Flooring Finishes for New Zealand Garage

Remove Oil and Grease Spots
  • Cover grease stains with a layer of sawdust or cat litter. These materials absorb excess oil remarkably well. Leave the sawdust or cat litter on the floor for at least one day.
  • Use a deck brush with rigid bristles to sweep up the sawdust, cat litter and dirt.
  • Pour dry dishwasher detergent or a concrete cleaning agent on the stain. Let the detergent sit for 45 minutes, then pour boiling water on the area and vigorously scrub the stained section with the brush.
  • Don’t let your scrubbed areas dry before you hose them off. The reason for this is that the contaminants in the pores of the concrete are emulsified and lifted out in the solution while it is still wet. This makes it easy to rinse out with a high pressure hose or water blaster.  If it starts to dry out, contaminants can be left behind.
  • For more stubborn stains, use a specialised concrete cleaner in combination with your pressure sprayer.
  • For rust stains, use trisodium phosphate (TSP) in hot water. Wet the concrete and use a brush rigid bristles to scrub. Let the solution soak into the concrete for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.

Dry it well

  • Use a squeegee to quickly sweep up excess water. If you don’t have a squeegee, a large broom can also help.

Fill the Cracks

  • Small cracks can be filled with an epoxy paste. Once you've filled the crack, scrape excess epoxy so that it's flush with the floor. After the repair dries completely, do some light sanding for a smooth finish.
  • For larger cracks, overfill with an epoxy paste. Let the repair dry. Then grind the area so it's flush with the floor.

Prep Your Floor

Moisture Test

If you think that moisture issues might prevent paint or sealer from bonding, here's a simple way to find out: Cut out a 1m square of plastic sheeting and tape it down completely to your garage floor. If after a day or so, water collects on the underside of the plastic, you'll need to put down a good vapour barrier before the primer coat.

Sealant/Etching Test

If you're unsure whether your garage floor has previously been sealed, you can pour water on it to perform a simple test. The water should soak into the concrete relatively quickly. If it beads up or just sits there for a long time, the cement has been sealed before and probably needs to be etched before you can re-seal or paint the garage floor.

 Garage Flooring Options

Etching the Floor

To etch the floor of your garage, apply a commercial concrete etcher, being careful to follow the manufacturer's instructions. If the etcher fizzes up as it's applied, you know that it's working. Let the floor dry overnight. The concrete will now have a grainy texture, which offers a better surface for the paint to grip.

Seal the Floor

To prevent future staining, to minimise concrete dust, and to make it easier to sweep, you can seal your garage floor. If you are planning to also paint your garage floor, applying sealant can act as a primer. Priming prior to painting can help achieve better adhesion if moisture is an issue or if the concrete is dusty and "weak."

Choose a product that is either a water-based floor epoxy or a solvent-thinned epoxy. Use a nylon brush along the edges of your garage and use a roller — lint-free, all-purpose, solvent- and water-resistant with a medium nap — to apply the rest of the sealant. Apply sealant liberally but be sure to roll it out evenly. If you're going to paint the garage floor, allow the sealant/primer to dry thoroughly (at least 8 hours and up to three days). For consistent coverage, apply the second coat at right angles to your first coat.

Paint the Floor

When selecting paint for your garage floor, make sure to choose an epoxy paint created especially for garage floors. Mix the paint well and apply a thin, even first coat. Cut in along the edges of your garage with a brush and then use a roller with a medium nap to apply the rest of the paint. Use an extension handle on the roller to make life easier. Let the first coat dry thoroughly (about 24 hours) before applying the next.

Epoxy resin paint is tougher than latex and acrylic but is more challenging to use. It’s important to prepare well and follow manufacturer’s instructions, so as not to end up with a lumpy result. It can be worth the effort though, with high performance and options like adding coloured chips that look great and offer excellent traction.

 Painting your Garage Floor

Floor Coverings

Technology has left the carpet tiles of old in the dust and now your options for sorting out your own flooring are tempting and affordable. Roll out floor coverings are cost effective and easy, but need a nice smooth, flat floor to perform really well. Tiles come in many colour, style and material options and can give a really fun result. Fancy epoxy finishes can look and perform exceptionally, but need plenty of prep work, research and maybe a professional installer, depending on your desired effect.

Garage Floor Coverings

Whichever finish you choose, our bet is that you’ll get a lot more pleasure from being in your garage than you did before!


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