Less expensive garage flooring?

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Fifty Six MGA
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Less expensive garage flooring?

Post by Fifty Six MGA » Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:08 am

Kim and I bought a house, and have started renovations. (Should I start a restoration thread? The house is significantly older than my car. ;) )

Although the garage is modest, I'd like to make it a nice, organized place to work (my current garage is anything but!), and one thing I'm thinking about is flooring. The concrete is pretty rough, stained, and not really smooth. I was thinking some of the floor tile systems might do a better job of covering those imperfections than epoxy.

Our daily drivers will likely not spend much time in the garage, so in terms of traffic driving in and out, it will likely be light, my MGA and classic car number 2 (TBD).

A few ideas I'm considering-

1) Keep it simple. Clean, seal, and don't worry about how it looks
1.5) Paint?
2) Epoxy floor kit - I've read mixed reviews, and the work involved in prepping the floor doesn't look like a small project.
3) Hiring someone to do an epoxy floor.
4) rolled rubber flooring
5) garage plastic/rubber tile systems

Anything else I should be considering? We are on a budget both in terms of time and $$, so it may not be the perfect solution, but I'd like it to be good.

:drive

Thanks for your thoughts.
Geoff
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Re: Less expensive garage flooring?

Post by equiprx » Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:54 am

There is no floor covering that will stand up to a jack stand with any kind of weight on it. Use a standard regular floor tile and keep lots of extras on hand to patch with. You can also weld a base plate to all the stands you have, which I would do anyway.

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Re: Less expensive garage flooring?

Post by Steve Simmons » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:57 pm

To apply paint and make it last, the floor will need to be cleaned extremely well. Prep is everything. Since your floor is older and undoubtedly has grease spots and such, it will need at bare minimum an acid etch.

Forget about floor paints from Home Depot and the like. The best stuff is industrial paints as used in manufacturing facilities, aircraft hangers, etc. It costs several times more but is worth the cost because you won't have to empty the garage a year later to do it all over again. I've used them all, and the home center brands are simply junk. I hired a service once because of the 5-year warranty against lifting or peeling. I will never do that again. If you want to paint, I'd do it yourself. Then again, if your floor is that bad then the warranty may be worth the money, but talk to me first so you don't use the boneheads I hired to do mine. I made them come back and sand it off three times.

My last garage (which you saw in person) was done with aircraft hanger paint. It is impervious to anything you will put on or in your car including brake fluid and brake spray cleaner. Like equiprx notes, no paint will hold up against jack stands so I would recommend screwing them down to a wood base, or at least lay a rag out under the jack stand. That will keep them from digging in and ruining the floor finish.

I'm not a huge fan of the typical interlocking tiles because the are too soft for jack stands, and fluids get underneath them. But they are nice in other aspects and are an easy way to finish the floor. Solid mats are a great way to go since there are no seams (unless you have to use two of them). They are thinner than the tiles so are more solid, and can be hosed off for cleaning. Be aware that welding, and spilling harsh chemicals can damage tiles and mats.

Some people go with linoleum tiles. On the up side it's cheap and easy to repair. The downside is that they are easily broken and they tend to twist and crack when you turn the steering wheel in the car... especially when not in motion. The seams also tend to get dirty and ugly but if that doesn't bother you then it's probably the cheapest way to go.

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Re: Less expensive garage flooring?

Post by Westfield 11 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:44 am

I have had excellent results with the Home Depot floor coat kits, 3 shops or garages in the past 6 years. I also use it as an epoxy bilge coating in my boat with great results. Just follow the instructions to the letter and use the gloss Rustoleum kit. I like to be able to find dropped screws and cotter pins, so I do not use the color chips as a solid color floor is brighter and easier to see tiny objects.

In my house garage I used 12" floor tiles I got as a discontinued close out and they have been problematic. Not much trouble with them holding up to heavy usage, but the adhesive will melt causing the tile to slide and crack if you park a heavy car with hot tires on it in summer. If you let the rubber cool it is no problem, ditto all winter long since the tires don't get that hot.

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Re: Less expensive garage flooring?

Post by daysineuropa » Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:52 pm

Sherwin-Williams has an excellent low VOC, epoxy based paint called Incredicoat. It is hard wearing and doesn't particulate.

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Re: Less expensive garage flooring?

Post by Steve Simmons » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:50 pm

When I first painted the garage floor, and the day I moved out, several years and countless restoration / maintenance jobs later. You can see how well the higher quality stuff holds up when properly applied. I did have pretty good experience with Behr stain. It was very tough against abrasion but still wasn't completely peel proof with hot tires.

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Re: Less expensive garage flooring?

Post by Fifty Six MGA » Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:32 am

Steve,

did you paint it yourself? Where did you get the paint? If not, who did you use?

the floor in the garage is pretty rough, which makes me think covering it with tiles or roll out might be easier, but I like the look of the epoxy/paint better. But I worry that it's going to be very hard to adequately prep and clean the floor. I'm not kidding when I say it's rough.

We're not even moving into the house until after a ton of work and money, so my budget for the garage is limited!
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Re: Less expensive garage flooring?

Post by Fifty Six MGA » Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:33 am

and I seriously doubt my garage will end up looking as good as yours, but I do want a nicer place to hang out than I currently have!

G
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Re: Less expensive garage flooring?

Post by Steve Simmons » Sat Oct 29, 2011 7:33 am

I had a service come in because of the 5-year warranty. Big mistake. They screwed it up three times and I ended up in a big fight with them about it. Next time I'll do it myself and save the money and aggravation. The paint came from APF in Arizona. I suspect it will cost around $400 to do your garage floor.

If the floor is that bad then maybe tiles or rubber are the way to go. Interlocking tiles aren't cheap either, but at least you can re-use them if you ever build a new garage, or at least pour a new floor.

Finishing off the walls is relatively cheap and easy. Just buy some insulation and drywall and have at it. Makes a HUGE difference in the look, feel and more importantly brightness of the garage.

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Re: Less expensive garage flooring?

Post by tannyo » Sat Oct 29, 2011 11:43 pm

Some guy who runs this site wrote Tips for making the most of a small garage. It might be helpful for you.

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Re: Less expensive garage flooring?

Post by Fifty Six MGA » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:32 am

A few before pictures:

Image
Image
Overgrown backyard, showing the roof of the garage used as a deck. I want to make this a nicer place to hangout. Anyone ever put fake grass on a flat roof?

Image
the bougainvillea on the right was huge, but completely overgrowing an orange tree. I like the tree, so the bougainvillea will be gone or drastically cut back.

Image
It's small....good thing I like small cars.

Image
I can't tell if this was just poor concrete work when the slab was poured, or something that has accumulated. But it seems pretty solid. :dunno: Not going to be fun.

Image

Floor is rough, and the garage smells old and musty. Lots of work to do.

Image

Image

Image

The garage is currently being used as a staging area for the house remodel, but I hope to be able do some work on it before I have to move my garage stuff in....
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Re: Less expensive garage flooring?

Post by Steve Simmons » Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:42 am

That doesn't look as bad as I thought it would be. The floor looks like a cheap pour with no reinforcement. Definitely no lift in the plans for you!

First thing I would do is test the waterproofing ability of that roof. You don't want your MGA in there getting covered in dirty water leaking through the rafters. The smell is probably mildew. Give the floor a good scrubbing, then lightly sand the walls and put on a fresh coat of paint. While the garage is empty you might even want to get a sprayer and paint the ceiling.

For lighting you can add a few cheap fluorescent fixtures and wire them to a single switch. Also look into new seals for the garage door to keep the spiders out. Since the floor space isn't that big, I think I would try putting a coat of paint down first and see how it goes. If it doesn't adhere well then you can change to tiles or mats. Looks like you have an odd shape, so maybe get a mat for the main area and interlocking tiles for the smaller area. You could use that as your workspace since it will be more padded.

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Re: Less expensive garage flooring?

Post by Fifty Six MGA » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:08 pm

I'm getting a new roof today and tomorrow, so that shouldn't be an issue.

I think the "strange shape" might be an illusion, it's close to square...

The garage is about 17x19.

The garage door is pretty recent, which is nice, but I'll definitely be checking the seals, since the spiders are certainly coming from somewhere!

No lift in my future, the ceiling is LOW. Heck, I don't think I could park most SUV's in there even if I wanted one.
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Re: Less expensive garage flooring?

Post by olson » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:26 pm

looks like you have some efflorescence. This is usually caused by moisture in the concrete or plaster which makes the plaster expand into a powdery bubble in the paint. Check with the paint stores to see how to deal with it. You can just paint over it, but the bubbles are soft and if scraped will dump powder.

There is no way to keep out spiders. they can go though ANY garage seal. spraying is the only option.

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Re: Less expensive garage flooring?

Post by Stewart » Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:25 pm

Only way to get away from the spiders around here is to wait till it gets cold and the weaker ones die off thankfully that time is very close.

What part of alhambra did you move to?

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Re: Less expensive garage flooring?

Post by Fifty Six MGA » Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:54 am

Stewart,

We haven't actually moved yet. Renovate first, then move. But the new house is off Chapel, just north of main street, walking distance from the movie theater on Garfield.

not far from where we live now, but it's our house, not a rental. For better or worse. :P
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Re: Less expensive garage flooring?

Post by Fifty Six MGA » Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:59 am

Check out the pictures a few posts into the thread. And then here's where I'm at.

A LOT of work removing the jungle in backyard, and makign the garage roof a feature instead of an eyesore.
Image
there is a brand new, rebuilt and reinforced roof under what you can see as well.

Inside the garage, I've patched the walls to prep for paint, and rewired the whole thing. There was one bulb and one outlet before, and 1/2 the outlet was used for the extension cord draped through the rafters to the opener. Ghetto.

4 sets of fluorescent (8 bulbs) in wire cages because the ceiling is low enough Stewart will have to stoop when he visits. 5 outlets on 2 circuits, plus two outside the walls for the deck. Patched the walls and floor. It's BRIGHT in there in person, and once painted and the floor is finished, will be even brighter.

Image
Image

I do wish I'd painted the ceiling before I put in the lights, but oh well.

Lot's of work. I've been spending 18 hour days on the house on the weekends, and most evenings I'm there after work for 5-6 hours. (whole house, not the garage alone) It's pretty off topic, but I'll post some pictures of the house before and after on my blog and link it if anyone is interested.
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Re: Less expensive garage flooring?

Post by HealeyBN7 » Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:47 am

Looking good.

Keep them coming. Nothing better that to see the fruits of another's labor :)

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Fifty Six MGA wrote: I'll post some pictures of the house before and after on my blog and link it if anyone is interested.

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Re: Less expensive garage flooring?

Post by Martin Keller » Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:54 pm

Fifty Six MGA wrote:Check out the pictures a few posts into the thread. And then here's where I'm at.

A LOT of work removing the jungle in backyard, and makign the garage roof a feature instead of an eyesore.
Image
there is a brand new, rebuilt and reinforced roof under what you can see as well.
Very cool.
Looks like you now have a square putting green for a garage roof.
Is that artificial turf or is it real grass.
Keep up the nice work and post more photos of your progress as it is always good to see the talents of the people on this forum. :thumbs:
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Re: Less expensive garage flooring?

Post by Fifty Six MGA » Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:39 pm

It is artificial turf. I looked into a real "green" roof, but the weight of the soil, plus drainage issues, meant it was going to be a much bigger and more difficult process.

I did think about adding a couple of cups to the roof for putting. The roof slopes, so that'd make it interesting....

I got some artificial turf off craigslist. I'd priced it at Home Depot, and the good stuff was $5/sq foot, too rich for my blood. I found this from a company that sells remnants and the end of rolls, but was able to do the whole roof with only one seam (a seam that would exist even if I bought new, the rolls are 15 feet wide. ) I I got ti for around $1/sq foot. Still not cheap when you add on the cost of everything else I'm doing to the house. And all so Kim will let me get another car. =)

i actually have a piece left, about 4 feet wide and probably 13-15 feet long if anyone has a small area they want to cover.
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Re: Less expensive garage flooring?

Post by Stewart » Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:54 pm

So did your work survive the windstorm? Wild night up here

Image

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Re: Less expensive garage flooring?

Post by Fifty Six MGA » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:09 pm

Actually, sadly, no. Knocked down two panels of fencing. Took some others down as they were now unsupported. and more wind was protected.

but, looking on the bright side, I know know where the weak spots are so it'll be back, bigger, better, and stronger.

it took me 50 minutes to drive from Alhambra to work (near PCC/CalTech) this morning, due to trees down and power outages. crazy.

Did your place survive unscathed other than yard cleanup?

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Re: Less expensive garage flooring?

Post by Steve Simmons » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:13 pm

We didn't get a lick of wind yesterday or last night. It was still clam when I left this morning. Weird.

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Re: Less expensive garage flooring?

Post by Stewart » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:25 pm

Just one massive mess. Power was out from about 11:30 last night till 4:30 this afternoon.

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Re: Less expensive garage flooring?

Post by Larry Kluss » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:33 am

Steve Simmons wrote:We didn't get a lick of wind yesterday or last night. It was still clam when I left this morning. Weird.
Welcome to T.O. I think you're in a good spot there - protected from most of the wind. We rarely get Santa Anas at our place either.

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