Parking Pads – Floor It

Better Life Technology’s parking pads can transform any garage space—and do it easily.

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The garage: It should be the centerpiece of any gearhead’s life. Your cars live there, right? What could be more important? In the real world, however, this area of the house often gets neglected until everything in the living quarters is up to snuff. Also true: often every spare penny is spent fixing up the cars that go in the garage.

While we grudgingly accept that fact, but if you’ve got some extra cash and it’s time to spruce up the man cave a bit, BLT Technology has some really cool vinyl garage parking pads that not only look great and clean up easily, but are super easy to install. All you do is roll them out on the floor and trim any areas that may need it.

My house has a three-car garage, the larger two bay area of which is for the toys (my ’72 Corvette coupe and ’72 Nova SS. I’d researched garage flooring for a while, but I wasn’t sure in which direction to travel until I saw the BLT flooring. With the help of a friend, I was able to get two 20x10-foot mats down in one evening—and that includes emptying the entire garage, cleaning it, and putting everything back in.

BLT has a wide variety of really interesting flooring options, everything from the mats you see here, to traditional black and white checks, diamond tread—not to mention peel and stick concrete tiles. I loved the simplicity of the roll-out vinyl flooring, not to mention the look of BLT’s new Corvette and Camaro logo mats (these are the only Bow Tie choices at the moment). We recommend going to www.bltllc.com to really examine the wide variety of options available.

One I’d tossed a bunch of junk, moved some shelving, swept the space out, and cleaned up some errant grease stains, we were able to get to work in earnest. The parking pads I choice come in 10-ft long tubes and I opened one end of the Camaro tube, since that was the one we were putting down first. While one strong person can empty the mat by himself, these things are pretty heavy. I lifted the opposite end of the tube to shoulder height and walked backwards to get the mat out. As the mat comes out, it helps to have someone lift the mat in the middle (in this case my son, Luke) to keep it from bending in the tube. Once it is out, the job is as simple as unwrapping it and unrolling it on the floor. Luckily, the Camaro side required no trimming whatsoever, not even around the garage door sensors near the bottom of the door tracks. We were happily surprised to see the edges were not curling up, either. (To keep the mats clean, we only walked on them with bare feet as we laid them down.)

The Corvette mat did require some trimming due to a section of wall that juts out between the two-bay side of the garage and the single-bay side. Our solution was to overlap the Corvette and Camaro mats slightly and trim the opposite side of the mat where necessary. These are made of heavy vinyl, so we picked up an extremely sharp cutting tool at Lowe’s, which did the job easily. Be forewarned: Work slowly and carefully, as you can literally lose a finger with such an implement. Keep your fingers, body, etc., away from the blade as you cut.

As you can see from the photos, the flooring transformed the garage. I later added some new ultra-bright fluorescent light fixtures and the effect is stunning. The mats look amazing and they clean up easily, whether you’re just sweeping or have an oil spill. Now I have a floor I’m proud to park my toys on. All I need is a new Camaro ZL1 to park on the left.

Suggested retail pricing for the parking pads starts a $239.14 for a 5x10-foot section, goes up to $608.70 for a 7.4x17-foot mat and $934.78 for the 10x20 we used. That being said, do a little research on the Internet and you’ll definitely find them for less.

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