Garage Floor Tiles – Designing Your Custom Floor Dream

porcelain garage floor tiles
A porcelain tiled garage floor

When choosing garage floor tiles for your home, never before has there been such a large range of styles and materials to choose from.  Some of your options include interlocking floor tiles from popular companies like RaceDeck and SwissTrax.  PVC or rubber garage floor tiles, porcelain, and even peel and stick vinyl garage tiles.

Garage flooring can now be custom designed with color, texture, pattern, and durability in mind to match your flooring needs.

Besides the fantastic looks that garage floor tiles can offer, they provide tremendous benefits as well.  The best part is that some tile garage flooring can easily be installed in less than a day by the average person.  With that in mind, let’s take a look at the different tile options to see what the best garage flooring tiles are based on your needs and budget.

Interlocking Floor Tiles

RaceDeck interlocking garage floor tiles
by Dave Brewer Homes

Interlocking garage floor tiles are gaining fast momentum as some of the best options in garage floor coverings today.  Homeowners are quickly realizing how easy they are to install as well as the good looks and benefits that this modern day product delivers.  One of the more appealing aspects of interlocking tiles is that it enables the homeowner to custom design the floor of their garage to whatever suits their needs.

In fact, many companies have online tools that let you design your floor right on your computer.  You can choose an all solid color, multiple colors, do racing style checkered flag themes, create colored borders for car parking and storage areas, or even design walking paths between vehicles if you like.

Interlocking garage tiles are available in either the rigid polypropylene plastic or more flexible rubber like PVC tiles.  The benefits of this kind of garage floor coverings are impressive.  They are resistance to stains, chemicals, oils, and road salts.  The tiles are non-slip, U.V. resistant so they won’t fade in sunlight, and are mold and mildew resistant.   Sizing starts at 12″x12″ and can be as large as 24″x24″.

There are many surface patterns and sizes to choose from such as simulated diamond plate, coin pattern, free flow, and ribbed, all of which can stand up to the rigors of an active garage.  The best part is how easy they are to install.  Since they are “free floating”, meaning that they are not affixed to the floor, they just snap into place.  You can do an average garage in just a few hours.

            A nice example of how easy interlocking tiles assemble

Cost, of interlocking garage floor tiles can start as low as $1.90 per square foot for the least expensive rigid polypropylene and over $3.00 per square foot for the rubber-like PVC.  When choosing which tile is right for you, don’t forget to look at the warranties.  While the less expensive brands are attractive, they usually have a much shorter warranty. The more premium brands have warranties as high as 15 years.

Vinyl Composite Garage Floor Tile

VCT garage flooring - vinyl composite tile garage flooringVinyl composite tile for a garage floor, otherwise known as VCT, is another nice choice that is fairly easy to install if you like to do your own projects. These are the same sturdy tiles that you see in grocery stores and school hallways that are buffed to a high glossy shine.

Depending on the colors selected, they can provide a nice “retro” look to your garage floor that many people find appealing.  These tiles are generally 12”x12” x 1/8” thick and are glued into place.  The traditional black and white checkered look is easily the most popular.

Vinyl garage tiles have a nice glossy finish when waxed and buffed, are resistant to stains, automobile fluids and road salts though they can sometimes be a little slippery when wet.  As tough as these tiles can be, VCT can gouge from sharp objects and it might be wise to place a board under jack stands if you like to work on your car.

In terms of cost, VCT is the least expensive alternative in garage floor tile and can sometimes be found for as low as .69 cents a square foot with a little searching.  They are a great choice for a budget garage flooring.  Keep in mind that they still require general maintenance such as waxing and the occasional buffing to keep looking nice.

Installation is not as easy as interlocking tiles since the cement floor must be cleaned and prepped properly to accept the adhesive, but they can be installed in a weekend.  For the price and looks, this garage floor tile is by far the best option if you are on a budget.

Peel and Stick Vinyl Garage Tile

peel and stick garage floor tileA close cousin of VCT is the new polyvinyl peel and stick garage floor tiles.  These come with a pressure sensitive adhesive on the back that is exposed when you peel the release paper off.  This means that there is no glue required to put down on the concrete when you install them.  They also have a very glossy, non-porous finish that doesn’t require any waxing or special treatment like VCT and provides for even better protection from stains and spills.

Available in a diamond or levant (smooth) tread pattern, these durable tiles come in 12 different colors and two sizes, 12″x12″ and 24″x24″, to customize the look of your floor.  Cost is a little over $3.00 a square foot and they can be installed in a weekend.

Some people say that the hardest part about choosing this kind of tile is trying to determine which colors to go with since there are so many to choose from.

Porcelain Garage Floor Tile

porcelain garage floor tileSurprising to most people, one of the most durable and beautiful flooring options that can be installed is porcelain tile for the garage.  Porcelain is rated for both hardness and slip resistance and contrary to many beliefs, it is extremely difficult to scratch, break, or even chip.  Porcelain has been used for years in professional garages as the flooring of choice.  It stands up well to abuse, moisture, oils, stains, road salts, and more.  It even does well in cold climates where garage floors routinely see temperatures below freezing.  It is also very easy to keep clean.

Available in a multitude of sizes and color, it can be found for less than $1.00 a square foot with the appropriate ratings for your garage floor.  If you have some experience laying tile you will find that these can be installed without too much difficulty.  If you are unsure of your abilities then you can always find someone to install it for you for a fair price depending on your area of the country.

You can actually have a beautiful and professional looking porcelain garage floor installed for less than you think – especially if you do it yourself.  This is by far the best garage floor tile that you can install in terms of durability and resistance to staining.

No matter which type of product you choose, you can’t go wrong with garage floor tiles. They can add character, flair, class, and even attitude depending on your design.  Plus, you get a floor that is easy to maintain and one that all your neighbors and friends will envy.


  1. Nancy says

    Wow, I didn’t know there were so many choices of tile for my garage floor. I really like the inter-locking tiles. I think my husband could install these without messing anything up!

    • Shea says

      I’m glad you liked the interlocking tiles Nancy. Yes, the nice thing about them is that they are so easy to install – even for your husband.

  2. Marc E. says

    It’s nice to see all these choices. I really thought I was going to go with VCT for my garage, but I really like the idea of the interlocking tiles. I think it’s time to talk to the wife about our garage budget!

  3. Notsofast says

    I’ve had VCT in my garage for over 10 years now and it still looks great. I did a blue and gray diagonal checkered pattern that looks fantastic. I get compliments everytime someone sees it. I don’t look forward to stripping it down and rewaxing each year, but it’s well worth it after I’m done.

    • Shea says

      The color is Black Blue and is a porcelain tile designed to look like natural slate. Sorry, but the local supplier that the home owner purchased it from is no longer in business.

      Good luck with your search though!

  4. Jim says

    I’ve learned a lot about vinyl tiles lately – the hard way. Would like to hear others’ comments.

    I had intended to install two different colors of hidden seam interlocking tiles. Light grey in the shop area and dark grey where we park the vehicles.

    These are a premium, 100% vinyl, 7mm thick tile. They were the best I could find on the market.

    First problem was that the two different shades were slightly different sizes. Two of them could be forced to “mate” but a run of several tiles accumulated the error and after 16 tiles or so, the difference was about half an inch.

    I can’t imagine they came out of different size molds so I suspect that the composition might have been different and the one lot shrank more than the other as it “aged”. Or perhaps the one lot was considerably older than the other.

    We decided to use all the same lot to ensure they would interlock, and went with the light grey. The looked stunning. That is, until I started noticing tire marks.

    These marks would not scrub out. Turns out, they were caused by a chemical reaction between the hot tire and the vinyl, which actually altered the tile. It was not so much in or on the vinyl as it WAS the vinyl.

    We decided to go back to dark grey under the vehicles and to seal them with urethane. We were in the process of taking up the light grey tiles when we noticed gaps of about a 16th of an inch between the interlocked tiles.

    Note that the garage has a heat pump and was maintained at 60 degrees all winter. On the day we noticed the problem, it was 70 degrees outside. The shrinking may have been due to temperature, but it may also have to do with the vinyl shrinking as it ages — apparently due to plasticizer evaporation.

    For as long as it lasted, the floor was beautiful. My wife and I would practice dancing on it. We’ve taken it all up and are putting it on a pallet to ship back to the manufacturer.


  5. John says

    Hi Shea,
    For starters, great website and it has been extremely informative. I just completed a garage that has an attached workshop (approx. 1200 sq ft total). I intend to restore cars in the garage (personal use, not commercial). Will porcelain floor tiles really hold up to tools and other heavy items being dropped on them and floor jacks rolling over them? How do I determine if a tile has the “appropriate rating”? Also (and you may not know the answer to this one), can I install a 2-post lift over the tiles or should I tile around the base-plates of the lift?
    Thanks in advance, John

    • Shea says

      Thanks for the kind words John and congrats on your new workshop. The short answer is yes, porcelain holds up extremely well to abuse from the type of environment you will have. You might have missed our article that has answers to most of your questions regarding porcelain tiled garage floors. You can find it here. Regarding the lift, people have installed lifts on top of porcelain tile without issue, but we feel that the best install is to attach it directly to the slab and tile around the post.

  6. Gary says

    Just reviewed the Armstrong website to find out about their VCT tiles. In their FAQ section they state that VCT is not recommended for garages because it does not meet building codes for flammability. Yet I see a lot of people using them. Your comments please.

    • Shea says

      Hi Gary, great question. Armstrong does not warranty their tiles for use in garages either, but as you state, people have been using VCT tiles in garages for years and years without issue. We’ve always found it interesting that the tiles meet flammability requirements in the home, but not the garage. The reasoning behind this is that certain types of fires that start in a garage, due to the various chemicals and other oddities that people store, can burn much hotter than in the home. If the fire is hot enough to ignite your VCT tile, then you have much bigger issues to worry about. Incidentally, these same VCT tiled garage floors always pass home inspection when the home is resold as well.

  7. CJ Van Wagner says

    I nearly read your entire site a few weeks ago and decided to go with a VCT floor in my garage. It’s now complete, and I love the look….however….after the first rain, I drove my cars in the garage for the night and awoke the next morning to adhesive squirting between some of the tiles and a number of loose tiles where rain water had run off of our cars. Upon further inspection, I realized that wherever water got between tiles, the adhesive was breaking down. I now have a complete mess on my hands. Any recommendations? Thanks.

    • Shea says

      Hi there CJ. Sorry to hear about your tile issues. Generally when things like this happen it’s an installation issue that causes it so we have a few questions. Did you use a weighted vinyl floor roller on the tile during installation to press out any trapped air and increase adhesion? Did you wait at least 48 hours before driving on it? Did you seal the tile and then apply multiple coats of a quality acrylic floor wax on it? If you sealed and waxed the tile, did you damp mop it to clean the tile beforehand or did you wet mop? The only reason for water getting in under the tiles would be either poor adhesion which led to a tile edge curling up, wet mopping the floor initially before sealing which allowed water to get between the seams and up under the tile, or not sealing and waxing the tile properly or some combo of all three. Either of these would allow water to get in under the tile and cause a delamination issue.

      What needs to be done is to pull the tile up in the areas where the water got to it. Scrape up the glue residue and let the floor dry for a day or two. While the floor is drying, you can use mineral spirits to clean up the edges and top surface of the tile that was pulled up. Once the floor is dry, reapply the glue and then the tiles when the glue is ready. Make sure to roll it properly and then seal and wax the tile.

      • CJ Van Wagner says

        Shea – Thanks so much for the response. To answer your questions…I followed the instructions that were provided on the side of the adhesive container. So I filled cracks, scraped off bumps, shop-vacked the area and laid the adhesive in 200 sq/ft portions. Since I laid the tile over an epoxied floor, the curing time seemed to be quite different than the instructions suggested. It said that I should be able to start laying tile within 20 to 40 minutes, but it took more than 4 hrs before the adhesive was ready to accept tiles. In the research I’ve been doing, it would seem that the presence of the epoxy could be playing a role in this problem. In addition to that factor, I didn’t roll it when it was complete. I did walk across every corner and assumed my body weight was enough to set the tiles. The adhesive container only “suggested” using a roller which is why I didn’t rent one….oh, and the fact that I’m a cheap Dutchman. After laying the tiles, I put two coats of sealer over the entire floor. I didn’t apply any wax because I wasn’t wanting a high-gloss finish. I did wait more than 48 hrs. before I drove on it.
        Does that give you a fuller picture of the situation?

        • Shea says

          CJ, quality adhesive is important. Hopefully you used a name brand like Armstrong or equivalent. VCT can be installed over epoxy, but it’s important to make sure that the surface of the epoxy be roughed up a bit and not be left smooth. You can get away with using your body weight on the tile if you were setting them in your home, but you need to remember that you will be parking cars on these tiles, not people…. lol. The $20 investment to rent a roller really is worth it.

          It’s good that you applied a sealer as it helps to keep the tiles from getting stained if contaminants get past the acrylic wax. But it’s also very important (for a few reasons) to apply the acrylic wax. The acrylic wax is the sacrificial layer that protects the tiles. Sealing the tile and then waxing the tile is standard procedure for VCT flooring. The sealer however just seals the tiles, it does not do a good job of filling in the joints in between the tiles to protect the underside from liquids. That is what the acrylic wax does. There are many good quality acrylic waxes available in a matte or satin finish if you don’t care for the gloss.

          Our guess is that the main culprit of your issue is from not applying the acrylic wax since water was coming up from underneath the tiles. The other factors may have been a contributor as well. Sealing and then applying a quality acrylic wax (matte or satin finish) after you have reset the tiles should solve your problem. Your local janitorial supply is a great place to find good sealers and acrylic wax.

          • CJ Van Wagner says

            Shea – do you have a suggestion for a high-quality coating/wax for my tile? Thanks!

          • Shea says

            CJ, for a high quality product we like Hilway Direct. Their acrylic wax products have a higher solids content than most and are used commercially. They have a matte finish available. We recommend that you contact Justin Krauss from Garage Flooring LLC. He carries the line and can answer any question that you may have. You can find them here. Hilway has a complete line of cleaners, strippers, and waxes to make your job easier and to insure great protection for your tile.

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