Your garage floor is likely the last place you thought you’d renovate in your home. Lately, in the last 10 years or so, decorative chip finishes for garage floors have been popping up everywhere.
Many contractors in various fields have been adding garage chip flooring to their repertoire. The thought process is often “well I’m already doing their central vac, I may as well do their garage floor while I am there!” While this is sound business thinking, it may not be the best for the consumer at the other end of the transaction.
Decorative garage chip floors go much deeper than the surface you walk on. There is a very specific and technical method that must be followed to ensure the longest lasting decorative chip coating possible.
Concrete flooring contractors know that when it comes to any kind of chip floor, surface preparation is key. You don’t want to hire a contractor who doesn’t have concrete grinding or shot blasting equipment for surface preparation. You want a contractor who has the know how and equipment to properly abrade your floor to ensure the entire decorative chip system is able to seep into the concrete garage floor and expand into it’s pores. This is key for a long lasting and durable installation.
On the topic of decorative chip choices: There are MANY. Rest easy though, usually a concrete flooring contractor will provide a basic book of samples of decorative chip options. There are always custom blends available of course.
Decorative chips are essentially smashed up little pieces of vinyl. They are available in sizes from 1/32 all the way to 1 inch. The most common, and in my opinion the nicest, are 1/16″ and 1/4″ flakes.
If you have a floor that isn’t quite perfect in terms of smoothness or levelness, a 1/4″ chip is your best bet. 1/16″ chips show more imperfections. However, there are base coats that are self-levelling which can be applied prior to installing a decorative chip floor.
If you level out and smooth your floor with self-levelling epoxy first, you can easily go ahead with 1/16″ flakes for a super rich and less busy look.