from Tobias Klein · Updated on 07.12.2022
You are not alone. The floor should be dealt with before the wet autumn, before the snow comes and road salt is used, so it is not surprising that the Internet forums are full of questions. People are concerned with what flooring is the best, cheap and quick to install. However, a clear answer to this question is complicated.
There are many options, and among the most common are painting, ceramic tiles and PVC tiles. Each of these variants has its advantages and disadvantages, and therefore its supporters. Only some variants meet the actual requirements of a garage or workshop - a room that must withstand high loads, water and chemicals. An equally important aspect is the ease of maintenance.
Those who want to save money, usually choose a cheap epoxy paint, which, unfortunately, is associated with quite a lot of work. The concrete floor must first be leveled, it would not be bad to vacuum and degrease the surface. This is followed by penetration with diluted paint, and then the top coat. Nowadays, a wide range of colors is produced, and with the added decorative particles can be achieved granitimitation. The coatings look attractive, but they have some disadvantages.
If too thin a layer is applied, the paint will become brittle under the weight of vehicles. If the paint does not dry out or is driven on with hot tires, the paint can peel off. Another evil is that the floor is slippery, this is especially noticeable in winter. A problem is also chemicals leaking from the engine, and road salt - all these substances discolor the paint.
Maintenance is quite simple, it is enough to sweep and mop the floor. A problem arises if something breaks, cracks and the paint comes off. Then the entire floor must be renovated.
The second, but significantly more expensive solution, offer high-quality and resilient ceramic tiles. If you manage to find a really good option, the shortcomings will be minimal. Tiles are expensive and complex to install, but they are resistant to surface water (such as spills) and chemicals and are easy to maintain. If swept or mopped occasionally, tiles have a lifespan of decades - if well laid.
However, even with tiles that are laid even well, the worst case can happen. Almost any garage floor can withstand summer conditions, but difficulties arise in winter. With tiles, it is often surface water that gets under the tiles, causing foul-smelling rot and attacking the surface.
Another problem of ceramic tiles is their fragility. Often it is enough that a heavier tool falls out of the hand and immediately one of the tiles has a crack. Not to mention the risk of slipping. If you choose tiles with a glossy surface (glaze), you can be sure that these tiles will be slippery in the winter.
With the aim of improving the properties of ceramic tiles also began to produce PVC tiles, which are particularly suitable for garages, workshops or industrial buildings. In our company PVC tiles terramondi are produced.However, these do not have much in common with the ceramic tiles - practically only that they are also tiles that are joined. However, they do not need to be grouted, it is enough to join the joints with a rubber mallet. The surface must first be leveled and swept, then everything will go like clockwork. Laying in a garage of average size takes about an hour.
The joints of the tiles are sufficiently tight, so it is difficult for water to penetrate. If this happens anyway, the water can simply evaporate, because the tiles "breathe". They are resistant to chemicals and acids, unlike ceramic tiles, they are non-slip (they have a non-slip pattern) and do not crack. And if a tile gets damaged, only the broken piece needs to be replaced.
Just as with regular tiles, a broom and sometimes a mop is all that is needed. The only disadvantage is that PVC tiles are not suitable for outdoor areas. The external conditions do no good to PVC tiles, they would change their color and shape.
This depends on each individual. Someone prefers a low price and decides to paint. Others, again, prefer classic tiles, and some people are not afraid of modern innovations and reach for PVC tiles. We have already presented the advantages and disadvantages, now it only depends on you whether you choose the cheaper or rather the long-term and reliable option.
Tobias Klein writes for terramondi technical articles about PVC tiles. You have questions? Feel free to contact us.
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