How to Lay a Garage Floor Covering – Best Garage Floor Coverings
How to Lay a Garage Floor Covering
Most garage floors are made from concrete, which is fine for the car but can be hard on feet and legs. Moreover, a concrete floor tends to be cold and damp and if you are tools or machinery, this is liable to cause them to rust. A floor will make for a drier, more comfortable room.
Garages are often used for hobby rooms and children’s play areas, but without some modification they can be cold and uninviting. By adding a floating floor the garage can be transformed into a comfortable activity area. Plywood floors are easier on the knees and allow for a floor covering. They are simple to lay and since they are not fixed to the subfloor, they can be removed at a later date.
Tools for the Job:
- club hammer & bolster chisel
- mixing equipment
- tape measure & pencil
- trimming knife
- cordless drill/driver
- Use a club hammer and bolster chisel to knock off any high points on the concrete that could puncture the plastic membrane. Fill any large indentations with a concrete or mortar mix. Sweep the floor to remove any dust and debris.
- Lay down the damp-proof membrane (DPM), allowing it to lip up the wall by at least 150mm (6in). Trim off any excess with a trimming knife. If you need to attach two sheets together, tape along the join with duct tape, then fold the second sheet over on itself three or four times so that you end up with a seam 100mm (4in) wide, before taping again.
- Starting at one wall, place 100 x 50mm (4 x 2in) timbers side down on top of the DPM at 600mm (2ft) intervals. Use a handsaw to cut them to length. Then cut some to provide support at the end joints and between timbers, attached at 1.2m (3ft 11 in) intervals.
- Cut some polystyrene insulation panels to fit between the timbers and lay them in position. 50mm (2in) thick panels will sit level with the top of the timbers and provide additional support for the flooring. You can omit the insulation if you wish, but it does make a big difference to the warmth of the room and provides some measure of sound insulation.
- Take 18mm (11/16in) shuttering plywood and, with its best side uppermost, drill pilot holes at 200mm (8in) intervals, 50mm (2in) in from the edge and across the centre of the board. Screw down the boards using 32mm (1-5/16in) no 8 . Unless the room is perfectly square, you may find that you have to trim the edges of some of the boards.
- Moulding or skirting boards provide a neat trim and help to hold down the edges of the floor. Screw through the skirting boards and damp-proof membrane into the wall. Fold but do not cut the plastic at the corners of the room, tucking it neatly behind the skirting as you fix it back.
- Run a sharp trimming knife around the top of the skirting to trim off any excess plastic flush. If you do not like the look of the DPM sandwiched between the skirting board and the wall, this can be disguised by running a bead of mastic along the top of the skirting.
- At door openings, fit threshold cover strips to hide the edges of the plywood. If the new floor is higher than the floor level in an the adjoining room, then you will need to make a ramped reducer strip and cut the bottom of the door to suit. With garage , or nail a thin strip of timber to cover the joint between timber and ply. Ensure the plastic is sandwiched in-between, then trim the plastic level with the finished floor.
Garage Floor Coverings
If the room is to be used for a children’s play area you could cover the plywood with stick down tiles or vinyl sheeting. For a deluxe finish a piece of carpet will offer a measure of thermal and noise insulation.
When cutting the heavy plywood sheets, make sure they are well supported on a sawhorse, workmate or trestles. You will be able to cut more accurately and the sheets are much less likely to slip and cause an injury.
Tips of the Trade
Cutting polystyrene can be messy as the white lumps stick to everything. Rather than use a saw, which generates large amounts of static, a sharp, serrated bread knife is almost as fast and a good deal cleaner.