Wood shop in a carpeted room

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Blog entry by cjsolo posted 08-18-2011 05:00 PM 10133 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Any suggestions? Please?

Next week I am moving into an apartment with my SWMBO. She has generously granted the walk-in closet as my wood shop (it’s 8’ x 12’).

The entire apartment is wall-to-wall carpet. Does anyone have an idea on how to protect the carpet in the closet…er…workshop? I was thinking plywood, but I was (honestly) hoping for cheaper…

-- Raisin' grain with blood, sweat, and tears

12 comments so far

View BreakingBoardom's profile


615 posts in 3104 days

#1 posted 08-18-2011 05:18 PM

What kind of woodworking will you be doing? Maybe just a tarp or drop cloth would work. What exactly are you trying to protect it from? Just the sawdust, or stains, or the carpet tearing?

-- Matt -

View cjsolo's profile


24 posts in 2922 days

#2 posted 08-18-2011 06:18 PM

Thanks for your questions.

I want to protect my security deposit, really. Glue drops, oil and other nasty chemicals, the occasional paint splatter. I also would like easy clean up. I hate the idea of vacuuming lots of little wood particles out of a carpet. I won’t be using any power tools, so I’ll be producing tiny splinters instead of wood dust.

I’ll mostly be doing classical guitars and small projects on the woodworking side. Nothing bigger than a butcher’s block island for the kitchen. I’ll be restoring some old hand tools on the not-woodworking side. Hand drills, bit braces, planes, etc.

-- Raisin' grain with blood, sweat, and tears

View 6t5Goat's profile


71 posts in 3034 days

#3 posted 08-18-2011 06:19 PM

3 sheets of tongue and groove plywood would make a nice floor..

View yrob's profile


340 posts in 3675 days

#4 posted 08-18-2011 06:26 PM

We have a spare room in the house that we are making into a library. I setup right in the middle of it and its all carpet. I just layed out sheets of construction plywood then added cardboard on top of it. Much easier to clean and vacuum. I am using hand tools as well and really, you cant do much of a mess with it other than the odd shavings and such. If I have to use chemicals such as varnishing something, I usually go outside to do it.

-- Yves

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 3760 days

#5 posted 08-18-2011 06:44 PM

Put some kraft paper on top the carpet before laying the ply. It will give you a moisture barrier and help presurve the carpet.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2716 days

#6 posted 08-18-2011 06:52 PM

What about those link-together mats made for gyms? They’re expensive for the good ones but they’re insanely durable.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Transition's profile


340 posts in 2566 days

#7 posted 08-18-2011 07:14 PM

You could take up the carpet…

-- Andrew, Orange County, CA -

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2698 days

#8 posted 08-18-2011 07:17 PM

They make a product that looks like cellophane on steroids. It is used to protect the customers carpet while remodeling. Sherwin Williams has it.

View jeffbranch's profile


110 posts in 2675 days

#9 posted 08-18-2011 08:42 PM

I work for Mohawk Industries, a leading manufacturer of carpet and you are in a tough situation because setting up a workshop on top of your carpet could be viewed as an improper use of the material even if you cover it with plywood.

The carpet in your apartment is likely the budget variety so it won’t hold up to a lot of wear and tear and I mean just from laying plywood on top of it over a period of time. Carpet pile should be regularly vacuumed to maintain its appearance and you can’t do that with plywood on top of it (or can’t do it easily).

Really, your best bet would be to remove it, but if you bring this to the attention of your aparment management, they may frown on you doing woodworking in your apartment altogehter. Plus there will probably be a cost for removal of carpet and the pad, and finishing off the carpet with metal at the closet door.

Of the other options listed above, the next best option would be to cover it with plywood.

Good luck,


View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3908 days

#10 posted 08-19-2011 06:01 PM

I’m getting ready for the same situation as cjsolo but thankfully with out SWMBO ;-) . Any more ideas would be helpful. Thanks in advance.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2903 days

#11 posted 08-19-2011 08:08 PM

How about picking up a scrap piece of carpet from carpet store or where ever and putting the scrap piece over the existing carpet? I big throw rug really.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View cjsolo's profile


24 posts in 2922 days

#12 posted 08-20-2011 04:33 AM

Yeah John, gues I’m CJnotsosolo now… but her dad’s a woodworker, so she supports my endeavor. :-)

I like the carpet/throw rug idea – it lets the other carpet breath, is cheaper than 12 sheets of plywood, and I can roll it up and toss it out when I move again. Or just keep it for the next walk-in closet. ;-)

I like the durability of the plywood, but it’s expensive for the amount that I need.

Jeff is right – it’s a tough situation. But the alternative is to give up woodworking. Any takers? Anyone? Beuller?

-- Raisin' grain with blood, sweat, and tears

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