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.
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 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 Mat. These 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.
Finally 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
With 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.
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.