Is Vinyl Flooring Good for the Garage?

A garage floor endures many harsh conditions not required of other house floors. When considering safety, cleanup, appearance, and durability, garage flooring must be flexible, water-resistant, and break-proof. So, does vinyl flooring meet these standards?

Vinyl flooring comes in sheets, planks, or tiles and makes a great garage floor covering. The following reasons are what make vinyl flooring a good choice for the garage:

  • affordability
  • improves garage appearance
  • increases safety
  • improves garage floor comfort
  • easy to install
  • durability

If you have more questions about vinyl flooring, don't fret. In this guide, we'll  explore purchase-to-endurance vinyl flooring considerations for the garage. Just keep reading!

A garage with slate stone texture vinyl floor tiles, Is Vinyl Flooring Good for the Garage?

The Factors That Make Vinyl Flooring Good For The Garage

Vinyl flooring gets its name from its solid plastic polyvinyl chloride (PVC) composition. You may also see this flooring referred to as polyvinyl or PVC flooring.  Garage flooring requires considerations related to dirt, oil, climate, use damage, and traction. Vinyl flooring does the trick.

Vinyl Flooring Affordability

Vinyl flooring is a very affordable garage floor option. Varied hardwood, tile, and stone looks are available at a much lower cost than the original materials. Luxury vinyl tiles and planks can further increase the deluxe appearance of vinyl garage flooring.

Vinyl garage flooring starts at less than $1 per square foot for sheet vinyl; luxury and commercial versions normally top out around $5 per square foot. Professional installation usually ranges from $1 to $10 per square foot, depending on where you live and any special considerations that may increase the difficulty of the installation.

What Vinyl Floor Formats Are Available For Garage Floors?

Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT) look like stone, wood, or tile; stone or tile plank formats are always referred to as LVT. Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) normally looks like hardwood boards and provides a variety of wood colors and facades. Engineered Vinyl Plank (EVP) is vinyl plank with a fiberboard core.

Often used for commercial applications, Vinyl Composition Tile (VCT) is made of limestone and a small amount of vinyl. In order of increasing vinyl content, other less expensive vinyl tile versions include Vinyl Enhanced Tile (VET), and Solid Vinyl Tile (SVT).

Vinyl Flooring Appearance

Because texturing and photographic imaging allow vinyl flooring to look like other materials, and because vinyl flooring comes in multiple formats, design options are immense. With vinyl tiles, you are able to combine colors to create a checkerboard, border, or other patterns. With some tile or plank variants, you may add grout for even more realism.

What Is The Best Color For Garage Floor?

The best garage floor color depends on intended aesthetic and cleaning preferences. Since a typical garage floor may be exposed to dirt and oil on a regular basis, many prefer neutral beige or gray shades. Darker colors like black, dark gray, or red are good to cover tire marks. Lighter color shades and white are often avoided for the garage because increased cleaning is required to keep the floor looking neat.

Luxury Vinyl Floor Tiles

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Some people prefer that the garage floor complements the overall house color scheme or relay a specific mood. If the goal of the garage floor color is to relay serenity, blue or green hues may be good choices. Many feel yellow brightens your mood and utilize brighter shades to provide design contrast or lighter shades to blend with other muted hues. Bright orange is often utilized to put excitement into the decorating scheme.

Interlocking Vinyl Floor Tiles

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Vinyl Flooring Safety

Vinyl flooring helps increase safety via superior moisture resistance, anti-slip and traction-increasing features, and its ability to disallow bacterial growth. In considering house dust mites, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Healthy Housing Reference Manual lists vinyl flooring as a better option than carpet.

Manufacturer processes have also changed as an attempt to reduce vinyl flooring chemical emissions concerns. Consumer Reports researchers tested 17 vinyl tile types for 13 types of phthalates and found low-levels in the air and wipes. As a precaution, the Consumer Reports researchers suggest frequent floor cleaning and washing of children’s hands after they crawl on vinyl flooring.

Vinyl Flooring Comfort

Vinyl flooring is sound absorbent and softer than laminate, hardwood, or tile installations. Underlayment or wood subfloor is not required but will provide extra comfort and warmth.

Is Vinyl Flooring Cold In The Winter?

While the insulation advantage of lower-cost vinyl flooring is minimal, the thickness of vinyl flooring will proportionately determine warmth. A wood subfloor over concrete or thermal vinyl floor underlayment will increase vinyl flooring coziness. As a reminder, if the overall room is warmer and free of drafts, the floors will be warmer. Remember to balance sunlight-derived heat with flooring manufacturer anti-fading recommendations.

If a toastier feel is desired, underfloor heating provides an adjustable option for increasing the ground-level temperature of garage floors. The most affordable underfloor heating utilizes electrified wire coils. The most expensive and efficient heating option utilizes water tubes  No matter the radiant heat type chosen, underfloor heating is the most expensive yet most effective floor-warming option.

Electric Radiant Floor Heating System

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Vinyl Flooring Installation

Vinyl garage flooring flexibility removes subfloor leveling requirements; however, filling dips and sanding raised areas before installation will reduce floor breakage and separation. This flooring flexibility may cause slight challenges when you try to align and lock vinyl planks and tiles, as compared to sheet vinyl or harder flooring formats. 

How Does Vinyl Flooring Type Affect Garage Installation?

Locking vinyl planks and tiles tend to perform better for garage flooring than stick-on varieties or adhesive installations. Moisture from the garage may affect the long-term adhesiveness of stick-on tiles or planks.

Vinyl Planks And Tiles Installation

Vinyl planks and tiles are available in click-lock (snap), glue-down, and peel-and-stick varieties. Either may be installed directly over concrete garage flooring; however, the click-lock varieties tend to provide a better garage floor covering as a floating-installation.

Vinyl Sheets And Rolls Installation

Roll-out vinyl flooring or vinyl floor sheets provide an easy option to cover garage floors with wood, stone, or tile facade. Some of the products may be utilized without adhesive for a quick-cover project. The seam reduction provided by the sheet version is a bonus for higher-moisture areas like garages.

How Do You Install Vinyl Flooring In A Garage?

  1. Measure room in feet and multiply to get square footage and recommended coverage (length x width x 1.10). Divide by 9 if the flooring is sold in square yards.
  2. To determine the amount to order, divide the total by box or roll coverage.
  3. Order flooring to arrive before the intended project start date.
  4. Make any needed repairs and clean the garage floor surface.  
  5. Before beginning installation, ensure the floor is completely dry.
  6. Cut the flooring to fit the space. Resize vinyl planks and tiles with knife score and break. Most sheet or roll vinyl may be cut with a sharp utility knife.
  7. Secure the tiles, planks, or sheets. Vinyl planks and tiles are secured with glue or side click-lock.  Sheet and roll vinyl may be secured with adhesive or placed as a non-secured floor.
  8. Utilize transition strips, thresholds, baseballs, and quarter round to finish edges.

Vinyl Flooring Durability

Vinyl flooring is waterproof or water-resistant, chemical-resistant, and tough enough to drive on or handle typical garage activity. Vinyl flooring is easy to clean and resists dents and scratches. Vinyl tiles and planks are thicker than the sheet varieties and tend to increase the durability of garage floors.

As an additional feature, vinyl flooring resists likely garage fluids such as chemicals, oil, and grease. When making flooring type selection, remember that cold or moist garage conditions may cause stick-on flooring adhesive to separate from the concrete.

How Do You Clean Vinyl Flooring?

While steam mopping is not recommended, vinyl flooring is easily cleaned using regular sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping processes. Shaw Floors' recommendations include avoidance of beater/brush vacuuming and harsh chemical cleaners.

How Long Does Vinyl Flooring Last?

Typical vinyl flooring installations average one to two decades; however, some companies offer longer warranties. Armstrong Flooring offers lifetime LVT warranties and 15-year or 30-year warranties on other flooring products. Mannington provides 10-year, 20-year, and lifetime warranties on vinyl sheet products with specifications related to issues encountered and installation methods.

Keep in mind that vinyl sheet installations will typically require full replacement if damaged. Vinyl tiles and planks allow individual replacement for damage or stains, with tiles being the easiest of the two for individual replacement over long planks. Additionally, urethane may be utilized after installation to further increase scratch and stain resistance.

In Closing

Is vinyl flooring good for the garage?  Vinyl flooring provides an affordable easy-install garage flooring option. It is waterproof and provides additional safety via increased traction. Vinyl flooring is durable and attractive. Providing sound-reducing and comfort-increasing coverage over harder wood and laminates, vinyl flooring makes a great garage floor!

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