We get asked this question all the time and to tell the truth there is no real single answer as to which of our products is best. If you are comparing a cheap water based epoxy against a Roll Out Mat or Interlocking Garage Tile then the mats and tile win hands down. But if you are comparing them to a real high quality epoxy kit then it's a different story. In the sections below we'll go over all the pros and cons of each product and then you can take that information and combine it with your own set of personal facts and make an informed decision as to which product you will be most happy with. Links to each product page are in blue.
Lets start with Epoxy Floor Kits. Only consider going with a DIY epoxy coating kit if you are going to purchase the best quality and you prepare the floor properly. Failure to do either of these two things will result in a guaranteed coating failure every time! The pros on epoxy when done right are that they are cost effective, they are stunning and dramatic in appearance, they are durable and can last up to 20 years or more, they are light reflective and brighten up any room, they are a non stick surface so cleaning is as simple as wiping the floor up with a towel. The cons are that you must clean and etch the floor properly otherwise the epoxy will not bond to the concrete properly. This is not difficult to do, it just takes a few hours of time. You must use a urethane topcoat to protect the epoxy. Again not difficult but another critical step in the process.
The down time on your floor is greater than if using a mat or garage tile. Installation time is more because you need to wait for the concrete to dry after cleaning, and for the epoxy to dry before applying the topcoat and then of course for the topcoat to dry. All told it's only 4-6 hours of actual labor but from start to finish is usually 2-3 days because of the dry times. You can cut the installation time down to one day by purchasing an epoxy kit from a Home Improvement store but then of course you will be doing it over a lot sooner then you think.
Roll Out Mats are in between Epoxy and Garage Tile price wise. They are probably the easiest to install since you order the size needed for your floor and then simply roll them out. Trimming is easy with a pair of scissors or utility knife if needed. Typical installation time is about 30 minutes per mat. Multiple mats can be fused together with a seaming compound such as 3M Seam Weld. This forms a water proof permanent seam. Roll out mats look great, are easy to clean, not effected by road salts or vehicle fluids and are very durable. And unlike vinyl mats they are not slippery. There is no floor prep needed, just sweep out any debris prior to installing. Mats are a great way to hide floor blemishes and upgrade the appearance of your floor. They are also very versatile and are used in many applications other than garage floors such as kennels, gyms, waiting areas, loading docks and anywhere there is high foot traffic. They are available in Coin, Diamond, Ribbed or Flat patterns. There really is no downside to installing mats. If we had to pick a fault we would say they are a little thinner than the tiles and are guaranteed for 10 years versus the lifetime guarantee of the tiles.
Garage Tiles are the high end of floors at least with our tiles anyway. Our interlocking tiles range form our Light Duty Tiles of 3/16" thick up to our Super Heavy Duty Tiles 5/16" thick of solid PVC construction with water tight seams versus cheap thin hollow tiles made from low grade generic plastics with loose fitting connectors. So as we mentioned above when asking which is better, you have to qualify which brand you are comparing.
Our tiles are indestructible and are guaranteed for Life. That is not true for any other garage or interlocking tile. Our tiles come in sizes of 19 1/2 x 19 1/2, 20.5" x 20.5" and 20" x 20" and have a great look to them, different colored patterns can be installed, they are easily cleaned, are easily installed, they are portable so you can take them to a new location if you wanted too and are very easy to remove or replaced if a tile needs to be. Installation time is in between epoxy and roll out mats. It's simply knocking them together with a rubber mallet and cutting the end pieces with any type of power saw. Typical installation time is 3-4 hours per 600 sq ft. The downside to tiles if there is one is the cost. They are the costliest floor to install. That's the only bad thing we can think of if cost is a concern.
They are available in four patterns Coin, Flat, Slate Finish and Diamond pattern. The Coin has raised discs that are about 1" in diameter. The Flat or Textured pattern tiles have an Orange Peel type of finish so they are not slippery, The Slate finish is more of a natural stone look and is areas that are more architecturally sensitive and the Diamond Pattern resembles Diamond Plate for a more industrial look. We recommend Flat(Textured)) pattern tiles if you have items with small solid wheels that you will be rolling over the floor often. The Flat tiles offer a smooth surface for rolling carts, dollies, tool chests or floor jacks vs the raised coin pattern tiles. A ramp edge is available for installation at any exposed tile edge. This offers a finished look and eliminates any tripping hazard. Simply cut the tabs off the leading edge, slip the ramp edge over the tile and apply a little Liquid Nails underneath to lock in place.
So to sum things up personal taste and budget play a big role as to which product is best for you when comparing products on an Apples to Apples basis Quality wise. All told any of these products purchased from us will give you many years of trouble free service while looking great at the same time. Only you can determine which one you think looks the best and will meet your needs the best.
There's lots of information on our site to help you make the right decision for your project. But for whatever reason you are still undecided give us a call at 866-532-3979 or send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get you on the right track.