finish for a cypress shop floor

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Forum topic by bbrown posted 09-24-2012 07:28 PM 1110 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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234 posts in 3728 days

09-24-2012 07:28 PM

I have acquired American Cypress boards that I plan to use to make a basement shop floor, over a concrete slab.

1. What would folks recommend I use to finish the floor?

2 Is there any particular resource that might be helpful dealing with with how to prep the area and best prevent dampness/ water issues? I do recall an article in FWW a while back, that I will search out.

Thank you,


Forest, VA

My repro. furniture scrapbook…......

-- Bill Micah 6:8

6 replies so far

View Swyftfeet's profile


170 posts in 2347 days

#1 posted 09-25-2012 05:50 PM

newest method seems to be floating it with the following method:

2 layers of 3/8” Plywood opposite grain, overlapping joints fastened with mechanical fasteners that wont penetrate the vapor barrier, possibly using construction adhesive if you can roll it evenly.
6 mil Vapor barrier that extends about 3-4” up the wall.

-- Brian

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170 posts in 2347 days

#2 posted 09-25-2012 06:12 PM

If your nailing make sure your nails wont penetrate the Vapor barrier, also if your face nailing make sure to set them deep enough that you wont ruin the sand paper drums…

Tape the Area off! Dust goes fricken everywhere.

You’re gonna need 2 different sanders for a decent finish if the boards are rough. a Drum is sander is king for getting the boards level. If youre really uneven do a diagonal first with 40-60 grit. Don’t rent the one with 5 pads it isnt worth the gas you used to get it from the rental store.

Drop the drum in a controlled movement while pulling the sander with the grain so you don’t make waves. Work from one wall straight back with the grain lift up the drum in a controlled gradual lift while moving right before you hit the opposite wall…

After you complete all passes turn around and hit the areas you missed. Use either and edging sander or a grinder with a slightly higher grit to hit the perimeter. practice this portion in an unseen area.

Repeat up the grits till 180 or whatever. Next you want fill with appropriate wood filler then do a 220 pass. You’re ready for finishing.

vacuum everything floor, walls, ceiling wife dog, everything. wipe down with a tack cloth.

Return the drum sander. Get yourself some wool applicators and run some masking tape over them to pull the loose fibers out.

I used a oil based Poly that I had to buy in Qt cans due to NY VOC laws. went thru 48 cans to cover 1750 Sqft lol 4 layers deep. you can use water or Oil based your choice. Cure time will depend on whats used and VOC laws in your state.

After the first coat, use either a buffer sander or the large vibrating square pad type. I think I used 220 grit. you can repeat this for the number of coats you want, vacuuming and tacking between coats, after 2nd to last coat I used the white scrub pad.the last coat you let finish on its own. Dont put too much or you’ll get pools and puddling.

Good luck.

-- Brian

View Bernie's profile


422 posts in 3013 days

#3 posted 09-29-2012 04:02 AM

I have a wood floor in my shop I built in 2001, but I never finished it. I live in NH and my shop was dug out from under my barn. The walls are huge boulders and during the summer months, they sweat a lot. Had I finished my floors, they would be very slippery now, but because I didn’t finish them, they seem to absorb lots of the moister that is in the air. Today, the bare wood floors are like the day I laid them down. Heck, I’ve even been seen leaving wood shavings, chips and sawdust in corners around the shop just to absorb moister. I do keep my shop clean except for those inconspicuous spots. Just my way of thinking!

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

View bbrown's profile


234 posts in 3728 days

#4 posted 11-03-2012 11:45 AM

Brian and Bernie,

Apologies for the very late reply! I just discovered that I had messages here (there must be an alert system – I’ll try to figure that out).

I appreciate all the detail Brian. My boards are only 1/2 inch thick, so I’ll have to minimize sanding. I like the simplicity factor involved in your method Bernie :) I almost took a job at the hospital in Peterborough, NH BTW.

I’m thinking of using a method I found in an article in FWW: nailing down pressure treated 2×4’s (need to rent a powder actuated gun) , 6 mil poly vapour barrier over that, and wood over that. Not clear how one can avoid puncturing the vapour barrier. With the thin boards I have I’d need to go probably 12 inches on center with the 2×4 underlayment.

I think I might do only a light sanding if any (the surface is not too bad, left alone). Cypress can be splintery, so I’m considering a finish such as Waterlox oil/polyurethane.

Thanks so much for the ideas guys,


-- Bill Micah 6:8

View RogerM's profile


798 posts in 2575 days

#5 posted 11-03-2012 03:52 PM

Not to rain on your plans Bill but I think that cypress is a little soft for floor applications

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View bbrown's profile


234 posts in 3728 days

#6 posted 11-13-2012 06:41 PM


Not sure where you got that idea. Cypress is great flooring and is sold for such. I’ve got the boards and they’re going down soon as I get the time.

-- Bill Micah 6:8

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