Garage Floor Paint Vs Tile – Why Garage Floor Paint Wins Every Time!

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Commercial and domestic garages need a hard wearing floor surface. The floor is always exposed to spilt oil, water, grease and mud, so flooring should be quick to clean, slow to stain and reluctant to take damage! You never find carpets, lino or wooden flooring in a garage, and for good reason – these types of flooring simply aren’t up for the job. The common choice for garage owners are painted a concrete floor or floor tiles, whether interlined plastic or ceramic.

The Argument For Floor Tiles…

Many people come down on the side of floor tiles, for the following reasons. Once floor tiles are installed, so the argument goes, they need very little maintenance. They are tough, crack resistant and simple to wipe clean. They are less prone to frost damage and present a smooth floor surface, making them less susceptible to collecting dust and contaminants. You also won’t have to paint a tiled floor every couple of years. You may pay more for a tile floor, but once it’s down, your expenses essentially stop.

Why Garage Floor Paint Is A Better Option

Unfortunately, part of this argument simply isn’t true. Garage floor tiles do require regular maintenance in order to change the grout, which quickly discolours and starts to break up over time. With damaged grout, a tiled floor loses its water resistance, making the flooring susceptible to damp. Also, the smooth surface of a tile is as much a hazard in a garage as it is a help, as it presents a greater slip risk when oil and water is spilt. As far as the ‘no painting’ argument goes, tile advocates may have a point if they use low quality paint. Low quality paints will wear out and flake when subjected to heavy use, rendering them useless in a garage. However, when high quality garage floor paints are used, there are significant advantages to choosing the painted garage floor option.
  • A painted floor, with the right coatings, provides a greater range of spill resistances to tiles. For instance, you could treat your floor for acid resistance if these substances are used in your garage.
  • With the addition of an anti-slip coating, a painted garage floor provides less of a slip hazard than a tiled floor.
  • High quality painted concrete is a tougher surface than tiles. Tiles crack and require regular maintenance to replace the grout – none of this is necessary with a painted floor.
  • Providing the surface is prepared correctly (see below), good quality garage floor paint will last for years.
Here are some tips to make sure you get a great result:

1) It’s Not The Paint, It’s The Flooring

When people experience problems with floor paint in a garage, more often than not it is the surface that is at fault, and not the paint. If you are laying down a concrete floor, ensure you buy a high quality mix and apply properly. You want to ensure that new concrete is left at least 28 days before you try and paint it. Then, clean and prepare the surface. Blistering and loss of adhesion are caused by dust and contaminants from the concrete, so thoroughly dry, repair, sweep and clean the surface before applying your paint. Areas of old flaking paint from previous coats should also be removed.

2) Choose The Right Paint And Coatings For Your Garage Floor Type

Once your floor is repaired and prepared to the highest standard, choose the correct type of paint for your garage floor type. A bare concrete floor should be suitable for most types of floor paint and coating if prepared properly. If your garage floor is sand or cement screed, you should still be able to apply most paints, although the correct preparation is key for a long-lasting coating. If your garage has an asphalt floor, as some entrance and exit areas do in professional garages, you will need to select an asphalt compatible paint for your flooring. An epoxy floor paint or PU floor paint will provide an extremely tough, durable surface on most concrete floors.

3) Take Care When Applying Your Paint

The quality of the paint finish is affected by how you apply the coatings. Ensure you have the right equipment to give an even coat, such as a high quality bristle brush, mohair roller or quality spray gun. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for spray guns. We recommend thinning the first coat up to 25% to aid application, coverage and will help the paint penetrate the concrete offering better mechanical adhesion.

Our FREE Guide To Industrial Floor Paint

You can find out more about the best types of paint to use on different floor surfaces by downloading our free Guide To Industrial Floor Paint. The guide includes helpful sections on colour matching, protective coatings, getting the best value and more. Click here to claim your copy.