Garage modular flooring comes in multiple colours and styles, is extremely easy to install and is the ideal product for even the not-so-talented DIY’er. This article will look at what sets some brands apart from the rest.
Today we will focus on interlocking ribbed tiles made of polypropylene plastic. Some brands you might be familiar with include; Swisstrax, Flexspec, Racedeck etc.
Now they all have one thing in common. And that is the ability to custom design your garage floor with varying colours, patterns, and textures. But what makes them really different when they all look so similar? Let us explain why and you will learn why durability should be a factor in your choice if you want to save money over the long run.
Hopefully, this article will give you some ideas and help you decide which is best based on individual requirements and budget.
Before we begin, we want to mention that the cost of interlocking garage floor tiles varies greatly and largely depends on the type, brand and material used. The starting price for the hard plastic polypropylene tiles is as low as AU$7 per tile to upwards of AU$14 per tile.
Now there are a few brands that make these tiles. Let’s go through the main ones.
For comparison, we’ll use the 3 most popular in Australia.
1. FLEXSPEC – AUSTRALIAN BRAND
2. SWISSTRAX – USA BRAND (NOT SWITZERLAND)
3. CHEAP ALTERNATIVES (WE’LL CALL THEM THIS) – USUALLY THE CHINA-MADE STUFF
Quality of the tiles
In terms of quality, there’s no point putting the Cheap Alternatives (China-made) on the same level. Most of these tiles are made from recycled polypropylene (a way to save on costs) and aren’t made to last more than a few years. Also, colours are generally more prone to fading over time as in most cases, they won’t mix UV stabilisers with their polypropylene, instead they’ll use spray on UV coating, which won’t last. Some people purchase these tiles thinking it will save them a few bucks, but long term, it can end up costing them more. You’re better off with something that lasts that is more weather and fade resistant. Although this still may come down to personal preference, if you want to save money now over the long term and if that small initial cost savings is really worth it.
Also, Cheap Alternatives tend to use small, inferior clips, which are more prone to breaking over time. From our own experience, these cheaper tiles also tend buckle due to heat and expansion, causing even more problems in the short term.
The quality of Swisstrax and Flexspec tiles are virtually the same level, both using quality materials and made using 100% Virgin Polypropylene. (See Polypropylene: What is it?)
Although when you compare moulds of their similar products the Swisstrax – Ribtrax Pro and Flexspec – GridFlex Pro XL. Flexspec comes out on top. See why (check the comparison images below).
Winner – Flexspec & Swisstrax
Price / Quality
Now, this is where the main difference is.
Cheap Alternatives from AU$7.00-$9.00 per tile.
Flexspec AU$9.95-$12.95 per tile.
Swisstrax AU$14.00 per tile.
Also, don’t forget to look at shipping costs. Flexspec offers free shipping Australia-wide on all orders. Whilst others charge shipping or require a minimum spend to access free delivery.
Now let’s compare pricing on a 40m2 space (250 tiles)
Cheap Alternatives AU$7.00-9.00 x 250 tiles = AU$1,750-$2,250
Note: Cheap Alternatives cut costs by using cheaper material that won’t last, hence the lower price tag.
Flexspec GridFlex Pro XL AU$9.95-$12.95 x 250 tiles = AU$2,487.50-$3,237.50
Note: Flexspec is Australian-owned and has the benefits of long-lasting quality compared to cheap alternatives whilst being substantially cheaper in the Australian market compared to Swisstrax.
Swisstrax Ribtrax Pro AU$14 x 250 tiles = AU$3,500.00
Note: Swisstrax is made in the USA, meaning shipping large containers of these tiles to Australia isn’t cheap. That cost gets passed on to the Australian consumer. Also Swisstrax will use a seperate Australian distributor that also adds their own markup to the initial landed cost for a tile.
Also, take note of the warranty. If anything, Cheap Alternatives generally won’t offer more than a 2-year warranty, whilst Flexspec and Swisstrax both offer a 10-year standard and also a limited lifetime warranty on oils, stains and lubricants.
Winner – Flexspec
When it comes to quality and price, Flexspec is the clear winner. But at the end of the day, it always comes down to personal preference and what suits you best based on your own individual requirements and budget. If you’d like to know more feel free to send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org