Whether you want to start a business or install a car lift in your garage for your own use, there are some facts that should be clear before that, and because of that, we will focus on them more in the text below. Namely, before choosing the best type of car lift, it is important to know what else is crucial for installing it, and the thickness of the concrete is one of the things to pay attention to.
If you are interested in learning more, continue reading, and we will do our best to clarify everything one should know before starting this project.
Choosing the right car lift
The first thing to consider is the car lift you want to use because the concrete thickness directly depends on it. If you read floor and concrete specifications, you will see that most manufacturers dictate the slab thickness of at least 4″, which should be able to handle at least 3000psi, but additional requirements always vary by the type of lift chosen to install.
Regarding that, 4″ is enough for car lifts of 8,500-10,000 lbs; 6″ for 11,000-15,000; and 8″ for 16,000+ lbs car lifts. Of course, these recommendations still could vary depending on the brand manufacturer, which is why it is always best to check after choosing the car lift.
However, it can be pretty challenging because there are too many of them to find, which is why making the final decision requires a lot of research. The choice should be based on your own preferences and needs, but if you do not know where to start, you can search a wide selection here.
Two types of concrete slab
It is important to understand that today, we have two types of concrete slabs used, because knowing the difference between them and how to recognize which of them is used will make the entire project of installing the car lift in the garage much easier and faster.
Traditional is the most common, and it can be seen much more often than another one we will mention in most garages. To form it, we need to pour a single layer on-site and allow it to cure before we add any weight to it or decide to finish our work. There is no need to mention that it perfectly works since we have already mentioned it is the most common type that can be seen in most garages.
Another type is a post-tension concrete slab, and it can be mostly seen in certain dry areas where voids under the slab foundation are caused by the crevices formed because of soil contractions. The process of forming a post-tension concrete slab is almost the same as a traditional one but with one important difference – tension cables that form a grid across the entire sub-surface to make it stronger. Although it seems like a much better and resistant choice, it is less common because it is used only when necessary, as in most cases, traditional concrete slabs are enough.
Tips for installation
Now, that you are aware of different types of concrete slabs and different types of car lifts and know how to decide on how thick the concrete should be for a certain car lift, it is time to check some tips for easier installation.
Check the specifications
We have already mentioned that concrete thickness depends on the car lift you want to install, but since it is the most important thing, we will mention it once again. Brands dictate requirements, and because of that, it is always better to choose the car lift first, check its requirements, and decide on the thickness of the concrete once you have all the necessary information. In that way, you will avoid many problems, such as choosing too thick concrete or spending more money on less thick unnecessarily.
Do a detailed research
Each good project starts with detailed research, and installing the car lift in the garage is no exception. Check all the options before making the final decision because it should be based on your needs and requirements. There is a huge difference between car lifts that would be used for business purposes and those that would be used for your own needs, and only with detailed research, you will exactly know what to choose. There is a lot of information online, and the best way is to read other people’s experiences or simply ask the local mechanic or someone more experienced in that field.
Flattening the floor
Installing a car lift on the floor with dips and bumps can cause damage to it over time, which is why flattening the floor is an important step that should not be skipped. The best way to do that is to add a gravel layer before adding the concrete, and it is always better to check with a professional on the recommended amount of gravel. Skipping this step can also cause cracks in the floor after some time, caused by the car lift weight, so make sure to do it properly to avoid fixing the floor after a few years.
Do not rush
It is important to know that installing a car lift in the garage is not a project that could be finished in a few days, and because of that, it is crucial to be patient and not rush. Detailed research and making the best decision requires time, but even when you are completely sure what you want, it cannot be done in a few days. Namely, the concrete mixture needs time to cure, and because of that, it is highly recommended to let it dry for at least 28 days before adding any weight to it.
The bottom line
As you can see, installing the car lift into a garage is less complicated than it seems at first glance, but it is not something that can be done overnight. The most important thing is to flatten the floor and make it strong enough to handle the weight of the equipment, which is why the concrete thickness is something that should be considered in detail.