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Discussion Starter #1
I figure my fellow Ascent owners would have strong qualified opinions about garage floors. What have you had success with that:
  • Protects the concrete from getting stained (we keep good cars, but stains are inevitable on bare concrete, even from just dirt and water, if not oil and coolant).
  • Resilient (doesn't peel up)
  • Grippy (epoxy surfaces can be slippery when wet)
  • Reasonably nice looking
In our past two homes, we've tried two epoxy coating vendors with different kinds of "grippy chips" in their mix. Neither has helped the coating from becoming really slippery when wet. The second vendor's started to peel up under hot tires after 6 years, even though we prepped the install really well (waited for dry weather and aired the surface for days).

What works for you?

I don't really like the puzzle-piece rubber mats, as they get smelly after a while.

How about just a concrete waterproofing sealant?

F.S.
 

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I have to have a nice garage floor. I consider a garage to be one of the most valuable components of a house. My garage is also my workshop and I spend a lot of time in it. In the past, I tried everything to cover my garage floors, concrete sealant, garage floor paint, even expensive epoxy paint. Nothing would last and after a few years, it would look worse when the stuff wore off unevenly. Nothing sticks to concrete for very long, especially if you have winter road salt.

Many years ago I found an excellent house which I loved. It had only one major flaw, water had seeped under the concrete garage floor, froze, and cracked it badly. I was able to resolve the water issue and patched the floor as best I could but it would never be the same. I was about to have the floor jackhammered, removed, and repoured at a cost of $6K when I had a great idea. Instead of replacing it, I would cover it. However, I discovered that the floor coverings they sell specifically for garages were overpriced, too thin, too delicate, and even smelled bad.

I was about to give up on the idea when I came across 4 ft. x 6 ft. x 3/4 in. thick Rubber Stall Mats which I found at Tractor Supply. These things are amazing. They're virtually indestructible. They're made of 3/4" thick rubber which can take any abuse you can throw at it. Drop a sledgehammer and it bounces right off. Spill oil, gas, kerosene, paint, antifreeze, hydraulic fluid, even brake fluid and it wipes right off. Winter road salt washes right off with zero effect and of course, it's waterproof. Eight years of driving cars on it every day, and it still looks new. Even hot metal drops from welding had no effect. It takes everything you can throw at it. If all that wasn't enough, it insulates the floor. You can stand, lie, sit, kneel on it all day even in the coldest weather and you don't get that bone-chilling cold as you do from concrete. It's great on your body and on your cars. It's the best and most practical garage floor covering ever, it'll never wear out. It's 3/4" thick!

I did my entire 24'x24' floor for around $1K, best money I ever spent. I'll never have to do it again. It even looks great, a nice matte black finish which you can even wax if you want, I do. These are ultra-high quality mats from Canada, they are made of top-grade, hard rubber and leave no smell whatsoever. Most people have a Tractor Supply nearby, go take a look at them.

They're quite easy to install, You can cut them to fit with a circular saw and a jigsaw. My son and I installed the entire floor in one day. They wear like iron. Eight years of very hard use so far and it still looks new.

So if you're looking for the ultimate, indestructible, near-perfect, lifetime garage floor, try this. I guarantee you'll love it.

If anyone is interested in any more details or would like a photo, let me know.
 

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Wow - color me intrigued. I too have tried it all and am still looking for a great floor treatment.
So you can use sharp edged jack stands on them and lift a vehicle etc?
 

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Wow - color me intrigued. I too have tried it all and am still looking for a great floor treatment.
So you can use sharp edged jack stands on them and lift a vehicle etc?
Yep, done that a lot, and it doesn't even leave a mark. I'm amazed at these mats, they take whatever you throw at them. They're perfect for very heavy duty garage use, there's nothing I know of that's tougher.

Buy one and torture test it yourself.
 

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I have the Tractor Supply stall mats in the bed of my pickup. Unfortunately they do smell - badly of chemicals. It's been two years with my truck parked outside (with a bed cover) and the mats still outgass that awful chemical smell.

I was under the impression that just about all DIY garage floor epoxy paints fail. But commercially installed coverings tend to last. Is that not true? And can not the installer use a heavier grit to help keep it from being so slippery?
 

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Even he best acid prepped epoxy floors wear over time. I’ve seen it over and over. And there is no touch-up or patching. Whole thing has to be redone. They can also get cut and peeled with floor jacks and jack stands.
One fear I have with mats or tiles is water drainage (or lack of) in the winter. A lot of ice and junk drops on the garage floor and drains downgrade, to be swept/sprayed out later. It sucks, but it’s doable.
Heavy mats and tiles can make that whole thing a messy, laborious ordeal.
 

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I have the Tractor Supply stall mats in the bed of my pickup. Unfortunately they do smell - badly of chemicals. It's been two years with my truck parked outside (with a bed cover) and the mats still outgass that awful chemical smell.

I was under the impression that just about all DIY garage floor epoxy paints fail. But commercially installed coverings tend to last. Is that not true? And can not the installer use a heavier grit to help keep it from being so slippery?
I have zero smell with mine, and I'm very sensitive to such things. Perhaps stores in different regions procure them from different sources. Mine came from Canada and "Made in Canada" is stamped on each one.

I suggest to anyone who's interested to go check them out at Tractor Supply. Buy only one and see how it works out before you decide to do the whole floor.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Do the Tractor Supply mats that you have just butt against each other? I guess 3/4" is pretty tall and doesn't shift.
T.P.
 

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Even he best acid prepped epoxy floors wear over time. I’ve seen it over and over. And there is no touch-up or patching. Whole thing has to be redone. They can also get cut and peeled with floor jacks and jack stands.
One fear I have with mats or tiles is water drainage (or lack of) in the winter. A lot of ice and junk drops on the garage floor and drains downgrade, to be swept/sprayed out later. It sucks, but it’s doable.
Heavy mats and tiles can make that whole thing a messy, laborious ordeal.
That's been my experience with all types of garage floor paints. Between my father and I, we tested them all. Never again.

Concerning drainage, the mats are waterproof and will not absorb water in any way. If your garage floor was built with a downgrade, as it should have been, the mats will also retain that downgrade as they simply sit on top and change nothing with that. If built with a central floor drain as mine was, you can still use it by cutting a circular hole in the mat (see photo below). Clearing snow, ice, dirt, and water off of the mats is no harder than on the concrete floor, in fact, it's easier because everything slides right off and cannot stick or soak in like with concrete. The mats also prevent road salt from destroying (etching) your concrete floor. If you should ever damage a mat (although I don't see how), they come right off and are easily replaceable individually.

Everyone who has seen this garage floor is blown away and I receive lots of compliments. Several of my friends and family have done their floors after seeing mine. Folks, this is a great solution for garage floors, it's worked out perfectly for me so I'm just trying to share it forward. If you're thinking about covering your floors, I can think of no better solution.

Here's what they look like installed:
2864


2865


As you can see, I put a coat of industrial wax on top. But that was just for show, you don't need it. The surface is impervious to almost everything.

These were installed over a garage floor that was severely cracked and damaged, yet it made the floor look like new.
 

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Do the Tractor Supply mats that you have just butt against each other? I guess 3/4" is pretty tall and doesn't shift.
T.P.
Yes, they butt right together and never move as they each weigh a ton. They're cut very precisely and fit together perfectly, installation is fast and easy because they're so large. You simply lay them in place. If you should ever get a slight gap in a seam or near a wall, you can simply fill it with black RTV silicone.
 

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Yea, those stall mats are excellent for this alternative use. If I could start over, I'd have them on my shop floor for sure...I have it mostly covered with ULine anti-fatigue mats, but they wear over time and there is still a lot of exposed concrete. It's too complicated to retrofit at this point with my heavy tools and the disruption it would cause now that it's also a part time business. Moving around a 1500lb sliding table saw, a 1000 lb CNC machine and several other almost 800 lbs machines isn't going to happen at this point!

 

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That's been my experience with all types of garage floor paints. Between my father and I, we tested them all. Never again.

Concerning drainage, the mats are waterproof and will not absorb water in any way. If your garage floor was built with a downgrade, as it should have been, the mats will also retain that downgrade as they simply sit on top and change nothing with that. If built with a central floor drain as mine was, you can still use it by cutting a circular hole in the mat (see photo below). Clearing snow, ice, dirt, and water off of the mats is no harder than on the concrete floor, in fact, it's easier because everything slides right off and cannot stick or soak in like with concrete. The mats also prevent road salt from destroying (etching) your concrete floor. If you should ever damage a mat (although I don't see how), they come right off and are easily replaceable individually.

Everyone who has seen this garage floor is blown away and I receive lots of compliments. Several of my friends and family have done their floors after seeing mine. Folks, this is a great solution for garage floors, it's worked out perfectly for me so I'm just trying to share it forward. If you're thinking about covering your floors, I can think of no better solution.

Here's what they look like installed:
View attachment 2864

View attachment 2865

As you can see, I put a coat of industrial wax on top. But that was just for show, you don't need it. The surface is impervious to almost everything.

These were installed over a garage floor that was severely cracked and damaged, yet it made the floor look like new.
That looks great! So even though you can semi-tightly butt the mats together, water WILL get through the joints and underneath the mats when cleaning or with snow/ice in the winter. You haven’t had an issue will smell or mold or anything? That was an issue with a lot of the folks that did the tiles..
The gears are turning here. Did you have a pallet delivered or did you transport all of those yourself?
They’re freakin HEAVY.
 

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I question the stability using floor jack, stands, anything that has legs, like my compound miter saw, table saw, ladder, etc. I have all my benches and cabinets in rollers. They ar heavy. They roll well on concrete, but even thin wipe your feet rugs will hang them up. What about motorcycle on a kick stand?
Water still would get under through the joints I'd think. Concrete wicks moisture up through the earth. My door mats in the garage show darker under them due to moisture. How are those issues addressed?
Good to have learned not to waste time with paints though. Thanks.
I was in Costco the other day. Shiny clear finish on their concrete floor. What do they use? Other warehouses too use sealants I see. What are those?
 

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That looks great! So even though you can semi-tightly butt the mats together, water WILL get through the joints and underneath the mats when cleaning or with snow/ice in the winter. You haven’t had an issue will smell or mold or anything? That was an issue with a lot of the folks that did the tiles..
The gears are turning here. Did you have a pallet delivered or did you transport all of those yourself?
They’re freakin HEAVY.
They are indeed freakin heavy. I transported them all at once in my poor, abused trailer. The trailer springs were completely compressed and the trailer is rated for one ton. If I had to do it again I guess I would have done two trips.

Not much if any water gets through the seams and cannot easily get under the mats due to their weight. It hasn't been a problem in all the years I've had it. As I mentioned before, if you want, you can easily caulk between the seams with black silicone RTV during installation or afterward if a gap should appear. I never had any mold or smell at all.
 

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From TS website I see they have this in a 12'x12' puzzle lock with pieces 4x4 and straight edges on the sides. I like that idea for a couple reasons,. Need to know how well it holds up to the generic 4x6 mats. Also reviews mixed: seems there are multiple venders over the years with varying degrees of density and quality of sizing.
 

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I question the stability using floor jack, stands, anything that has legs, like my compound miter saw, table saw, ladder, etc. I have all my benches and cabinets in rollers. They ar heavy. They roll well on concrete, but even thin wipe your feet rugs will hang them up. What about motorcycle on a kick stand?
Water still would get under through the joints I'd think. Concrete wicks moisture up through the earth. My door mats in the garage show darker under them due to moisture. How are those issues addressed?
Good to have learned not to waste time with paints though. Thanks.
I was in Costco the other day. Shiny clear finish on their concrete floor. What do they use? Other warehouses too use sealants I see. What are those?
These mats are not soft rubber, they are ultra heavy-duty hard rubber. They're designed for horse stalls. Think of the psi exerted on them daily from the metal horseshoes of a 2,000 lb horse.

No issues at all with floor jack stands, motorcycle kickstands, or very heavy machinery. I use them all the time with my 5,000 lb capacity QuickJack. I've had my 4,600 lb Ascent on the lift for days, didn't even leave a mark. As far as machinery, they easily handle my very heavy Delta Belt Sander and my 3HP Grizzly Table saw, it weighs over 500 lbs. I wheel these heavy machines all over the floor on narrow metal wheels with zero issues. My massive two-tier rolling Craftsman tool chest is 100% full of tools and extremely heavy. It rolls around easily. Right now in the other bay, I have a freakin backhoe sitting on top of the mats. Trust me, there are no issues at all with these bearing very heavy weights and massive psi. They never cease to amaze me. Again, if anyone has any doubts just go check them out. Buy one, bring it home and test it yourself. On sale, they're only about 40 bucks or so.

As far as water goes, I simply don't have any issues. Water stays on the top and rolls right off. My poor concrete garage floor used to be utterly soaked in salty water for months on end in the winter. Even if a thin film of water was to work it's way under a mat, it's certainly better than that. It's a garage floor, for heaven's sake, unless you live where it doesn't snow or rain, it's going to get wet. I live in Northern New England, nobody's garage floor is going to take a beating worse than mine. I even weld metal on top of these.

These mats saved my garage floor, I couldn't be happier with them.
 

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From TS website I see they have this in a 12'x12' puzzle lock with pieces 4x4 and straight edges on the sides. I like that idea for a couple reasons,. Need to know how well it holds up to the generic 4x6 mats. Also reviews mixed: seems there are multiple venders over the years with varying degrees of density and quality of sizing.
You can always check them out for yourself at your local TS store. Nothing's 100% perfect, but you won't find anything more rugged for garage floor use.
 

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I figure my fellow Ascent owners would have strong qualified opinions about garage floors. What have you had success with that:
  • Protects the concrete from getting stained (we keep good cars, but stains are inevitable on bare concrete, even from just dirt and water, if not oil and coolant).
  • Resilient (doesn't peel up)
  • Grippy (epoxy surfaces can be slippery when wet)
  • Reasonably nice looking
In our past two homes, we've tried two epoxy coating vendors with different kinds of "grippy chips" in their mix. Neither has helped the coating from becoming really slippery when wet. The second vendor's started to peel up under hot tires after 6 years, even though we prepped the install really well (waited for dry weather and aired the surface for days).

What works for you?

I don't really like the puzzle-piece rubber mats, as they get smelly after a while.

How about just a concrete waterproofing sealant?

F.S.
I will ask the folks who apply the epoxy in the pharma labs where I have been doing work. That material is really heavy duty but I do not know how it handles heat. I suspect they will have some thoughts that I will share.
 

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I figure my fellow Ascent owners would have strong qualified opinions about garage floors. What have you had success with that:
  • Protects the concrete from getting stained (we keep good cars, but stains are inevitable on bare concrete, even from just dirt and water, if not oil and coolant).
  • Resilient (doesn't peel up)
  • Grippy (epoxy surfaces can be slippery when wet)
  • Reasonably nice looking
In our past two homes, we've tried two epoxy coating vendors with different kinds of "grippy chips" in their mix. Neither has helped the coating from becoming really slippery when wet. The second vendor's started to peel up under hot tires after 6 years, even though we prepped the install really well (waited for dry weather and aired the surface for days).

What works for you?

I don't really like the puzzle-piece rubber mats, as they get smelly after a while.

How about just a concrete waterproofing sealant?

F.S.
I learned that at the facility I am working at their epoxy installed costs $80/sq ft. I do not know what they use but I suspect it has features that you do not require since it is in a pharma lab (resistance to chemical attack, thermal shock and abrasion, sanitation, facility safety). The installers suggested using a product that can be purchased at Sherwin Williams. 3479 wb for first and second coats and a 4408 part A & part B clear top coat (part B actually comes in different colors) for the last coat. Mix in aluminum oxide powder in the top coat for wear. They did not specify the oxide. I think you should contact Sherwin Williams industrial division listed on the first link above and ask them the detailed questions.

Epoxy versus polyurethane good video to help you match your needs.
 
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