What is the best floor system for my garage floor?

Answered by Jeffrey ~ August 13, 2010 ~ No Comments » | Respond to this question

I'm planning to have a garage floor built over my basement. I will use the garage to park my car, snow mobiles, and will use it as a work shop. I was wondering what would be the best floor system. A precast floor or a poured light weight concrete. I also plan to cover the floor with a thick epoxy floor cover for extra protection.

Vaden ~ Gunnison, Colorado

Jeffrey Anderson

Hi Vaden, The first thing you need to do is meet with an architect or structural engineer. A car weighs quite a bit more than any floor in your home was designed to carry and when you add in tools and snow mobiles you are creating a design challenge that it is going to take an engineer or architect to solve.

I am sure you are thinking that you see this sort of arrangement every day in parking garages and maybe even houses, and you probably do, but the difference is that they were designed for that application before they were built. In some cases they might have suspended slabs and in other cases they have structurally supported metal decking with a concrete slab poured on top of the decking.

I'm not saying that what you propose can't be done, I'm just saying that isn't going to be as easy as just deciding what type of floor to pour. The nice thing about the construction industry is that just about anything is possible if you approach it correctly, and in this case that means having a design drawn up first.

The engineer is going to take a look at your present floor system to determine how it has been designed and if it can be used as a part of the support for your garage floor. Another consideration to keep in mind is that if you are using a room in your home as a garage, it has to be separated from all adjacent living space by a designed fire separation system. Most of the time this is just several layers of fire rated drywall and a fire rated door into the living space.

I am just preparing you for what could be a substantial investment to turn a room in your home into a garage. You might be much better off if you have room on your property to build a stand alone garage and workshop, or to use the room in your home as just a workshop and not as a garage.

I would look for a local architect around Gunnison, Colorado and ask them to come out to your home for a consultation. They should have enough experience that after looking around for an hour or so they can give you a rough idea of how extensive the project might be and a very rough estimate of the costs. If what they tell you sounds like it can work with your budget, then ask them to go ahead and design a floor system for your future garage and any other modifications that will need to be made for it to pass code in Colorado.

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