Which floor treatment is right for your shop?

By Staff Writer
Sep 10, 2023 | garage, Workshop | Posted in Shop Work | From the June 2009 issue | Never miss an article

Photography Credit: David S. Wallens

[Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the June 2009 issue of Grassroots Motorsports.]

Story by Tom Heath

Talk about the bedrock of human society: Concrete is the material behind such significant architectural benchmarks as the Roman Colosseum, the Hoover Dam and Alcatraz. This simple blend of sand, gravel and cement has been with us since at least 5600 B.C., with a …

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LarryNH (Forum Supporter)
LarryNH (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/13/20 5:52 a.m.

In reply to RichardSIA :

Check out garagejournal dot com forums for floor builds.  A lot of current threads with different systems.  Some list costs.  Some DIY, some pro installation.

turtl631 HalfDork
1/29/21 2:07 p.m.

Interesting topic.  Porcelain tile is a compelling option too.  Sounds like you need a top notch installation and a careful selection of tiles to avoid cracks and slipping.  I anticipate doing some significant wrenching, welding etc in my garage but also parking a daily driver in there with salt and snow drippage. Skeptical that epoxy will hold up long term.  

iansane GRM+ Memberand Dork
2/28/22 3:13 p.m.

My GRMsearch-fu is weak so I figured I'd ask my question in here.

Does anyone know of a good "filler" for a shop floor? I have an expansion joint that runs horizontally across my shop. I don't care that it's there but they put it at such a point that I'm ALWAYS rolling over it with my roller seat. It's right at the front of the lift about where the front bumper is on most cars and the wheels always get caught in it. I don't care if the seam is visible or not, or even if the filler cracks which I figured it would. I'm just looking to soften the blow everytime I roll over it.


paddygarcia GRM+ Memberand Reader
2/28/22 4:38 p.m.

In reply to iansane :

The joints in my house are filled with Sikaflex over enough sand to mostly fill the opening. Someday I'll do it in the garage, too.

iansane GRM+ Memberand Dork
2/28/22 4:59 p.m.

In reply to paddygarcia :

Ooh, I have cases of that stuff at my work. Noice.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/1/22 9:42 a.m.

Garage flooring LLC of Colorado.  The owner is super helpful and has you covered in all types of coatings.  I used Rust Bullet (now called trualloy) for my current garage.  I may use it again or go polyurea on the new garage.  It's about a $1k difference for a 3 car garage.  Check out his website or contact Justin the owner.

9/10/23 1:50 p.m.

I've had plastic mats covering my 2 car garage for about 22 years. They served their purpose. Made my floor easy to clean, provided some insulation. Allowed me to perform routine maintenance on my cars. Fluid changes, brake changes, tire rotation etc. After 2 decades they were over due for replacement. I researched most of the options mentioned in this article. After months of reviewing all the choices out there I went with polyaspartic (not sure if I spelled it correctly).  It's similar to epoxy but supposedly superior. I chose it over epoxy for 1 primary reason. Curing Time. Hours vs epoxy which is days. This way I had to leave all my stuff out on my driveway for only a few hours not days. The new floor completely  transformed my garage. It made it a space I enjoyed working in. Even my wife who was a bit skeptical about spending the money to have it professionally done was impressed & very happy with end result. 

But, now after 6 months there are tire stains on the floor. My cars were not driven at high speeds in hot weather and immediately parked hot rubber on the floor. Just normal driving. I tried every cleaning product I had with no improvement. I contacted the company that put the floor down and they suggested denatured alcohol. It helped but did not completely remove the stains. I had some fairly heavy rubber floor mats lying around doing nothing. I cut them into 18" by 24" rectangles and now park my tires onto these mats. I guess what I'm getting at is there is no perfect garage flooring surface. Bottom line is you just gott-a find what works for you.

I apologize for any misspellings or grammatical errors. Typing on my tiny phone screen.

BimmerMaven Reader
9/11/23 12:57 a.m.

i put U-COAT-IT on cured but new floor with my new shop 19 years ago.

1-2 d/wk for 8 yrs; 5 d/wk since.  has held up very well.  no peeling .  no damage from any spills.  welding spatter will hurt it.

i don't park cars after driving, but I'd guess there'd be no issue with sticky tires.

I am a stickler for details, and follow directions closely...re prep and cure times and temps.  

very happy with result.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/11/23 9:26 a.m.

Hey, check out those green wheels. :) 

StuntmanMike New Reader
10/13/23 1:35 p.m.

I used Rust Bullet concrete coating (aluminum color) after having such a good experience with their vehicle undercoating on my off roader. This stuff hardens like plastic and looks good. I mixed in sand to create a nice nonslip coating. Dont remember the ratio but easy to find on google. It does get shadows from moisture that wicks up in the slab but a year and a half in hasnt lifted. Best part is nothing can touch it, brake fluid, oil and various fluids pretty much wipe up. 

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