Lock Tile Blog

How To Install Interlocking Garage Floor Tiles

ByAllen Czermak


Paul Hurwitz and his wife were sitting around for the second straight day, watching The Weather Channel about the upcoming “armageddon snow storm” that was heading their way. This type of winter day seemed to be getting a bit repetitive and Paul’s wife was not about to let another day go to waste. Her plan was to finish the newly renovated garage flooring with PVC interlocking floor tiles. Paul got up from the couch and he and his wife got into the proper gear to attack this job. 

The boxes of interlocking tiles had been sitting around for weeks already.  Paul had to go through a series of steps in order to get the exact amount of rubber mats needed for the garage floor. The amount of tiles he ordered was based on the square footage of the room.  In addition to the base amount, he purchased an additional 15% of flooring. The supplies for installing the garage interlocking tiles included a good razor blade, mallet, leveler, and tape measure. 

After a whole day of working in the garage, the floor was finally complete. The Hurwitz family had chosen not to do a snug wall-to-wall fit and had chosen to use the rubber edging that comes with interlocking floor squares. Finally, the flooring was completed and the couple had a very productive snow day. Now it was time to bathe, get into cozy pajamas, and snuggle up by the fire place with a hot cocoa. 

Is Installing Interlocking Rubber Floor Tiles For a Garage For Everyone?

Not all DIY projects are for everyone, but installing floor interlocking tiles can be done by most homeowners who are a little bit handy. It’s always good to have an extra hand who can assist you making the task a bit easier. Also having a family member or friend is good company that tends to make the project move along quicker. 

Before you do anything it’s always good to have a first hand account of what you should know prior to the DIY tile floor installation. For the rest of this article we will go through the installation process from purchasing the right amount of tiles to applying the optional tile coat to give it a nice shine. Homeowners need to get a clear description of what the project entails prior to beginning the garage floor tile installation process.

Getting the Right Amount Of PVC Tiles

Both professional and amature garage floor installers need to calculate the right amount of floor tiles. The sample interlocking floor tile is 19 5/8” by 19 5/8” which is an estimate of 2.6′ square feet. This includes the locks at the perimeter of each side of the flooring squares. When the tiles are interlocked, 4 tiles measure 10.4′ square feet. Let’s say we are going to lay down flooring for a four bedroom colonial that has a two car garage with a square footage of 21.25 by 22.50 feet. That comes out to approximately 478 square feet. Take the number of square feet, which in our case is 478 and divide by 2.6′ which equals 184 tiles to be exact. It’s recommended to add on an additional 15% which takes you up to around 211 tiles to cover the flooring for this garage.

Not everyone chooses to lay tiles out on the whole area of flooring. Some homeowners will choose a corner of a section and create a workstation or parking spot for a specialty car. In this case, the amount of flooring needed for the garage floor rubber tiles will be significantly less. Since the interlocking tiles are square, you are going to need to get the square footage of the area. This means that even if you are cornering off the flooring or having it set in an angle, you always need a square footage measurement because the tiles are square, not triangle.

Sweeping Away The Dust In The Plotted Area

Once the area is cleared you will want to take a multi-surface indoor/outdoor push broom and try to clear away as much dust and debris as possible. Keep your garage door open so the dust which gets airborne will have a way to exit the garage without falling back on the floor. Sweeping is not a must, but being that one in twenty million Americans are allergic to dust it’s highly recommended. The last thing you need is having a friend doing some project with you and have them go on a sneezing attack.

What If There Is a Crack In The Concrete Garage Floor?

The amazing thing about interlocking rubber tiles is that they will lay perfectly over any dents or cracks in the concrete floor. The only issue is when there is a bump in the floor. Regarding the PVC garage floor tiles, they will format quite neatly to one another. It’s the bump which might bother you that might take away the all flat look. There is a real quick fix for smoothing out the concrete floor in your garage. There is a tool called an angle grinder that can smooth the surface in order for the newly installed flooring to lay 100% flat. Keep in mind that after any grinding to sweep away all remaining debris.

Picking Out The PVC Interlocking Floor Tiles

Picking out the floor can actually be a lot of fun. Besides for choosing from a coin, pattern, and plain finish, one can mix and match colors. Some homeowners like throwing a different color tile in the center of a set of tiles while others like to create a neat checkerboard pattern. The types of patterns that one can create for their garage floor rubber tiles is endless. It is a good idea to create a diagram on paper of the area and color in the boxes of how you would like the layout to look. Then simply count the amount of tiles you need for each color. If you want to create a checkerboard layout, it won’t be necessary to count the amount of PVC interlocking tiles. All you need is to get 50% of each color tile.

How To Navigate the Garage Ceiling Support Beam

The floor area is cleared and all of a sudden you are stumped. There is a garage ceiling support beam smack in the middle of the area where you plan on laying the new interlocking floor squares. First of all this is a very common problem and there are two ways to “get around” this problem (and don’t even think of getting rid of the support beam). Depending on the shape of your beam might determine the path you want to take. Whatever shape your support beam is, you do not want to cut off the interlocks from the tile. These will be needed to continue the flooring. If you make a mistake, always remember that you had ordered some extra tiles just in case.

Placing The Garage Floor Rubber Tile Around a Circular Support Beam

If your garage plays host to a pole which is round, you may want to use a whole saw (most whole saws can affix easily to any electric drills). Spotting the center of the drill takes a little bit of concentration. In order to determine where to cut the hole, you want to make sure that you know exactly where this tile should be resting even if the pole would not be there. We do that by placing as many tiles needed until they meet the pole. For this a combination square would be really handy to get the exact measurement of the center of the pole. Alternatively, one can use a basic leveler, but be sure that the tile which you are cutting does not move when you are marking the lines of where the pole will sit. Once you find the point, use a marker color which you will undoubtedly recognize and spot that point (don’t worry about marking up this part of the tile as it will be discarded anyways). After making the cut, take your sharp knife or razor and slit it from the shorter side in order so that you can place tile around the support beam.

Placing The Garage Floor Rubber Tile Around a Square Support Beam

Setting the tile around a square support beam in your garage is a bit easier. Any basic sharp knife could be used for this cut out. Using a leveler, mark the spot on the pole where the next parallel tile should sit. Then take the measurement of the length and width of each side where the tile will be up against the support beam. Sometimes you might have one tile surrounding the beams while other times you may have multiple tiles surrounding the beam. The point is to get the right measurement of how much tile you will be cutting to surround your pole. Once you get the perfect tile cut, it’s time to try and see if it fit’s. If the tile fits fantastic, if not just try again. Now we can understand why homeowners should always order extra interlocking floor tiles. 

Final Touches For The Interlocking Floor Installation

Now that you have got the complicated part of the garage floor tile installation out of the way, it is time to layout the rest of your tiles. You can either choose to have a snug fit against the garage wall or leave the flooring open and use the edging which should come with the tiles. The rubber edging will go around the perimeter of the newly installed flooring and give a really smooth look to the flooring. There are optional coats that help protect against tire marks and also give it a nice shine. 

Congratulations, your garage floor is complete and best of all you did not have to even break the bank. Interlocking rubber floor tiles for garage flooring not only looks good but is very durable and can handle much wear and tear. Always remember that just like any flooring, you need to care for it and clean the interlocking tile every so often. Good care for your floor will extend the lifetime of the tiles and keep the shine all season long. 

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