Today’s garages are no longer just big cinderblock boxes with cement floors. They are quickly becoming extensions of the home, complete with custom built-ins and designer décor. One of the first things homeowners upgrade when doing a garage makeover is the floor. The two most popular garage flooring options are Swisstrax modular tiles and epoxy coatings. While each product has its merits, one is the clear choice when it comes to keeping your garage floor looking brand new and with little effort.
Keep reading to find out which type of garage flooring – Swisstrax or epoxy – is easiest to clean and why.
A Floor is a Floor
You may be familiar with the phrase “A rose is a rose is a rose.” It basically means that a thing is exactly what it is. While that may hold true for flowers, it is not true for garage flooring. There are notable differences between the various types of flooring options, the two most common being Swisstrax modular tiles and epoxy.
Swisstrax’s interlocking floor tiles are versatile and durable, making them ideal for home garages as well as for commercial & industrial purposes. The modular tiles are easy to install as they simply click into place. Available in a variety of colors and styles, you can customize the design or pattern to make your garage unique.
Additionally, Swisstrax tiles are virtually indestructible and resistant to chemicals, heat, and UV damage. Made of either hard plastic or rubber, they are waterproof and slip and skid resistant. In a nutshell, Swisstrax tiles are the perfect surface protector for your garage floor.
On the other hand, epoxy is basically a resin that covers the cement floor in your garage. Installation is more time-intensive, especially due to the ample drying time needed. Although protective, epoxy is not indestructible and requires consistent maintenance. It can also stain or fade and, in some cases, the epoxy can even peel up over time due to the heat from car tires.
It’s also important to note that although the texture of epoxy flooring makes it slip-resistant, it does become slippery when wet. This makes it particularly dangerous during the winter when snow can melt off your car, creating puddles in the garage, as well as during rainy months. As you can plainly see, while epoxy flooring looks nice, it definitely has its drawbacks.
Cleaning Tips and Tricks
Regardless of the type of flooring you choose to purchase, you want your new investment to not only look good but remain in excellent shape. Fortunately, cleaning and maintaining a Swisstrax floor is super simple and quick. This is due in a large part to its unique design which allows dirt, debris, and liquids to flow through the tiles, keeping your garage floor clean and dry.
A quick sweep with a dust mop or soft-bristled broom is all you need to remove dust and dirt from the tile surface. Leaves and other large debris can be easily removed using either a leaf blower or a shop vacuum.
For areas with excess dirt or grease, the manufacturer recommends that you apply a degreaser or cleaning solution and then use a damp mop. To remove dirt from beneath the tiles, you can use a shop-vac or even a high-pressure hose or power washer. You may need to separate and lift the tiles in order to do this.
The beauty of these types of modular flooring systems is that they are commonly made of heavy-duty plastics and are pretty much indestructible. But that doesn’t mean they can’t get dirty or stained. AllGarageFloors found that ammonia-based cleaners, such as Mr. Clean, do a great job of cleaning modular floor tiles and keeping them looking like new. A quick mopping is typically all you need, but to remove scuff marks you can try using a rag, soft scrub pad, or even a short-bristled deck brush with the cleaning solution. Tire marks and stubborn stains may require a few drops of mineral spirits, which you can apply with a rag. Overall, Swisstrax flooring is easy to clean with little effort.
On the other hand, epoxy floors tend to require more maintenance and a bit of elbow grease to keep them clean. According to Resin Expert, once or twice a week you should sweep your epoxy floor with a soft dust mop or use the soft brush attachment on a shop-vac to remove any dust or dirt. It’s especially important that you do not let dirt and sand accumulate on the floor because it can scratch the epoxy coating.
To ensure that all the grit is out of the nooks and crannies, you need to mop your epoxy garage floor with a mixture of one gallon of hot water and about three ounces of ammonia. A hard foam mop is best. Never use citrus cleaners or vinegar as they can ruin the epoxy coating. Also, avoid soap cleaners as they can dull the finish and cause the floor to become slippery when wet.
It’s also important to note that epoxy floors stain easily and it takes some extra effort to clean them. To get rid of rust stains, you can use a kitchen scrub sponge or a soft brush with warm water plus some upper body strength. Tire marks may be a bigger challenge. You will want to soak the area with the ammonia cleaning mixture and let it sit for about five minutes, then use a nylon brush with stiff bristles to scrub until the marks are gone. For stubborn stains, use Soft Scrub as it won't scratch the surface coating, but be sure to rinse it thoroughly to remove any residue.
While both Swisstrax modular tiles and epoxy coatings can elevate the appearance of your garage floor, only one maintains its good looks with little effort. A periodic sweep is typically all you need to keep your Swisstrax floor tiles clean. An occasional rinse with the hose or a quick mop will remove any residual dirt and grime. On the other hand, epoxy flooring needs to be swept at least once a week and spills should be tackled immediately to prevent permanent stains. So, when you put one up against the other, it’s plain to see that Swisstrax is the clear winner when it comes to determining which type of garage flooring is easiest to keep clean.