So, you’re looking at your plain old garage floor and thinking of all the ways you can improve it. You want a material that’s hard, but easy to clean and resistant to weathering. Something that will last for a long time and make the garage seem bigger and brighter.
Two of the most common flooring materials for this job are epoxies (i.e. resins, polyaspartic, etc.) and tiles. They each have their own pros and cons, so the right one for you will really depend a lot on your unique circumstances. Let’s dive a little deeper into what’s best for a garage: epoxy floors or tiles?
Pros and Cons of Epoxy Flooring in Your Garage
Epoxy comes in many different forms, suitable for almost any type of garage environment and needs. It’s easy to see why it’s such a popular choice, too – it’s cost-effective and very durable through the extremes of Calgary’s seasons.
Pros of Epoxy Floors
- Compared to the usual concrete of basic garages, epoxy is much brighter and cleaner. It can even be customized with colourful chips during installation.
- Epoxy is very easy to clean and maintain, since little dirt or fluid will stick to the surface. With proper sealants, it also protects the underlying layers from moisture and damage.
- Epoxy is affordable, usually costing less per square foot than other types of materials (though it does depend on the product and the surrounding environment).
- With resistance to chemicals, heat, water, pressure, and other common wear-and-tear factors, epoxy is durable and will last a long time.
Cons of Epoxy Floors
- Small chips can lead to peeling, cracking, and other issues that will eventually need replacing.
- Some types are slippery, especially when wet, unless anti-slip materials are added to the top layer.
- Most epoxies are prone to yellowing over time (they are not aliphatic).
- It can be tedious and dangerous to apply, requiring substantial prep time and protective gear against the harsh fumes. Depending on the type of epoxy, it may also take several days to fully cure, and factors like ambient humidity can cause issues with adhesion, bubbling, or peeling.
Pros and Cons of Tile Flooring in Your Garage
Tiles have been a mainstay of home flooring design for hundreds of years. New materials and new technology have widened up the options that homeowners have, but the basic idea is as popular as ever. So, what’s the difference between epoxy and floor tiles in a garage?
Different Types of Tile Flooring
Before we jump into the pros and cons of tile floors, it’s important to understand some of the different materials used in modern tiling.
- Ceramic tiles: a proven material that is hard, durable, and generally resistant to stains. However, ceramic is also heavy, time-consuming to install, and may crack under heavy loads (like vehicles).
- Cementitious tiles: Made with a cement base and a very thin protective layer, cement tiles are porous – and so, they must be sealed very well and they are prone to easy staining.
- Stone tiles: stone has a timeless look, but it is more susceptible to water and hot/cold damage and can be quite slippery. It is also fairly expensive and heavy, making installation difficult.
- Polymer tiles: Created with a base of PVC or plastic, these tiles are durable and strong, with a high degree of colour and style customization.
- Rubber compound tiles: Similar to polymer tiles, these are made of various rubber compounds, often designed to interlock together for relatively quick installation.
Compared to epoxy flooring and resin coverings, tiled floors are generally cheaper and easier to install (though it depends heavily on the area being redone). Ceramic tiles are especially easy to clean and maintain, making it a popular choice for homeowners. However, if you’re spending a lot of time in your garage, ceramic can be hard on your joints because it has little flex. Materials like rubber were meant to overcome this.
However, with that said, all types of tiles suffer from one major drawback: it is installed in separate pieces, meaning that every single space between the tiles has to be filled and sealed. These gaps are the weak points! They are usually treated with grout, which takes both skill and time to do well. If any spots are missed, moisture, dirt, and other debris can work into or under the tile and cause damage from between and below. For materials such as stone or cement, which are porous, this means almost ongoing maintenance – especially on a garage floor, which is exposed to the elements and plenty of meltwater and mud.
Overall, even the hardest tiles are not as hard as epoxy coating, either. They are more likely to degrade and show wear, especially on areas where vehicles drive or rest on them. This can lead to gaps in the protective glaze layer, allowing water to seep in and cause more damage.
Installing Garage Flooring in Calgary, Alberta
Installing any kind of garage flooring is a big undertaking, and it pays to do it right from the very start. If you need an expert opinion on the best flooring for your garage in Calgary, let us know – we’ll come out and have a look, free of charge. From epoxy and tiles to polyaspartics and polyurethanes, we’ll help you make the right choice and see it through from start to finish.
Don’t settle for plain, uninspired concrete…make your garage shine with a brand-new floor!