Building and outfitting an auto repair shop is a major endeavor. The right auto shop flooring can make a big impact on safety, efficiency and the bottom line.
An auto shop floor can be a slip-and-fall accident waiting to happen. The floor undergoes daily exposure to oil, grease and fluids. In car wash bays and service drives, puddles of water create an additional hazard. It is vital that the shop floor have a slip-resistant surface to keep customers and employees safe.
Besides being slippery, the fluids that drip from vehicles can wreak havoc on a shop floor. Many automotive fluids will corrode porous materials like concrete. Surface coatings can reduce the risk of damage, but you must be vigilant about watching for signs of wear and reapplying when needed. Inert flooring materials like vitrified tiles are inherently chemical resistant and will not break down under chemical exposure.
The right flooring for your workshop can improve your bottom line by saving on repairs and protecting the concrete slab. Don’t be tempted to go with the least expensive flooring option; the long-term cost of repairs and frequent maintenance will soon erase any short-term savings. Look for shop flooring hard enough to stand up to the stress of your business day in and day out. The best floor will last as long as your shop.
Your shop floor provides the base for tire racks, toolboxes, lifts and other equipment, so look for flooring that can handle heavy loads, including small point loads. Obviously, it must stand up to rolling traffic without cracking or wearing down, so check for abrasion resistance. You also want a floor that can handle sharp impacts like dropped tools – a super-hard floor will fit the bill.
An auto shop is a functional space. However, your shop’s appearance makes a big impact on customers. A floor that looks clean, new and attractive leaves a more professional impression than one that is worn, cracked or permanently stained.
To keep your floor looking new, choose workshop flooring that is crack resistant, stain resistant and durable. The additional expense up front will be worth it a few years down the road, when you would have to repair or replace a cheaper, softer floor.
Ease of Cleaning
A floor that is stain resistant will be easier to clean than one that is more absorbent. Be careful if you are relying on a sealant for stain resistance; some sealants react with hot tires to cause tire marks.
While some surface roughness is necessary to make the floor slip resistant, don’t go with more texture than you need; the rougher the surface, the more it will hold on to dirt and grime.