How to Replace Your Garage Floor
Your garage floor withstands some serious abuse. It sees scuff marks, dirt, debris, runoff, tracks and the heavy weight of your car, lawn equipment, and storage, as well as plenty of water seepage from rainy and snowy days.
Eventually, this daily wear and tear will impact its integrity, no matter how durable your garage floor might seem. Even concrete can succumb to water damage after wet winters, and when cracks begin to form, there’s no going back to its original form. You’ll need to replace it—fortunately, this project can be done yourself, and you don’t have to be a master carpenter to implement a brand new garage floor.
Concrete Garage Floors
Concrete is a common material used in garage floors and although you might figure it to be one of the strongest and most infallible, it’s surface can quickly be compromised at the exposure of water, weather, and temperature fluctuations. Sometimes, concrete floors can be repaired, especially if they’ve been installed correctly with the appropriate slab separations and contraction joints. Other times, it’s better to simply replace them.
Why concrete floors crack:
- The result of a poor mix of concrete, or a concrete mix that utilized low quality materials like iron pyrite.
- Weather can be a harsh factor in ruining garage floors. If the garage doesn’t have any temperature control, the extreme temperatures can cause shrinkage and expansion, which leads to racking.
- Water damage is common in garages and almost unavoidable. It’s a big reason why your floor might need to be replaced. If there are no drains or the foundation isn’t protected from moisture, cracking and floor damage is imminent.
- Improper construction might be the reason why your garage floor didn’t last as long as it should have. This can include poor or incomplete prep work before the floor was installed, too.
- Time can make the floor settle and crack, a factor you really can’t control, but making sure you do a thorough job on floor prep and construction can help with this.
Interlocking Tile Garage Floors
First, remove everything out from your garage. This includes everything sitting on the garage floor (cars, storage, and equipment), as well as anything hanging on the walls or ceilings that could get in the way. Thoroughly clean up dust and debris.
Depending on what type of floor you’ll be upgrading to, you’ll either demolish the damaged floor or you’ll lay tile or other flooring material overtop the current floor’s surface. If you choose to lay down rubber matting, tiles, or other easy-to-install garage flooring, the system will likely be an interlocking one. This simplifies the process, so even if you feel like you haven’t tackled anything beyond a basic do-it-yourself project before, you can definitely lay down matting in your garage.
If you choose interlocking tiles as your new floor, start at the longest wall of the garage door, locking them together. Continue making a single row of tiles, leaving ¼”-½” gap between the tiles and the wall. Proceed into making an “L” shape with the tiles inside your garage, then fill the “L” by moving across the garage’s opening, down the longest wall until filled. You’ll probably have an overlap by the time you’re finished, but this can be resolved with a saw, utility knife, or any other tool recommended by the manufacturer. This is the easiest type of new garage floor to install and doesn’t require any heavy equipment, demolition, or difficulty.
Installing a Concrete Garage Floor
Installing a concrete garage floor is a different story and is only recommended if you truly know what you’re doing. The basic premise of creating a new concrete garage floor from scratch is as follows:
- Building a frame for the garage floor. This will contain the cement mix and create the floor’s shape and boundaries. Typically, these frames are created from wood, nailed together, and secured by weights.
- Evening out the floor. This is essential in creating a level floor. A level garage floor means drainage, and if water can drain properly, you can avoid the issue of water damage and moisture seepage, which quickly ruins concrete.
- Mixing the concrete. Be sure to use high-quality mixtures and products. A poor mixture can result in early cracking—and you’ll be right back at square one.
- Pouring the concrete. Pouring an even layer of concrete is as important as evening out the floor initially. You want an even surface.
- Professionals will insert rods around the edges of freshly poured concrete, and if the area is large, they’ll insert rods or rebar through the middle to ensure stability and prevent breakage.
- A trowel will be used to smooth the surface, and you’ll continue pouring the mixture for the desired thickness.
- The floor will need at least a day to dry, possibly longer. Check the concrete instructions to be sure. Remove the frame once it is completely dried.
For projects that involve demolition and installing a new concrete floor, you will want to contact a professional to do the job if you’re not experienced. It’s better to have it done right than have it done cheaply, otherwise you could find yourself with wasted time, money, and materials, and the need to have the floor replaced—again.
Does Your Garage Need an Upgrade?
Since 1959, Chicagoland homeowners have counted on Danley’s to build the best garages. Your new garage will be perfect for whatever you want to use it for. You won’t be limited in the type of garage flooring you can use because the foundation and ground will be brand new and level.
Get a quote online for your new garage project and see why over 100,000 customers trust Danley’s.