One lesser known garage flooring option available today is the RaceDay self-stick vinyl garage floor tiles. If you like the idea of vinyl composite tiles, but without the hassles of applying glue during installation and the ongoing maintenance of stripping and re-waxing of the floor, then this sticky tile is worth a serious look.
Manufactured by Better Life Technology, this is the same company that makes the high quality G-Floor garage floor mats. Made of polyvinyl, these flexible tiles are .095 mils thick (slightly thicker than a nickel) and have an adhesive pressure sensitive backing. The adhesive is exposed by peeling off the release paper on the back of the tile.
They are available in 12”x12” and 24”x24” sizes in a diamond tread pattern with twelve different semi-gloss colors to choose from. An additional smooth levant tread pattern is also available, but in the traditional black, gray, and white colors only. The levant pattern has a more satin finish however.
Benefits of peel-and-stick vinyl garage tiles
An important note to make is that RaceDay self-stick tiles, unlike others on the market, are made of 100% solid polyvinyl construction that is non-porous. This makes them extremely tough and resistant to oil, road salts, anti-freeze, battery acid, and most other liquids that your car can deposit on the surface.
Many competitors use a multi-ply laminated construction with cheap fillers in the middle in order to save money on materials. What you get is a tile with only a thin layer of quality polyvinyl at the surface. This type of construction is not nearly as tough as the Raceday tile and has been known to delaminate after a while under use.
The diamond tread pattern can provide extra grip when needed and stands up well to a traditional garage floor environment. The thick vinyl construction absorbs sound, helps to insulate from the cold, conforms well to the floor, and unlike VCT garage floors, it delivers some anti-fatigue benefits as well.
Additionally, peel and stick garage floor tiles are easy to clean. Oil and other liquids just wipe right up. A dust mop or soft bristle broom works best for the light dirt and debris. Heavier cleaning can be done with a mop and mild solution of Mr. Clean or other ammonia free cleaners. Non-slip vinyl floor cleaners can be used as well.
Lastly, Better Life Technology claims that the non-porous construction virtually seals your garage floor from the elements when installed correctly. Plus, they will not crack or chip like other flooring can and they come with a 5 year limited manufacturer warranty.
Issues with self-stick garage floor tiles
As nice as these self-stick garage tiles are however, they are not perfect and do have some characteristics to be aware of.
The first is that the diamond tread pattern does not always line up perfectly when laying the tiles together. It is much less noticeable however if you are doing alternating colors such as a checker design for example.
Also, just like VCT garage flooring, vinyl self-stick tiles can be spun loose by a vehicle if you turn the front wheels while not moving. This is simple to avoid however if you insure the vehicle is moving, even ever so slightly, while you are turning the wheels.
Some liquids can stain if left to puddle untreated for long periods of time and ink, dyes, and harsh chemicals are known to stain the tiles also.
Another matter that has been encountered with peel and stick tiles is the occasional edge that wants to lift. Most often this is due to the floor not being cleaned and prepped properly. This is usually remedied though with some spray-on 3m glue applied to the underside edge of the tile.
Finally there is the issue of tire stain marks. Contrary to some publications’ comments, polyvinyl self-stick garage floor tiles are susceptible to tire marks – just like garage floor mats. High performance tires and some all season tires are the biggest culprits.
RaceDay peel and stick tile is manufactured of the same high quality polyvinyl (only thicker) that is used for G-Floor garage floor mats. And just like garage floor mats, the darker color tiles do much better at hiding the tire marks than the lighter colors.
Self-Stick Vinyl tile stain prevention
If you have a fairly busy garage environment or don’t want to worry about possible tire marks in the tile, Better Life Technology does offer additional protection against tire marks and stains however.
G-Floor Stain Blocker top coat
They recommend applying their G-Floor Top Coat Stain Blocker. It’s a 2-Part epoxy sealer that is mixed together and rolled onto the surface. It’s made specifically for vinyl and helps to protect the tile against tire marks and other liquids that can stain.
Hilway Direct is another source that makes an excellent product at protecting polyvinyl from stains. You can find it here. It’s an acrylic sealer that is easily applied with a mop. It’s available in both a glossy finish and a satin finish if you don’t care as much for the glossy look.
Peel and stick garage tile installation
While the actual installation of this tile can be easy, the floor preparation required is consistent with that of vinyl composite tile. The concrete needs to be cleaned thoroughly, be free of oil and dust, and all large gaps such as contraction joints, divots, and large cracks, need to be filled and smoothed out. Any sharp raised edges should be knocked down as well. Saw cuts in the concrete will not affect the tile.
This is an installation by the crew at Dirt Rider Magazine
If the large gaps are not filled, it will cause the tile to pull away from its neighbor as you drive or walk over it. This happens because the tile can be pushed into the gap due to its flexibility. A self-leveling underlayment works well in this case for filling contraction joints and can be found at most home improvement centers.
Though peel and stick tile can be applied directly to the bare concrete, Better Life Technology recommends applying a concrete primer first to achieve the best result. Failure to do so will void the warranty. Behr 880 Primer is a good example.
Once the floor is clean and dry, you will need to draw or snap a line down the center of your garage floor for reference. It’s generally a good idea to lay the tile out in a dry run to see how things will line up. Now the real fun begins!
Just peel the paper release from the back of the vinyl tile and stick it to the floor using your reference line as a guide. Once your first row is laid, you are on your way. If you make a mistake, the tile can be lifted by using a blow drier to the surface of the tile to soften the glue underneath.
All straight cuts should be made using a utility knife and a straight edge. Also, be sure to press out all air gaps in each tile before moving on to the next. A rolling pin can make simple work of this.
Full instructions for application are supplied with purchase, including cleaning instructions.
Where to purchase self-stick garage tiles
There are many places to purchase RaceDay peel and stick garage tiles. While we are not a fan of warehouse clubs, we have found that some do sell this tile for a fairly good price. Keep in mind however that warehouse clubs will not be able to answer any questions you may have, including those about installation.
Another great source is Garage Flooring LLC. They are a large vendor and distributor for Better Life Technology and have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to their products, including installation tips. They will also provide samples free of charge for you to examine and to help determine color choice.
They ship for free and have a low price guarantee on all advertised pricing. Though most warehouse clubs don’t advertise prices for this tile, we are fairly confident that they will work with you if you think you have found a better overall price.
Final tips and notes
If you like the idea of a custom garage floor look, along with the advantages that tough vinyl flooring for a garage can provide, then the RaceDay peel and stick tiles may be for you. With the numerous colors that are available, it makes it easy as well as fun to custom design your garage floor dependent upon your tastes.
Reports of how well self-stick tiles stay put has generally been very good. They provide a nice finish and without all the routine maintenance of stripping and waxing a vinyl composite garage floor. Plus, you get the added benefit of better light reflection off the floor.
If you are one to fret about tire marks however, we highly recommend going the extra step and apply one of the stain blocking protective coats that are available. Either that or at least strategically plan for black tiles where your car tires will sit.
Finally, be sure to get any questions that you may have answered before purchase and application. This is where the benefits of a good garage flooring vendor will pay off. Good customer service will go a long way in making your garage flooring choice and installation a more satisfying experience.