VCT vrs wood flooring for concrete

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Forum topic by need2boat posted 05-27-2011 01:39 PM 2485 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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544 posts in 2928 days

05-27-2011 01:39 PM

I’m looking to finish off floor in my shop. Its a small space, self standing with a concrete floor. The building is insulated well and heated although I don’t heat it much when not in it. I keep it around 40 50 in the winter when I’m not in it. M- Thurs. These are some older shots from last year when I was still finishing the remolding of the old building.

My questions is I’d really like to use wood flooring, something Engineered that would minimize expansion. The other flooring I’ve read a lot about is VCT tiles although I have no first hand experience. I’m looking at around 250 square feet. I’m looking for something to easier on my feet and also a little tool protection.

Any pros cons I’d love to hear.


-- Second Chance Saw Works Blog: Positive Rake

6 replies so far

View rieferman's profile


39 posts in 2927 days

#1 posted 05-27-2011 03:22 PM

Wood floors (especially when installed over sleepers, with insulation between each sleeper) are very comfortable to walk on, and dropped chisels will not be damaged. You can just use plywood, and put a few coats of floor paint on to make sweeping easier etc. If you use sleepers method, you can also run floor outlets which can be a plus in some applications. In a shop your size, this is the route I’d take personally.

VCT will feel like concrete still basically. But it’ll look nice and sweep easily. VCT is very durable. You can frequently find this product at your local Habitat Restore for very cheap.

I personally use interlocking foam mats. You can find these at Harbor Freight and a kazillion other places. They insulate the floor to some degree (your feet don’t get cold) and it feels like walking on air. I use 4” casters on my carts, and all my other equipment is stationary, so I haven’t had issues. But if you need to move equipment around frequently, these mats are not for you in my opinion.

edit: one last option is horse stall mats. These are very heavy rubber mats that come in 4’ x 6’ rectangular pieces. They lay extremely flat, will never slide around, and many types of equipment on casters would be able to roll on their surface without sinking in. These mats are similar to what you’d see in a weight room at the local YMCA etc. I love these mats, but they’re usually about $40 for one mat, so I always end up cobbling together a cheaper solution (e.g. the HF interlocking mats cover the same area for $12)

-- New to woodworking, old to barn fixin'

View chrisstef's profile


17798 posts in 3242 days

#2 posted 05-27-2011 03:48 PM

Also the VCT will take on whatever shape the concrete is in underneath. If you have humps, bumps, and lumps, you’re going to see them through the VCT possibly making them crack as well. I thinks id go with the rubber floor mats as suggested, easy on the knees and back, and you’re tools may even bounce back.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View need2boat's profile


544 posts in 2928 days

#3 posted 05-27-2011 09:29 PM

Thanks guys. Glad to see wood flooring sounds like it will work. The floor was not super flat but I had someone over to pour a concrete pad by the door I added and they leveled the floor as well. I’m planing to seal it next week and start looking for good deals on the flooring at the big box stores.


-- Second Chance Saw Works Blog: Positive Rake

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2688 posts in 3158 days

#4 posted 05-27-2011 11:40 PM

I put a plywood floor over 2×4 sleepers in my shop and It works well for me. I put the 2×4’s 12” on center where my table saw would be and 16” elseware. I used 3/4” tounge and groove ply, no finish.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

View Richard's profile


1922 posts in 2926 days

#5 posted 06-04-2011 08:54 PM

My Dad used 2×4’s on the flat sides with 16” on center since they were wider on the flats with half laped joints and placed shim stock under them at any low points in the concrete floor to level them and then 3/4” plywood on top with a good deck paint for the finish that stood up well for years before it needed to be repainted. Then you could use the HF mats at the TS or other stationary tools and in front of the workbench for extra comfort when standing at them for longer times. And you can still add power lines under floor with the covered outlets to keep from having to use extension cords to get to the TS or other tools.

View need2boat's profile


544 posts in 2928 days

#6 posted 06-06-2011 05:59 PM

Cheers to everyone for there help in sorting this out. In the end I went with something call dricore sub flooring. You can read more about on my blog.

Link to the blog

-- Second Chance Saw Works Blog: Positive Rake

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