More Garage Flooring Products Make Choosing a Garage Floor Difficult

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A wealth of new garage flooring products flooding the market has caused confusion among consumers about which products to buy and where to buy them. This article serves as a garage floor buying guide for the consumer.

There is a lot of talk about garage floor tiles that lock moisture and dirt on top of the floor

The garage flooring industry has emerged from a non-existent fringe product a couple of years ago to a booming industry with new and innovative products being launched every month. With an increasing number of manufacturers, retailers and Web sites joining in with garage floor products and accessories of their own, consumers are experiencing a more difficult time when having to shop for and choose garage flooring products for their improvement needs.

JNK Products, LLC, is a leading garage flooring company that has sold many brands of garage flooring in addition to quality garage storage and other service products. While JNK Products sells millions of dollars in garage flooring products on an annual basis, Justin Krauss, operations manager for JNK Products, LLC, warns “garage flooring is just like any emerging industry. There are good garage flooring products and there are not so good garage flooring products. There are also some garage flooring products which probably should not even be on the market.”

Many consumers use warranties to separate the great products from the bad ones prior to making an order for their garage flooring area. While reviewing a manufacturers warranty is certainly a helpful and easy way to start, it is also important to view and find out other information, like how long the product has been on the market and how long the manufacturer has been making similar flooring products. A 10-Year warranty on a product that has been on the market for a year may be cause for a potential customer to pause. Another important factor in choosing a garage floor is how you are going to make use of it.

Garage Floor Mats have become an affordable and attractive solution for the garage flooring needs of many consumers. Garage floor mats are typically one of the least expensive garage flooring products on the market while some products offer a high degree of performance. An important thing to consider when shopping for and purchasing garage floor mats is again the purpose. There are basically two types of mats for garage floors on the market.

The first type of garage floor mat is a true garage floor covering like the products made by Better Life Technology® (BLT). BLT mats for garage floors are constructed of a high quality PVC and are available in 4 patterns, 6 colors, widths of up to 10 feet and lengths up to 60 feet. Rolled garage flooring like that manufactured by BLT can be easily seamed to cover an entire garage floor, or a smaller piece can simply be rolled out over a portion of the garage. When choosing rolled garage flooring products, there are several very important factors to consider. If you are hoping to contain liquid or debris, then you will want to make sure that you choose an appropriate pattern like the ribbed pattern. If you are going more for style or looking for more of a traditional look, then you should consider the coin, diamond tread and other attractive options offered by manufacturers. Next you want to make sure that you choose a rolled garage floor mat that is at least 55 Mils thick. Most industry experts agree that PVC is the best choice of substrates for this type of garage flooring.

The containment mat is another type of garage mat that is often confused with the product above. Containment mats are not garage flooring. Thus, they should not be used to cover your entire garage floor. Containment mats are not generally designed to withstand high traffic, snow tires, chains, cabinets, etc. Containment mats are simply designed to be driven onto with the sole purpose of keeping snow, ice, dirt, water and debris off of garage floors. There is a big difference between one containment mat and another, even within the same manufacturer! When choosing a containment mat, it is very important to choose a containment mat that is over 40 mils thick. You should also choose a mat that is shipped rolled (as opposed to folded) such as the new Park Smart® Special Edition Parking Mat.

Garage floor tiles are also available from a wide variety of manufacturers. The advantage of garage floor tiles over other garage flooring products is that they are generally thicker and can be assembled to create a variety of patterns. While garage floor tiles will take longer to install than a rolled garage flooring product, many garage floor tiles (such as the Daytona® Sport Court® Garage Floor Tile) offer longer warranties. When choosing a garage floor tile, it is important to know that price and quality are not necessarily related. You should consider purchasing a tile that is at least ½” thick polypropylene. It is also advantageous to choose a garage floor tile that combines drainage and solid tiles. The drainage tiles allow water and debris to wash off of the surface, keeping it cleaner and dryer. Make sure the garage floor tile you choose is UV resistant and also incorporates a loop and peg locking system. Finally make sure the tile is rated at 200 PSI or better.

“There is a lot of talk about garage floor tiles that lock moisture and dirt on top of the floor,” said Krauss. “It has been our experience that this is a horrible mistake. This type of tile has the potential to have three major issues.

“First if the lock is too tight, there can be an issue with buckling when the tiles expand and contract. Second, when the dirt is trapped on top of the system, you can be left with a very expensive, yet very dirty garage floor. Third, moisture trapped on top of the garage floor can cause a potential hazard and increase the likelihood that you may slip.

“I believe that Sport Court® presents the best value for the customer. Sport Court® has manufactured modular garage floor systems for three decades. Their garage floor tiles are priced under $3.00 a square foot, and they offer two solid tiles that can interact with a drainage tile. While we have many many garage floor tiles available to us, Sport Court® is the only garage floor tile we’ve chosen to stock.”

Regardless of what garage flooring product you choose, most industry experts agree that if you are going to choose a non-coating product, then you should always order a sample first. Companies like JNK Products offer free samples of BLT flooring. JNK Products will also send samples of garage floor tiles for a nominal shipping cost. “Ordering a garage floor without getting a sample first is like buying a house you have never seen,” Krauss said.

According to Krauss, the following are ten questions you should ask your garage flooring supplier before making a purchase:

1.    If you were choosing a product, which one would you put in your own home?

2.    Do you stock any garage flooring products in your warehouse?

3.    What happens if my garage flooring arrives and I do not like it?

4.    How long will my order take to arrive, how will it be shipped and where is it shipping from?

5.    Can I have a copy of the warranty?

6.    What tools do I need to install this product and how difficult is installation?

7.    What complaints have you received about this product?

8.    If you are buying garage flooring online, make sure they are a legitimate operation. Thus, if there is a problem down the road, then you will have a legitimate company to work with. Is the company you are dealing with a one person operation and a cell phone or a well staffed company with a warehouse or store front? Just because an online company does not have a warehouse or a storefront does not mean they are less legitimate. It just means you might want to consider checking a little harder.

9.    Tell your salesperson what you use your garage for and ask for their recommendation based on that specific information. I would recommend a different garage flooring product for a garage storage/workshop than I would for just a garage.

10.    When should I expect to receive tracking information and how will I receive it?

For more information about garage flooring contact your local garage flooring dealer, call JNK Products at 877-873-3736 or visit their website at http://www.jnkproducts.com

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Justin Krauss
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