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Alternative garage floor finish


John Ranalletta

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John Ranalletta

The gym we attend was changing out their workout flooring. I bought 32 pcs ca. 4'x6' horse stall mat. Any Tractor or farm supply has them. Made of recycled tires, each weights in at ca. 100#. Just loading and hauling 1.5 tons of mats was a chore. Luckily, a couple of the gym rats helped me load them.

 

Essentially, they just lie on the floor with no adhesive. I used a skill saw to cut to fit near wall and corners. Sawing hard rubber is not fun, but it's doable. My garage floor is in pretty bad shape and only other solution was to cut out and break out the concrete and re-pour. No thank$.

 

The mats are about $35/ea and I paid $20/ea. There's no such thing as a used mat since they don't show any wear from 8 years in the gym. I know there are other alternatives, but $650 seemed right. Cleaning time means a quick once over with a scrub bush/mop and detergent. Built to withstand animal waste, water and road salts don't make a dent.

 

Even if the floor was perfect, I'd use the mats instead of $2k of epoxy that will wear away.

 

I divided my garage into garage/shop. The rubber floor really works well in the shop for cleaning up metal shavings/grindings.

 

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Very good choice. I always pick up one or two when on sale. They work great and are very heavy. Another option beside the epoxy coating is concrete solid stain and paint flakes. I have Done this about two and a half years ago in my basement with garage for my bikes and is holding up very well.

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Thanks John. My garage floor is in need of a solution. The neighbor went the "hire a professional" epoxy route. I thought that might be a solution, but they've been back for repairs, twice already.

 

I'm not so sure I like the tire material though. Does it have an odor?

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John Ranalletta

"Does it have an odor?"

 

I'll lay down and sniff it tomorrow. :)

 

Can't smell it though it's not new. Stop by a farm supply and check it out. You'll need strong helpers, especially someone with strong arms to power through it with a skill saw.

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John Ranalletta

Today was clean up day after a few days of making welding coupons. Shop vac and hard surface made it very easy.

 

Also, today, I changed out 4 snow tires on both cars using a wheeled, floor jack. No concern about the mat as the jack wheels hardly made an impression in the rubber.

 

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Thanks John. My garage floor is in need of a solution. The neighbor went the "hire a professional" epoxy route. I thought that might be a solution, but they've been back for repairs, twice already.

 

Are you sure the guy knew what he was doing? Or was he a painter that sometimes did garage floors?

 

The 2 part epoxy stuff is super tough if done correctly. I have it in my garage and we've done it 100+ times for our home buyers. We've never had a warranty claim. Surface preparation is absolutely critical, especially for an existing garage floor.

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Does it have an odor?

 

It does when new - word is that the smell wears off substantially within a few months.

 

Great idea for the garage John. When you drop that new Snap-on socket wrench it just bounces right back to you.

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John Ranalletta
Does it have an odor?

 

It does when new - word is that the smell wears off substantially within a few months.

 

Great idea for the garage John. When you drop that new Snap-on socket wrench it just bounces right back to you.

 

Thanks, Jake. If I could afford SO tools, I'd have a garage mahal.

 

Caveat: Used mats from horse stalls might have an odor.

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Joe Frickin' Friday

What about water (e.g. rainwater, snow melt from cars) that runs into the seams between the rubber panels? Seems like that would get trapped down there and fester.

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John Ranalletta

I'll post if either Fester shows up under the mats:

 

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Seriously, it could happen but the mats have channels molded into the down side. If a real concern, one could lift a column of mats and hose the floor. The floor in my garage is in such poor shape, it's not a concern for me. Plus, at ca. $1/sq ft vs. $2.50-3.00 for alternatives, I can put up with a small inconvenience. My garage isn't heated.

 

When I removed them from the gym, there were areas where the concrete appeared to have "sweated out" and they were moist.

 

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Thanks John. My garage floor is in need of a solution. The neighbor went the "hire a professional" epoxy route. I thought that might be a solution, but they've been back for repairs, twice already.

 

Are you sure the guy knew what he was doing? Or was he a painter that sometimes did garage floors?

 

The 2 part epoxy stuff is super tough if done correctly. I have it in my garage and we've done it 100+ times for our home buyers. We've never had a warranty claim. Surface preparation is absolutely critical, especially for an existing garage floor.

 

He said he'd been doing it for over 5 years. It would sure be easier for me to hire him than to handle the rubber mats.

 

And this is Fester from the Addams Family TV Show...

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That's Fester!

 

When you drop that new Snap-on socket wrench it just bounces right back to you.

 

;):thumbsup:

 

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russell_bynum

My question with that type of flooring (including the expensive tiles that snap together) is how do you deal with fluids (oil, trans fluid, antifreeze, etc) that runs down between the pieces?

 

I like my epoxy floor for that...very easy cleanup. But it's fragile...I have to put cardboard down under jackstands, motorcycle kickstands, heavy stuff dropped on it chips it. Heavy engine stands can tear it up if I'm not careful, etc.

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I like my epoxy floor for that...very easy cleanup. But it's fragile...I have to put cardboard down under jackstands, motorcycle kickstands, heavy stuff dropped on it chips it. Heavy engine stands can tear it up if I'm not careful, etc.

 

I don't know what product people are using, but if you can chip it off the concrete it's the wrong stuff or done wrong.

 

If you beat on it with a claw hammer, you'll go through it. But if it comes up, that's a problem.

 

Again, I'm talking about a 2 part epoxy at about $100/gal-kit. There are several brands and they all seem to work well including the one sold at Sherwin Williams. The 1 part acrylic/epoxy junk is glorified paint.

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russell_bynum

I like my epoxy floor for that...very easy cleanup. But it's fragile...I have to put cardboard down under jackstands, motorcycle kickstands, heavy stuff dropped on it chips it. Heavy engine stands can tear it up if I'm not careful, etc.

 

I don't know what product people are using, but if you can chip it off the concrete it's the wrong stuff or done wrong.

 

If you beat on it with a claw hammer, you'll go through it. But if it comes up, that's a problem.

 

Again, I'm talking about a 2 part epoxy at about $100/gal-kit. There are several brands and they all seem to work well including the one sold at Sherwin Williams. The 1 part acrylic/epoxy junk is glorified paint.

 

This was 2-part. Professionally applied. New slab. Took a couple of days.

 

Flywheel from my old 3-series fell from a couple of feet and took a chunk out of it. I absentmindedly dragged an engine hoist (with engine and trans hanging under it sideways across the floor and took about a 1" wide by 12" long strip out of it. It's had a few other minor dings here and there.

 

It's been there 10 years and I beat on it quite a bit. Overall I'm quite happy with it, but in a perfect world I wouldn't have to worry about it.

 

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John Ranalletta

Not sure what the concern is. Even w/ shitty concrete, I'd only get a few small spills while changing oil that could be wiped up. A little oil 'tween the mats wouldn't hurt anything and could be cleaned easily. Major spill? Remove the mats, clean, replace.

 

Water's not an issue as the concrete is wet most of the winter, but now, most of water, salt 'n ice are on the mats. Doesn't matter if some seeps under. It's no worse than before.

 

If I had a garage mahal, I'd pony up for expoxy, but being careful so as I didn't leave a mark on my garage floor is not something I have time to worry about.

 

It's a garage!

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It's a garage!

 

Totally agree. I'm still in the midst of my multi-year garage makeover at the humble lakehouse. Everytime I look at those expensive clickety clack interlocking plastic thingys I breakout in hives. So expensive, and to me much less utility than good old fashioned oil absorbing easy-to-sweep concrete. In considering flooring, I'm becoming more at peace with just leaving it ('cuz it's a garage!) or maybe going with VCT tile, which will make it look nice, and be that much more slippery when wet so I can kill myself.

 

The horse stall mats are an excellent idea, and I might now do a combo VCT and use a runner of the rubber mats for common underfoot areas where I will likely be standing around - like in front of the workbench as well as that little refrigerator whilst pondering my next beer selection. Now, I gotta go make more hangy thingys as well as shelf-boxes to hang on the french cleats to get everything off of the danged floor that doesn't otherwise roll. It's going to be a long hot summer, but the mess below will be looking much better when I'm done.

 

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John Ranalletta

Wish I had the space, Jake.

 

For a real garage mahal floor, try polished concrete. Spendy.

 

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russell_bynum
Not sure what the concern is. Even w/ shitty concrete, I'd only get a few small spills while changing oil that could be wiped up. A little oil 'tween the mats wouldn't hurt anything and could be cleaned easily. Major spill? Remove the mats, clean, replace.

 

Ease of cleanup. Lifting mats, dragging them out, cleaning them and the floor underneath, then putting them back sounds like a pain to me. With epoxy, I just wipe up the mess and I'm done.

 

If I had a garage mahal, I'd pony up for expoxy, but being careful so as I didn't leave a mark on my garage floor is not something I have time to worry about.

 

It's a garage!

 

For me, the epoxy has two practical advantages. (It looks cool, but I'm not counting that.)

1. Super easy to clean. Because it is easy to clean, I clean it. Then, when I need to be crawling around on the floor I don't get oil, transmission fluid, etc all over me, in my hair, etc. With our previous house and just a bare garage floor, once an area had a big spill on it, it was damn near impossible to get it clean. Over a year after Lisa's mustang dumped transmission fluid on the floor I was still getting it on me when I was crawling around on the floor.

2. Because I went with a light color (light grey) it does a good job reflecting the light. I've found that I often do not need a worklight when I'm working under the car/truck/jeep/etc because I'm getting enough reflected light off the floor. This was an unplanned but very welcome benefit since it means one lesss thing to have to deal with under the car when I'm working.

 

Having to be careful with the floor bothers me...ideally I'd have something that was more bombproof. It isn't THAT big of a deal..I have some scraps of carboard in the cabinet with my jackstands and I bought a couple of cheap 4x8 pieces of indoor/outdoor carpet for the motorcycles to park on so I don't have to worry about centerstands/sidestands/etc.

 

And it seems to be fairly easy to repair the floor...I used some leftover JB Weld (applied and smoothed with a Popsicle stick) to patch the damage that the falling flywheel caused. The color doesn't match, of course, but it seems to have sealed up the damage so that it doesn't get worse.

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Wish I had the space, Jake.

 

For a real garage mahal floor, try polished concrete. Spendy.

 

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And really slippery.

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russell_bynum
Only on the maid's day off.

 

:grin:

 

Slippery is definitely an issue with the epoxy. I know they put sand (or something) in it to increase grip, but it's still slippery. When I go to run the bike up in the Baxley chock, it just slides the chock along the floor. I've busted my ass a few times slipping on it when it was wet. The worst was some diff oil that spilled. I wiped it up, but there was apparently still a film of it...it was like having my own private ice skating rink. :thumbsup:

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John Ranalletta

Just to drag this out a little more, I spent the day welding up a mod to my m/c trailer when a 3' pc of 2"x2"x11ga angle fell from the welding table right on its end point. Old concrete? No problem. Epoxy? Possible heart attack. Rubber? Who noticed?

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russell_bynum
Just to drag this out a little more, I spent the day welding up a mod to my m/c trailer when a 3' pc of 2"x2"x11ga angle fell from the welding table right on its end point. Old concrete? No problem. Epoxy? Possible heart attack. Rubber? Who noticed?

 

:thumbsup:

 

As with anything, I think your particular use case and goals make a big difference.

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John Ranalletta

3/4"

 

Thanks. You probably remember the original garage from 12 years ago. I remember you, Dean and I changing tires or something out there.

 

Modifying my old trailer to eliminate the need for ramps. Burned up a lot of mig and tig wire and all my welds look like a dog's butt, but practice makes perfect. a little less shitty. Grinders are your friends.

 

 

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Prefer tig welding to mig or arc. Kinda' like fly fishing compared to throwing a stick of dynamite in the lake. More delicate.

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Pretty cool, John!

 

Post up the result when you get finished.

I did a lot of stick welding back in my other life, I would like to try tig just for fun.

I can't remember who's tires we mounted, maybe mine? Time flies...

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