Popular Mechanics


By the time my wife and I were nearly done with a year-long renovation of our home, sprucing the one-car garage took a back seat to more essential areas, deferring my dream of curating a mini-Garage Mahal. I did, however, have some consolation when a company called BLT -- short for Better Life Technology -- sent a sample of what they call a Parking Pad.

Using a polyvinyl material finished in graphics available with ribbed, diamond diamond-tread, or flat surfaces, the roll-out floors come in several sizes and price points -- 5' x 10' ($299), 7.5' x 17' ($763), and 10' x 20' ($1,196) -- and can be finished in a contrasting black and white checkerboard patterns, silver, or a beige "granite spek" pattern. In addition to offering automotive and "kickstand tough" motorcycle mats, they also manufacture vehicle and trailer floor surfaces and kennel floors.

The 7.5' x 17' roll for my garage was shipped to my doorstep; though unwieldy, the 100+ pound tube came tightly wound around a stiff cardboard cylinder and wrapped in a Saran Wrap-like plastic. The floor rolls out and lays perfectly flat, with a slightly tacky material underneath gripping the ground. The top surface feels rubberized and relatively impervious; when some mud tracked onto the surface, it wiped clean without leaving a trace, suggesting it may just survive the inevitable weeping of internal fluids from my beloved, high-mileage 1977 Mercedes-Benz 450 SL (pictured above).

Though the laundry list of spruces for my new garage still remains dauntingly long, the BLT pad is a significant first step toward transforming the concrete-floored space from raw, unfinished place to park a car, to a spot that I'll actually look forward to spending time in.

Roll-Out Flooring = Instant Garage Cred

-- Basem Wasef - Popular Mechanics Magazine