Should I Paint My Garage Floor?
A garage can be many things. Some people use their garage as a studio space, showroom, “man-cave,” or something else. But for others, a garage is merely a place to shelter vehicles and store tools and seasonal items. If you fall into this latter category, you might not think all that much about the state of your garage floors because you don’t spend much time there. As long as you can still fit your car, truck, or bike in there, what difference does a few cracks in the floor make?
And yet, you may have come across a piece of advice telling you to take care of your garage floors. More specifically, you might have been told that painting your garage floor is crucial for maintaining its durability and appearance. So, should you paint your garage floor?
The Long Answer
Protecting your garage floors is never a bad thing. But in order to judge the merits of garage floor painting, we have to go over why garage floors wear down over time, what this means for your home, and the different ways you can protect your floors.
What Happens to Bare Garage Floors?
Unprotected floors are vulnerable to all kinds of damage. The pressure of heavy vehicles combined with the shifting earth below gradually creates fractures in your garage floor. These openings allow dust, debris, water, oil, and other contaminants to enter. This invasion creates a vicious cycle where cracks get bigger and turn into pits, leading to further intrusion, etc. Eventually, your once smooth garage floor will look like it’s been bombarded with miniature meteors. A rough, uneven surface is a tripping hazard, and it isn’t great for the tires of your vehicles, either.
Bare floors are also a bear to clean. An uncovered concrete floor actually produces its own dust, so no amount of sweeping will ever remove all of it. Trying to remove oil stains from your unguarded floors is also challenging, as these materials get absorbed and won’t want to come out.
How Bare Garage Floors Affect Your Home
The problems with unprotected garage floors aren’t limited to just your garage, though. For one thing, if you enter your home through your garage, your shoes will track all that dust and dirt inside. This means more cleaning and home painting to keep your interior looking fresh. Additionally, the state of your garage affects your home’s market value. And if you’re preparing to sell your home, appraisers and buyers will take note of a worn-down garage floor.
How to Protect Your Floors
So, it’s clear that coating your floors is beneficial for not just your garage and the objects inside, but also for your home in general. The question now is whether or not painting your garage floor is the way to go. Indeed, there are various ways to protect your floors. You can have your floor polished and sealed with a concrete densifier, which, unlike paint, absorbs into the floor’s pores. Alternatively, you could tile your floors with vinyl, porcelain, or polypropylene. Or, you can coat your floors with an epoxy paint, which bonds to the concrete and creates a durable, smooth, easy to clean surface.
There are pros and cons to each of these options, of course. Epoxy paint is the most common choice for residential garage floors and tends to be the most affordable, too. That said, if you decide to paint your garage floor, it’s best to hire a home interior painting professional to properly prepare your floors and apply the paint. Epoxy paints cure quickly, and therefore must be applied properly in a short span of time. Making even a minor mistake can be a costly setback.
The Short Answer
Should you paint your garage floor? Perhaps the better question is, “should you have your garage floor protected?” In that case, the answer is: yes! Doing so will make it easier to clean your garage and keep your home clean, improve your garage’s appearance, and protect the objects inside your garage for years to come. As for whether painting is the best option, that depends on your preferences and budget. But if you do decide to paint your garage floor, hire experienced local house painters. Unless you have the knowledge and tools at the ready, attempting to paint your garage floor on your own is risky.