There are a variety of choices that fall under two categories: floor coverings and floor coatings. Some are do-it-yourself, and others require professional installation. Below are the pros and cons of each.
Rubber Mats - these mats simply roll out onto the floor and are held in place along the edges with double sided industrial strength tape.
Pros: they are easy to clean from oil and other chemical spills, and can cover any surface from bare concrete to damaged floor coverings.
Cons: does not supply protection of concrete and may trap moisture which can cause deterioration of the concrete floor.
Plastic Tiles - durable plastic material that simply snaps together. The tension between the tiles is what holds it in place so no adhesive is required.
Pros: because each tile has to be laid individually, it allows for more creativity with the design, and once installed it can be driven on immediately.
Cons: deterioration of the concrete floor can still occur due to moisture being trapped underneath.
These products are painted on and they bond to the bare concrete providing an excellent protective barrier. Also, resin flecks are applied to not only provide aesthetics but to add non-skid resistance.
Epoxy floor coatings - The most popular type of floor coating
Pros: cost effective and available in a wide variety of colors and textures
Cons: takes several days to install, and requires waiting up to a week be driven on.
Polyaspartic/polyurea coatings - used for many years in industrial settings and now making it's way into residential garages.
Pros: provides better chemical and UV resistance than the epoxy. It also dries quickly and can be driven on within 24 hours. It is 98% more flexible than epoxy making it resistant to cracking. Can be installed in temperatures ranging from -20F to 120F, where epoxy range is 60F to 90F.
Con: the most expensive to install.