Q: We're replacing our decaying garage with a new structure that will serve as a combination wood and machine shop. I'd like a white floor and have been advised by the contractor that asphalt tile would be a better choice than epoxy paint because of the ease of replacing tiles when they get damaged. How soon after the concrete floor's been poured can we install the tile? — Ted, Salem, Oregon

A: Tom Silva replies: First off, you can patch epoxy paint, too. As long as you prep the floor right, they have paint for that. It's used in a lot of commercial buildings. Epoxy paint is tough stuff, and I wouldn't necessarily back away from that option because in my opinion, repairing tile is not that much easier than repairing epoxy paint.

One of the benefits of the tile, though, would be that it will add a little bit of a cushion to the floor. So if you're going to be on it all the time, whatever softness you can give to your back and feet will be a help. It's not going to be a lot but it will be a help.

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