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Should I Use Tiles on My Garage Floor?

When deciding what to do with your plain concrete garage floor, many buyers struggle to decide between an epoxy coating or floor tiles. Both are a bit of an investment over the basic concrete, but are ideal for protecting floors from spills and stains, as well as the salt that can damage the concrete over the winter season. Also, they provide a superior work surface which can be comfortably cleaned and maintained without the hassle of power washing. So what’s the big difference?

Plastic and vinyl garage floor tiles are now available to consumers at a variety of price points, with the plastic ones assembled with interlocking pieces over the concrete. They can be solid or grated, with the solid ones providing a reliable slip-resistant surface and grated ones built to allow air liquids to pass through the flooring to the concrete below. Vinyl tiles, on the other hand, must be affixed to the concrete floor with glue, and are not locked together but anchored individually. These tiles can provide a smoother, more uniform look than the plastic models, but cannot be as easily removed.

The cons of using garage floor tiles instead of an epoxy floor coating for your garage are several: They can be much more difficult to clean because the seams between each tile are not airtight and will allow liquids and oils to seep between the cracks, possibly damaging the concrete subfloor. With the plastic interlocking tiles, if you want to replace one, you will be forced to disassemble several squares of your flooring in order to get to the individual tile On the other hand, vinyl ones have to be forcefully pulled up and then replacements re-glued after cleaning the surface. The vinyl garage floor tiles also can be somewhat hazardous when wet, as they become slippery and lack texture for proper traction.

In contrast, epoxy flooring is applied wall-to-wall providing uniform protection to the entire exposed surface of the concrete floor. There are no cracks or seams to worry about, it’s durable and stain resistant for easy clean-up, and lasts decades with proper maintenance. In addition, many home epoxy floor kits are much more affordable than their tile counterparts, and can be installed by the average do-it-yourselfer. 

The bottom line: sometimes the simplest solutions are still the best when tackling home renovation projects.