RaceDeck or Swisstrax, Which Interlocking Floor Tile is Best?


racedeck vs swisstrax

RaceDeck and Swisstrax are the two undisputed biggest names in the industry when it comes to the best interlocking garage floor tiles.  Both companies are very well known, they sponsor many high profile car events, automotive related T.V. shows, and they both provide flooring for some of the largest automotive related industries in the world.

However, there are some big differences in style and construction of each company’s tiles that might be a factor when determining your choice of brands.  So instead of getting caught up in the survey of RaceDeck vs. Swisstrax, you might want to concentrate instead on which of these two companies makes the best garage floor tiles that fit your style and requirements.

The background on RaceDeck and Swisstrax

Snap Lock Industries is the parent company of RaceDeck and has been in business a year shy of 40 years.   They claim to be the creator of the modular snap together garage floor tile that you are familiar with today and have been producing tiles under the RaceDeck name for well over 20 years.  They produce 6 different styles of interlocking tiles in 11 different choices.  All are made in the U.S.A., with operations based out of Salt Lake City, Utah.

We invented the modern modular garage flooring industry. Our experience is unmatched and shines through in everything we make – no one has been in the business longer, and no one makes as much flooring as we do. In fact, we manufacture more flooring each year than all of our competitors combined. With over 18 patents, you can be assured you are getting the most advanced modular garage flooring in the world.   –  Jorgen Moller, CEO, RaceDeck, Inc.

Swisstrax was developed by their President, Randy Nelson, in Switzerland over 19 years ago.  Their reputation for a quality product quickly grew within the automotive and garage flooring industry.  With 6 different styles of interlocking tiles available, they are now made in the U.S. after having moved their manufacturing facility to Indio, California.


RaceDeck and Swisstrax both offer a 15 year warranty on manufacture defects which is the highest in the industry.  They also have comparable claims of U.V. resistance which prevents fading in the sun, resistance from oil stains, chemical resistance, and ease of maintenance.

Differences between RaceDeck and Swisstrax floor tiles

http://allgaragefloors.com/garage-flooring-guide/Both companies offer similar flooring styles with the exception of the diamond tread design.  RaceDeck chose to use the traditional diamond plate tread pattern for their tile, which they call Diamond, while Swisstrax utilizes a different interpretation of the diamond pattern called the Diamondtrax.   Swisstrax also offers a smooth version of their tile called the Floortrax while RaceDeck does not.  Though the many flooring styles between the two companies are similar, it’s interesting to learn that the similarities end there.

RaceDeck interlocking garage floor tiles come in a standard 12” x 12” size and are ½” thick.  This sizing allows you to interchange any flooring tile in their lineup with one another.  They also offer an 18” x 18” x ½” flooring tile called the RaceDeck XL, which is available in the Diamond and Free-Flow styles only and will interchange with the 12” tiles as well.

Swisstrax interlocking floor tiles on the other hand are less conventional in their sizing.  All tiles are 13” x 13” and ½” thick with the exception of their most popular tile, the Ribtrax.  The Ribtrax is 15.75” x 15.75” and ¾” thick.  It is this difference that can cause some contention when trying to choose the best interlocking garage floor tiles for you.

racedeck vs. swisstrax garage floor tiles
Swisstrax Diamondtrax and Ribtrax tile

There are a few reasons why the Ribtrax tile will not interchange with the rest of the Swisstrax lineup.  It is thicker than the other tiles by ¼” thus preventing a smooth transition from one tile to the other.  They also have 6 interlocking peg and loop connections compared to 5 with the other tiles and are designed not to line up with each other.  Also, the 15.75” size does not match well to the other 13” size tiles when laying them side by side in a line.

racedeck garage floor tiles
RaceDeck Diamond and Free-Flow tiles

Because all RaceDeck garage floor tiles can be interchanged with each other, the entire lineup is truly a modular design.  This allows for all kinds of creativity and function when designing your garage floor.

As an example, if you live in a wet or snowy climate you can design your floor with areas of the Free-Flow tile where your cars park to enable the snow melt to fall through the tile to the garage floor.  The surrounding tiles can be a solid design of your choice while you can also have a designated spot for the polished aluminum RaceDeck Pro where you park your prized Harley.

While Swisstrax can interchange most of their tiles with each other, you cannot physically connect their most popular tile design, the Ribtrax, with any of their other tiles.  This can greatly limit your design choices and is a cause for some frustration.  If you like the self draining function of the Ribtrax tile, you have to use it throughout the entire garage floor, not just certain areas.  Your only creative options when using Ribtrax is with the colors you choose.

RaceDeck vs. Swisstrax tile construction

When choosing floor tile for the garage, one of the most important considerations is construction.  Both companies use the highest quality polypropylene plastic for their materials.  While the reputation for quality between RaceDeck and Swisstrax is very good amongst the many consumers of their products, there is a difference in their construction which may explain why there is also a difference in the sizing between the two brands.

When it comes to connecting up the tiles, RaceDeck uses their multi-patented PowerLock Technology which they refer to as “The power of 4”.  This consists of a combination of 16 large pegs and loops per tile that allows them to snap together with 4 connections on each side.  Their literature states that after trying many different numbers of connections over the years, they determined that 4 per side in conjunction with their patented technology was the strongest solution.

racedeck vs. swisstrax garage floor tiles pegs
RaceDeck pegs on the bottom tile and Swisstrax pegs on the top tile

Swisstrax counters with a combination of 20 peg and loops per tile for 5 per side while the Ribtrax tile has 24 connections with 6 per side.  While 5 or 6 connections per side does sound better, if you look closely you can see that the RaceDeck peg and loops are larger and thicker in construction compared to the Swisstrax connections.

Is one better than the other?  It’s hard to say since you rarely hear from consumers who have complained about tiles that failed due to poor connections.  These are not budget garage floor tiles.

We think however that Swisstrax most likely uses 5 connections per side to compensate for the smaller and thinner design of their peg and loop system.  You can find people who say that one is better than the other based on trying to break the connections over their knee or some sort, but that just isn’t the way these tiles work in the real world.

Both companies tout that their tiles allow for air circulation and water drainage underneath the tiles through a series of cutouts in the substructure of the tile.  This is to prevent odors as well as mold and mildew problems which can occur from wet concrete.  The RaceDeck tiles have larger cutouts for this – especially where the tiles meet edge to edge.  We’re not so sure if the larger cutouts make that big a difference or not between the two, but logic dictates it would help to air out the underside of a damp floor quicker if you have all solid floor tiles.

racedeck vs swisstrax garage floor tile
Swisstrax cutout is on the left. The Racedeck cutouts are larger than the Swisstrax and exit through the tile on the right.

The substructure of the tiles is different as well.  RaceDeck uses their patented diamond superstructure underneath the tiles which makes for an unbroken substructure that is connected throughout the tile.  This is what allows for the 80,000 lb. rolling load that RaceDeck claims for all their tiles.

racedeck vs. swisstrax garage floor tile
You can see the thicker substructure bracing and loop system for connections with the RaceDeck tile on the left compared to the Swisstrax tile on the right.

Swisstrax uses a 4 point injection mold which they say creates better material distribution throughout the tile and prevents them from curling under heavy load.  They also build the tile with a slight bow in the middle to facilitate for a tighter fit under compression and have no more than a 3/8” gap underneath the tile which they claim aids in compressive strength as well.  Their standard garage floor tile has a rolling load of over 40,000 lbs. while their more expensive commercial tiles have a rolling load of up to 70,000 lbs.

Swisstrax also claims to have the most material per square foot of tile.  This makes some sense when you compare the underside of the two tiles.  The RaceDeck substructure is thicker and the tile feels much stiffer than the Swisstrax tile.  It is our belief that Swisstrax most likely needs more material to achieve the required strength they were after.  This doesn’t mean it’s a bad design by any means.  It’s just a different way to achieve the strength that they want.

This brings up the question of the Ribtrax tile.  Why so large?  From a marketing standpoint it makes more sense for the tile to be the same size as the rest of the Swisstrax line.  Instead, it is more massive than the other tiles.  An inquiry to Swisstrax did not provide us with any answers.  It can only lead us to assume that a larger and thicker tile is needed to achieve the same designed strengths as the other tiles in their line due to the Ribtrax open profile design.

One interesting statistic about Swisstrax is that they claim a compressive strength of 5120 psi.  When Jorgen Moller of RaceDeck was asked about that a few years age, he made an interesting comment.  He stated that he wasn’t sure how Swisstrax came up with that figure when high tensile concrete used on highways doesn’t have a psi rating that high.  He further stated that there isn’t a modular floor made (that he is aware of) that can stand up to that kind of pressure.

Both RaceDeck and Swisstrax claim that their tiles work well with heavy rolling tool boxes, car lifts, rolling jacks, and a myriad of other heavy duty garage equipment.  Both companies are known for great customer service and have replaced tiles under warranty that were damaged by such equipment.

As tough as these tiles are, they will be damaged by sharp objects or heavy loads placed on it by something like a 4 point jack stand or hollow leg post.  They don’t get along with welding either unless you use a welding blanket on the floor.  If you do damage a tile or two, it’s real easy to replace just the tile and not the entire floor.

If you want to compare the interlocking tiles from RaceDeck and Swisstrax for yourself, be sure to take advantage of the free sample program that they both offer.  Just call them on the phone and tell them what you are interested in.  Their customer service is great and you will receive which ever tiles you are interested in free of charge, including the shipping.

Final conclusions

If we had to judge these tiles based on designed construction alone, then we have to give RaceDeck the edge.  When you start looking closely at the construction of these two brands, you can’t help but notice the beefier looking design of the RaceDeck tile compared to Swisstrax.  We also like the fact that you can mix and match any of the Racedeck line of tiles together, unlike Swisstrax which limits you to just one style if you choose the most popular Ribtrax model.

With that said however, both tile companies make an extremely durable tile that has gained the reputation of standing up to some very tough garage environments.   So that begs the question, how strong do these tiles need to be?   After all, when was the last time you parked something in your garage that had a rolling weight of over 40,000 pounds?

So if that is the case; which is the best interlocking garage floor tile – RaceDeck or Swisstrax?  When answering that question our biggest concern is the fit and finish of the product, quality workmanship, and the best finish that will stand up to stains, chemicals, and is easy to clean.  We believe that both of these tile companies have succeeded in that regard and is the reason why they have earned the reputation as the two biggest names in the interlocking garage floor tile industry today.


  1. Richard says

    Thanks for this great write up, it’s exactly what I’ve been looking for. I want this kind of tile in my garage and I’ve been struggling over which brand I should use. I really like the diamond pattern tiles but I’m undecided because I like the fact that the Swisstrax style is different. Which design do you think is better for a garage environment?

    • Shea says

      Your welcome Richard. Either design works well in a garage environment, it’s just a matter of taste. We recommend that you take advantage of the free sample program that both RaceDeck and Swisstrax offer to help you determine which diamond pattern you like best.

  2. Mark says

    I had Racedeck in my last house. It was 5 years old when we sold it and I was very satisfied with it. There were a few dirty tiles that I had to replace, mostly my fault for waiting to clean them, though I admit it was easy to just replace the tile. I recently put down Swisstrax in my new home because it seemed like it was popular with all the shows you see it on. It seems to being doing fine so far, but I think I might have gone with Racedeck again after seeing the differences in the two.

  3. Mike says

    Do any of you have feedback on whether these garage tiles make a “clacking noise”? I just started researching the different options for my garage, and I came across this article complaining about the noise the polypropylene tiles can make:

    If the link doesn’t come through, google “Noisy garage floor tile” and you’ll see what I mean…

    Thanks for any feedback.

    – Mike

    • Shea says

      Hello Mike, the link is good. Usually this article about RaceDeck and Swisstrax is read before people make a purchase, but hopefully some readers who have had this type of flooring will see your question and relay their experience.

      Yes, interlocking polypropylene tiles do run a small risk of making some noise when walking or driving on them, but millions of square feet of this tile has been installed with noise being a very small issue. They are not whisper quite, but most people don’t notice it or are not bothered by it. We wrote the article for the few people who do experience the noise or who have very sensitive ears and are looking for a solution.

  4. Randy L says

    I just came across this article because I’m looking to put interlocking tile on the floor of my new garage. I had RaceDeck in my previous garage and wanted to see how Swisstrax compares. It didn’t make any noise at all in my old garage.

  5. Paul says

    Great article and thanks for taking the time to review both products. What about static electricity being generated when you walk on the tiles and touch your vehicle? Anyone had any experience with either brand and static concerns?

    • Shea says

      Great question Paul and thanks for the kudos. Static electricity is rarely a big problem with these tiles but it can build up in low humidity conditions. One of the easiest ways to ensure you don’t have a problem is to attach a fabric softener dryer sheet to the end of an old mop and wipe the floor with it once in a while.

  6. jim says

    I was wondering if the reason for Swisstrax 13″ (33 cm) tiles are due to being a product of an European country and building is done on the metric system. One may assume that since most of the world uses metric they would also sell in the manner.

    • Shea says

      Jim, you would be correct in that assessment! Their 15.75″ RibTrax tile converts to 40 centimeters as well.

  7. Laurie Leone says

    I have had race deck in my garage for over 13 years and it still looks as good now as it did then. I have a question….can race deck be used in community halls or is it only recommended for garages?

    • Shea says

      Hi Laurie, it’s nice to hear how well your RaceDeck flooring has held up. RaceDeck does not have to be contained to just the garage. You can use it indoors for a variety of functions. We recommend that you take a look here at SnapLock Industries. They are the manufacturer of RaceDeck tile and they make a variety of flooring options from sports, to dance halls, and events flooring.

  8. Chris says

    I am considering tiles vs epoxy. My interest in Swisstrax leans toward their smooth surface tile, it doesn’t seem that race deck has that option. Just wondering if race deck owners find it a hassle to roll floor jacks or tool cabinets over the ridged pattern of the race deck tiles?

    • Shea says

      Hello Chris, very few people complain about rolling cabinets, creepers, and tool boxes over interlocking floor tiles whether it be RaceDeck or SwissTrax. These types of tiles are actually used in a variety of working garages. The RibTrax by SwissTrax and Free Flow by RaceDeck provide even less rolling resistance over their surface.

        • Shea says

          Honestly Chris, it would depend on which floor style we would want and the price we could get at the time. Both companies make a great product. They are kind of like the Ford and Chevy of interlocking garage floor tiles!

  9. says

    Great article. I would like to recommend one more comparison.
    How easy are they to clean?
    Have been selling and installing garage floor system for about a decade and have used both brands in extensively. About 8 years ago, I switched from RaceDeck to SwissTrax. I used the SwissTrax tile for about two or three years. After a rough winter here in Cincinnati, I began to receive multiple calls from clients who could not get their “ribtrax” floor clean. I personally went out to several garages and had great difficulty getting the floors clean. After talking to Randy Nelson, I had SOME success with a cleaner, called “Greased Lightning”.
    I soon switched back to the RaceDeck brand. Problem solved!
    SwissTrax “RibTrax” has a small texture and RaceDeck “FreeFlow” tiles are smooth.
    Hands Down, The RaceDeck “FreeFlow” tile are Much easier to clean.

    • Shea says

      Hello Jeff. You raise a great point. Trying to determine which tile cleans up the best can be somewhat subjective due to the various conditions that a garage floor can be exposed to. For general purposes, we haven’t found a big difference between the two. However, information on long term exposure to both brands under more severe conditions like those you mentioned is invaluable. Thanks for the input on your personal experience and hopefully it will help our readers who live in snowy climates make a more informed decision.

  10. Emil says

    Can anyone speak to how slippery these tiles are when walking on them in the wet? I live in a rainy climate and am trying to decide between the RaceDeck Free-Flow system and the Swisstrax Ribtrax design. Both allow for drainage, but what about traction for walking? My garage floor is currently painted with an epoxy coating and when it gets wet it becomes a major safety hazard.

    • Shea says

      Good question Emil. The Free-Flow by RaceDeck and RibTrax by SwissTrax are both very good anti-slip surfaces. The coined design is the one that can sometimes be slippery.

  11. Doru Popescu says

    A more specific question about how these tiles do in cold snowy climates: cars drop a lot of salt picked up from the treated roads. The salt makes a mess and attacks any finish. Any experience and advice specific to this issue?

  12. Steve says

    Has anyone ever tried to use pex tubing for a hydronic radiant heating system UNDER these tiles but ABOVE the underlying concrete? Does the pattern under the tiles allow for this tubing which is .375 to .500″ thick? Thanks

    • Shea says

      Hey Steve. The majority of all interlocking tiles are only 1/2″ thick with the exception being the 3/4″ thick RibTrax design by SwissTrax. The tile is also a free floating floor system which can move slightly as it expands and contracts with heat. That alone is not the best environment for pex tubing. We aren’t sure how well the heat would radiate within the tiles as well. If you are still interested, we recommend that you give either of these companies a call and talk to them. They both have good customer service and like to hear from prospective customers.

  13. Chuck says

    I am planning to cover an existing vinyl tile floor in a 60’X200′ building that we use to display collectible cars – some of these cars will be stored long term without moving and some will see an occasional venture to the streets – do either of these tiles suffer a permanent dent under the tires over time? – would it be smart to lay down a hard surface “parking puck” under each tire on top of the tiles? – also, do either of these tiles curl up under turning wheels (not stopped, but slowly moving)? – when cleaning these tiles with water can you successfully vacuum up the water through the tiles when done? – should we fasten the wall edges of the tile system to the concrete to prevent creeping? – THANKS for a response!

    • Shea says

      Hi Chuck. Great questions and thanks for stopping by. These tiles will not dent at all from car tires, even if sitting for long periods of time. In fact, car museums and many a car collector use these tiles for their vehicles. The only time polypropylene tiles suffer dents is when a high load is applied by a very small surface, such as a jack stand with thin metal legs under load. The locking system prevents the tiles from curling and buckling from turning tires, even when moving slow or not at all.

      A strong shop vac can suck up some water through the FreeFlow or RibTrax tile, but not all. For that, it’s as simple as finding the low spot and popping a tile up with a paint can opener or flat head screw driver and then sucking the water up from there. Keep in mind that the underside of the tiles to a good job of circulating air to help with evaporation.

      As far as installation is concerned, do not anchor the floor to the wall. The tiles will expand and contract slightly from temperature and is why it needs to be installed 1/2 inch away from the walls. The weight of the floor itself along with parked cars will keep it from moving.

  14. Sai says

    This is a wonderful article. Very straightforward in presenting the facts, pros, cons and differences between these two major players.
    I am looking for solutions to fix my garage floor, 20’X20′, about 400 sqft, two car. I have an home built in the 50s and am not sure when the current garage floor was laid. It is concrete. But it is chipped and broken in the middle and other areas of the floor. I would say about 50% of the floor is this way. So it is pretty bad. I have spoken to epoxy and concrete contractors. Epoxy guys says that they will fix my floor by smoothening it and applying epoxy but cannot guarantee the work since it might start peeling off in a few years because floor is bad right now. Concrete guys are saying that the solution is to rip off the entire floor and replace with new concrete which is REALLY expensive solution. So I have been looking into modular tiles. One of the installers who works with swisstrax guarantees that Ribtax will work very well for me and that we can lay it right on top of the floor. He says he has seen worse floors and that Ribtrax will cover up, protect and make the floor beautiful and usable. I am not very convinced. I am worried how these tiles will sit evenly on top of a floor when some of the areas of the floor in chipped and broken underneath. I live in southern california so weather is not a big concern. Is there anyone who had a similar situation or known someone who did and installed modular tiles that worked? Your guidance will be very helpful. Thanks in advance!

  15. Mike says

    Hey Garage Guru!
    Tysm for review- ok now bear with me- building a storage shed / garage for my Harley , equipment, etc 12×12 feet on an existing well supported deck – gonna treat floor boards with industrial strength paint sealant and want to cover with rib tiles – floor is flat but not flat like concrete – will tile system buckle or move with bike pulling in and out?

    • Shea says

      Hey there Mike. An interlocking tile floor should work just fine for what you want to do. The only reason it would buckle is if it wasn’t cut to fit with 1/2″ clearance from the edges of the shed to allow for expansion if exposed to direct sunlight for long periods.

  16. David says

    looking to use the ribtrax or free flow on the outdoor deck anyone know if they get too warm for the bare feet in the hot sun..good old fashioned wood seems to stay fairly cool ???

    • Shea says

      Great question David. We know that SwissTrax markets their Ribtrax for outdoor use. We suggest giving their customer service line a call if you don’t get a response here. They are good people to talk to and very helpful. RaceDeck offer tiles for outdoor use as well, but only in limited colors. They have great customer service as well and should be able to answer your question.

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