There are plenty of ways to handle your garage, ranging from ignoring the crumbling, stained cement floor to an epoxy flooring upgrade that leaves you with a vibrant, eye-catching look. Somewhere between the two lies plastic garage floor tiles, which have seen a resurgence in popularity lately. Since we’ve torn out dozens of these pseudo-permanent flooring solutions in the San Francisco Bay Area alone, we’ve picked up a few common gripes from local homeowners that we’ll share with you today.
Why Local Homeowners Regret Installing Plastic Garage Flooring Tiles
Below, you’ll find the most common reasons that San Francisco Bay Area homeowners have contacted us to replace their garage flooring after opting for a plastic tile solution. If these sound like concerns you may have about the tiles’ too good to be true claims, then you may want to consider a garage floor epoxy or other garage floor coating instead.
Not Actually Waterproof
When you think of the list of “must-haves” for a garage floor, it seems almost redundant to include waterproof. Garage floors need to be able to withstand the moisture from a car fresh out of the rain, a hose off to clear oil or workshop debris, and generally be sealed for spill-proofing; if a garage floor isn’t waterproofed, is it really eligible to be called a garage flooring solution? Isn’t that why we don’t use wood flooring in the garage? These concerns are all valid and point to the most common and major weakness of plastic garage tiles.
While the surface of the plastic tiles is (almost always) completely waterproofed while in good condition, the tiles are, after all, tiles that aren’t sealed with a masonry grout; moisture can, and likely will, seep through the connections between tiles to sit and fester below. Any amount of moisture below your garage floor can lead to a musty smell, mildew, or even mold spores. Worst of all, there is no good way to address this issue short of tearing out the entire flooring system; when most San Francisco area homeowners are faced with this issue, they choose not to put back the plastic tiles – which is where our garage flooring team usually comes in.
Not Actually Permanent
As mentioned above, the surface of the plastic tiles repels water while in good condition, but what happens when that condition becomes less than optimal? Well, not only could you be faced with a leaking or non-waterproofed tile surface, but it will become obviously poor looking, or even fracture into jagged, potentially tire-tearing shards. These tiles are essentially made out of the same material as a PVC pipe, which, as anyone who has done indoor plumbing knows, can become sharp or fractured relatively easily. If you drop or roughly set down something heavy in your garage, you could be faced with a chipped, cracked, or fractured tile immediately. Even without a heavy trauma, your vehicles themselves will eventually cause the tiles under them to fail. This is a sore spot for many local homeowners, as they believe they were oversold on the potential lifespan of this garage flooring system, which makes them quite surprised when they’re replacing it, often within a few years.
Garage Floors Aren’t Level Workstations
One assumption homeowners get wrong when considering this DIY-style garage flooring is that their garage floor is level and ready to accept a rigid, flat surface. In fact, most garages are, by design, not level; by being un-level, water, oil, dust, and debris can all easily get kept away from your most commonly used surfaces, ushered to your garage door or to drains. Now, imagine if you were to try to place a single, rigid piece of material over an un-level floor; you’d have a problem, right? Taking what we mentioned about its lack of longevity and propensity for cracking or chipping under pressure above into account, imagine what will happen when part of the floor tiles are floating slightly above the un-level surface below. Disaster, right? Now, what makes this even more worrisome is that often, the most “floating” tiles are those at the garage entrance – right where your cars enter and exit the garage, where the weight and pressure they apply to the flooring is at its highest. Now, this is assuming you’ll even be able to get the flooring installed all the way, when in actuality, many homeowners do not make it even out of this phase. Whether installation is impossible or your see the obvious flaw in the plan of a floating garage floor, you may not even get all your tiles into place before you’re looking at another type of garage flooring!
Minor Grievances & False Claims
It is tough to point to a lack of slip resistance or incredibly overstated claims of little-to-no maintenance involved as minor grievances, but, compared to the glaring issues above, most of the homeowners we talk to simply throw these in as a sort of afterthought as to why they’ll be glad to see this garage flooring out of their home. If you watch videos or read into plastic garage flooring tiles, then you’ll see all sorts of claims as to how you won’t have to worry about maintenance or slipping on another garage flooring, but most of these are just simply unfounded. In reality, you’ll likely need to replace one or more tiles entirely, regularly take up the flooring to remove sitting water below, or continually clean the floor after a couple of months in a hopeless attempt to restore how it once looked. As far as slip resistance goes, as the floor fades, it will become increasingly like walking on a PVC pipe, which is certainly slippery; plus, since there are grooves and gaps between the tiles, it becomes difficult to clean oil and water from between them, which can make the surface much more slippery. Again, these problems may not be as major as potentially ruining your tires, bringing mold into your home, or failing to install altogether, but they are still noteworthy issues that should give you reason to pause and reassess.
Contact Garage Solutions
If you’re interested in upgrading your garage flooring, then be sure to reach out to the experienced team at Garage Solutions. We are the San Francisco Bay Area’s number one choice for inspired garage flooring and overall renovation; our highly experienced team isn’t afraid to dream big with you from the first complimentary consultation through the completion of your dream garage. Plus, our epoxy flooring gives you far more durability, usability, and even customization options to make your garage look and function exactly like how you want it. Don’t get oversold and under delivered on another garage flooring, work together with us to get it right the first time!
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