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Forum topic by jaleonard3 posted 12-25-2016 03:40 AM 650 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jaleonard3

2 posts in 801 days


12-25-2016 03:40 AM

Topic tags/keywords: workshop new floor epoxy plywood vapor barrier question

Hi folks,

I’m new around here but need some help. I am just finishing construction of a 30 X 30 shop in South Texas. Its built on a 6” reinforced concrete slab and will be heated and cooled year round by a heat pump. I had planned to finish the floor with epoxy paint but would rather have something that won’t be so hard under my feet and knees. I’ve also read stories about tools being damaged by dropping on the concrete.

I am considering putting down a vapor barrier and then laying a floating floor of 4 X 8’ sheets of tongue and groove plywood on top of that. I am trying to avoid driving fasteners into the concrete floor and also avoiding furring strips due to the extra height it adds to the floor. Before laying the vapor barrier, I will confirm that the concrete is sufficiently dry by testing with a sealed plastic square and also with a moisture meter before proceeding. So, my question is, will this most probably work? I have read concerns elsewhere about the possibility of curling up at the edges if the sheets but I plan to pin the sheets together through the tongues with finishing nails. Has anyone done something similar or can just offer me sage advice?

Thanks,
Jeff


14 replies so far

View JackDuren's profile

JackDuren

331 posts in 795 days


#1 posted 12-25-2016 03:52 AM

Last thing I would do is cover up concrete. Invest in floor mats in the high traffic areas of your shop…

View DirtyMike's profile

DirtyMike

637 posts in 737 days


#2 posted 12-25-2016 03:59 AM

How long will it take for the concrete to completely cure? Seems like you have more than enough time to consider all options. I am a big fan of a good epoxy floor coating, Some good footwear would help with health concerns. I would advise against a plywood floor in a wood shop.

View SuperCubber's profile

SuperCubber

1010 posts in 2120 days


#3 posted 12-25-2016 04:34 AM

Have you thought about this stuff?

I haven’t used it, but the reviews are great, and I’m considering it for my next shop.

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1423 posts in 1825 days


#4 posted 12-25-2016 04:36 AM

Good shoes work far better than any flooring for me, and they work everywhere all the time. Thin rubber mats will protect dropped tools.

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

5050 posts in 2101 days


#5 posted 12-25-2016 04:54 AM

I put down and epoxy floor coating and totally love it. One of the side benefits I noticed was reduces humidity in the shop. I find that a real benefit for preventing rust on all my tools. I chose a real light bright color and it makes an amazing difference in the lighting.

View JackDuren's profile

JackDuren

331 posts in 795 days


#6 posted 12-25-2016 06:01 AM


Good shoes work far better than any flooring for me, and they work everywhere all the time. Thin rubber mats will protect dropped tools.

- OSU55

I’m sure if he’s concerned about the floor, he’s concerned about his shoes Unless he’s wearing wooden shoes…

protect tools??? I believe there designed to do a lot more than that….

View splatman's profile

splatman

586 posts in 1234 days


#7 posted 12-25-2016 06:02 AM

A bit late for the OP, but for those planning a shop with a concrete floor: Lay down plastic sheeting before pouring the concrete. Once the concrete cures and dries, no humidity issues, save for the possibility of rain water wicked in at the exposed slab edges.

For existing concrete floors, there’s a few options, such as the already-mentioned epoxy and DRIcore. I also second decent shoes. Vinyl flooring (like that used in kitchens) also comes to mind; how that will hold up in a woodshop, probably not very well.

View Slimfitpro180's profile

Slimfitpro180

1 post in 353 days


#8 posted 12-25-2016 08:20 AM

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View OSB's profile

OSB

147 posts in 361 days


#9 posted 12-25-2016 08:22 AM

I just put down some plywood subfloor over a concrete slab in preparation for hardwood flooring. It was glued and screwed to the slab.

I don’t feel like it added any spring to the floor and even with the screws, the surface created was not level, that had to be done with a floor sander after the hardwood went in.

It might be a hair softer if you drop something on its corner so the force is concentrated in a small area but under foot it will feel the same and the seams might be a small trip hazard.

I believe there are foam products that can be installed under a floating hardwood or laminate floor to give it some spring but the cost of installing a full floor would be pretty high.

View MustacheMike's profile

MustacheMike

259 posts in 1924 days


#10 posted 12-25-2016 01:05 PM

Just remember full cure on concrete is 28-30 days.

-- You can trust Mike -" because I will never pull your stash!" See my show weekly at Stumpynubs.com

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

1273 posts in 755 days


#11 posted 12-25-2016 04:04 PM

jaleonard3,

I installed a floating floor in our kitchen over a concrete slab. The floor manufacturer recommended keeping cabinetry and appliances off the floating floor. This presented the problem of how to install cabinetry and appliances so that at the floor they would be flush with the floating floor. This is how I solved the problem and perhaps it could work in your circumstances.

The 1 sq ft plastic moisture test showed no moisture in the concrete after 24 hours so I began work. I first laid down a 6 mil polyethylene vapor barrier. I used house wrap tape to seal the seams. I overlapped the vapor barrier 6” at the seems. I then laid down the Lumber Liquidators premium vapor barrier (a 1/8” thick treated pad over a thin layer of polyethylene) over the 6 mil polyethylene. I also used house wrap tape to seal the seals. The vapor barriers extended up the wall by 6” around the perimeter. These vapor barriers were not attached to the concrete.

Once the vapor was down, I used 1/2” marine grade plywood with square edges. As I understand marine grade plywood, it is used in boat building and is highly moisture resistant. I used bugle head Tapcon screws countersunk to fasten the plywood about every 16” to the concrete, leaving a 1/2” expansion gap around the perimeter (probably way more than needed, but a little room for expansion is still, I think, a good idea). The result was a solid base on which the cabinets and appliances set. After 2 years, I have observed no issues.

The tongue and groove plywood floating floor could have the issue of not setting intimate to the sub-floor. When walking or rolling machinery in the floor can give which could become an annoyance and even cause tripping if it is really bad. But if that is the case, it would be easy enough to shoot some Tapcon screws to secure the plywood after it is installed. I also believe that glue alone would be sufficient to keep the plywood joints together and that finishing nails would be unnecessary.

View tmasondarnell's profile

tmasondarnell

62 posts in 1625 days


#12 posted 12-25-2016 04:11 PM



Hi folks,

I m new around here but need some help. I am just finishing construction of a 30 X 30 shop in South Texas. Its built on a 6” reinforced concrete slab and will be heated and cooled year round by a heat pump. I had planned to finish the floor with epoxy paint but would rather have something that won t be so hard under my feet and knees. I ve also read stories about tools being damaged by dropping on the concrete.

I am considering putting down a vapor barrier and then laying a floating floor of 4 X 8 sheets of tongue and groove plywood on top of that. I am trying to avoid driving fasteners into the concrete floor and also avoiding furring strips due to the extra height it adds to the floor. Before laying the vapor barrier, I will confirm that the concrete is sufficiently dry by testing with a sealed plastic square and also with a moisture meter before proceeding. So, my question is, will this most probably work? I have read concerns elsewhere about the possibility of curling up at the edges if the sheets but I plan to pin the sheets together through the tongues with finishing nails. Has anyone done something similar or can just offer me sage advice?

Thanks,
Jeff

- jaleonard3

I had the same concerns as you for my shop, but decided to go with old fashion Armstrong Commercial tile and floor mats in key work areas. I decided the convenience of having a solid floor that would not compress under the weight of tools (e.g. table saw) and would be easy to roll equipment around on was better than a wood floor.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

116566 posts in 3412 days


#13 posted 12-25-2016 04:31 PM

Not sure how a raised floor will work given you will probably need to step up through any doorways you have. I always like to provide a way to run dust collection underfloor so you don’t have to deal with stepping over dust collection or have an overhead arm on your table saw in your way when cutting sheet goods.
As a 30 year contractor as far as concrete floors being completely cured in 30 days,I guess it depends on what one’s definition of cured is.Concrete holds moisture even 20 years after being poured, as a test lay something like a rubber door mate on a concrete surface and pick it up in 24 hours you’ll see it it’s moist underneath, this is why building codes require pressure treating wood on anything built on top of concrete.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View jaleonard3's profile

jaleonard3

2 posts in 801 days


#14 posted 12-25-2016 05:01 PM

Thanks everyone for the advice. None of you are really endorsing my idea so as one of the first posts suggests, I’ll take some more time and weigh my options. The slab was poured in late August this year so its been curing for nearly 120 days. The garage floor is nearly a foot above grade and its a six inch slab. I’ll let you guys know what I decide to do and will post some pictures when its complete.

Thanks guys!

Jeff

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