View Full Version : Modding the garage...

06-07-2005, 12:57 PM
Well, I wanted to see, if you guys do not mind sharing, pictures of your garage? I am looking for ideas on how to set it up, where to buy items for it, what paint, etc. Plus, I was hoping we could use this thread for future reference and help each other out with tips/suggestions, etc.

I was leaning toward the VCT flooring. It's rumored to be about 60 cents a sq/ft. from HD. They recommend ZEP floor sealer. Has anyone laid this type of tile down? Any pointers for me?

I am thinking black/white tiling in middle -- red splitting down the center and going all around the border edge.


http://www.mikesoutpost.com/images/garage/finished.jpg <-- picture of someone's garage with VCT tiling.

In regards to storage, work benches, etc. What are you guys using?

I do not necessarily like the cars; but, I like the garage. I like the red that splits the grey and white in the garage. That's pretty cool. I like the tiling; but, = money.


06-07-2005, 01:05 PM
http://www.garagejunkies.net/showpost.php?p=1394&postcount=4 <-- oh yeah, is this overkill for lighting?

In a typical 500 sq. ft. garage -- how many lights would be adequate?

06-07-2005, 01:14 PM
Are you sure the flooring will stand up to the use of a jack or jackstands?

06-07-2005, 01:17 PM
Are you sure the flooring will stand up to the use of a jack or jackstands?
No tile will work with jacks stands and jacks.

And more light is better then not enough.

06-07-2005, 01:28 PM
it all depends on whether your garage will be for show or work. tile looks nice in a show garage, but two-part epoxy paint is the way to go for a work garage.

06-07-2005, 01:30 PM
it all depends on whether your garage will be for show or work. tile looks nice in a show garage, but two-part epoxy paint is the way to go for a work garage.Paint that is all one color too. It's fun trying to find dropped screws/nuts/etc on a speckled floor.

06-07-2005, 01:50 PM
The epoxy covering looks difficult to do -- I've been reading about it on: www.garagejunkies.net -- and it looks to be a 12 step process if you want to do it properly without it lifting up.

The guys that have done the VCT -- they say, as long as you are not doing engine hoists/frame-off welding -- the VCT holds up to jack stands pretty damn good. A couple of guys did lifts on their grand cherokee's in the garage and left the cars jacked up for two weeks ... without problems. A couple of other guys have cut out 18"x18" boards ... and when they need to do a jack stand use ... put those over the tiles to protect them with great success.

I am not going to be doing anything near what you do Marshall or JD does. I am more of doing fluids/normal maintenance, detailing, etc.

06-07-2005, 01:52 PM
VCT are the interlocking tiles IIRC?

No matter what, the painted floors are easier to clean up. Any tile you use will mean that you have to pull the tiles up and wash them and then wash the bare concrete floor too.

06-07-2005, 01:56 PM
The VCT is the vinyl tiling from Armstrong. It's not interlocking. You put an adhesive and then layer the tiles next to each other, and then use a sealer/filler. I guess it is used in warehouses, etc ... so, it's pretty durable ... The people are using a sealer so that fluids do not get in between the adhesive to loosen it ...

JD -- have you done the epoxy floor covering. I am just scared b/c it looks pretty involved with some pretty nasty chemicals ... am I allowed to flush those chemicals into the street like that?

06-07-2005, 02:01 PM
The VCT looks more like those asbestos tiles they have in old schools and gov't buildings. :p

I believe the idea behind the sealer is to prevent spills from seeping through the cracks.

Epoxy floors are great but very difficult to get right.

06-07-2005, 02:16 PM
Epoxy floors are great but very difficult to get right.

That's what I am afraid of ... is it because people rush through it? One guy on garage junkies says to properly do it, it will take 3-4 weeks. You need 6-10 days for it to cure once applied. Not to mention doing the moisture test (guess if you fail the moisture test -- epoxy won't work no matter what you do).

06-07-2005, 02:50 PM
You should speak with Pinecone (Terry) about the Epoxy floor.

06-07-2005, 06:17 PM
i have an epoxy floor in my shop. the home depot rustoleum stuff. was pretty easy and has held up to major abuse for 4 years. wash floor with the enclosed acid based cleaner, rinse, squeegy, let dry completely, mix paint, roll it out, let dry, done. longest part of process was waiting for the floor to dry after cleaning. about a day after painting you could walk on it.

the cleaning part was certainly messy, but in no way was it difficult.

06-07-2005, 06:56 PM
Do you have enough headroom for a lift? I would install fluoroscent(sic) lights, plumb hard lines for the air compressor with multiple connection points. Hard wire in drop lights also flourescent (sic). The floor I would go commercial. Find something that works at a reasonable cost. Have professional install it. If it works in commercial enviroment it should hold up for years in your garage. If you can afford it 220 volt for the compressor. Nice deep sink for washing up and a parts washer. Nice LCD Sharp TV with true 1920x1080HD 45 diagonal screen, acceptable surround sound system, a fridge for snacks and drinks, maybe a kegerator, microwave, DSL or cable access for laptop. If you are serious you might want to consider a portable AC system for garage and a nice legal heating system. Kerosene heaters are illegal in most jurisdictions and void your homeowners insurance in NOVA. Also open flames working around cars are not a a good idea just like incandenscent(sic) lights.

06-08-2005, 11:48 AM
if you are starting a shop from scratch..

you may think you don't need it, but you will absolutely be swearing at youself if you don't the first winter day you are laying under the car working on it.

even if you don't do the whole system initially, at least lay the relatively cheap tubing in the slab while it is being poured.

06-08-2005, 01:36 PM
Well, I'm not building a "work" garage. I can't fit a lift. I just want something that looks nice, has some functionality, etc. So, just need lights to do detailing in the garage. I have to get permission from my HOA to:

a) put up my dish (although they cannot ban it/they can certainly tell me where I can put it);

b) restain my deck -- I want to restain it; but, need written permission to do so;

c) repaint my garage door (it's a bit faded; but, I need permission to repaint it, even if it is the same color); and

d) to put a screen glass door up in front of my main door.

MY HOA book is literally 400 pages thick. We have to have certain colored trashcans for the garbage people to pick up, it must be a certain size, must be closed a certain way, etc...etc.

Can't wait to fire up the 116 db exhaust JD is making me!!! :D ... funny thing is, sound restrictions apply only after 9:00 p.m. at night to 8:00 a.m. :D

06-12-2005, 04:53 AM
Brne has used my garage. Here's what I did.

Flooring, do it first. Use U-Coat-It (www.ucoatit.com). It takes one or two days to do the floor and it is the ONLY home applied product that is guaranteed against lifting. Sweep, acid etch, rinse, paint first coat, paint second coat, let cure a couple of day and then use. EXCELLENT product. As others have said, soild light color, no speckles in a working garage. Checkerboard for a show garage. Tiles WILL lift eventually, and be damaged by working.

Lighting, the more the better. My garage is a 30' x 36', and I have 9 - 2 tube 8 foot flourescent fixtures. I have ganged them to be able to turn them on in groups. I use Philips high CRI, high color temp lamps.

Paint the walls white fo rmore light. I used Zinsser bathroom and kithcen paint from Home Depot. It film forms to be easy to clean and very water resistant.

Electrical, you WILL need 220 v, and DO put in a sub panel in the garage to allow additions without running back to your main panel. I have 100 amps of 220 into my sub panel. I put in a quad outlet every 4 feet around the garage, at about 42" off the floor. Don't put them down low, you need to get to them. Do put a GFCI on each circuit. I wired mine so the long back wall has two 20 amp circuits, with every other outlet group on the same circuit. Each side wall and the front wall are each separate 20 amp circuits. A 15 amp circuit feeds the garage door openers. I have a 220 v outlet on each the rear and side walls. I should have put in more 220 circuits before the walls went up. More will be added using conduit. If I did it again, I would put in even more outlets.

Lift, check the specs for the various lifts. I have an Eagle Equipment (www.eagleequipment.com) 2 post 9000 pound assymetrical lift. Realise with BMWs and especially lowered car you may need special arms. A 2 post lift is better for all around use. A second 4 post lift would be nice, and may be added later. Make SURE that you floor is thick enough and the concrete high enough PSI to suppor the lift. NOT fun to drop the lift wiht a car on it.

Use a staionary compressor and plumb the air around the garage. I am going with Transair piping system designed for this purpose. DO NOT use PVC. You can use black iron, galvanized, or thick wall copper to do this. If you can, put the compressor outside in a shed. It is loud. Also consider a refrigerated dryer for a serious setup. Plan pon several drops, each with a filter and regulator around the shop. At least one or two should include a lubricator for air tools. Keep air tool lines and painting lines separate. Oil and painting WILL cause problems.

Storage, you will never have enough. I used the Mills Pride utility grae cabinets in my garage from Home Depot. Assemble them with glue. I used Liquid Nails construction adhesive. Don't mount them too low and bang your head. :) Above, or instead of cabinets around, you need shelveing. Wood planks are fine, but the Closet Maid stuff is very nice and collected less dust.

I built my own workbench with a 1/8" steel plate top surface, the structure from 2x4s. If you have room, put in a couple of work benches.

Consider heating and cooling. I have a heat pump. SO much nicer to work when not too cold or too hot. Best heating would be a radiant floor if you are building from scratch, but adds a good bit to the cost.

You should have a sink with hot and cold water to wash hands. A parts washer is very nice. Consider storage for larger items like spare wheels and tires (still working this one out). Consider room for stationary equipment like drill press, grinder, hydraulic press, etc.

Consider an office. To keep books, magazines and computer away from all the other mess and dust and dirt. You WILL need a computer and Inet connection in the garage.

Even if YOU can't use this info, others can.

06-12-2005, 06:09 PM
Thanks for the info, Terry. Your post is probably going to be my guide when I build my garage in a year or two.

One quick correction; the link is: http://eagleequip.com/page/EE/CTGY/LI.

06-13-2005, 11:47 AM
Brne has used my garage.
Even if YOU can't use this info, others can.I think that we should have the next DIY day at your house ;)

The three main things that I have done to my small 2 car garage (about 20' by 20') are:

1) I attached heavy duty slotted shelf tracks to each of the studs around the perimeter to the garage. The bottom of the tracks are about 7 feet off the floor, and they extend almost to the ceiling. I used heavy duty brackets and the pre-cut and coated plywood shelf planks to put shelves around the perimeter of the garage. I can reach the items on the lower shelf without a problem and I have a 5 step step-ladder to get access to the items on the upper shelves. I have a ton of shelf space, but I can still get both BMWs in the garage.

2) I ran thick wall 3/4" copper pipe from my air compressor in my basement workshop up to the garage. I also put shut off valves and quick connects on either end. Now I can fire up the compressor in the basement and have compressed air the garage. Compressed air in the garage is a wonderful thing.

3) I put a 1x3" board down one side of the garge and put hangers down the length of it to hold brooms, shovels, mops, sleds, etc. I also put other assorted hangers around the garage to hang ladders, electric cords, etc.

Hope this helps.

06-14-2005, 05:01 PM
We have lots of DIY or actually Do It by Group jobs at my place. :)

Shelves are wonderful things, you can't have too many. I looked at the system you used. And it works well. My problem is either you have to seal, sand and paint a lot of shelves, or buy pre-finished ones, which is not cheap. And I like the wire ones in the Closet Maid system to not collect dust. But whatever shelving you use, put up LOTS of it. I normally start at 6 feet, which is just abouthead height and go up. A short ladder is required.

As for the hangers, yeap, anything that is off the floor is good, and it if has a proper place, so much the better. I am trying to figure out a safe, secure, simple method of getting sets of tires/wheels up high.

06-15-2005, 09:08 AM
Thanks a lot guys for your input. I am going with black/white VCT tiling from Armstrong b/c it's cheap, and, we will not be doing that much DIY'er in the garage. My garage is definitely NOT as big as Terry's -- so, no lift, 220V, etc. I just want it to look nice and clean. No sink (no idea how to do that even if I wanted to), heat, etc.

I'll be happy to do basic maintenance ... and use an air compressor (thanks Nick for telling me about the magical tool called a compressor :D ) ... I am just going to add four fluorescent lights to the garage. Right now, where the two light bulbs putting out 40W are located, I'll replace them with a two-track fluorescent setup.

I am going with a tri-tone color in the garage. Ceiling and top 1/2 of the wall will be white, bottom 1/2 will be a dark grey color (since white would show marks too quickly), w/a 5" red stripe separating the white and dark grey portion.

So, pretty simple compared to a lot of you guys' garages. :D I'll take pictures as I go along and update this thread for others to see ... perhaps they would like to go the simple/show route as well!