[Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by Montezuma. Thanks for supporting the brands that support this blog.]
We lived in a two-bedroom condo for almost four years, so we’re used to living pretty small. At our old place, we had a tiny closet-sized storage unit in the basement for our tools and we parked our car in a shared garage. We really had little to no storage. Now, we have a garage! Like a really big and nice one that holds so.much.stuff. Finn is especially obsessed with it because he has a place to store all of his new lawn tools. Lawn equipment, a yard, and a garage…who are we?!
But just because we have more space in our new house, doesn’t mean we’re about to accumulate tons of junk. We’re both still such great purgers and crave minimal and organized spaces. So our entire goal with our new garage is to make it clean, organized, and a nice spot for our DIY projects.
Our Messy Garage
The only problem? Our renovation left our garage a complete mess. Our contractor kept all of his tools in here, along with the demolition garbage. When we started working on the garage, he still needed to come to pick all of his stuff up (and haul away a load of trash), so it’s a pretty scary sight in these photos.
But it wasn’t all his fault. We randomly unpacked tools and supplies to one side of the garage and it became a dumping ground for items we just didn’t know what to do with.
Oh, and how about all of these boxes? Yikes. They’re from our move and our many purchases since moving in. Yep, clearly we had some work to do on this garage to create the space of our dreams.
Our Garage Goals
Anything was going to be an improvement over this space filled with garbage and leftover renovation supplies. But we wanted to take our garage to the next level, starting from the ground up. A few years ago, Bridget and I put epoxy on her garage floor and it was quite the project. We shared all of the steps here, but it did end up taking a few days and lots of backbreaking work. So, instead of doing epoxy, I looked for an alternative to getting the clean floor we so desired.
Finding Garage Floor Tiles
That’s when I found these garage floor tiles from Montezuma. They’re about 16 inches by 16 inches and they snap together easily to create a level and cushy garage floor. They’re non-slip, self-draining, and we realized that adding these would keep our garage much cleaner. No more dusty concrete!
You can even snap them together in various patterns to create your own floor design (right now, they come in black, gray, and blue). Finn and I mapped out our garage and decided to go with a gray center with two rows of black tiles on the entire border of the garage. That way, we could place our tools and shelves on the black part, and leave the gray center for our car.
We did some math (okay, let’s be serious…Finn did the math) and placed our order, making sure to buy about 10% extra for any screw-ups and cuts on the sides.
Prepping Our Garage
Our garage floor tiles came and we set aside a day to get this project done. First up? Cleaning out the entire garage.
It’s funny because we did this project one week after moving in and we then proceeded to put tons of garbage (like legit garbage) onto our lawn to get it out of the garage. I’m pretty sure our new neighbors were thinking we were cuckoo! We kept saying it looked like we were having the “World’s Worst Garage Sale”. Ha!
Next, it was time to get this bad boy cleaned, because, even though it was empty, it was still full of dust, dirt, and lots of spiderwebs.
We swept large items, used the shop vac to get stuff off the walls, and then power washed it clean. You can read more about my love for power washing in this post (along with the model we have and use regularly). After an hour of hard work, we were finally ready to lay our garage floor tiles!
Installing Garage Floor Tiles, Step-by-Step
The first thing we did was figure out our pattern and how many tiles would make it all the way across the width of the garage. You’ll want to hide cuts in the corners (and preferably just cut one side and the back). We ended up with a few inches of empty space on one side of the garage and were able to get lots of full-size pieces all the way across.
With our plan of attack, we started connecting each row of tile. You can easily pound the garage floor tiles into place with your hand, but after a while, we decided to use a rubber mallet. It made things a lot easier (and our fists felt better).
With two of us working, we flew through the garage. I’d say it took us about 30 minutes to get 95% of our garage done. Seriously, it was so fast.
In the front of the garage (where the door goes down), you can use these edge pieces. That way, it has a nice finished look and dirt and debris can’t get in there easily.
With a majority of our garage floor tiles down, we just had to focus on the back and side edge of the garage. That’s where we had to make some cuts.
Because the tiles are too wide for the miter saw, we ended up using our circular saw. Finn clamped the tiles down to our work table and then sliced off edges of the tile so they would fit those gaps on the sides. If you hate the idea of cutting, you don’t have to put tiles alllll the way to the edges. You could just buy some more edge pieces and have it stop short on one side.
But if you have a circular saw (or table saw or jigsaw) and know how to use it, then this should be a breeze for you.
As with any tiling project, those small cuts take the longest. Finn was exhausted by the time he was done making them all. But, it was a job well done!
Our New Garage Floor
Can you believe it?! Look at our awesome garage floor. It’s the prettiest garage I’ve ever seen, that’s for sure.
Because dust and dirt go through the drains, the top stays super clean. You can actually walk in your garage barefoot and not get your feet dirty (or do snow angels as Finn did!).
I love the pattern we chose with the black border. But you could do a fun checkerboard or get super creative with your design!
Keeping It Clean
When I shared the entire installation on Insta Stories (you can view it all here, btw), the number one question I received was, “how do you keep it clean?” Montezuma Storage actually has an entire video that explains the process. But, essentially, you can use a blower to blow out the big stuff (leaves, rocks, etc.), and then hose out any dirt that falls through the cracks. You can even mop the top of it to keep it looking really sparkly. Our plan will be to give it a good cleaning after the winter season, so we’ll keep you guys updated on how that goes.
Another common question, “Can you drive on it?”. YES! We plan to park our car in here (there’s no way in hell I’m scraping snow and ice off my car this winter. Haha!). These are actually used in a lot of car showrooms, so they’re specifically designed to be driven on.
We actually ended up with quite a few extra tiles, so we placed them in the two storage units of our basement. I can’t even tell you how much better it is down there (it’s usually a scary and spider-filled place I don’t like to visit). Now, it’s not half-bad.
Before & After
I owe you guys some pictures of this space all organized with our items. A few days after we installed the flooring, our contractor came and collected all of his tools and supplies (and he hauled away a load of trash!). The garage looks 100x better and Finn has created an amazing organization system for our tools. I’ll have to report back with another post showing you how it’s looking with stuff in here!Casey