Is Garage Floor Replacement Better Than a Repair?

If you’re thinking of repairing or replacing your garage floor, you might wonder which one will be better for your home. After all, it’s a big decision! 

Here’s what you need to know.

Replacing your garage floor is better than repairing it because it is more durable and significantly extends your garage’s life. It also helps to maintain the original integrity of your garage and can improve the overall home value.

However, several factors can help you decide which option is best for your needs. 

We’ll cover the pros and cons of each option, so by the end of this post, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about what direction to take with your garage flooring project.


Garage Floor Replacement or Repair: Factors to Consider

You may know which of the two calls out to you more. However, it may not all be that simple. 

Before deciding on a garage floor replacement or repair, consider the following factors:

Cost 

The cost of repairing or replacing your garage floor will depend on many variables. These include the material used in your original flooring, whether your floor needs to be torn out entirely, and its condition after years of use. 

In general, the cost of repairing a garage floor is cheaper than when you are replacing it with a new one.

Time

The time required for garage floor replacement or repairs also depends on various factors, including the complexity and availability of materials and weather conditions. If any part of your property needs to be demolished before work starts, this may delay completion times. Generally, repairs are faster than replacements.

During replacement, you might need to wait till your new floor is completely dried and strong enough before you start using it. This might take days or weeks in some instances.

Convenience

If replacing a worn-out garage floor seems like an inconvenient process that requires considerable effort, repairing it may be the better option. 

It is usually more convenient since it only involves cleaning up existing damage without extra labor costs. 

Overall Appearance

We recommend checking your existing concrete floor to determine if it needs repairing or replacing. 

If your cement has started cracking, it probably means water has dissolved the cement, breaking it apart and becoming loose gravel on top of a subfloor. 

When this happens, then it’s definitely time to replace your garage floor. 

If cracks become so large/deep that sunlight can reach inside them, it may signify more extensive damage. 


Repairing vs. Replacing the Garage Floor

The table below summarizes the difference between a garage floor repair and a garage floor replacement.

FactorsReplacementRepair
DurabilityExtends the life of your garage significantlyShorter term solution. The garage floor might still need another repair sooner than later.
CostExpensiveRepairing is less expensive than a replacement.
ConvenienceTakes longer to complete than repairs. Requires a considerable amount of time and energy
Easier and faster than making a full floor replacement.
Overall Appearance
Does not improve the overall home value. 
In addition, you might not pick the exact color – and end up with patchy floors.
Improves the overall property value, since people are more likely to buy homes with newer floors than older ones. 

Garage Floor Repair vs. Replacement: Pros & Cons

Garage floor repair and replacement both have their benefits, but there are also some drawbacks you should be aware of. We’ve detailed the key points concerning the pros and cons of each process below.

Garage Floor Repair

Pros:

Less costly: Repairing is a less expensive option than replacing your garage floor. It’s also much faster than replacing an entire floor, which makes it more convenient for you when you need to get back to work. 

Any floor could be repaired: Repairs can be done on different floors with a wide variety of materials, including concrete, asphalt, epoxy compounds, and stone chips. 

Con:

The drawback to this method is that the material used may not match the original flooring color exactly, and it can’t last long like a complete replacement.

Garage Floor Replacement

Pros:

  • Long-term cost savings
  • Long-term durability
  • Long-term appearance
  • Long-term value
  • Long-term safety
  • Long-term comfort
  • Long-term ease of maintenance

Cons:

The cons are few and far between. If you’re looking at complete garage floor replacement, the only real disadvantage (other than cost) is that you will have to move your stuff while the work is being done. While inconvenient, it might not be an issue if you’re in the middle of a remodel anyway! 

You might also need to wait for another week or days in some instances before moving your stuff back or using the garage. 


When to Replace Your Garage Floor

For a more permanent solution, it’s best to consider replacing your entire garage floor.

Making small garage floor repairs is a cost-effective way to fix minor problems, but the repairs are often temporary. A garage floor repair may be best if you’re looking for a quick fix that won’t require too much time or money. 

While these repairs can be done in as little as one day, the downside is that this option won’t last as long as replacing the entire garage floor.

Workers using jackhammer to break apart concrete floor

Thus, replacing the whole thing is your best option if you have more time and money to invest in your garage floor. It will give you lasting results and ensure that your garage looks great for years. You can also choose from different floor coatings like epoxy, tiles, or concrete overlays.


Causes of Garage Floor Damage

There are many causes of garage floor damage. The most common causes include:

  • Chemicals
  • Oil and grease
  • Tires
  • Water (salt, ice, snow)
  • Sand/gravel

Chemicals

Chemical spills can cause damage to your garage floor, including rusting, corrosion, and cracking.

Oil and Grease

Another common reason for needing a new garage floor is oil stains that have soaked into the concrete over time. Oil and grease come from car engines and can be very hard to remove from concrete floors. 

Oil stains are tough to remove because they penetrate deep into the concrete surface and cannot be cleaned off easily with simple soap and water. 

The oil and grease will eventually build up on your floor, causing it to become slippery.

If you have an oil stain on your flooring that has been there for years or even decades, it may be time for replacement instead of repair!

Tires

Tires will leave marks on your garage floor if you leave them in the same spot for too long or if you park your car while the tires are still hot. 

You should move your car frequently, so the tire marks don’t stain your concrete floor.

Water (Salt, Ice, Snow)

Water damage is one of the most common reasons a garage floor needs replacement rather than repair. It’s caused by rain, snow, and ice that penetrates your garage floor, causing damage.

Water can also cause damage to your concrete floors if not properly cleaned up after every use. 

Sand/Gravel

Sand, gravel, or road salt can be tracked into your garage by your vehicles. This dirt can be tough to remove from concrete floors unless you take steps immediately before it gets too bad!


Evaluating Shrinkage Cracks On Your Garage Floor

A shrinkage crack is a small fissure that forms in your garage’s concrete as it dries. It’s also called a “joint” or “joint failure.” These cracks form when the concrete shrinks as it cures, usually on the edges or corners of your garage floor.

The concrete is subjected to heat, which causes it to contract and pull away from the slab’s edges as it cools. This can also happen if you leave water on your garage floor for too long, as water can cause it to shrink and crack. Shrinkage cracks can also be caused by improper mixing of the cement.

The worst part about these cracks is they’re more than just an eyesore. They can cause other problems, like water damage and mold growth on your garage floor.

When that happens, you need to remove all of your old concrete and start over with new materials. There’s usually no way to fix it without replacing everything first!


FAQs

What Are The Early Signs of Garage Floor Damage?

Several early indicators can indicate cracks. If your concrete garage floor appears drooping or sinking and has puddles in those areas, it’s a sign of low spots caused by poor drainage. This can get very bad if it’s not handled correctly.

You should consider updating or sealing the floor as soon as you notice cracking, crumbling, or peeling in your garage floor.

How Much Does it Cost to Repair a Garage Floor?

Repairing a garage floor can run anywhere from $2-$10 per square foot, depending on what material you choose (paint sealers or epoxy coatings).

How Much Does It Cost to Replace A Garage Floor?

Replacing a garage floor could cost anywhere from $10-$30 per square foot, depending on what material you choose (vinyl tiles, concrete overlays). It also depends on how much prep work needs to be done first (removing the old surface).

How Long Will My Garage Floor Last After a Replacement?

Most garages have concrete floors and a lifespan of three to ten years. The quality of the work done, the drainage inside and outside the garage, the weather where you live, and many other factors might determine how long your garage floor lasts.


Conclusion

We hope we’ve given you some idea of the garage floor replacement and repair process. If you’re not sure when it comes time for a new garage floor, we recommend getting in touch with a professional for assessment!