Our New Porcelain Tile Garage Floor Installation

Garage floor prior to porcelain tile installation

The garage floor right before we started this project

This is the third and last part of our new garage finishing project.

On our previous two posts, we showed you how we insulated, dry walled, primed and painted our new garage. With all those projects out of the way, it was time to move on and install a nice porcelain tile garage floor.

We did it last because we didn’t want to get our new nice porcelain all dirty while working with drywall, primer, and paint.

As you have read before, in our previous two garages, we used epoxy, however, as you have also read, I was not very satisfied with it. So I decided to try something different in our new garage.

After looking at different options, I decided to give porcelain a try, mostly because as you may know by now, it is one of my favorite flooring options. We went with a two color, white and gray design.

Before starting with the installation, we decided to eliminate the closet on the far end of the garage. This was so that we could better accommodate our existing cabinets. None of the end walls was wide enough for them, so it made sense to do this. So right after we framed, drywalled and painted the area, we installed the wall cabinets so we could store and keep some of our stuff off the floor while we worked on this installation.

PREPARING THE GARAGE FLOOR FOR PORCELAIN TILE

Installing porcelain tile in a garage is not that much different than installing it in any other room. There may be few things that need to be taken care of before you start with the installation, though.

  • Check that the floor is level.

Since builders do not pay too much attention to the garage finishes, the floor may not be perfectly flat. They usually have low or high spots that you may need to either fill up or grind down before your installation. Use a long beam level to identify them. Another area of concern is around the contraction joints. In our case, I was satisfied with how level the floor was, so I didn’t fill up or grind down any areas.

  • Clean any greasy spots.

Greasy spots do not help with mortar adhesion, make sure you use some degreaser to clean up any greasy spots on your garage floor before starting with the installation.

  • Repair any cracks.

It is always advisable to repair any concrete cracks before tile installations. This is to avoid cracking the tile due to concrete movement.

Once this is done, the next steps are very similar to the ones I’ve mentioned before:

  • Measure and mark the center of the garage, use a chalk line if possible.

This time, however, I paid attention to the position of the contraction joints. Luckily the two main ones divided the garage in four almost identical areas, so my chalk lines were basically on top of the contraction joints.

This is important because you want to avoid setting complete tiles on top of these joints. They could crack. To help with this, you could use a crack isolation membrane, but that’s an extra preparation step and expense you’d have to incur. In our case, though, instead of having a complete tile, we have a ground line.

Preparation for Porcelain tile garage floor

The chalk lines we used as guide to position the tiles

 

  • Lay the tiles from the center mark you got on the previous step, to the walls, using tile spacers, to make sure you have tiles about the same size on all sides of the garage.
Porcelain tile garage floor preparation

This is how we check the tile’s positioning before we start setting them in mortar

 

Porcelain tile positioning before installation

We checked the tile’s positioning on all sides of the garage

 

Tile positioning for porcelain garage floor

At this point, we decided we were good to go

LAYING THE PORCELAIN TILE GARAGE FLOOR

Once we were happy with the positioning of the tile, we went ahead and started setting them in mortar. This time, however, we used crack prevention Flex Bond, instead of the regular Versa Bond we’ve used before. It is stronger and prevents against cracking due to minor surface movements, a possibility in the garage, mostly due to temperature changes in our area.

We also back buttered every single tile for extra bonding strength and impact resistance.

Laying porcelain tile in the garage

Laying the new porcelain tile garage floor

 

Gray porcelain tile in the garage floor

Laying the porcelain tile on the left side of the garage

 

When we finished laying the tile on the left side of the garage, we started grouting it with Delorean Gray grout. This was so that we could move our stuff to that area and continue working on the right side.

Grouting porcelain tile garage floor

Grouting the left side so we could move on to the right one

 

Garage porcelain tile floor almost completed

Getting excited with the porcelain installation almost completed

 

Porcelain tile ready for grout

End of the porcelain installation, moving on with the grout

 

At the driveway-garage transition, we used a Schluter Systems Reno Ramp .

Schluter Systems Reno Ramp

The Schluter System’s Reno Ramp we used at the driveway-garage transition

 

Lastly, we finished grouting the rest of the garage, sealed the grout a twice, and at the end, I  retouched the “baseboard” (foundation) as it got a bit dirty with the grout.

Grouting garage porcelain tile

Grouting the rest of the garage with Delorean Gray Grout

 

Cleaning up porcelain garage floor

Cleaning up the new porcelain garage floor

 

Garage porcelain tile installation

Cleaning up and removing all the haze left over from the grout job

 

Porcelain tile garage floor

Cleaning up and final touches to the new porcelain tile garage floor

 

INSTALLING THE REST OF THE KOBALT GARAGE METAL CABINETS

As you may have noticed, for this project, we didn’t have to get new cabinets. We moved our existing ones from our previous garage to this one. It made sense to do this, because they are in perfect, like new shape. Actually, one of the reasons why I bought these in the first place, was because I always thought that if I ever moved I could take them with me to the new place, and that’s exactly what we did.

Kobalt garage metal cabinets

The first six garage cabinets in their final position

 

Kobalt garage storage cabinets

Due to lack of space, the other two were installed on a different wall

 

Porcelain tile and metal cabinets in the garage

There’s still enough space to park two cars in the garage

 

New porcelain tile garage floor

Now we just need some new light fixtures

 

Readers, what type of garage floor do you have? Have you considered a porcelain tile one?

Ready to move forward with your Porcelain Tile Garage Floor? This is what you need:

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2 comments

  1. How do these tiles hold up to metal objects on them like jack stands with a vehicle on the stands. How do things roll on them like creepers and stools and such.

    1. Hello Jared, Thanks for reading our blog.
      Based on our research, many have had their porcelain tile garages for years with no issues even though they do mechanic, welding, carpentry and other jobs. There’s even a video of a guy sledgehammering his ceramic tile floor, look it up. As long as they’re properly set (back butter and complete thin set coverage) they should be even stronger than your concrete.
      As far as rolling stuff, not an issue at all. They’re not slippery when wet either, which is another concern many people have.

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