Need options for my shop floor

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Forum topic by Bureaucrat posted 02-14-2010 04:14 AM 2242 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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18340 posts in 3770 days

02-14-2010 04:14 AM

Topic tags/keywords: shop flooring material question

I have a small workshop in my garage and it has a concrete floor. About 1/3 of the floor is covered with those interlocking foam pads. I had back surgery last year and I can really feel it when I stand on the concrete for long times. The foam pads help with the back but are almost impossible to roll tools around on, which I need to do in my small shop.
What to do? I need a floor that provides some give to save my back but be rigid enough to roll tools around on. Also, needs to be inexpensive.
I have given some thought to the squares of osb with the poly spacers on the bottom, thought about buying the cheapest interlocking laminate floor system; and finally thought about interlocking subfloor material laid on the open cell foam sheets used under laminate floors.
Which do you think would meet my needs the best, or do you have another option?


-- Gary D. Stoughton, WI

21 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117203 posts in 3695 days

#1 posted 02-14-2010 04:19 AM

How about a plywood floor on sleepers ?

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Adam's profile


46 posts in 3272 days

#2 posted 02-14-2010 05:25 AM

Large diameter casters may be easier to roll on a soft surface.


View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 3413 days

#3 posted 02-14-2010 12:54 PM

Hi Gary,
This might sound a bit odd but here goes….
I would go with the OSB idea, and a good pair of shoes.
I had back surgery 2 1/2 years ago, I am a nurse at the hospital, and I literally am on my feet for 8-10 hours on concrete floors. A good pair of shoes will help absorb the “shock” when walking. I have a good pair of shoes, and very little problems with feet or back.
The first year or so is hard after surgery just because the muscles and tendons supporting the spine are still healing and even just standing, these muscles are getting a workout and will spasm or get fatigued.
Also, when you are in the garage, if it is cold, keep your back warm !

Hope this helps you ; )


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View dusty2's profile


323 posts in 3547 days

#4 posted 02-14-2010 02:07 PM

Off to the shoe store we go!

-- Making Sawdust Safely

View charlie48's profile


248 posts in 3288 days

#5 posted 02-14-2010 02:42 PM

Gary, feel your pain, I agree with Jim. In late Nov. I put down 3/4” sleepers glued & screwed to concrete,3/4” high density rigid foam insulation, 6 mil poly over that and 1/2” ply screwed to sleepers. I did it that way so I wouldn’t have to raise the man door in shop a lot of work, but is the best thing I did in order to spend more time in the shop.I don’t more tools around much but when I do the new floor is sold enough to handle it.I also use soft rubber mats in some areas . It also helped keep the shop warmer, made a big difference !!! I took a few pics of project I’ll post as soon as I can. Good luck in what ever way you decide to go with.

-- Charlie............Only time will tell if it was time well spent.

View barryvabeach's profile


159 posts in 3162 days

#6 posted 02-14-2010 03:09 PM

Gary, I went with the cheapest laminate from Sam’s club, but got a decent quality foam underlayment for laminate floors at Home Depot, and it is much warmer than concrete and much better on by feet. I bought cheap carpet , and carpet pad, and put that down where I am not moving tools much, that helps a lot.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3233 days

#7 posted 02-14-2010 03:15 PM

I had a car accident back in 1981 that put me in a wheelchair for a while but I fighted back and leave
the wheels a few years later but since then I have used shoes with some airsoftner build in I think they
have it on runningshoes these days
but for the floor can´t you cover the concret with thich rubbermats and build a normel woodenfloor
over that it wuold give some flexcabillety too and you can push you cart´s/Ts/or other things with casters


View jim C's profile

jim C

1472 posts in 3217 days

#8 posted 02-14-2010 03:19 PM

This may be the dumbest solution ever, but I always wondered why you can’t select a good pair of comfortable, steel toed work shoes, buy a couple pieces of say workout room flooring tiles, and cut them to fit the soles and heels. Glue them on and wa-la, you accomplished the same cushioning without the cost.
Tell me where I’m wrong.

It’s similar to a former “bizarre thinking” business partner I had who proposed concrete tires on cars, and rubber roads so the government had to change the roads every 50,000 miles instead of the millions of drivers having to change tires.

He also came up with selling shirts with a seat belt design across the front, so the cops would think you were complying.
Brillant. LOL

View russv's profile


262 posts in 3287 days

#9 posted 02-14-2010 07:45 PM

shoes, shoes, shoes,

it made all the difference when i went to the correct shoes. the floor isn’t the problem, your posture is the problem.


-- where to go because you don't want no stinking plastic!

View John Harris's profile

John Harris

59 posts in 3162 days

#10 posted 02-14-2010 11:00 PM

So does anyone care to throw out the name/brand type of shoe that helps? I also need something warm as the philadelphia winters are cold for the garge floor. So who makes the best, warmest, light-weight, comfortable shop shoe?

Cost really shouldn’t matter here, either. It would cost me $1800 to outift my garge in the pdded tiles that could still be driven on. $200 for shoes seems like a bargain!

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3309 days

#11 posted 02-14-2010 11:32 PM

High end work boots like red wing, they are designed specificly for people in your postion reguardless of the floor your standing on.


-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View KayBee's profile


1083 posts in 3364 days

#12 posted 02-14-2010 11:54 PM

Red wings are great and Timberland Pro series are pretty good too. Some models are more specific for standing on concrete.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

View ahock's profile


102 posts in 3442 days

#13 posted 02-15-2010 12:33 AM

I hurt my back a long time ago and still have a decent amount of pain. I have a pair of Clarks that work really well for me. Another thought for the floor would be 1/2” of foam with 1/2” ply over it.

-- Andy, PA ~Finding satisfaction in creation

View russv's profile


262 posts in 3287 days

#14 posted 02-15-2010 12:50 AM

i use those gel filled inserts and they work well for me. my son had to go to an orthopedic specialist for his inserts. he says it was a miracle how the relief was instantaneous.


-- where to go because you don't want no stinking plastic!

View janice's profile


1117 posts in 3543 days

#15 posted 02-15-2010 01:08 AM

How about, since you already have the rubber tiles on the floor and you said it has helped, laminate over the top of this. A friend did this in his cabin for more insulation since the cabins are all up on stilts. We will be doing the same, however you would need to buy the laminate flooring without the rubber backing on it. I read on line, they don’t recommend etra padding under laminate that already has the padding because they will bend to much and cheap at the seams.

-- Janice

showing 1 through 15 of 21 replies

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