My Real GarageSo, this site could obviously not be called David's Garage without me having an actual garage to store my car in. Apparently, to save money, homebuilders have decided that it would cost them too much to actually finish the garage. The garages in my area aren't painted, just done with sheetrock and tape. This lasted all of two weeks before I bought 5 gallons of Lowe's finest and most modestly priced paint in the ravishing tone of bridge abutment gray. Two coats and $30 later, it was done and looked a thousand times better. Then I had to decide on flooring.
Now, before you get to the good stuff, you should know that decorating my garage was not an easy process. Lots of time, effort, and research went into making my garage what it is. It seems that people don't quite understand or are unclear on the concept of why someone would spend perfectly good money on fixing up their garage. I told a few people at work, and they pretty much stared at me as if I was one of those magic eye pictures. Apparently, bare concrete is good enough for the majority of traffic clogging grocery getters that the masses drive. Anyway, before this even started, I was torn as to what kind of floors to get. There are many choices, all with their benefits and drawbacks, and all at different price points. I read almost every single flooring post at garagejournal.com (and let me tell you that there there are some pretty swanky garages on that site) to see what the options and pros and cons were. I really had my heart set on epoxy, because it just looks so darn good, and that ultra-super lustrous wet-look gloss coat gets me every time. I also considered the Racedeck/snap-in type tiles. First, there are several things you need to know about epoxy. First, there are a million companies that sell it, all of varying prices and quality. There's the $60 stuff from Home Depot and Lowe's, all the way up to kilobuck mega-epoxy. I learned a lot about concrete moisture levels, VOC's, solids based epoxies, etc. However, the common thread is that almost everyone agreed that you need at least twice whatever the manufacturer's square footage rating is. Many people complained about inadequate coverage, thin layers, and the need to buy twice the amount you think. The only thing that scared me was when I saw pictures of epoxy floors that have started peeling, with many people indicating that they had followed the floor prep instructions to the letter. My main issue was how to repair it when it starts peeling, and I decided that I didn't want to go through that. I then considered the Racedeck tiles, and they look fantastic on the site, but man are they pricey. It would have cost me over $1,000 for my plain-jane two car garage. I then took a third option that I had not even considered. There were plenty people using Vinyl Composite Tile, or VCT. Not to be confused with vinyl peel-n-stick tiles, this is the stuff normally found in supermarkets, stores, and other high-traffic areas. It's extremely durable, looks good, is priced right, and relatively easy to get off in case I drop an engine on one. You have to buy the tiles and the adhesive separately, so I decided on a black and gray checkerboard pattern, and then I bought all of the materials and a trowel and it was time to go to work. This is the first time I've done a floor, but my do-it-yourself gene won't let me to pay someone to do it. On with the pics:
Completed shot with the garage cabinets installed, toolbox, and water softener
I think the finished result turned out pretty good, especially since it was my first time. It looks great, cleans up well, and my neighbors compliment me on how well it looks. A couple of times I've had the garage door open, and people have stopped and complimented me on how good it looks. Now it's time to find a car to park on it!