If you’re thinking of building or renovating a garage you might not be giving your choice of flooring the same attention as you might in the rest of your home. However, as a room which will undoubtedly get a lot of wear and tear, the type of flooring you choose should be carefully planned.
A lot of people will choose the simple solution of a concrete floor in their garage. Be weary with this option as if concrete isn’t treated properly it is susceptible to getting damp and cracking or getting pock-marked.
So if you are building or converting your garage, is there a definitive best type of floor?
When choosing your garage floor you will need to consider what sort of use the garage will be getting. For example if your garage will be busy with cars coming and going all the time you will need a significantly more durable floor than if your garage is just for storage. Also, will you be working on your car in the garage? If so you’ll probably want a flooring option which is easy to clean.
Carpet or Wood
You will only want to consider these – traditional internal flooring options – if you are using the room for recreation or as storage. Carpet tiles are a more hardwearing option than standard wall-to-wall carpet and can also be replaced in sections. This means it will suit a wider range of purposes.
The benefit of resin floors are that they are waterproof and can be finished in a wide range of colours. The durability of resin flooring makes it useful for garages used primarily for cars. However this hardwearing flooring does come with a relatively large price tag, so it might be reserved for if you need a real “showroom” look to your garage.
PVC tiles are probably the most cost effective option for a relatively durable flooring for your garage. They will form a waterproof layer on top of concrete and they are easy to clean. PVC floor tiles are designed to handle heavy loads so are ideal if you use your garage to park your car, or as a workshop with heavy tool cabinets and car jacks.
Due to the way the tiles snap together they can also be ideal for different sizes and shapes of garage. They can also be replaced individually if one or more become damaged.
Compared to PVC tiles, porcelain is a much better insulation against noise and drafts. They also look a lot more stylish and are very hard wearing. Whilst they are more expensive, due to their durability they probably won’t need replacing as frequently and will therefor be cheaper over time.
If your garage requires a non-slip surface with good soundproofing then rubber could be the best option for you. By choosing a textured surface you’ll ensure you can get maximum grip. Rubber is easy to install and creates a hardwearing waterproof layer that is very easy to clean. Although typically associated with industrial and commercial building use, rubber can also be a nice surface for living as it is soft underfoot, insulating, and can come in a wide range of colours or styles. Rubber would suit a multipurpose garage, workshop or gym best.
Before you start – it is recommended to install a damp proof course (DPC) below any substrate. This will prevent water from working up the walls and causing problems especially where electrical cables are involved.
There are two key types of damp proofing:
- damp proof membrane
- liquid membrane that can be painted directly onto a concrete floor
Both are readily available at your local DIY store. If laying a membrane it is important to ensure the edges are turned up where they meet the wall to create a seal.