workshop floor

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Forum topic by Jim posted 02-19-2011 04:19 AM 7882 views 1 time favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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32 posts in 3084 days

02-19-2011 04:19 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question tablesaw bandsaw planer miter saw router rustic

Greetings! I have a question…. what is the best surface for a woodworking workshop floor? I just ordered a shed with a plywood floor that will be my woodshop. Does anyone out there have any suggestions as to what I should do with the floor? I think I read somewhere that vinyl tile is good because of easy clean up.
Thanks for your help. Jim

-- All who wander are not lost.

11 replies so far

View brunob's profile


2277 posts in 4370 days

#1 posted 02-19-2011 04:29 AM

I got a shed delivered with a plywood floor. Just left it the way it was. Works for me.

-- Bruce from Central New, if you'll pardon me, I have some sawdust to make.

View Resurrected's profile


671 posts in 2893 days

#2 posted 02-19-2011 06:00 AM

Concrete is fine with me.

I think its your preference, Big tools usually are heavy and might mark the tile up. But its a shop.

-- Who can I block now???????????????????????

View Edziu's profile


151 posts in 3252 days

#3 posted 02-19-2011 06:02 AM

I cannot tell you what makes the best shop floor. From my experience, I can give you one thing that is not the best shop floor.

VCT. Vinyl Composition Tile. We got a great deal on a whole pallet of the stuff because it was the wrong color for someone else’s job. We have a fairly sizable main room, (23X46) and it was bare concrete. We needed to fill cracks in the floor and brighten up the floor at the same time. We went with VCT because it would make a great surface to clean up- and it does. We laid it, waited about six months, and stripped it and put three coats of very low-gloss polish on it. Bad Idea. After a day of sanding, when there is a fine layer of dust on the floor, the place is a deathtrap. Thankfully, in 8 months, I have only fallen once.

So my advice to you is to avoid VCT and just pick up some nice interlocking foam mats for yourself and keep it simple.

View KnotWright's profile


258 posts in 3689 days

#4 posted 02-19-2011 06:24 AM

I like my wood floors, I painted the plywood downstairs with some battleship grey latex paint just to seal it. Now I’m upstairs and have the original pine flooring. I don’t worry about spills or saw dust. Its very comfortable under foot, so no need for the foam mats.

I don’t ever want to go back to concrete floors, cold and hard on the feet and tools.

-- James

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3243 days

#5 posted 02-19-2011 07:00 AM

If you are spending many hours in the shop your best bet is wood. It is so much more forgiving. Better on your body and better if you drop tools. But you don’t want it flimsy, make it sturdy. If it comes with a flimsy floor I would build your own or at least reinforce it and then put the shed on it instead.

View Sarit's profile


550 posts in 3341 days

#6 posted 02-19-2011 12:44 PM

If you have a raised plywood floor, then you have the option of running dust collection underneath and possibly changing it as your shop layout changes. Its a bit harder to do that with a poured concrete one.

If you have really heavy tools, I would imagine that its easier to roll around on concrete. I would think that with plywood (especially the cheap stuff) the heavy machines would leave impressions in the wood, but that might be a plus since you’ll know exactly where to park it :)

If you decide to do plywood, I would recommend that you ‘overbuild’ it. Don’t just do minimum code requirements. You may have to double up on the joists and/or make them deeper and/or add support piers.

View Bernie's profile


422 posts in 3038 days

#7 posted 02-22-2011 04:58 PM

I dug out the bottom of my barn up here in NH and installed a plywood floor… best thing I ever did. We have a lot of ledge (NH = Granite State) and lots of running water, especially in the spring melt. What I did was lay a double layer of plastic to let the water run under it, a 2X4 frame of pressure treated wood, then my plywood. I did not paint it for 2 reasons. #1, I wanted the floor to breath and stay dry. I was worried about moisture getting caught under it and rotting out. So far, ten years latter, I still don’t detect any problems. My #2 reason was that I thought paint or any type of finish on the floor would be slippery. So plain plywood has worked so well for me.

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View dbray45's profile


3320 posts in 2978 days

#8 posted 02-22-2011 05:02 PM

I have a sealed vinyl tile floor, I do NOT recommend it. When there is sawdust on the floor it can be like an ice skating rink. It is too slippery

-- David in Damascus, MD

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2687 posts in 3123 days

#9 posted 02-22-2011 05:14 PM

I layed 2×4’s on edge and screwed tounge and groove plywood to it over the concrete floor. I put the 2×4’s 12” apart and doubled them where my table saw is parked. No finish nor paint. Works well for me.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

View Jeff's profile


489 posts in 3395 days

#10 posted 02-22-2011 05:14 PM

I have concrete because that’s what came with the garage. Not about to change it. However, wood stored on the floor will wick up moisture so it has to be raised.

View Jim's profile


32 posts in 3084 days

#11 posted 02-22-2011 06:15 PM

Thanks guys, I’ll just leave it as it is…plywood and re-enforce areas with the heavey stuff. Jim

-- All who wander are not lost.

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