Beyond the obvious reasons for installing a new garage floor - great looks, clean, etc., you will need to know that maintaining your new garage floor could be more than you bargained for. To begin with, it's not always easy putting in garage epoxy flooring after you have already moved into the house and have all your vehicles, tools, and other items stored in your garage. I have some built-in cabinetry that is lifted off the ground with about a 3" clearance meaning any floor coating I put down would be difficult to extend back to the walls under the garage cabinets. Also, you will need to clear out any debris or items stored in your garage that are at ground level and move them somewhere else until the flooring can be put in. After the floor is painted on, layed down, etc, many of the product manufacturers recommend almost daily sweeping and dusting to keep the floor at their best. A few people I know that have had this process done (garage flooring) have regretted it a bit. We are all so accustomed to having a dirty, messy garage that the expectations change when all of a sudden you have pristine flooring in your garage. You will definitely need to change your mindset from throwing junk in your garage to maintaining it's new look. Garage floor mats are a much cheaper solution, but you will only be able to protect your floors in a limited space since they don't cover the entire garage surface (usually come in 20' x 9' shapes). Down below we have tried to described the 3 basic types of garage floor covers available to the public and how much they cost along with websites or stores where you can buy the materials.
Garage Floor Coatings - Garage Floor Paint:We visited our local Home Depot to see what they offer in terms of garage floor coatings. They carry the Rust-Oleum Epoxy Shield garage coatings which vary in layers and cost. The Epoxy Shield Ultra ($4.25/sq ft) is the heavy duty offering of their 3 selections. The Ultra is a 3-layer system which calls for a primer, basecoat, and then a clear coat. The Epoxy Shield Ultra is resistant to chemicals, impact, and abrasions. Choose from 20 colors and get a 3-year warranty. The Epoxy Shield Premium ($3.25/square foot) is the next best product offering from Rust-Oleum for garage coatings and this epoxy coating is a 2-layer system with a primer and basecoat. Pick from 10 colors and this one has a 2-year warranty. Lastly, there is the Epoxy Shield ($2.50 per square foot) which is considered an average epxoy coating with a 1 layer system. You can find out more details on Homedepot.com or at Rustoleum.com. One reminder when buying an epoxy coating for your garage floor - in stores it's also called garage floor paint on the shelves.
Garage Floor Mats:If covering your entire garage floor sounds like a big project then perhaps consider a garage floor mat to handle those trouble spots just below your vehicles or tool cabinets. A good protection mat in your garage (20' x 9') will cost around $270. Many of these mats are designed with PVC non-porous surfaces so your garage floors are protected from salt, oil, anti-freeze, and other debris. The floor mats are easy to cut and install and you can clean them with a simple soap and water mixture. The slip-resistant surfaces make for safe conditions in around your vehicles, especially in regions where snow and ice get tracks inside garages. Autobarn.net offers a good selection of garage floor mats to choose from.