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Forum topic by SpartyOn posted 06-22-2016 08:36 PM 639 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SpartyOn

23 posts in 1613 days


06-22-2016 08:36 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question workshop flooring

I have been blessed to be able to build a 1200 sq ft detached shop dedicated to woodworking. I am considering a few options for the flooring (making it easier on the feet and knees) rather than leaving it bare concrete.

The least expensive option is covering the concrete with a diy, self-applied epoxy and simply putting cushioned mats in front of different work stations. That is what I have done in my garage shop.

Other considerations are rolled vinyl coverings, square adhesive tiles or interlocking tiles.

The option I am leaning toward is putting in a laminate flooring. I figure it will provide some cushion, still be fairly easy to clean and provide a smooth surface to move mobile machinery.

Do any of you have laminate flooring in the shop? Are there other options I should consider? I’d like to stay under $3/sq ft.

Thank you for any assistance you can provide!


17 replies so far

View TravisH's profile

TravisH

452 posts in 1402 days


#1 posted 06-22-2016 09:38 PM

If I was going to put a floor in I would want an insulated sub floor and with plywood flooring based on my location and to absorb sound. Now likely wouldn’t put a floor in and just leave natural concrete and install mats if needed. An epoxy floor would be nice as far as looks but likely something I wouldn’t mess with.

View Kirk650's profile

Kirk650

294 posts in 215 days


#2 posted 06-22-2016 11:49 PM

I have a bare concrete floor. Paint drips and stain drips and varnish drips, and I don’t care. Looking back, I wish I’d had some sort of epoxy paint put down, but I’m Ok as is.

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

3695 posts in 1732 days


#3 posted 06-23-2016 12:22 AM

I put an epoxy on my garage floor it’s a bright yellow. What a difference it made in the lighting and clean up is a breeze.

View clin's profile

clin

514 posts in 463 days


#4 posted 06-23-2016 01:01 AM

I would want a floor with some give, versus hard concrete with some mats. I put down high quality, PVC tile in my much smaller 300 sq ft shop and like it a lot. But at about $7 sq ft, it is not cheap. Mine is a converted garage bay, and that created some unique issue with the floor. For example a sharp break going from level to 1/4” per foot slope. That ruled out using wood flooring.

But assuming you have a typical slab, I’d consider putting down sleepers (wood frame attached to the slab), and putting in below-floor electrical and dust collection ducts; as well as insulation. If nothing else, sleepers, insulation and good plywood (no voids).

Plywood can give you all of the advantages of wood flooring, but much less expensive, no big deal to replace if needed. And can still be finished to provide a smooth easy to clean surface.

Of course, a good old traditional wood floor over top a plywood sub-floor would be classic, super comfortable, and last a lifetime.

FYI, wood or other softer flooring is also much easier on any tools you drop.

-- Clin

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

819 posts in 387 days


#5 posted 06-23-2016 03:35 AM

SpartyOn,

I remodeled the kitchen last year. The subfloor is concrete and I installed a floating laminate flooring that was stranded bamboo click and lock laminate flooring with an extremely high Janka hardness rating. A vapor barrier was recommended and since we wanted a little cushion in the floor, we elected to lay down an underlayment pad. The pad offered a little cushion but required floating the floor. Even though the underlayment pad was advertised as a vapor barrier, the dealer recommended 6 mil polyethylene vapor barrier directly on the concrete before rolling out the underlayment pad.

I had no idea when I began how much time and effort was required to flatten the floor to within 1/16” over a 6’ length, as recommended by the manufacturer for a floating floor. It required lots of embossing compound and some grinding. The concrete subfloor looked flat but the straight edge revealed otherwise. Failing to flatten the floor could leave parts of the laminate flooring unsupported that could lead to interlocking joint failure. Additionally, the manufactured cautioned against placing heavy kitchen cabinets and appliances on the floating floor. Therefore, I cut and laid ½” marine plywood wherever a cabinet or appliance would set.

Based on my experience, I would not recommend a floating laminate floor for the work shop. A glued down floor would probably be ok and would have eliminated a lot of the work I performed, but I am not sure how much cushion a glued down laminate floor would offer.

An alternative shop floor option that comes in around $3 per square foot that could give a little cushion, look nice, and support heavy equipment even on castors would be a ¾” plywood floor (although ½” plywood may also work) set on a moisture resistant underlayment pad, which is about 1/8” thick and less expensive that rigid foam insulation. The added height above the concrete surface would be the thickness of the plywood plus 1/8”. If the added thickness can be accommodated, then moisture is an important consideration.

My approach to install this type of shop floor would be to first lay 6 mil polyethylene over the entire concrete floor, ensuring any seams are overlapped at least 6” and taped with house wrap tape. The 1/8” thick underlayment would then be laid over the polyethylene vapor barrier taping the butt seams with house wrap tape to block any moisture. After adding a couple of coats of spar varnish on the edges and down facing face to protect the marine grade plywood from moisture on the underneath side, the plywood would be set over the underlayment pad. Some Tapcon bugle head screws driven through the plywood and underlayment into the concrete floor would keep the plywood in place. The last step I would perform is to top coat the entire floor with a spar varnish.

Pricing this method at my local Menards home center…1200 sf Sound Solution Vapor Bloc Laminate Underlayment Pad 1/8” comes in at about $600 ($50 for a 100 sf roll); 38 sheets of Marine grade ¾” plywood is about $2660 ($70 for a 4 X 8 sheet); 6 mil polyethylene vapor barrier costs about $100 for 1200 square feet. Total cost comes in at $3360 or $2.80/sf. Spar varnish, house wrap tape, and Tapcon bugle head screws would put you probably at or a little over $3/sf.

View CopperTree's profile

CopperTree

50 posts in 525 days


#6 posted 06-23-2016 05:26 AM

LVT or Luxury Vinyl Tile in a plank form is a great shop floor. Very tough and many have a small backing for cushion for insulation. It is waterproof, stands up to casters, and is removable or reconfigurable if needed. It is often priced under $2 per square foot and comes in many styles, lots of them wood look. It also conforms to concrete slabs quite well due to its flexibility. It is basically the same material used commercially in hospitals and schools but now comes in many patterns and a floating design. Have installed it in many basements, bathrooms, and commercial sites with great results.

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CopperTree

50 posts in 525 days


#7 posted 06-23-2016 05:27 AM

LVT or Luxury Vinyl Tile in a plank form is a great shop floor. Very tough and many have a small backing for cushion for insulation. It is waterproof, stands up to casters, and is removable or reconfigurable if needed. It is often priced under $2 per square foot and comes in many styles, lots of them wood look. It also conforms to concrete slabs quite well due to its flexibility. It is basically the same material used commercially in hospitals and schools but now comes in many patterns and a floating design. Have installed it in many basements, bathrooms, and commercial sites with great results.

View SpartyOn's profile

SpartyOn

23 posts in 1613 days


#8 posted 06-23-2016 11:51 AM

Thank you all so much for your thoughts. They are all very helpful. Based on the comments, I will steer clear of a laminate flooring.

JBrow, you went above and beyond with your comment – even researching pricing! Your approach makes a lot of sense and I am leaning that way. Thank you for your thoughtful response!

I also need to check out CopperTree’s LVT suggestion. CopperTree, does LVT need a vapor barrier like a wood flooring does?

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CopperTree

50 posts in 525 days


#9 posted 06-23-2016 03:09 PM

Most LVT products are water-proof. I’ve left a piece in my rain barrell for over a month and it was just fine. It’s basically pure vinyl with a pattern on it.

It’s worth checking out at a box store or flooring store.

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

3927 posts in 2710 days


#10 posted 06-25-2016 08:09 PM

First I would insist that the concrete surface be steel trawled (not wood float) so castered tools would have a smooth surface to roll on. I would then use rubber mats wherever needed.

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

1959 posts in 1455 days


#11 posted 06-25-2016 09:21 PM

Half of my shop is concrete floor with mats and the other half is 2×4 sleepers on edge with 3/4” plywood flooring. I love the plywood on my back and legs….makes a huge difference. I really do not care how it looks. Tools roll easily on the plywood and is quieter.

Being older, the most important thing for me is how it is on my legs.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1776 days


#12 posted 06-25-2016 10:24 PM

Bare concrete for me. It’s easy to sweep….if I spill something on it I can use about any solvent to clean it….....most importantly to me is NO MAINTENANCE DOWN THE ROAD.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View SpartyOn's profile

SpartyOn

23 posts in 1613 days


#13 posted 06-27-2016 01:36 PM

Thanks again everyone for taking the time to reply. You all are very helpful. Redoak49, if I do go the 2×4 sleeper route, how far apart should I place them? Should they be placed in a grid pattern? Thanks for your assistance!

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2417 posts in 2388 days


#14 posted 06-27-2016 06:14 PM

I put a raised floor in my previous workshop. Just up 3 1/2” and 3/4 plywood on top. Used screws, not nails, so it was demountable. It worked well. I put the underfloor supports 16” on center except where I knew the table saw would be. I placed them 12” on center in that area. I have since moved, demounted the floor and in my new shop I used the same plywood plus a few sheets and just layed it down on the concrete with a few nails to the concrete to hold it in place. Just a little give to it, easy to sweep up, and spills of finsh etc. do not matter. I would find pads in front of each equipment a pain to sweep around.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View DalyArcher's profile

DalyArcher

72 posts in 586 days


#15 posted 06-27-2016 07:00 PM

I am considering this in my new shop:
https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.r-insulated-panel.1000788120.html

A little insulation, a bit of give, and relatively cheap.

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