Are Garage Tiles Waterproof? 5 Things You Should Know

Waterproof tiles are great for areas where water is frequently used, like your garage. Non-waterproof tiles may not last long in such places. Keep reading to know if you have the right tiles designed specifically for water resistance.

Are Garage Tiles Waterproof?

Garage tiles can come in a wide variety of options, and whether they are waterproof or not entirely depends on the homeowner. Garage tiles can be waterproof, and you can protect non-waterproof tiles from water damage via different methods.

Most people use their garage as a storage area, either for their cars (if they have one) or for other personal memorabilia and other items. Regardless of the former or the latter being the case, the garage itself and its contents can get dirty in a blink. Bad piping can result in unwelcome leaks. As such, it is important to protect your garage tiles. 

Some tiles are suitable for added protection, such as uncoupling membranes or even waterproof foam, but other tile types can get damaged from such methods. So you might want to be specific and careful with your choices if you want longer-term protection.

The Kinds of Garage Tiles and How To Tell If They Are Waterproof 

While there are different varieties of garage tiles, all of them can be observed under three main categories:

  • Wood composite tiles
  • Rigid plastic tiles
  • Flexible rubber tiles

These categories can have both waterproof and non-waterproof options. For one, rubber flooring is waterproof, no matter where you put it. However, wood composite tiles do not share the 100% synthetic build of rubber or vinyl-cored rigid plastic tiles. Therefore, they can only be water resistant and not waterproof.

The best way to tell whether your garage has waterproof tiling is to check the coating of the tiles in question. If you look closely at each tile, you should be able to tell whether or not it has been properly coated with a formula designed to protect against moisture penetration. At the end of the day, your tiles are only as waterproof as their protective coat allows them to be.

You can easily protect a water-resistant wood composite tile if you use a few good coats of waterproof tile paint and some membrane, which you will read about in depth later on.

But for now, to fully know whether your tiles are waterproof or just water resistant, you may need to call in an expert. Sometimes, solely feeling the wax on the tile with your hands will not do the trick. The membrane underneath the tiles also needs to be inspected. 

What Should I Use Under My Garage Tiles for Protection? 

There are two distinctive ways of waterproofing your garage tiles to avoid future damage or destruction, but they work better when combined together. The top coat of waterproof paint can only do so much for your garage tiles if there is no waterproof membrane underneath to catch any and all water leakage. This is why it is important to use an extra layer underneath your tiles for the maximum amount of protection. 

You can use landscape fabric, waterproof membrane, or insulation foam under your garage tiles for protection. Depending on their thickness and quality, these materials can provide different levels of protection against water damage for your garage tiles.

While what goes underneath the tiles can offer protection for the structure of your house, it may not protect the tiles themselves. Therefore, you might still want to invest in the highest quality of tiles that your budget allows. This way, you can avoid having to scrap everything in case of an unexpected and water-related mishap.

Though this begs the question: would water seep underneath your garage tiles?

Would Water Seep Underneath My Garage Tiles?

Most water damage is a result of water having seeped under non-waterproof tiles. From that aspect, water can seep under your garage tiles and cause markings called water stains on the underlying surface. 

However, when you use the correct tiling for your garage (which is often plastic, silicone, or sometimes ceramic), the odds of damage are less. For example, plastic tiles are known for their resistance to damage from most liquids that may come into contact with it. They’re also cost-efficient and easy to install.

With proper installation techniques applied by yourself or a professional, you can ensure that your garage tiles lock properly. Once the tiles are interconnected in the right and tight manner that they are supposed to be, water penetration will be out of the question.

Even if any water leaks from the garage tiles to the material that is underneath, the resulting effects will be minimal, and in some cases, the water will evaporate without you having to interfere.

How Can I Tell If My Tiles Have Water Damage?

When water damage is minimal, your garage tiles may not show signs of wear immediately. However, if the water pools under your tiles over time, you may end up facing some damage.

So how can you tell whether your tiles have water damage or stains that need repair? Let’s have a look. 

  • Loose tiles: The biggest threat that water damage poses to your tiles is that it can loosen up the material and become a safety hazard. It is common for water to make your tiles unstable, and even though signs of damage can sometimes be hard to spot, the instability is a big warning. 
  • Discoloration and stains: As mentioned earlier, water stains are a big indicator that your tiles are suffering from a leak, but discoloration in your tiles can also be a tell-tale sign that there is something going on underneath your tiling. 
  • Hollowness: Tiles with water damage can slowly separate from the underlying layer, therefore having hollowness underneath. As a result, the tile can make a hollow sound when tapped.

Salvaging water-damaged tiles can be a tall order if you are late to notice the leak. Therefore, it is often best to keep an eye out for these indicators and act quickly for easy and affordable solutions. 

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