Easy Ways to Protect Your Shop Floor
Whether you work on cars or just tinker with projects, many people value their time in their shop. While a bit of dust and grime is expected, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do what you can to protect your space from damage. The floor is particularly susceptible to stains and discoloration from spills. Before you resign yourself to just having a splotchy floor, consider these easy ways to protect the surface.
Paints and Epoxies
Two of the most common choices for protecting a shop floor are paints and epoxies. They can provide a layer of protection to the flooring underneath while maintaining an easy to drive on surface. Further, they can sometimes be used to cover existing stains, refreshing to look of the floors.
Paint designed to work on concrete can be a very cost-effective solution. Before paint can be applied, certain steps must be taken. This includes thoroughly inspecting and cleaning the surface before painting even begins. Latex paints can be applied easily, and relatively quickly. Drying time will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the current temperature and humidity in the space.
There are a wide variety of epoxies that are suitable for floors. Since having a tough and durable surface is ideal, using a two-part epoxy that is 100 percent solids may be best. The process requires multiple steps, along with a long curing phase, but the finish will be both durable and attractive, and should stand up to a lot of use. Other water-based two-part epoxies are easier to work with, and can be simpler to clean up if there is a spill, but you will not get the same performance.
While you may see one-part epoxies for sale, these products are functionally no different that paint. To be a real epoxy, it must come in two parts. However, if you do not use the space often, then it may be a lower cost alternative to the two-part epoxy options available.
For shop floors that do not have vehicles parked on the surface, carpet tiles may be an ideal solution. Home Depot carpet tiles come in a variety of colors and styles. To install, you simply place each of the tiles down in whatever pattern you prefer. Not only are you placing a protective layer over your floor, you can also manage stains more efficiently. If a tile catches a spill, they can be picked up and cleaned. In cases where the stain will not come out, you can choose to replace the damaged tiles with fresh ones. This way, you can maintain the look of a clean floor without the strain of fighting with stubborn stains.
A third option is simple rubber mats. They can come in single pieces, or be designed to interlock to form a more secure base. Like carpet tile, these can be removed individually, allowing pieces to be replaced if they become damaged. The surface also resists staining and can be more comfortable underfoot than flooring options without padding.
Like carpet tile, these are generally not designed to be driven on. They are easier to clean than some other options, especially from liquid spills as they will not sink into the material very quickly, if at all.
Understand Your Needs
The biggest key to selecting the right flooring is to simple understand how you need it to perform. Let the intended use be a guide, and then find a budget-friendly solution within the category. You’ll be enjoying your new floors before you know it.