2nd story shop flooring.

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Forum topic by Indianawood posted 03-14-2017 12:34 AM 638 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 637 days

03-14-2017 12:34 AM

I have a 2 story garage. The bottom level is basement level built into a hill. The cars, lawn equipment, etc. are parked down there. The second story back slider door is ground level to the back yard. My total space upstairs is 1000 square feet. I am currently finishing off the second story. It will be part man cave, garden storage, and wood shop. I will probably get a ductless mini-split system for heating and cooling but I will not run it all the time. There probably will be some decent temperature swings through the year even though I am air sealed and insulated very well. The question is: What type of flooring would be best. The advantech subfloor is already installed. I want it to look nice for the man cave portion but the most important thing is durability and making sure it doesnt buckle. I will have cabinets up there as well. Will a floating floor move to much, or not be allowed to move due to heavy table saw etc.? Any good ideas or products out there?

7 replies so far

View JBrow's profile


1366 posts in 1118 days

#1 posted 03-14-2017 01:06 AM


A wood or stranded bamboo floor would be nice, but a floating floor may not be the best option. In our kitchen remodel we installed a click-lock floating bamboo floor. The manufacturer recommended that appliances and cabinets should not be set on the floating floor. However, the manufacturer did not elaborate. I suppose the reason is that the weighted down floor trying to expand or contract could break the click-lock joints, but I really do not know the why. Whether this caution would apply to a tongue and groove floor that is floated where the planks are glued together, I cannot say for sure. But I would be hesitant to float any floor on which heavy machinery would set.

View gmc's profile


59 posts in 2354 days

#2 posted 03-14-2017 02:30 PM

It is really personal choice but any hardwood or plywood flooring would be best. As mentioned I would not do any floating or engineered flooring. They are thin and heavy equipment would break them at the joints if the sub floor had any give in it. You could tongue and groove plywood and your feet would love it. I think all of us with concrete floors would love to have wood floors. Also think about electrical, air, and vacuum connections that you might want to run b in between the floor joist before you put the final flooring in. Much easier now than later.

-- Gary, Central Illinois

View TungOil's profile


1057 posts in 693 days

#3 posted 03-14-2017 03:42 PM

Also consider floor loading- most residential structures are not designed to take the floor loads presented by heavy woodworking machinery. It’s been a long time since I looked at this but if memory serves I think residential construction is only designed around 50 psf design loads. This is not an issue for most of us since we are working off either the basement or garage slab, but I’d be very careful with a second story shop. If you are primarily a hand tool worker then no issues!

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View Indianawood's profile


3 posts in 637 days

#4 posted 03-14-2017 05:42 PM

Thanks for the replies everyone. Looks like some type of t&g hardwood or plywood is the way to go. I have considered the loading but not 100% sure how much it is rated for. There is a steel beam also supporting the floor. A cabinet saw would be my heaviest item.

View Snipes's profile


196 posts in 2443 days

#5 posted 03-14-2017 06:04 PM

go with the industrial look, sand the advantech and clear coat.

-- if it is to be it is up to me

View Matt Rogers's profile

Matt Rogers

110 posts in 2168 days

#6 posted 03-16-2017 02:15 PM

My shop has a specifically heavy built wood floor – 2×10 @12” O.C. with 8’-9’ spans. This gives me over 100# live and 20# dead load per sqft.(maxes out the joist calculators) On top of that I have a full rough sawn 1” pine subfloor and then 2×6 (1.5”) T&G Southern Yellow Pine over that. 2.5” of solid wood underfoot so I can lag screw machines to the floor wherever I want to keep them stable. My largest machine is a 3500# crescent planer and a 2000# 36” bandsaw and I see no issues with them after 3 years.

My main point is that I get the 2×6 T&G for only $1.50 per square ft. That is only slightly more than plywood and gives you both a super sturdy floor that will spread out any loads from heavy machines, but will also be soft on the tools, feet, and wallet. Cheaper than hardwood and it is hard enough to stand up to use, but soft enough to dent before your tools or project breaks. It is sold by many dealers across the country, ask your lumberyard (construction style yard) and check a couple of places as some will be better than others at pricing. I use New Hampton Lumber in New Hampton, NY.

-- Matt Rogers, and

View Indianawood's profile


3 posts in 637 days

#7 posted 03-16-2017 02:23 PM

Thank you Matt. That is an excellent idea.

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