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Your resource for garage flooring options, ideas, tips, and repair

Choosing the Best Garage Floor Mats for Snow and Winter

Choosing the best garage floor mat for snow is an important consideration when it comes to protecting your garage from the icy grip of winter.  Not only will they keep damaging road salts and deicers away from your bare concrete, they will also help to keep your garage floor clean as well as prevent slip fall accidents from the water that pools up and sometimes freezes overnight on the floor.

Best containment mats for snow

If you live in a climate with large snow falls, then a containment garage floor mat would be the best choice by far.  These mats are designed to hold gallons of water for those days when the bottom of your car resembles more a snow plow than your daily vehicle.  There are two brands that we can recommend.

Park Smart containment mat

The first is the Park Smart Clean Park containment mat.  These mats have been around for quite a while now and are available in a variety of sizes from 3’x4’ to 9’x22’.  You can park something as small as a snow blower to as big as a large truck or SUV.

Made of polyvinyl, these mats come with plastic snap-in borders that contain the water and snow.  You can remove the liquid with a wet vac, mop, or just unclip the edge at the garage door and squeegee the water out to the driveway.

containment garage floor mat

They are available in a standard 20 mil and heavy duty 50 mil thick polyvinyl.  By most accounts, the 50 mil mat is the most recommended as the 20 mil mats have developed a reputation of not holding up well to repeated use.  Another benefit is that you can use studded snow tires with these mats if you purchase the additional 50 mil thick protector strips for the tires.

One thing we want to mention is that while these containment mats work great, some people have voiced frustration over having to clip the edges in with this mat for installation and removal of the edges for storage.   We feel that it’s not that inconvenient if you are only installing and storing the mats once a year, but there has been reports of the occasional edge that can break.

Auto Floor Guard containment mat

The second brand and our favorite mat, is the Auto Floor Guard containment mat.  These are a fairly new introduction to the market and have been getting great reviews.  What makes these mats unique is the fact that you don’t need to assemble any parts.  You just roll it out shiny side down and you are ready to go.  They also roll up fairly easy to store away again for the next winter.


These mats are less expensive than the heavy duty Park Smart mats and are made of a very durable PVC coated Polyester Scrim fabric instead of plastic sheeting.  This makes for a tough and flexible material.  Because it is made of a fabric and not plastic sheeting, it isn’t measured in mils of thickness like plastic mats.

The edges are constructed of 1” round high density foam that is heat sealed into the edges of the mat.  8′.6″x18’ is the only size that is currently available. You can find the best price with free shipping here.

** Update **

auto floor guard best containment matAuto Floor Guard has just released a new premium version of their very successful containment mat.  The new version has taller 1.25” edges to contain even more snow and water than their standard mat.  This is an advantage for the cars and trucks that collect a lot of snow as well as to the average procrastinator who doesn’t care for having to squeegee the water out very often. :)

This mat also has a different size of 7’.9”x18’ as well.  This narrower size is to help accommodate those with a smaller 1 car garage.  Just be sure to click on “premium” when placing your order.

Another feature that we like is removing liquids and snow from the Auto Floor Guard mat. It is easier than the Park Smart mat since you can squeegee water right over the rounded edges without having to unsnap anything.  They are not recommended for studded snow tires however.

Garage mats for light snow and rain

For those of you who get the occasional snow fall and don’t feel the need to contain such large amounts of water and debris, there are two more mats that are worth your consideration.

The first would be the Drymate Fabric Garage Floor Matdrymate garage floor matThese work well at absorbing liquids from snowmelt and provide for a soft ant-slip surface.  Made with waterproof, bonded backing, these mats will not let snowmelt, road salts, or deicing fluids reach your floor.  The material is made of 50% recycled fabric that can hold up to 5 times its weight in liquids.

They are available in a 7.4’x8.4’ size for small vehicles, motorcycles, or ATV’s and two sizes for cars and trucks – 7.4×17’ and 7.4×20’.  You can clean these mats with a vacuum once dry or use a wet vac on them when wet.  You can also drag them onto your driveway and hose them down with soap and water if needed.

ribbed garage floor matFinally there is the ribbed garage floor mat.  Though technically not a containment mat for snow or water, the ribs do work at holding moderate amounts of liquid if you have a level floor.  They can be mopped dry or use a wet vac to remove water and debris.  A squeegee does not work as well due to the raised ribs on the surface.  A broom is a better choice.

Made of polyvinyl, they are available in a variety of sizes from 7.4’x14’ to 10’x24’ and come in a standard 55 mil or commercial 75 mil thickness.  The ribs create an added non-slip benefit as well.

Best outdoor mat

best winter snow matWith all the talk about winter mats, we thought we would update you with what we think is one of the best outdoor mats available.  We purchased one of these before last winter and have been thoroughly impressed.

Made of recycled materials, this mat does not have a rubberized or foam backing that you need to worry about deteriorating or leaving imprints on your garage floor, entryway, or porch.  It is especially nice to use on an epoxy garage floor coating.  The stiff bristles do a great job of cleaning the underside of your shoes from loose snow, mud, and other gunk.

Debris from the bottom of your shoes falls through the slats and is neatly deposited on the floor.  Just lift up the mat and sweep up or vacuum the debris away.  Though a bit pricey, this mat is designed to last for years and may well be the best investment for a floor mat that you could make in the long run.  You can find the best price with free shipping here.

Final thoughts

Just remember to be smart when choosing what the best winter garage floor mat is for you.  If you deal with an abundance of snow then a containment mat is what you really need.  Our advice is to always purchase the heavy duty or commercial grade mat if it’s an option and your budget allows it.  The few extra dollars is money well spent.  We’ve heard more stories from people who purchased a cheap mat that didn’t make through the winter when others are on their third or fourth winter with the better mat.


Comments

  1. My husband and I bought the Auto Floor Guard mat to try this winter since we haven’t been happy with what we have used in the past. I must say that it was very easy to lay out and my husband was so impressed he ordered another one for our second car. We can both say that this mat is a good recommendation.

    • Thanks for the positive reply Peggy. We were made aware of this mat by some friends and family members who had started using it. As a result we had to look into it ourselves. We think they are great too and is why we decided to write about it.

  2. I bought an Auto Floor Guard last week for my SUV. It works real well and is easy to clean out. As a tip, when pulling on to it or driving out it helps to keep your wheels straight. If you turn too much the mat will bunch up. Other than that I’m happy with it.

  3. We had the Park Smart mat for 2 years and it did an adequate job. We replaced it last month with the Auto Floor Guard mat after the tabs on one side of our Park Smart mat broke from driving on it. So far this mat is working good and it’s much easier to set up with no more edges to snap in place. It can tell it will be much easier to store as well. I agree with what Jeff said, it’s important not to turn your wheel if the car is not moving. So far I would recommend this mat.

  4. I just bought the Auto Floor mat last month and really like it so far. My previous mat was the heavy duty version of the Park Smart which lasted almost 4 years before I made a bone head mistake and tore it up with my ATV (long story). It worked great for me. I think the Park Smart actually holds more water, but the Auto Floor is so much easier to just squeegee out that I don’t think it matters. I would wait till I had a small swimming pool with the other mat because I didn’t want to mess with the clips. I give it a thumbs up.

  5. With the different weather conditions like snow and rain, there is the utmost need to go for the right flooring to protect our garage, our cars and even ourselves. We’ve known of Park Smart but the others are new for us, so thank you!

  6. Well, after a lot web surfing, I’ve decided to give the AutoFloorGuard a try. Live in Minnesota, and have a lot of snow melt off the car, and even more off the snowmobile and trailer. I’m going to go with a custom size. Distance from outer edge of one tire to outer edge of tire on other side is 6 feet. With the containment edge being 1 – 1/4 inches, I was thinking about specifying a width of 7 feet, which leaves a overhang of 4 – 3/4 inches on each side. If anyone happens to read this, would you have an opinion on what amounts to a adequate overhang. My garage is a double, but it’s a smaller garage, so space is a bit of a premium. Also, is there a containment edge on all 4 edges, or just 3 ? The point being, is there an end without an edge to squeegee all the snow and water out ?

    • Hello Mike. These are great questions and hopefully others will respond as well. What is considered generally acceptable in the industry is to have a containment mat that is 2 feet longer and wider than the total length (bumper to bumper) and width of the vehicle (not just wheel track). This allows for a little wiggle room when pulling a vehicle in and out. It also allows for snow that can slide off the hood or roof of your vehicle and still land on the mat. The minimum you want is 1 foot longer and wider if you can help it.

      Containment mats have edges all the way around to hold the water in and keep it from running out onto the garage floor. The Park Smart containment mat has snap in edges which need to be removed at one end when you want to squeegee the water and contaminants out. The design of the Auto Floor Guard containment mat lets you squeegee water right over the edge and is one of the reasons it is our favorite.

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