I got a new Shop and need help completing it

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Forum topic by Bryan posted 01-06-2012 06:16 AM 2970 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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51 posts in 2858 days

01-06-2012 06:16 AM

My shop is 20×25 with 8 foot celings and a concerete floor. I want to finish out the inside walls and celing. I also want to add a wood floor. What would you guys use for the insulation in the walls and celing, what would you use for the celing and walls, sheet roc, osb, plywood.. etc….

15 replies so far

View JNP's profile


113 posts in 2578 days

#1 posted 01-06-2012 07:18 AM

Well there are certainly a lot of options. Here’s my .02

Ceilings, if it is a basement, insulate for sound and dust protection to the rest of the house. If nothing upstairs, leave open. I keep levels, straight edges, even magnetic pans and tools stuck to duct work.

Walls, Mine are drywall and they get pretty beat up. I would say osb or plywood. There is a restaurant here called the workshop and they have osb with a gloss sealer that actually looks pretty good. It also allows you to attach racks and shelves anywhere you want w/o regard to studs.

In MI, my basement is fully insulated for warmth and sound.

-- Jeff

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5863 posts in 3195 days

#2 posted 01-06-2012 07:06 PM


There are a couple of things you can do to on the insulation…..just a matter of choice…..for the walls, you can use rolls of insulation batting with an R13 or R15 value, and for the ceiling you can use an R30 or R33 value. It takes quite a bit of work to lay the rolls in between the studs (assumming you used 2×4 studs) in the walls, and if you used 2×6’s for the ceiling rafters, the same thing….I’ve did both in my other shop. The easiest thing to do (in my opinion) is to BLOW insulation in the walls and ceiling. That’s what I did in my present shop, in the walls, and about 15 inches in the ceiling…I like it better than the bats… For the flooring, I would also lay down wood flooring…much easier on the old back, feet, and legs..also will add a little insulation to the floor for warmth…... For the walls and ceiling: If you will use osb or plywood, it will make all the difference in the world as to putting up shelving, cabinets, lights, and anything you want to hang or store on them. You can drive screws and nails in it with no problem…you can’t do that with sheetrock…they would pull out unless you drove them in a stud…..osb and ply you can screw them anywhere….my shop has 7/16” osb for walls and ceiling, and I’ve never had one problem with it….to me, anything over sheetrock is the way to go…. take a look at my shop and you’ll see how it works so much better….. You’ll have a nice-size shop when you get ‘er done, and I will be waiting to see the results….If I can help further, just PM me…..

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5863 posts in 3195 days

#3 posted 01-07-2012 06:18 AM

One more thing: Before you insulate everything, it is a good idea to run your elecrtical wiring through all the studs for your wall plugs and mount the electrical boxes before you put in the insulation…much easier to do this at this time…..if you put in a ceiling, you can just lay all the wires across the rafters, and run them to the elecrtrical box…...

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View jackthelab's profile


313 posts in 2693 days

#4 posted 01-18-2012 02:06 PM


I am in the same process but maybe a set ahead of you. I used OSB for the sidewalls. Will use plywood for the ceiling. I have done drywall work in the past and after the last house, I promised myself that I would not use that again. Anyway, I do not enjoy doing drywall work. The OSB is relatively inexpensive and as mentioned, you can mount things just about anywhere which is much harder than when using drywall. I found a “bunch” of old style galvanized steel to cover part off the sidewalls – vintage look. Plywood on the ceiling as it is much easier to paint than OSB. Good luck with your efforts.

-- Dave in Minnesota - If it ain't broke, improve it!

View helluvawreck's profile


31105 posts in 2867 days

#5 posted 01-18-2012 02:46 PM

I like plywood on the walls. It’s a workshop. I also like the electrical run in emt conduit on the outside of the plywood. That way it’s easily modified, more durable, and you won’t accidentally drive a nail into your wiring.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View joey bealis's profile

joey bealis

177 posts in 2507 days

#6 posted 01-18-2012 02:56 PM

All comments from above are correct. For a little more usefulness add 6 mil plastic over your insulation and put peg boards up.


View Darell's profile


434 posts in 3594 days

#7 posted 01-18-2012 03:03 PM

Check your building codes where you live. The city made me use drywall and insulate same as a house. R-13 in walls and R-30 in ceiling. They may also have wiring requirements. Adding the extra ceiling insulation was a plus for me though. It’s worth it.

-- Darell, Norman, Ok.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4932 posts in 3961 days

#8 posted 01-18-2012 06:14 PM

My shop is attached to the home. Sheetrock ceilings, fully insulated walls with dbl. pane windows, blown insulation above, and walled with pegboard (wood grained look). I hang LOTS of stuff. Sure gives me a lot of added storage, and it is easy to place things where ya need ‘em.


View BobM001's profile


388 posts in 2331 days

#9 posted 01-18-2012 06:45 PM

Get the LARGEST breaker panel you can SAFELY feed. The max number of positions. Better to have empty space than not enough.
I second the wiring being done in conduit. That way you can put a nail or a screw anywhere you like. #12 THHN wire for recepticles with 20 amp breakers, #14 for lighting circuits with 15 amp. Have “dedicated” circuits for machinery. Be sure to have a “pull string” to the end of a “home run” just in case you decide to run future circuits. 4X4 deep boxes with a pair of HD duplex recepticles strategically located. A plug strip attached to the apron of your bench if it’s against the wall is another good move. Ceiling drops for your stationary equipment with HEAVY rubber cord and recepticle end away from where it might get in the way when sawing sheet goods. Mount boxes with recepticles to the ceiling for plug in shop lights. That way they can be taken down for repairs if needed without having to futz with wiring. Have these on switched circuits.
If you have a compressor, pipe air to where you may need it in either galvanized iron pipe or copper tube. ALL air drops come off the main supply FROM THE TOP OF THE PIPE. Have a “blow down” with a ball valve at the end of the run for moisture removal. Add an extra tee with a female adapter(if copper) with a plug “here and there”. You never know where you might want air.
If you’re going to do central dust collection, plan for that layout as well.


-- OK, who's the wise guy that shrunk the plywood?

View foneman's profile


112 posts in 4095 days

#10 posted 01-18-2012 07:53 PM

I used 1/2” osb (or the closest thing to 1/2”) for the walls and ceiling in my man cave. Be sure to rent or borrow a sheetrock jack to install the ceiling material. I primed and painted all of it a light color to brighten it up. It took several coats but was not a big deal. I also put all my outlets both 220v and 110v 4 foot off the floor (best thing I ever did) and the only outlet 12 inches off the floor was my welder plug-in. I put several outlets in the ceiling, plus my 220 table saw outlet there to eliminate tripping over it. My sidewalls and ceiling are insulated with fiberglass batt insulation (don’t recall the R factor). Before priming and painting I caulked all seams. I also caulked all outlet and swithbox openings to prevent any air infiltration. You will be surprised how tight you can seal your shop up and how well it maintains the temperatures.

Good luck whichever way you go!!!

View AndyDuframe's profile


48 posts in 3590 days

#11 posted 01-18-2012 09:32 PM

You will be surprised how tight you can seal your shop up and how well it maintains the temperatures.

I think it’s nice to have a even-tempered room for woodworking, but the tighter the room, the more diligent I would be to make sure that air is getting pumped out and filtered somehow. I realize the OP is mostly asking about material choices, but if he has yet to rough in the walls, I think this would be a good time to consider how a filtration system might be installed in the room.


View MrRon's profile


4771 posts in 3244 days

#12 posted 01-26-2012 08:19 PM

Since you only have an 8’ headroom, you don’t want to put any material on the floor or ceiling to cut down that headroom. Wrestling a 4×8 sheet of plywood in a space with a 95” headroom, is no easy task. For the floor, I would only apply a paint or epoxy coating and lay down anti-fatigue floor mats around workbenches and machines. For the overhead, the thinest material should be used of left open. I would prefer sheetrock for the overhead because of it’s fire resistance. Plywood or OSB for the walls is fine. If you are sharing space with heat producing equipment like furnaces or water heaters, They should be isolated from the shop space by fire rated walls. I wouldn’t bother with installing electrical wiring in walls. I think it is better to install wiring in conduit exposed on the surface. This makes it easy to expand or modify if needed. The wiring in my shop is in the walls and I’m sorry I did it that way. I want to punch a hole through a wall for installation of dust collection ducts, but there is wiring in the area concerned that is concealed.

View Scot's profile


344 posts in 3396 days

#13 posted 01-26-2012 08:29 PM

I have just about finished my new shop that I started in the spring, 30×50x12. I used OSB on the walls and ceiling. By far the OSB is the most affordable at $6.25 a sheet. And strong enough to hang stuff on. I will try to post pics this weekend>

-- If the old masters had power tools, they would have used them. So get off your damn High Horse.

View Bobsboxes's profile


1367 posts in 2664 days

#14 posted 01-26-2012 08:29 PM

You may have to use drywall and firetape it, then you can put up OSB or PLY. Be sure you know the code in your area, as for the electrical I would also run on surface so you can modify and if it is buried in wall you always run the risk of driving a screw through it. You would be suprized how often this happens.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 2983 days

#15 posted 02-01-2012 06:13 AM

osb or plywood i don’t like the look of emt conduit on the wall. makes it look as an after thought. you should know where your wires run. follow, box to box and don’t use 3” grabers to hang a tool. i’d also rock the ceiling,and finish it just like inside your house, paint and all. wire in all electrical first, then insulate,then hang your board 5/8” or 1/2”

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