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.


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


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



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:

*This post contains affiliate links


  1. Question – I’m seriously thinking about installing porcelain tiles in my garage. My question is how do they hold up with tire marks, say from just warm/hot tires, the concrete has blackish tire marks, and was wondering if the same should be expected on porcelain tiles, whether they are easy enough to clean off or if you’ve seen this to be an issue?

    1. Good afternoon, Brad,

      Thanks for your comment and for reading our blog.
      Tire marks are not an issue at all. Actually, the only times I see tire marks on the porcelain is when we get the cars in the garage with the tires wet.

      I will be writing an updated post on the garage porcelain soon. However, I can tell you that, today, almost three years later, the floor looks exactly as it did when it was installed!

      1. Hi Tony – thank you for advising, very helpful. May I ask a similar question except this time instead of porcelain tile, if I went with an acid stain or acrylic waterproof concrete sealer, whether hot tire pickup would be an issue? Any experience or thoughts you have would be much appreciated.

        1. Hello, Brad,
          I’m glad I could help.
          Unfortunately, I do not have any experience with those other flooring types. I recommend you check out All Garage Floors, they have lots of information and great articles about all kinds of garage flooring options.

  2. I have a four-year-old urethane floor coating in my garage that is coming loose from the concrete. This was professionally installed but the warranty has expired and the contractor that installed it is now out of business. I’m considering ceramic tile. Do think the urethane will need to be completely removed to ensure good adhesions of the tile?

    1. Good afternoon, Gary,
      Thanks for your comment and for reading our blog.

      Unfortunately, the quality of your tile installation depends a LOT on the subfloor. Installing the tile on top of a urethane coating that is coming loose will most likely cause your tile to start coming loose as well.
      Without even seeing the floor, I will go as far as to say, that if it were me, I would grind the whole thing to completely remove the urethane coating before even thinking about laying tile. So, to answer your question, yes, the whole urethane coating needs to be removed before laying the tile.
      Let us know how the project goes!

  3. Nice job laying the tile but this has to be one of the weirdest things who puts porcelain tile in a garage. I can see cracked tiles in ur future. I guess that’s why they say different strokes for different folks. I would of spent that time diamond grinding the concrete for epoxy flake floor.

    1. Bill,
      Thanks for reading our blog and for taking the time to share your opinion.

      We agree, different strokes for different folks.

      Assuming they are properly installed (back buttered and full thin set coverage), good porcelain tiles offer one of the strongest flooring/work surface options available. They are even stronger than the concrete in which they are installed.

      You have no idea how many horror stories I’ve heard about epoxy, even from people who paid thousands of dollars to a so called “professional installer”.

      We’ve been abusing the tiles for over a year now, they still look like day one. If we happen to crack or completely break one, we can just easily replace it, something you cannot do if you drop a tool and chip your epoxy.

    1. Thank you, Dave.
      We enjoy sharing all our projects and there’s nothing better than knowing that they’ve been helpful to others.
      Please, share some photos once you get it done!

  4. 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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