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Unread 12-19-2011, 08:57 PM   #1
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Garage floor tile and wall wainscot question

I just had my garage floor improved (floor drains, sloped, new concrete) and was planning on proceeding to polymethylmethacrylate speckled flake coating (similar to epoxy but more durable). I was then going to make a spring project out of putting some sort of wainscoting on the wall up to approx 3 feet. Currently it's drywall so it gets damage with the periodic pressure washer cleanup.


1. Should I reconsider and go with a tile floor? I worry about dirty grout lines, general cleanability, cost, and cracking with the cars especially since this is a Spancrete floor with another garage underneath (workshop actually) so I have no doubt it flexes considerably when the cars are driven in.

2. I had in mind a subway tile or other relatively inexpensive wall tile with some sort of transition to the garage floor to be sealable with a bead of silicone. Any other great ideas in terms of water sealing that transition, type of tile edge to the floor, need for cement board underneath, and type of tile? I see another user was proposing to go with the subway tile.

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Unread 12-19-2011, 09:18 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.

1- I dunno. Bob should be back shortly. I'll defer to his wisdom.

2- How much water we talking about? If there will be a mop soaked in water or a hose / pressure washer used in the garage I'd consider using a surface membrane over the bottom few feet of the walls and tying that into the floor. The epoxy floor should work nicely with a decent bead of silicone to the wall tile as you planned. Be sure to leave at least a 1/8" gap from the floor to the bottom of the wall tile for that bead of silicone.

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Unread 12-19-2011, 09:44 PM   #3
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Welcome Mitch.

Regarding whether to tile that floor, well, it depends on whether the floor was designed to support the loads you're putting on it. It may flex, but for a tile floor to stay together it's got to deflect no more than L/360. That's 1/360th of the concrete span. This is most definitely an engineering question which you'll need to investigate on your own. You have any engineer buddies who owe you a favor?

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Unread 12-20-2011, 06:00 AM   #4
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1) If your coating will withstand hot tires and brake fluid spills, I'd use it instead of tile. I think I would rather live with a coating than deal with the tile issues you raised in addition to potential chips from dropped tools.

2) I agree with waterproofing the wall to floor joint. I think that most liquid membranes would do an adequate job protecting the drywall, especially if there is a caulked gap at the bottom. I don't think you would need anything as involved as a shower, though.

I'm assuming that you don't pressure wash the garage more than a couple of times each year. If you do, come to my house and I'll let you do mine so yours can dry out.
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