uneven concrete floor in my shop...

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Forum topic by Mark Geserick posted 03-01-2009 05:40 AM 10639 views 1 time favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mark Geserick

35 posts in 3918 days

03-01-2009 05:40 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything on Lumberjocks. However I’m always reading and learning from everyone that have taken the time to post info…

It’s like someone that listens to talk radio all of the time, but never calls in to comment.

Anyway my post is basically a request for advice. My woodshop is a two car garage that is in progress and almost complete. The concrete slab the makes up the floor of my shop is very uneven. It was poured in different sections and not even close to being level. Expansion joints break midway across it and any machines on wheels cannot be rolled over this seam without some difficulty. My idea is to lay pressure treated 2×4’s on the flat. (sleepers) Shim them level and fasten them to the concrete floor. After first laying down a plastic vapor barrier. Space them 16” on center except in the areas of the table saw and jointer, where I would use 12” on center spacing. Then screw and glue a plywood subfloor over that to create a level surface to work and set up all of my machines and work spaces. It seems to me that plywood wouldn’t be the best surface for a shop floor. And I don’t want to go to the expense of putting down a plank or hardward floor. I am thinking of applying a heavy duty vinyl tile floor over the ply subfloor. Not vinyl one piece flooring. The question is would that be durable enough for occasionally rolling some of my machines that are on mobile bases like the jointer or the band saw etc. over it? Another suggestion that was offered to me was to use 1/4” masonite sheet goods over top of the plywood to give a smooth durable work surface that would be easy to sweep and keep clean.
If anyone has experience in this sort of thing, it would be appreciated on my end. I’m not in a big hurry so if you happent to type with one finger I’ll wait…

Thanks to all

-- Mark, South Jersey

23 replies so far

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4282 days

#1 posted 03-01-2009 05:53 AM

So what is wrong with the plywood floor? If anything your floor sure sounds like a blessing on a bad back. My concrete floor just kills me.

View SteveB's profile


57 posts in 4026 days

#2 posted 03-01-2009 06:07 AM

I’ve seen an awful lot of broken vinyl tiles. They’re not good with heavy point loads, especially after they get old and brittle.

I like the hardboard suggestion. Seal it with polyurethane.

-- Steve B - New Life Home Improvement

View Mark Geserick's profile

Mark Geserick

35 posts in 3918 days

#3 posted 03-01-2009 06:08 AM

Dennis. I agree the wood floor better on the back. My experience has been that plywood tends to delaminate after some use and especially moving things around. But I am not sure if there really is any other option other than the plank floor.

Dave. It will stay dry and I was thinking the same thing with the power to may table saw. Also why is that whenever one drops a tool with an edge on it, THE EDGE LANDS FIRST?

-- Mark, South Jersey

View Mark Geserick's profile

Mark Geserick

35 posts in 3918 days

#4 posted 03-01-2009 06:10 AM

Thanks Steve
Sealing the hardboard with poly might be the way to go. I guess if a sheet were to get dug up it could be replaced…

-- Mark, South Jersey

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4282 days

#5 posted 03-01-2009 06:15 AM

You might try a painted plywood floor then if it gets too bad you could cover it later. It seems to me I heard about a shop that did that and they were happy with it. Then again I might have just been exposed to too many lacquer fumes.

View Mark Geserick's profile

Mark Geserick

35 posts in 3918 days

#6 posted 03-01-2009 06:28 AM

The painting would probably keep the ply from wearing too quickly. I may go that route. And like you suggested, add the tile later…

-- Mark, South Jersey

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3861 days

#7 posted 03-01-2009 06:32 AM

whats better then a concrete floor….....................just about any other kind of floor

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Karson's profile


35111 posts in 4368 days

#8 posted 03-01-2009 06:34 AM

Mark: There is a products at Lowes that is called Adventec (sp) It’s an OSB boasrd that is warrentied for 50 years or as long as it takes you to put it down. but it is semi water proof if I understand it. It’s 3/4 and very strong.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18249 posts in 3644 days

#9 posted 03-01-2009 06:36 AM

I think a good grade of subflooring would be fine, even particle board if it is kept dry. #1, be sure you have good ventilation under there.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6851 posts in 3947 days

#10 posted 03-01-2009 01:31 PM

Hi Mark;

I, too would go with a painted plywood, but I would add sand to the paint. This will give you traction, as a painted floor can be quite slippery, especially with saw dust on it.

On some commercial projects we do in the construction business, we’re required to add sand to the paint, even on concrete surfaces, for the same reason.

And forget using Masonite for the same reason, unless you have the rough side up.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2781 posts in 3406 days

#11 posted 03-01-2009 02:15 PM

Apply 3/4 inch or so particle board. Screw it down with deck screws then paint it with water based porch and deck. Mine is done that way. The new porch and deck paints soak in like a stain. They don’t scratch and they clean easily. And Particle board is tough stuff, flat, smooth, and looks good painted. I painted my shop very light tan, and the floor a light grey. light colored dust from most of my wood, which does get and stick to them doesn’t show much till i clean it off. The paint I used is the water based porch and deck from Home Depot. Not too expensive but worked great. Amazing stuff. Doesn’t scratch or seem to wear much. Some of my tools are on wheels some I just lift one end and drag. scuff marks that clean but no scratches. Here is a picture of my floor from a recent project set.

If moisture is an issue then consider painting the underside and edges before you put it down.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 3925 days

#12 posted 03-01-2009 03:13 PM

When I was pricing out my shed last summer Lowe’s had a 3/4” T&G plywood that was treated with some type of sealer and it was guaranteed not to rot or delaminate for 25 years. I wish I could remember what it was called. Suredry? Drylock something like that. It was more expensive than the standard T&G but worth it for the longevity, especially if I was storing items that were wet and snowy.


View Handidad's profile


27 posts in 3342 days

#13 posted 03-01-2009 03:56 PM

Do you even need the sleepers or could you put the plywood on the plastic bubble product that is used on the outside of foundations? There is even a flooring product that comes in 2×2 ft squares with some plastic bubbles on the back. I can’t remember if it is plywood or particle board.
Yes this would make a floating floor, but it might still be just as firm because you wouldn’t have the empty spaces between the sleepers.

View i82much's profile


25 posts in 3354 days

#14 posted 03-01-2009 05:00 PM

You might try some self leveling concrete grout. The “stuff” comes in a 50 lb bag and you mix it with water to a “flowable consistency (sp) and just pour it out.This stuff is none shrink so what you pour is what you get
I have used this stuff to set a 45+ ton concrete wall on and never had any troubles.
I expect it’s rather expensie. but when you figure all the wood involved, it’s probably about the same

-- At the end of my life...When I meet my Maker...Will I be seen as...a giver or a taker

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4282 days

#15 posted 03-05-2009 05:12 PM

This has got me thinking of laying down a layer of the foam used under laminate floors. Covered with a sheet of 1/2 inch ply. Then another layer of foam and another layer of 1/2 ply. Stapled together to create a sore back friendly surface. The concrete is killing me.

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