source and innovate the best products at competitive prices. Justin is extremely generous with his time and advice. We are delighted to have him onboard as our go-to expert for garage flooring. Visit www.garageflooringllc.com for more.
OUR FAVORITE IDEAS
Let’s jump in and summarize our top six garage flooring ideas before digging deeper into each option with helpful insights from Justin.
1. BEST GARAGE FLOOR OPTION (OVERALL) – HIGH OR 100% SOLIDS EPOXY OR POLUREA/POLYASPASTIC
Epoxy and Polyurea floors are to garages what hardwood floors are to the interior of your home. They are the premium garage floor coatings of choice, providing good looks and excellent durability. More expensive than some garage floor options, they are still competitively priced compared to other home flooring materials, and you’re getting a long-lasting, hassle-free floor that can only add to the resale value of your home. These types of high-quality garage floor coatings can be installed by a confident/experienced DIY’er or left to the professionals.
2. BEST LOW-COST OPTION – GARAGE FLOOR PAINT
If you just want to spruce up your garage floor without spending too much money and if you don’t need a highly durable flooring surface then your best low-cost and easiest DIY garage floor option is garage floor paint. I’m lumping several different products together under the heading “garage floor paint”. Basically, anything advertised in your local big box store as concrete or garage floor paint or covering fits into this category.
This includes latex and acrylic floor paints, 1-part epoxy paints and even the 2-part epoxy or Polycuramine garage floor kits which simply aren’t as robust as the high or 100% solids epoxy/polyurea options. They all offer a quick, easy makeover with minimum effort and limited durability. Your mileage may vary, but you tend to get what you pay for.
3. BEST FUNCTIONAL/PRACTICAL OPTION – GARAGE FLOOR MATS
Many homeowners just want added protection for their garage floors and floor mats are the perfect solution. Choose between PVC or carpet mats. If you want greater protection in snowy climes, then a full containment mat is the way to go.
As Justin explains: “The ideal customer for a garage floor mat is someone who wants a nice place to park their vehicle or to protect their epoxy floor but is not concerned about covering the whole garage floor”.
4. BEST FOR QUICK AND EASY TRANSFORMATION – RIGID GARAGE FLOOR TILES
If you’re looking to make an instant impression and transform your garage from the mundane to the eye-catching then hard plastic garage floor tiles tick all the boxes, well they do for me! When Justin and I spoke about it, his advice was: “Garage floor tiles are perfect for customers looking to cover their entire garage floor in less than a day with minimal tools. They are like those plastic building blocks your kids used to leave on the floor, but for grown-ups.”
It’s perfectly in line with my own feelings on this and I think we may have gotten to the bottom of why I like them so much! As discussed below, prices and quality vary, so do your homework.
5. BEST FOR MAN CAVES, HOME GYMS AND LIGHT-USE GARAGES – PVC OR RUBBER FLOORING ROLLS OR TILES
I don’t park my car in the garage and I’m not alone. Many homeowners use their garage space for something other than housing their car. So for those looking for practical and easy-to-install flooring that complements their workshop, home gym or den then heavy duty pvc or rubber tiles or sheet flooring is a great option.
Choose between heavy duty rubber tiles and rolls or cheap and replaceable foam floor tiles.
6. BEST FOR BARE CONCRETE GARAGE FLOORS – CONCRETE SEALERS AND DENSIFIERS
Perhaps all our garage floor ideas described above are just too much. Perhaps you have a garage that you’re never in, that’s mainly used for storage and houses a car that you don’t care too much about, as long as it gets you from A to B.
There’s nothing wrong with a plain concrete garage floor if it’s well-maintained and protected. That’s where a quality sealer/densifier comes in.
WHICH OF THESE GARAGE FLOORING IDEAS IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
I’m confident that at least one of these six great garage flooring ideas will be an excellent choice for your garage…but which one?
Before Justin and I drill down deeper into each option, let’s remind ourselves of the typical uses you might have for your garage and, most importantly, what exactly you expect from your flooring.
When you’re clear on what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it, making a final decision becomes much easier.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU CHOOSE
How much are you willing to pay per sq/ft to transform your garage floor? Budgeting for your new or replacement garage floor should be no different than for any other room/space in your home. If your budget is below $2 per sq/ft your options will be limited to refreshing your garage with floor paint or cheap and less durable PVC tiles and mats. Most homeowners can install their ideal garage floor with a budget of $3 to $6 per square foot.
FLOOR PREPARATION AND INSTALLATION
I asked Justin what he thought the most important consideration was for an epoxy or Polyurea garage floor and he said “Floor prep, floor prep and more floor prep” and my takeaway is that floor preparation is pretty important when it comes to choosing your next garage floor. Some of our garage flooring ideas require more floor preparation than others but whatever you choose, figure out now how much work needs to be done to your existing concrete floor before installation and who’s going to do that work. If you need to call in a professional then that adds to your budget calculations that we just discussed.
GARAGE USE (DURABILITY)
As you figure out your budget and the amount of floor preparation and installation you’re prepared to do yourself it’s worth taking a step back and making an honest appraisal of how you use your garage and how durable your new flooring needs to be. If you have your heart set on a particular good-looking floor that compliments the rest of your home, there’s nothing more to be said, just go for it. But if you’re flipping back and forth between a professional installed, commercial level epoxy coating or a cheap off the shelf plain gray garage floor paint then you should ask yourself exactly what it is you’re looking to achieve.
CONDITION OF EXISTING CONCRETE FLOOR
A follow up consideration to floor preparation and installation is the state of your existing concrete floor. If you’re existing floor is in a great condition then applying a garage floor coating will be easier with less prep time and expense. You can also rest assured that the finished flooring will be blemish free. A concrete floor in a state of disrepair might steer you in a completely different direction, perhaps towards only fixing the most egregious concrete floor cracks and covering up everything with floor tiles or mats.
CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE
Finally, as with all flooring choices, it’s worth looking ahead to the future of your new flooring. How much time are you willing to commit to cleaning and maintaining your new floor? How upset will you be if oil, snow or tire marks damage your newly installed floors.
I’m about to go into more depth on each of our top garage flooring ideas so as you read on keep in mind which of these options best describes the future performance you expect from your flooring of choice.
HIGH OR 100% SOLIDS EPOXY OR POLYUREA/POLYASPASTIC
I’ve placed epoxy and Polyurea as our top choices overall because of their durability, good looks and, most importantly, versatility. A high-quality epoxy or Polyurea garage floor coating will work well in almost every setting. They work for heavy car use and maintenance, as a home gym floor, laundry room or storage area. The argument against these coatings is budget constraints and installation challenges (can you do it yourself or do you need to find trusted professionals to do it for you).
If this is your preferred option, the next question will be, which product and system to choose. There are differences between epoxy and Polyurea and different products that come in 2, 3 or 4 parts, not to mention different colors and styles.
I asked Justin what advice he would give to a customer trying to decide which garage floor coating to choose and he said:
“If you can answer these three questions, then the product choice becomes more straightforward:
What does the customer want the floor to look like?
Do they want a speckled floor, a solid block of color or the look of a full-flaked floor?
What is the condition of their current concrete floor?
If the concrete is in relatively good condition, a Polyurea floor will be less expensive, deliver better performance and be considerably easier to install than an epoxy floor.
If the floor is in bad shape and there is a concern that (a) it can’t be repaired properly or (b) those repairs won’t be ‘perfect,’ epoxy is a better choice. Why?
While polyurea is incredibly durable, it does not build the millimeter thickness to cover imperfections and bad repairs. By contrast, high or 100% soilds epoxy can cover over and cover up many issues.
How will the floor be used?
Homeowners should prioritize appearance and budget for an average residential garage used for parking and storage. A more durable product would be better for a high-use, working garage, and we would use a three-coat or full broadcast system.”
GARAGE FLOOR PAINT
Many homeowners just want to freshen up or cover up their bare concrete floor, preferably with something that will hold up in the short to medium term. If that is your aim, an off-the-shelf garage or concrete floor paint from your local DIY store is the way to go.
Tap “garage floor paint” into the Home Depot website and several options will present themselves which can be roughly broken down into three categories
Water based Acrylic or Latex Floor Paints – Well-known brands like DryLock, Behr and Rust-Oleumn all offer tough interior/exterior concrete paints priced between $30 and $60 a gallon or $200 to $230 for a 5-gallon container.
1-part Epoxy Paints and 2-part Epoxy Kits – Even though they contain epoxy, these paints are not the same as the high or 100% solids epoxy coatings we discussed earlier. They are super DIY-friendly, for even the least handy homeowner, and will give you the look of an epoxy floor with higher durability than some latex floor paints. The best-known brands include Rust-Oleum, Behrs, Kilz and Seal-Krete. A gallon of epoxy paint costs around $50 while the 2-part kits retail around the $200 mark for a 2 car garage.
Polycuramine coatings from Rust-Oleum – The RockSolid range of floor coatings from Rust-Oleum are a mix of Polyurea, Urethane, and Epoxy. These products are the most expensive of the DIY store bought garage floor paints available, with prices ranging from $225 for a 1-car garage kit to $370 for a 2-car kit. The marketing is very attractive, but again, these kits have a thickness of just 3 mils, so don’t imagine you’re getting the same level of thickness and durability as high or 100% solids epoxy.
One last word on these floor paints, great floor preparation is just as essential with cheaper floor paints as it is with high quality floor coatings.
GARAGE FLOOR MATS
Garage vinyl floor mats come in many different sizes and can be used to partially or fully cover your garage floor. Choose from several surface patterns, including small and big coin, rib, diamond and levant patterns.
These PVC garage floor mats aren’t cheap but offer value for money. They’re significantly thicker and more robust than typical interior residential vinyl sheet flooring and cost between $3.00 and $5.00 per sq/ft
I wanted to know from Justin more about the typical floor mat customer: “Garage floor mats are designed to be quick and easy but are not the most effective for covering an entire floor. They have been incredibly popular in areas like The Villages in Florida and other retirement communities. They are also popular with those who have just put a garage floor coating down and want to keep it pristine.”
Garage floor mats are an attractive garage flooring idea, easy to install and cover up your plain concrete slab with all its little imperfections. However, PVC mats can stain from chemicals or car tires, so buying them in black or choosing something different for a busy garage might be a good idea.
Also, these mats expand and contract with changing temperatures, so leave an expansion gap if you install wall-to-wall.
What about containment floor mats? According to Justin: “Containment mats appeal to almost everyone who lives in a climate with moisture, snow, mud and rain. Unlike traditional garage floor mats, the function is way more important than form.”
Yes, containment mats aren’t purchased for their good looks; that’s not their function, but they are incredibly helpful in climates with lots of snow, mud, and rain, as Justin points out. Containment mats have a raised edge all the way around them, preventing any water from spreading into other areas of your garage.
RIGID GARAGE FLOOR TILES
I wanted to know who Justin sold most of his rigid garage tiles to and he told me: “Garage floor tiles are perfect for the customer who is looking to cover their entire garage floor in less than a day with minimal tools. They are like those plastic building blocks your kids used to leave on the floor, but for grown-ups.
So, retired persons, not-so-handy car lovers, and honestly anyone who wants to transform their garage instantly.”
Justin must be right because I love these rigid tiles and although I’m not retired yet I do want to transform my garage instantly and I have no desire to tinker under the hood of my cars, as much as I love them!
Pricing is similar to garage floor mats and tiles can be ordered individually or in packs with prices starting at $2.99 per sq/ft rising to $5.75 per sq/ft for RaceDeck floor tiles which is the leading US brand.
I noticed Justin sells RaceDeck and a brand called TrueLock, and wanted to know more about the difference between these two brands apart from price? Justin told me:
“I have TrueLock HDXT garage floor tiles in my home garage, the flow-through tiles in our showroom, and a detail shop where I am a partner. What I love about the HDXT tile is they are an American-made, affordable option that performs just as well as the national brand (RaceDeck) for most customers.
If you use a lift and jack stands and do more than change the oil once every couple of months, you might need the RaceDeck tile as they are built for that application.”
PVC TILES OR RUBBER FLOORING ROLLS AND MATS
PVC garage floor tiles are a great idea for those looking for a rigid tile look but with the flexibility of a PVC floor mat. The same pros and cons apply as a garage floor mat. They’re attractive, easy to install, covering up and protecting your plain, boring concrete floor. On the downside, they are not as robust and durable as other options, so they are perfect for a man cave or workshop but not the best option for a busy working garage. Buy them in black if you want to avoid hot tire marks.
Brands include TruLock, Norsk, G-Floor, Garage Pro and Nitro Tiles with prices ranging from $2.99 to $6.99 per sq/ft
Meanwhile, thick rubber gym mats or rolls and even lightweight foam gym floor tiles are great “flooring on top of a floor” option for homeowners using their garage as a workout space. If installing directly over your concrete, consider the sturdier and more durable thick rubber tiles and rolls, but if you already have a floor covering over your concrete, then foam tiles can be put down to delineate your exercise areas and provide a softer, more forgiving surface that is easier on your joints!
Depending on quality and thickness, rubber flooring starts at $2.29 and rises to $7.00 per square foot, while cheaper foam tiles can be bought in multipacks from Amazon at around $1.00 per square foot.
CONCRETE SEALERS AND DENSIFIERS
If, despite all these awesome ideas for your garage floor, you’re still left shrugging your shoulders and yearning for a simpler life, then my last suggestion is to stick with your bare concrete floor but protect it so it continues to give you years of practical, pain-free and, hopefully, stain-free life.
If your garage concrete slab hasn’t been sealed yet or if it has but is showing its age, then now is the time to invest in a quality concrete sealer or densifier. Depending on the product, sealers and densifiers will seal your concrete, reduce dust and protect against stains. As the name suggests, a densifier will make your concrete denser, stronger, and less prone to cracking.
Many sealers and densifiers are on the market, some better than others. GhostShield, Foundation Armor, Black Diamond, and RadonSeal are among the best-known brands. Pricing isn’t straightforward. These products come in gallon and 5-gallon formats; some are more concentrated than others and offer different levels of protection. Be sure to do your homework and choose the right application for your specific situation. If in doubt, speak to a home flooring professional.
I’d like to thank our home flooring pro Justin Krauss once again for his time and revealing insights. These diverse garage floor ideas have changed my attitude towards garage flooring generally. Your garage is an extension of your living space and its concrete floor deserves as much consideration as any other room of the house. Most importantly the flooring you choose can really transform your garage and you don’t need to spend a fortune to do it.
About the Author: Jamie Sandford
Jamie Sandford is the Owner and Chief Editor of Home Flooring Pros (find out more). After 12 years’ experience in screen and stage set construction, followed by a further 15 years working in the home renovation/remodeling business, he now writes and curates online home improvement advice.
“Buying and installing home flooring should be a fairly straightforward process, but often it isn’t. After more than 15 years experience in home flooring and remodeling, I started Home Flooring Pros in 2013 to help homeowners navigate the often-over complicated process of choosing, buying and installing a home floor. The aim is to save you time and money by helping you to make better floor buying decisions.”