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Finishes inside a garage
Old 05-05-2014, 12:41 PM   #1
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Finishes inside a garage

I'm in the process of planning for insulating and finishing off the main level of our new two-car garage (where the cars are parked).

I'm trying to find the right balance of attractiveness, practicality and cost. The walls are 2x6s 8' high and 16" on center.

My tentative plan is to caulk the corners and tape seams of the wall to mitigate air infiltration, insulate with Roxul rockwool insulation covered by a "smart" vapor barrier. The problem I am having is with what to put over the top of the vapor barrier.

I've considered drywall, plywood, OSB/strandboard, corrugated metal roofing, pegboard, etc.

The current front-runner seems to be 1/2" OSB with a skim coat of drywall compound, then prime and paint. I may cover the bottom 3' of the wall with peel and stick flooring tiles or rolled goods adhered to the OSB and then go with the skim coated OSB for the upper part of the wall.

My thinking is that this alternative would be more rugged than drywall if I were to bang the wall and if I want to hang something on the wall I don't need to be to concerned with finding a stud as long as it isn't real heavy as long as I am careful to use screws that are not so long that they puncture the vapor barrier.

I know there are a lot of DIY folks here. Any thoughts on this plan? If you have a finished garage - what did you use? or in hindsight wish you had used?
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Old 05-05-2014, 12:59 PM   #2
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For a garage I love pegboard, at least one long wall's worth.
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Old 05-05-2014, 01:06 PM   #3
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My garage if insulated, finished with drywall, plaster and paint. It looks nice, but if I was to choose today, I might choose something more industrial. Something like slatboard, at least for parts of the wall. You can see a lot of ideas on the Garage Journal forum. The Garage Journal
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Old 05-05-2014, 01:33 PM   #4
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I like the industrial look but most of the options seem to be fairly expensive or more difficult for a DIY.

One option I am considering though is to install corrugated metal sideways from the floor up the wall 3'-4'. If I bumped it while moving something it is no big deal whereas drywall might be damaged, and if I decide to wash a car in the garage and the bottom of the wall gets sprayed accidentally it is also no big deal.

I considered slatboard. Cool stuff. If money were no object I would cover all the walls in it. I might even add a ribbon of it at eye level but at the end of the day it is just as easy to screw a hook into the wall at any level I want.

I am also considering pegboard on spacers in the corner when my workbench is. I wouldn't use is as a wall covering because I would have to put it on spacers away from the wall 1/2" so when I put a hook in the pegboard I don't puncture the vapor barrier.

Keep those ideas rolling in!!!
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Old 05-05-2014, 02:17 PM   #5
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I don't actually HAVE a garage, but dream about having one some day.

I would probably insulate and put drywall up to begin with. Then I'd put pegboard over it on some of the walls, and would attach heavy duty shelving units to other walls as needed for storage.

I'd want to figure out some way to keep the floor from getting stained by oil dripping under the car, so that I never had to scrub those stains away.

Maybe some sort of cheap floor covering? I am thinking that something like this might be good:

Amazon.com - 7.5x17 Ribbed Garage Floor Mat Slate Gray - Garage Storage And Organization Products

But, having no garage, I don't really KNOW.....

I think it is wonderful that you have a new 2-car garage, though!
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Old 05-05-2014, 02:20 PM   #6
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They have a number of epoxy floor covering products (applied like paint) that provide a nice floor that resists oils stains, etc and I may do that eventually, especially if we have a wh** moment in the markets.
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Old 05-05-2014, 02:26 PM   #7
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They have a number of epoxy floor covering products (applied like paint) that provide a nice floor that resists oils stains, etc and I may do that eventually, especially if we have a wh** moment in the markets.
That sounds perfect! Much better than that mat I linked to. Like you I'd probably do that if/when I could. So, there you go - - that would be the finish for the floor. That's one of the six interior surfaces of a cube.

The market is "Wh***-ing" like crazy! I had another all time high net worth Friday. Can't get much better than that.
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Old 05-05-2014, 02:53 PM   #8
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This thread is making me nervous.
And it's not about garage finishes.
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Old 05-05-2014, 03:07 PM   #9
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Some thoughts.
1) If you'll be bringing cars in/out of this garage, they'll sometimes be wet and that means you'll be introducing a lot of water (and then water vapor) into the garage. I'll have this problem soon im my own attached garage, and I'm considering an exhaust fan with humidistat to activate it, along with a source of makeup air, to get all that water out when required. Otherwise it'll just rust my car, my tools, cause mold, get into my home's conditioned air, etc. It's not what you asked, but I just thought I'd chime in.
2) I like the OSB idea, that's what I did in my detached shop. I didn't bother with a skim coat, just two coats of Zinser BIN (serves as a vapor barrier) and two coats of white semigloss paint. Like you, I wanted to be able to attach things anywhere. The skim coat will certainly look better, but will be more work. Setting compound might be more resistant to damage from occasional splashing than the water-soluble mud that comes in a bucket and dries after it is applied. I'd probably test out the skim coat on a small piece of OSB to see just how much work it is going to be to get a satisfactory look, and how much mud you'll have to use over the rough OSB. You might find out that 3/8" or 1/2"plywood, though pricier, is easier to finish and you know it will hold fasteners/hooks better than OSB.
3) A cheaper alternative to commercial slatwall is this approach I read about years ago in Family Handyman, and I'd still like to use it. (Project description here)

You can put anything anywhere and move things around as needed. (The hangers could hold cabinets, shelves, open pegboard which would already be spaced off of the backing wall due to the design, etc). And, you could skip the OSB and put something waterproof and durable behind the hanger strips (maybe FRP (fiberglass reinforced panel--the stuff on the walls in commercial rest rooms and kitchens)) since it wouldn't need to support any shelves/hangers).

The prices charged for "genuine" slatboard hangers and accessories seem outrageous: as a general rule, I prefer that the hanger cost less than the thing being hanged.

Best of luck, this sounds like fun.
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Old 05-05-2014, 03:45 PM   #10
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I love slatwall - it is soooo versatile...

White Slatwall Panel, 4 x 8' H-3520 - Uline
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Old 05-05-2014, 03:46 PM   #11
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When I had my house built I had the garage finished so it looked exactly like the inside of the house. It really looks like you are walking into another room of the house...same base board, same windows, same paint etc.
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Old 05-05-2014, 04:16 PM   #12
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I would vote osb for it's screw holding ability. If you live in a wet or snowy climate, maybe start with with something like 4 x 8 Hardipanel cement board used horizontal on the bottom row both for water resistance and durability. It could even be put on with screws so it could be removed later for more wiring, air piping, or whatever.
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Old 05-05-2014, 05:05 PM   #13
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Lots of options, I insulated and drywalled my entire garage with overhead fluorescent lights, extra electrical sockets all over and a Rustoleum epoxy paint for the floor. I'm a car nut so I do a lot of work in there. Take a peek at the garagejournal.com forums - oh and do put your checkbook in a lock box before you start browsing through the 'in progress' or 'completed' garages.
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Old 05-05-2014, 06:56 PM   #14
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We have insulation and peg board with plain concrete floor in front 2 bays. Middle bay is insulated, green board and painted, floors plain concrete with center floor drain with RaceDeck flooring laid on top. Back bay is insulated, sheetrock and painted, floor is epoxy paint with sand thrown in for traction. DON'T use sand for traction. We are clean freaks and you can't mop the floor without the sand ripping your mop to shreds. Going to try to post a pic of the back bay.
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Old 05-05-2014, 07:12 PM   #15
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My garage and detached workshop garage are both drywalled. I haven't had any problems with dings in the drywall. But the drywall seams in the attached garage crack due to extreme temp/humidity changes. My workshop is heated and don't have cracking out there. Also put down Epoxy Coat epoxy floor in the workshop 10 years ago and its holding up great. Also have Gladiator gear track and gear wall on one wall each to hold stuff. Put high output fluorescents in both garages.

USB may save some money - You can screw stuff to the wall anywhere without buying slat wall, etc.

+1 on dvalley's recommendation - Garagejournal.com has tons of ideas
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Old 05-05-2014, 07:46 PM   #16
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I saw this picture not long ago, on a Japanese architect's web site. (long story...)

Looks to me like they painted OSB black using a high-nap roller, then came back over it with white using a low-nap roller.

I like the effect, and it would hide most any kind of dings, marks or screw holes.

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Old 05-05-2014, 07:48 PM   #17
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All you ever wanted to know about real garages..

http://www.garagejournal.com/

Check out the forum and have fun!
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:11 AM   #18
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Well, between hitting studs and using anchors, its hard for me to imagine why sheetrock wouldn't suffice for adding weight bearing fixtures to the wall. Isn't sheetrock cheaper?

Edit: You might also want to check your local building codes, as I've never heard of using OSB as an inside wall covering, although fire retardant sheetrock, may be required in some jurisdictions, particularly if there is a heater in the space.
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:31 AM   #19
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...

Edit: You might also want to check your local building codes, as I've never heard of using OSB as an inside wall covering, although fire retardant sheetrock, may be required in some jurisdictions, particularly if there is a heater in the space.
I'm surprised to hear anyone is considering not using Sheetrock/drywall. AFAIK, it is a building code requirement in our area, at least for attached garages. It is also required that the ceiling be drywalled also, so flames can't rise into the attic. Again, that might be only if the attic space attaches to the house.

The fireproofing ability of drywall is amazing. I know someone who had a car catch fire in their garage, and the drywall did contain the flames. Many years ago, I lived in a 'quad' townhouse (four units in one building, one unit in each corner). One of the units had a fire (kid playing with a lighter), there was a large hole burned through the first floor into the second floor. The 'firewall' between the units was just double layers of drywall. There was zero damage in my adjacent unit.

Check codes, but regardless, I would want the 5/8" drywall as a firebarrier, put the racks or other stuff on top of that.

-ERD50
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:06 AM   #20
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The fireproofing ability of drywall is amazing.
Yes, it's not just that it doesn't catch fire. It also has a lot of water bound up in it (which is why it weighs so much), and in a fire all of that water has to be boiled off before the other side of the sheet will reach 212 deg F. That's what makes it such a terrific material in a fire.

Even more amazing to me is the price. I always marvel that they can mine the gypsum, form it into those sheets with the paper faces and tapered edges, ship that heavy stuff hundreds of miles, lose a good portion to damage in the store, and still sell it for less than $10 per sheet and make money.
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