LumberJocks

Leveling a shop floor?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Focus on the Workspace forum

Forum topic by Honu posted 11-02-2015 04:31 PM 640 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Honu's profile

Honu

16 posts in 661 days


11-02-2015 04:31 PM

I need some advice. I’m mid way into an addition to me carport that will give me room for two cars, golf cart, motorcycle, and (wait for it) a 24×14 shop. With three 52” windows, and a 72” glass french door, plus air conditioning, I think I’ll be in hog heaven (so to speak).

But, and you knew there was one, I have a minor problem. Because the floor is a concrete slab, it slopes. In fact there is a 4” drop in the long direction. I’m trying to decide how (or if) to deal with it.

One idea I’ve had is to grid the floor to level it, plank it with 1/2 to 3/4 OSB, and then floor it with a rubber flooring product.

Better question is “Should I even mess with it?” Slope is one thing. I can deal with that. If all I’m concerned with is “flat” I can deal with that as well using any one of a number of semi liquid products used in the flooring industry to go under linoleum and tile.

It’s a little bit of a quandary but since I’m working with a clean slate here (SWMBO is staying out of it) I thought I’d do it right the first time, especially since there is nothing in there at the moment.

Anyone have any ideas? I’m open.
Thanks for listening.

OH, and if you didn’t already know: SWMBO—-She Who Must Be Obeyed! We all have one.


11 replies so far

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

3694 posts in 1731 days


#1 posted 11-02-2015 04:48 PM

SWMBO most of us have one and if she ain’t happy, ain’t nobody gonna be happy!

View yvrdennis's profile

yvrdennis

27 posts in 543 days


#2 posted 11-03-2015 02:34 PM

I’m in the process of doing this right now. My shop is pretty similar. I am jointing one face of some studs, shimming them so that the jointed face is level and then scribing and band sawing the bottom face to fit the floor. I’m using concrete screws to hold the sleepers down.

It is going pretty well, but it is a slow process. I invested in a new cordless hammer drill when my old one died. I wish I’d done this to begin with as the new one is much faster.

I’m using 3/4” sanded t&g plywood over the sleepers and a plastic vapour barrier under the sleepers. Right now I’m planning to use 3/4” hardwood flooring over the plywood, but I’m still considering options. What kind of rubber flooring were you considering?

View Honu's profile

Honu

16 posts in 661 days


#3 posted 11-03-2015 03:29 PM

Thanks for the reply,

You’re doing pretty much what I was thinking except that I don’t have a bandsaw. There’s a 3/8 rubber product called Allure that my contractor has me interested in. And I’ll probably go with that. But the big question remains; “Do I really care if it’s level? Or just flat?”

I really can’t use hardwood here in Florida due to humidity concerns, hence the rubber product.

View yvrdennis's profile

yvrdennis

27 posts in 543 days


#4 posted 11-03-2015 05:00 PM

I think flat is the main thing. I want to be able to roll things around and not have them wobbling on three wheels. My shop is fairly small so all of my major machines are on mobile bases.

Having said that, too much of a slope can be a problem with heavy machines. My table saw weighs about 800 lbs. My old floor slopes about 3” in 13’ and I have a hard time moving that saw around. It always wants to take off towards the low point as soon as a jack up the mobile base.

Your shop floor slopes less than mine, so you might be all right, but if it were me I’d probably want to make it level.

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

651 posts in 406 days


#5 posted 11-03-2015 06:26 PM

Honu your floor pitch is a bit over 3 degrees. You don’t need a bandsaw for this. You need a table saw with the blade pitched about 3.3 degrees. You’ll be laying sleepers along the short dimension, not the long dimension. Your contractor surely knows how to accomplish this by cutting a short edge of a 2×4 at the 3.3 degree angle and along it’s length. Hope this was clear.

Edit: this cut can be made to either the short or long dimension of a 2×4, using a table saw for a rip cut..


I need some advice. I m mid way into an addition to me carport that will give me room for two cars, golf cart, motorcycle, and (wait for it) a 24×14 shop. With three 52” windows, and a 72” glass french door, plus air conditioning, I think I ll be in hog heaven (so to speak).

But, and you knew there was one, I have a minor problem. Because the floor is a concrete slab, it slopes. In fact there is a 4” drop in the long direction. I m trying to decide how (or if) to deal with it.

One idea I ve had is to grid the floor to level it, plank it with 1/2 to 3/4 OSB, and then floor it with a rubber flooring product.

Better question is “Should I even mess with it?” Slope is one thing. I can deal with that. If all I m concerned with is “flat” I can deal with that as well using any one of a number of semi liquid products used in the flooring industry to go under linoleum and tile.

It s a little bit of a quandary but since I m working with a clean slate here (SWMBO is staying out of it) I thought I d do it right the first time, especially since there is nothing in there at the moment.

Anyone have any ideas? I m open.
Thanks for listening.

OH, and if you didn t already know: SWMBO—-She Who Must Be Obeyed! We all have one.

- Honu

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)

View Honu's profile

Honu

16 posts in 661 days


#6 posted 11-03-2015 10:03 PM

Bill, Dennis,
Thanks for replies. And the ideas. I thought about the grid system, and may still do that, but it’s way more than I was planning on. I’m still leaning a little bit to “flat” but we’ll see when it gets to the point I can do anything with it.

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

651 posts in 406 days


#7 posted 11-03-2015 11:04 PM

Honu, not sure where your progress is in the construction or how this will effect the design, but you can always frame the floor off of the sill plate. Obviously you’ll not have a concrete substrate, but you will have a level floor. It may be a better option for damp proofing and insulation. Just a thought.


Bill, Dennis,
Thanks for replies. And the ideas. I thought about the grid system, and may still do that, but it s way more than I was planning on. I m still leaning a little bit to “flat” but we ll see when it gets to the point I can do anything with it.

- Honu


-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)

View Honu's profile

Honu

16 posts in 661 days


#8 posted 11-04-2015 12:15 AM

It’s a big, open, space right now. There won’t be a sill plate as I’m having the sill removed from the door before it’s installed. I want to be able to roll equipment out into the carport (and back) when needed. I don’t want a door sill in the way. Good thought though.

View splatman's profile

splatman

562 posts in 864 days


#9 posted 11-04-2015 01:46 AM

I think what Bill meant by “sill plate”, is the horizontal 2×4/2×6 along the bottom of a wall frame. Also known as a sole plate. He probably means build the floor on that. You can use blocks under the floor joists to take advantage of the solidity of the concrete. Cut each one to fit. Build a ramp leading in from the door, so no sill or step to jump machines over.

I would go with Bill’s idea of cutting the sleepers to match the floor slope and height at each sleeper location. A layer of 6-mil polyethylene under the sleepers would do the damp proofing trick. Whether to insulate depends on the climate. Loose fill insulation would probably be the way to go, due to the varying depth of space under the yet-to-be-built floor. Or use extruded polystyrene (XPS), and make the sleeper at the highest point no less than the thickness of the XPS. Which can be the thinnest XPS available, and use thicker XPS where it will fit.

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

651 posts in 406 days


#10 posted 11-04-2015 04:37 AM

Yes that’s what I meant. However I understand why Honu would like to have the ability to roll equipment in and out of the shop without having to negotiate a step. Not knowing where this will reside (climate/weather) I would hope the shop is at least at the high end of the slab. :) Water/weather could be an issue.

The first method – cutting sleepers to match the pitch – would be my choice. Damp proofing and insulation are important IMO. But again, the region this is located would influence this. Standing on a cold, damp floor for hours on end isn’t comfortable. It also makes it very difficult to manage the humidity and temperature conditions in the space. Shop tools don’t do well without proper climate control.

As an aside, sill plate and sole plate refer to to different conditions. A sill plate is the bottom plate anchored to masonry or concrete and used as the base for framing. A sole plate forms the base of a wall in platform framing. Not sure why two different terms emerged, but in the field you’ll hear them used interchangeably :)


I think what Bill meant by “sill plate”, is the horizontal 2×4/2×6 along the bottom of a wall frame. Also known as a sole plate. He probably means build the floor on that. You can use blocks under the floor joists to take advantage of the solidity of the concrete. Cut each one to fit. Build a ramp leading in from the door, so no sill or step to jump machines over.

I would go with Bill s idea of cutting the sleepers to match the floor slope and height at each sleeper location. A layer of 6-mil polyethylene under the sleepers would do the damp proofing trick. Whether to insulate depends on the climate. Loose fill insulation would probably be the way to go, due to the varying depth of space under the yet-to-be-built floor. Or use extruded polystyrene (XPS), and make the sleeper at the highest point no less than the thickness of the XPS. Which can be the thinnest XPS available, and use thicker XPS where it will fit.

- splatman

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)

View Honu's profile

Honu

16 posts in 661 days


#11 posted 11-04-2015 11:50 AM

OK, I get it. And thanks for the explanation.
First of all, I’m in North Central Florida, about 35 miles north of Orlando. Second the slab is a portion of my carport, both existing and new pour. And it’s covered. Slope is away from the house and the door (72” out swing french door) is at the high end of the slab. I get the vapor barrier; that would go without saying. Walls are already up and that’s what tumbled us to the “issue”. At the high end I’d probably end up with a 1/2” sleeper; primarily to keep the height down close to the door sill level. At the low end the floor will end up being about 3” above the sole plate. Doable but I’m not looking forward to it. No mater which approach I take, I’m looking at the TrafficMASTER Allure Ultra product. It’s waterproof, lifetime warranty, I can float it down on concrete or underlay flooring. I’d rather hardwood but it is Florida; I’ve already learned about that with a desk I brought with me from Washington State. Another plus for the stringer idea, it’ll give me somewhere to run wire for a floor outlet for my table saw.
Hmm, spend or not spend…....or well…....
Thanks for the input guys, I appreciate it.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com