Porcelain tile garage floors are fast becoming one of the more popular choices for the garage today. The reason for this is that people are slowly realizing the benefits that this tile has to offer. After all, if it’s used for commercial applications such as automotive dealerships, car repair facilities, and hotel porticos for example, it can easily be used for your garage. Not only do these floors look nice, they also afford some of the best protection that a floor covering can provide.
The protection of a porcelain tile garage is a result of the way the tile is manufactured. It is an exceptionally dense material that absorbs less than 0.5% of water. This density, plus the firing process it goes through for the final finish makes it particularly resistant to scratching, abrasion, impacts, and chipping. Because it has the same color throughout the tile, if you do happen to chip it, it retains the same color and will not stand out. The ability of the tile to retain almost no moisture at all is what makes it almost stain and frost proof. Oil, chemicals, and different fluids from your car just wipe right up, even if they have been sitting for a long time. They are very easy to keep clean and you don’t have to worry about the products you use to clean the tile damaging the surface. And no, it isn’t real slippery when wet like many people assume.
Not all porcelain tiles will stand up to the rigors of a garage floor and that is why they are rated for both hardness and skid resistance to determine which ones do. The Porcelain Enamel Institute provides a rating for hardness expressed as PEI. This hardness rating determines how well the surface will stand up to traffic in terms of wear, abrasion, and damage to the surface. For a garage you want to choose a tile with a rating of 4 or 5. A rating of 4 is more than adequate for a garage and a tile rated 5 can handle commercial traffic. The skid resistance ratings are determined by their coefficient of friction. A rating of 0.50 to 0.59 (wet) meets the general safety regulations for OSHA. Tile rated 0.60 (wet) is more skid resistant and meets or exceeds general safety requirements for the ADA. To get a baseline, tile rated 0.55 is similar to bare wet concrete.
In terms of cost, nice looking porcelain tile that would meet the requirements for a garage floor can be found for as low as $1.00 a square foot from home improvement centers. Depending on what kind of texture and colors you would like, it is easy to spend as much as $4.00 or more. Another expense to factor in is grout and the thinset for laying the tile. The darker colors of grout are more favorable for staying clean looking. If you don’t install it yourself, factor in $2.00 to $3.00 a square foot in labor for an installer depending on your area. So even with hiring an installer, it’s possible to have a floor completed for less than $4.00 a square foot. That is a tremendous deal.
For the durability of a high traffic garage and a beautiful looking floor, it’s hard to beat the value of a porcelain tile garage floor. It will provide years and years of stain free service and be the envy of the neighborhood.