In our last blog, we began by discussing two very poor choices for garage floor solutions. They were stamped concrete and overlays (including epoxy stone and cementitious overlays). We still have 3 more poor choices to discuss.
Before we jump in, let me state that we are not picking on these 5 flooring solutions. They each have their place, but our experience shows it’s not in a garage.
Garage Floor Coverings + Mid Atlantic Garage = 1 Stinky Garage
Typical Time to Issue: Less than 1 Year
Garage floor coverings are a category name applied to flooring solutions such as PVC garage floor tiles and garage floor mats. Garage floor coverings, like garage floor paints and cheap epoxy kits, are often the domain of the Do-It-Yourself homeowner. Many outlets (online and brick & mortar) sell PVC garage tiles and the garage floor mats are often sold in online and in garage catalogs.
While easy to install, the tiles allow water and other materials to get under the tiles. After some time, odors from those material, decay and mold can begin within the garage. Other issues exist as well, outlined in the following articles:
- 5 Problems with Plastic Garage Floor Tiles
- Protecting Your Garage Floor: Coating vs. Plastic Tiles
- Frustrations with Plastic Tiles – Coatings vs. Plastic Tiles
Garage floor coverings such as floor mats lead to the same moisture issues. We have installed coatings in several garages that had mats down before we arrived. At first, we didn’t advise the homeowner to air out the garages, we arrived to some smelly garages and concrete that was too damp to coat. Now, we ask homeowners to remove the mats one week prior to our arrival and to air out the garage during that week.
Q: Are properly installed, professional garage floor coatings by Stronghold Floors subject to the same problems as garage floor coverings?
A: No. By their nature, garage floor coatings do not allow moisture or any other substances to penetrate the concrete. With no pores, mold and odors cannot build up within the coatings. Regular cleaning ensures no odors are present from the flooring.
Acid Stains & Dyes plus Garage Floor equals Short-Lived Art
Typical Time to Issue: Less than 3 YearsWhile not common in Maryland & Pennsylvania, we do occasionally see garages where a new contractor tried their hand at acid staining or dying a garage floor. Because stains and dyes must be protected by sealer, these garage finishes suffer from the same problem as the stamped concrete. The sealers do not hold up to the wear & tear, nor do they tolerate chemical exposures typical in a residential garage in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
If the sealers are not maintained, the compromised areas will incur discoloration and the acid stained (or dyed) concrete can be worn away. In addition, some dyes do not tolerate natural light and areas that receive daily sunshine through the windows will fade until the dyes no longer show in those areas.
Q: Are properly installed, professional garage floor coatings by Stronghold Floors subject to the same problems as stains & dyes?
A: No. Our garage coating system utilizes polyaspartic topcoats that are extremely wear resistant, chemically resistant and UV resistant.
Polished Concrete + Garage Floors = Invalid Solution
Typical Time to Issue: Less than 3 Years
Polished concrete can be stunning. If the concrete is ground to expose the aggregate, the result can be a very natural looking finish of color stone. But, polished concrete is NOT very resistant to staining. And, to ensure it doesn’t wear and stain, the polished concrete must be properly maintained. Proper maintenance of polished concrete requires frequent cleaning with a walk-behind or ride-on auto-scrubber with densifier/sealer solutions. Homeowners cannot properly maintain polished concrete in a daily use garage.
If the look of polished concrete is desired, the concrete can be ground to expose the aggregates and then clear epoxies, urethanes or polyureas can be applied to create a maintainable, unique garage floor.
Q: Are properly installed, professional garage floor coatings by Stronghold Floors subject to the same problems as polished concrete?
A: No. Properly designed and installed garage floor coatings are non-porous and require little regular maintenance.
Final Thoughts on Finishes for Concrete Floors
While this article concentrated on 5 poor choices for garage floors, there are additional bad choices. These include garage floor paint, cheap DIY garage floor kits and carpet (yes, we really see carpeted garages).
While there are a lot of good coating solutions for garage floors, the following resources may help make an informed choice:
- Garage Floor Coatings: Do it right ALL the time!
- Garage Coatings Math: When 3 is Greater Than 5
- What Makes a Professional Garage Floor Coating Last?
- 5 Myths about Garage Floor Coatings
- Garage Floors Coatings: One Day Installations
Do we have any experience with the 5 solutions we deemed disastrous for garages? Certainly, we do. We have polished over 20,000 square feet of concrete. We have acid stained and dyed concrete. We have training in overlays, including systems similar to Nature Stone.