Cars can get dirty real quick and the same is true for your garage — especially if you live in an area that experiences rainfall and snowfall regularly.
Moving tires tend to collect and splatter mud, oil, debris, road salt, and deicing fluid all over your fender liners which then soil your garage floor.
If you’re obsessive about keeping your car clean, chances are that you won’t tolerate a dirty garage. We’ve got the perfect solution for you.
To make your garage look more like a showroom, you need garage floor containment mats — a protective layer that sits on your garage and does two important things:
- Protects your garage floor from contaminants, and
- Makes it easier for you to keep your garage floor clean.
Protect your garage with the right car mat and you won’t have to waste time scrubbing the floor, trying to get rid of stubborn oil spots. It also prevents slip fall accidents and water pools from freezing up throughout the night.
Read on as we’ll discuss the top reasons why you should buy one of these and we’ll also list the best garage floor mats available today.
Why Do I Need a Garage Floor Mat?
Your car brings along a tremendous amount of dirt from the outside which makes your garage floor stained and messy. Besides the unpleasant sight, odor, and poor hygiene, there’s also the safety aspect that you need to consider.
Water and oil can drip off your car while it’s parked, creating a slippery puddle that’s hard to spot. This leads to slip and fall accidents. You’re probably wondering if the same can happen even with a garage mat in place.
That’s what’s unique about these mats — they aren’t just a sheet of tarp. There’s a lot more to them than meets the eye. Some of the most notable features include:
- Anti-slip top layer: Minimizes chances of slipping.
- Stain-resistance: The mats don’t get dirty easily.
- Extra-absorption: Oils and liquids get absorbed easily.
- Anti-leak: Once the contaminated liquids are absorbed, they do not leak under the mat.
Another great benefit of floor mats is that the heavy-duty ones, especially fabric mats, provide a layer of sound insulation.
Choosing a Containment Mat: Top Considerations
The type of containment mat you buy largely depends on where you live and what type of weather your region experiences the most. You should also factor in the road conditions — for instance, do you drive on gravel roads, dirt roads, or trails very often? Or is it strictly tarmac?
Answering these questions will help to narrow down your options and choose the right containment mat material, size, and design.
The material used to make garage car mats plays an important role in determining its most suitable application. For example,
If you live in a dry, sunny area and your car doesn’t accumulate a lot of moist contaminants like mud, water, or snow, then a thin and light, felt floor mat will do just fine.
But if your region gets regular snowfall, then you’re going to need something more heavy-duty like fiberglass mesh coated PVC or thermoplastic rubber.
Some of the materials used to make garage floor mats include:
- Felt: Light weight, good for water absorption, not slippery.
- PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride): Heavy, durable, non-porous (doesn’t allow water to pass through), slippery when wet.
- Rubber: Heavy, durable, non-porous, sticky.
- Fibreglass Mesh: Typically used as the middle layer for extra strength.
- Polyester: Typically used along with rayon and cotton to make the outer fabric.
- TPR (Thermoplastic Rubber): Usually used as the bottom layer to provide anti-slip.
- Closed Cell Foam: Used as a sidewall/edge to provide better containment.
This one’s a no-brainer. The mat you purchase needs to be of the right size, that is, larger than the overall footprint of your car. Unless you want a narrow floor mat, exclusively for oil spills; in that case, you could make do with a smaller size.
It makes sense to use large-sized containment mats even if you have garage flooring installed — containment mats are extremely simple to clean and use.
The design of your floor mat can make or break your overall user experience. What good is a mat that’s hard to clean, gets slippery easily, and lets the contaminants percolate through?
You want a mat that is stain-resistant, slip-resistant, and grooved adequately to channel liquids away. The material should be smooth so that you can easily clean the mat and get rid of debris.
A regular brush, broom, or high-pressure water should be sufficient to remove the contaminants that your mat has accumulated.
The Best Garage Floor Containment Mat for Your Needs
Garage mats are sold in various varieties. You get thinner, more absorbent mats that are perfect for light use, and then you have the heavy-duty stuff that can take care of muddy and snowy situations.
You can use heavy-duty car mats for light use but not the other way around. Also, note that almost every floor mat you buy is going to be packed in a small box. This means it’s going to be delivered to you in a wrinkled state.
At first, the mat isn’t going to want to sit flush with the ground — getting it to do that will take some time. Alternatively, you can wet the mat and place it under direct sunlight to flatten it up.
Below we’ve compiled a list of containment mats to suit all various budgets and use-cases. Here are some of the best garage floor mats you can buy.
For Light Use
These car mats are typically made using a felt top and TPR base. Unlike PVC mats that don’t let liquids penetrate through, felt mats are designed to absorb and contain liquids.
Washing these is a bit trickier than washing PVC mats. You need to use detergent or degreaser with warm water to soften up the accumulated grime and then hose it down.
If you live in a place that gets a lot of rainfall and has clean roads, these mats will be perfect for you. They’re ideal for summer use too. The only thing these mats don’t do very well is handle mud, snow, salt, and deicing fluid.
Part Number: IS20050901
Material: Non-woven fabric top, TPR bottom
Buy On: Amazon
The garage floor mat by ITSOFT is ideal for containing spills and trapping leaks. The top layer is made of non-woven fabric that effectively absorbs liquids while the bottom is a waterproof TPR layer that prevents liquids from seeping through and staining the floor.
We like that the bottom layer is designed to prevent the mat from slipping, which negates the need to use double-sided tape. It cuts easily and the material will not fray when you do. It is easy to clean, vacuum, or power wash
Another thing we like about the ITSOFT garage floor mat is that it is heavy, so it won’t flop around when the wind blows. It also happens to be flame-retardant.
Manufacturer: Armor All
Part Number: AAGFMC17
Material: Non-woven polyester top, polyolefin back
Buy On: Amazon
Armor All Charcoal is your basic, no-frills containment mat that is perfect for light use and wet conditions. This mat can trap drips, protect your garage floor; and the waterproof back prevents absorbed water from dripping through, thanks to the patented Drymate material.
It works exceptionally well to contain oil and antifreeze spills. Because it’s thin and light, you can easily cut it to your desired length and shape. Installation is a breeze — you simply roll it out and fix it in place using double-sided tape.
The best way to clean the mat is to wash it with warm water and detergent, then use a vacuum to deep clean.
For Winter, Rain, and Mud
Most garage mats that are designed for winter use are made with PVC, fiberglass mesh, and TPR. These usually have raised edges for better water retention.
Note that vinyl-top and rubber mats do not absorb liquids. To clean these mats or to draw out the accumulated liquid, you need to clean or vacuum the surface.
Here are some of the best heavy-duty winter car mats you can buy.
Part Number: PVC002
Material: Woven PVC fabric
Buy On: Amazon
The Hanjet containment mat is made using eco-friendly, non-toxic materials that have a neutral odor, and cause no skin irritation. It features thermal-welded and heat-sealed seams that are 100% leak-proof.
Complete with raised, cell-phone containment edges, this containment mat doesn’t let any accumulated fluids spill out onto your garage floor.
No matter what kind of contaminants your car brings into your garage, this mat will hold up and protect your garage floor across all seasons.
Part Number: AFG7918
Material: Heavy-duty polyester with PVC coating
Buy On: Amazon
AutoFloorGuard has been a staple name in the garage floor industry for over 5 years. This is a new and improved version of their old best-selling garage mat that had a few minor niggles.
The company has worked towards reducing the number of wrinkles you see when you first unbox the mat and lay it flat on your garage floor. The raised edges have also been improved. They’ve included the addition of something called “stay-put” corners which help to keep the mat in place.
Some people might not like the raised edge as it could very easily be a tripping hazard. However, this is an integral part of the overall design and it needs to be there.
Note that this mat does not absorb liquids. This means that if there’s a leak, it’s just going to sit there, but that’s by design. You don’t want snow melting overnight and then seeping on to your garage floor.
Part Number: GF55RB717SN
Material: 100% PVC
Buy On: Amazon
Ribbed floor mats are ideal for trapping liquids, dirt, and debris. The G-Floor ribbed mat features a parallel design that effectively contains moisture and can be cleaned easily with simple tools such as a broom or a damp mop.
Because this mat is made of PVC, and nothing else, it’s very easy to roll out, cut, and trim for a custom fit. No need to worry about wrinkles or using double-sided tape.
The ribbed design adds to the mat’s anti-slip capabilities. Even though liquids get trapped in the pores, the surface remains relatively safe.
Manufacturer: Hugger Covers
Part Number: GMC
Material: Fiberglass mesh coated vinyl
Buy On: Amazon
Hugger Covers is a well-known Canadian automotive accessories brand. Their all-season containment ensures complete protection of your garage floor from water, salt, grime, snow, and oil leaks.
This is a one-piece fiberglass mesh-coated vinyl mat that has a 3/4″ sewn edge all the way around. Installation requires you to roll it out and wait for the wrinkles and creases to iron out.
Cleaning it is as simple as it gets — you can either use a broom or a squeegee to dust off the debris. To top it off, you also get a 6-month warranty.
Manufacturer: Mat Supplier Group
Part Number: RVCONT-821
Material: 900 gsm vinyl
Buy On: Amazon
Considering the Floor Defender mat is 8×21 feet, it’s large enough to fully cover pickup trucks and SUVs. It comes with raised Ethafoam edges which do a great job at containing liquids, making it easier to clean.
The assembly is a breeze, simply roll the mat out on the floor, and use the provided velcro adhesive stickers to hold the edges in place.
Unlike many other floor mats that are made with 610 gsm (grams per square inch) vinyl, the Floor Defender mat is made using 900 gsm vinyl for more strength and durability.
Just Suk It Up
Manufacturer: Just Suk It Up
Part Number: 19439
Material: Absorbent rayon top, bi-component fiber center, poly-propylene back
Buy On: Amazon
If you could buy just one product on this list, make sure it is this one. Just Suk It Up makes some of the most versatile all-season garage car mats that hold up against pretty much everything
Made from 100% recycled material, this mat features a 66% rayon, 18% polyester, and 16% cotton absorbent top, a bi-component fiber center for even more absorption, and finally a poly-propylene back.
This means that the mat can absorb enormous amounts of liquid and contain it, ensuring no spills or leaks. It’s perfect.
It is designed to withstand extreme temperatures as high as 325°F and as low as -50°F. Even during the harshest winters, it will not crack or fray. Also, it looks great with the yellow and black striped edges.
Manufacturer: All Weather Floors
Part Number: CM7918
Material: Heat-welded PVC top, foam center
Buy On: Amazon
The ever-popular TruContain floor mat is tested in Canada to ensure that it can protect against melting snow, rain, oil, mud, and ice. It is designed for heavy-duty applications, thanks to its 1.18” foam layer and heat-welded PVC-infused fabric.
The TruContain mat is wide enough to accommodate most large vehicles. It is made with a fabric that’s adequately heavy which ensures that it stays in place and can deal with tough spills.
To make the deal even better, All Weather Floors offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and also a 1-year warranty.
Manufacturer: Seamax Marine
Part Number: Plus21
Material: PVC with a polyester core
Buy On: Amazon
The Seamax Plus21 mat can be used outdoors in extreme temperatures. It’s effective at collecting snow, water, salt, and other debris due to its raised 2-inch waterproof foam edging.
It comes with a 22-ounce PVC with a polyester core for added rigidity, and a thermal bonded over-lapped seam which makes the fabric even more durable and much stronger than other containment mats.
Installation is easy — simply unfold the mat and use the stay-put-corners to ensure that it doesn’t move. To ensure the mat’s durability, you should clean it at least twice a week.
Car Mats: 3 Terrific Options
When it comes to car mats, there’s a lot of variety in the automotive accessories market. You can choose from a bunch of different styles, applications, materials, colors, sizes, and to suit just about any budget.
To make things easier for you, we’ve organized our favorite containment mats into categories to highlight their most notable features.
Best for Snow: Hugger Covers
The reason that Hugger Covers is the best overall is that it has all the essential features that you’d want in a containment mat. The fiberglass mesh-coated vinyl does a great job at protecting your garage floor from all kinds of spills.
It’s capable of holding gallons of water, is easy to maintain, and has a raised edge all the way around. If it snows a lot where you live, this is the garage mat you should choose.
Most Durable: Seamax
The Seamax mat is rugged and large enough to accommodate even the biggest, heaviest cars. Seamax Marine has ensured that this mat remains durable even in the harshest weather conditions.
The 22-ounce PVC backed with a polyester core makes the mat extra strong. And it also comes with a 1-year warranty.
For Light Use: ITSOFT
If you don’t need a rugged snow mat and just want something light for the occasional oil leak, go for the ITSOFT garage mat. The non-woven fabric top has a nice, soft texture and the TPR bottom does a great job at containing leaks.
For All-Seasons: Just Suk It Up
Come rain, snow, or sunshine, this garage mat is perfect for all weather conditions. It looks and feels great too. If your garage is more of a workshop that sees a lot of work automotive tools, consider buying the Just Suk It Up unit.
And that concludes our review of the best garage floor mats. Still have questions? Let us know in the comments below!