OPINION: Why Home Centers & Club Stores Are Ruining The Garage Flooring Industry

Customer Assistance to Aisle 24,930 for Garage Flooring…. Customer Still Waiting….

Garage Floor Coatings

Did the guy at the home center tell you how to do this?

I will admit it. There are times that I will go to a home center and make a purchase because it is convenient and sometimes really stupid cheap. That said I am not dumb enough to think I can get an expert opinion from a guy in an orange apron on a product they have never even touched. The truth is their are some awesome people that work for home centers. I know a cabinet expert that went to work there as he got older. Same can be said for tools. There are definitely some resources to be found in a home center, but not in the world of garage flooring.

It also needs to be understood that no one even knew what the garage flooring industry was. Items like garage floor mats and garage floor tiles were unheard of. These products and the benefits thereof were heavily promoted by small niche retailers and local dealers who literally worked with a small group of manufacturers to create a new industry. Now these dealers and retailers are being left in the cold!

The bottom line is this. If you want a cheap floor for less money and you really don’t care if it is the right floor for you, you MIGHT get a better price from a home center. If anything other than price is of importance you simply are not going to get what you need from a home center or club store!

Have you ever asked the guy with the Walkie TalkieĀ  at your local club store how thick a Mil is? Perhaps the girl at the register of your local ‘PriceCo’ can tell you the appropriate expansion and contraction gap. I am very certain Mr. 2×4 at the lumber counter can tell you the best product to use when you use a creeper or a 4-post lift. Perhaps someone can cut you a free sample?

We are all very much aware that for certain commodities there is simply to way to compete with these large, and God help me ‘trusted’ big box stores. Garage flooring is not that type of item.

Items like garage flooring require highly specialized sales people. They need to know where your seams should be and the best installation method for your garage floor mats to keep them from curling. They need to know what type of adhesive to use over wood versus concrete and how to handle that silly expansion joint in the middle of your floor — oh wait I need that??

Here is what is happening today. More and more manufacturers are selling to large club stores and home centers. These places lack the knowledge to educate the consumer. This has been especially proven in the area of garage floor epoxy. The consumer buys a product, the product fails and then goes online to go on the offensive about how terrible a specific product line –that never should have been used the way they used it– is. Or perhaps they purchased a ‘epoxy’ that was really 80% water and stated ‘no prep required’ and now the consumer blogs and posts away about how ALL garage floor epoxy products lift from hot tires.

The other extreme is there is a segment of the population who feels no shame in utilizing the expertise of the smaller dealer and online specialty store. They grab all the knowledge they can and perhaps some free samples — just to turn around and place the order with a home center to save a few bucks.

One last note. To make matters worse, search engines like Google treat the big box stores as if they were garage flooring gods. Clearly search engine results are no longer based on user experience!

The bottom line is, garage flooring is a healthy investment and requires both an educated consumer and an educated sales person. The lack of knowledge at home centers and club stores is literally destroying the reputation of certain product groups (epoxy) and on the verge of causing serious damage to the industry as a whole. Manufacturers need to rethink the garage floor in a box mentality and go back to the distribution method that has been time proven — knowledgeable and specialized dealers and retailers.

 

 

 

 

Cool way to finish your floor

Diamond Life

Diamond Life Base Molding

Almost every product out there designed to cover that ugly concrete floor requires a gap for expansion and contraction. Sure there are a lot of great, cheap ways to deal with those gaps.

One of our favorite products for this is the Diamond life base molding. While it can be slightly expensive, it provides an amazing look and ties the floor and the wall together. There are plenty of additional options available as well. Many customers will use a roll of rubber cove base or even a wood base molding.

Whatever product you decide to use just make sure you tack it in such a way that it is barley touching the floor. You should be able to slide a dollar bill between the floor and the molding without issue

What do you do if your garage floor mat curls on the ends

From time to time we will receive an email from a a reader asking what to do if their mat curls up on the end or will not lay flat. There are a couple of reasons that this can happen and the cause may affect the suggested solution — that is our cover our rear way of saying you should check with the manufacturer and don’t blame us :-)

First Step

Fan the mats out and get some air underneath them. Reposition the mats and make sure they have the proper expansion and contraction gap. Trim as necessary to make sure a full 1/2″ is left at the walls, posts and other solid objects. Also cut the mats 1/2″ short of the garage door.

Second Option

If you are still having an issue use an acrylic floor tape or 3M #80 spray adhesive along the front edge where the ripples appear. It is possible the issue will migrate but general this will resolve the problem.

Last Resort

According to a recent article by an industry insider adhesive can be used over the entire floor as a last resort.

G-Floor Small Coin Garage Floor Mats Taking Industry by Storm

G-Floor Small CoinThe new G-Floor small coin garage floor mats appear to be taking the industry by storm. For reasons that have not been made public the product only appears to be available through a select number of dealers. The small coin garage mats fill a void in the industry that was otherwise untouched.

For years there was a huge jump from the 55 Mil ribbed to other patterns. Because the small coin is thicker than the ribbed or leavant products but thinner than the traditional coin or diamond products, it presents an exceptional value. Equally important the pattern lends itself much better to working garages and shops because it is much easier to roll heavy equipment and creepers on.

Companies like Garage Flooring LLC have been active in marketing the product as shown in this YouTube video:

What remains unclear is where the product will be offered and why the distribution is currently so limited. While the product is available through major retailers like Sears and Amazon it appears to be through smaller independent merchants. The product appears to be manufactured by G-Floor.

The small coin garage floor mats are only available in a very limited number of sizes and colors. They are only available in gray or black with two basic roll sizes 8.5×24 and 10×24 and a special order 8.5×100. The product is also stocked in a felt backed material for trailer applications.

In general it does appear that major niche online retailers are strongly behind the product and nothing negative has shown up in the forums. G-Floor products can be installed as free floating floors and can also be fully adhered.

Like all new products, this product needs more time to see how well it is received in the marketplace. Given that it is made from the same materials as the rest of the Better Life Technology line, the product should have the same characteristics and has been tested for over a decade. Looks like this could be perhaps one of the best deals the garage flooring industry has to offer!