Chinese Garage Flooring Mats are coming and they are coming quick. For years, large garage floor mats were made exclusively by Better Life Technology in Emporia KS. GarageFlooring.org has learned that multiple manufacturers are launching competing products from China and other places overseas.
While some companies like Garage Flooring Inc have decided to market their foreign made products along side of the American garage flooring products –and they are joined by club stores like CostCo– many garage flooring dealers have elected to stay with products that are made in the USA.
According to some in the industry there huge differences in the quality from an American made garage floor to one that is made in China.
- Always ask if your mat has been stored rolled or flat prior to being ordered. Mats that have been rolled for long periods of time may not relax and lay flat.
- Ask what steps are being taken to keep lead out of foreign made product
- Ask how long the product has been on the market in the USA
- Ask what steps are being taken to control color from one lot to another and if you order multiple rolls are you guaranteed the same color lot.
- Ask what the warranty is and what happens in the event of a freight claim
Products from China offer a definite price advantage over products that are made in the USA. That said just like the tools we pay extra for, you usually get what you pay for. Consider the long terms costs and consider who’s economy you want to support before buying a Mat that is made in China or anywhere outside the USA!
There are a lot of garage flooring products on the market today and there is at least one thing they all have in common. All garage flooring products will expand and contract. As a basic rule if you install the products during the hottest time of the year they will contract in the winter. If you install them in the coldest part of the year they will expand. One caution, the greater the temperature difference the more expansion and contraction you will see.
Most manufacturers will have recommendations as to how much room you need to leave for expansion. Remember it is not just the outside walls you need to worry about. Any heavy objects, posts, poles, cabinets, etc that your flooring in the garage is cut around must be considered.
Using wood lath or other shims when doing garage floor tiles is a great way to keep a consistent perimeter. When you are done with the flooring installation the shims are removed and a consistent gap remains. Use base molding which can be made of wood, rubber or use one of the diamond plate products such as those sold by Diamond Life. These products will hide the gap in your garage floor without interfering with the expansion and contraction.
Regardless of what the temperature outside is, it is always a good practice to acclimate your garage floor before you install it. That simply means let it sit in the area it is being installed for a few days. In conditioned spaces acclimation of the flooring product is still important. Once acclimatized conditioned spaces tend to see less expansion and contraction.
Garage floor mats, such as those manufactured by Better Life Technology can see gaps present between multiple rolls. The best way to avoid this is to install the floor and let it sit for 7 days or so. Then install their seam tape between each roll.
The ribbed pattern mats from Better Life Technology are an inexpensive garage floor mat that simply rolls out. The product is made in other patterns as well but we will review those in separate posts at a later time.
For an inexpensive garage flooring solution, the BLT mats perform very well. They are not glued down so you can take them out of your garage to clean them. We would not suggest using the ribbed pattern flooring product if your floor slopes away from the door.
Other considerations: User who have Motor Cycles snow mobiles or snow tires should consider at least the 75 mil product and should consult their garage flooring dealer before making a purchase.