floor in new shop


justaguy
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I am setting up my new shop.  The building is 30x40x12'.  Solid 2x6 studded walls.  Problem is that it has a drain smack dab in the center of the floor.  Very little slope to the first 4-6' in from the walls, but then has an increasing slope down to the drain.  I am trying picture how to wedge the downward side of either a table or tool to get it level, while still maintaining the ability to move things as need arises.  Suggestions?

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I’m trying to imagine but, why do you have a drain in the middle of your shop? Was this an existing building being used for something else? They make a self leveling compound that can be mixed and poured over an existing slab that might solve your dilemma. 

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How severe is the slope? Your tools and work surfaces really don’t need to be level, or is it to the point that things are rolling off of them or mobile bases are rolling on their own?
 

Any effort put into leveling them will be lost as soon as you move it, unless you mark the exact points of all the feet and always put it back where it started.

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How severe is the slope? How many inches difference? Fixing the slope itself could be your best option though may be more expensive/difficult than you want to tackle. As @coop mentioned there are some pourable options for minor issues, or if the slope is severe enough a raised subfloor can be installed.

If fixing the slope isn't in the cards, seems you're going to have to rely on adjustable levelling feet for anything that has to span an uneven slope. You can get casters which double as adjustable feet, though they usually max out at about 1" of adjustability.

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Just my opinion, but with 12' of ceiling height, I would shoot for the raised sub-floor (super-floor??) as the long term solution. Aside from level, you gain the benefit of a 'softer' surface to stand on, and the option to route electric, dust collection, and other utilities in a space that can be easy to access, yet completely out of the way. I would raise it 8 to 12 inches, frame it out like a deck, and use 2'x2' (maybe 16"x16") plywood panels, like a data center floor.

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I agree with others that trying to adjust leg lengths is not going to be optimal.  It would really be better if you could straighten the floor out.  What is your floor made of, concrete? Any covering? 

Is the drain required? advisable? or can it be removed?  Drains are also a pathway for flood water.  Any "anti-flood" valve type thingy in that pipe?  Ejector pit?

Personally I like the idea of a secondary floor because I'm tired of the cold sore feet of standing on concrete.  But I'd still want to know what that drain was about.  And I'd want a trap door right above it for access.  

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Beautiful potential and build out. The self leveling agent that I mentioned is for leveling an existing slab that is a bit irregular in order to lay ceramic tile. I’m not sure of the max depth that this will accommodate or if it can be built up. But I bet there is something out there that will give you a level floor as opposed to leveling your equipment which would be a major PITA. Keep us updated as to how you resolved this 

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The only thing I see to prevent a raised floor is the doorways. Those could be managed with step-downs. From your description, I think the slope may be a bit much for the leveling compounds used for tile. If you eliminate the drain, maybe fill the bulk with concrete, THEN use a leveling compound?

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Rapid Set 50 lb. CTS Concrete Leveler-186010050 - The Home Depot

I just found this stuff.  Did not know it existed.  Looks like it can go to at least two inches in depth

Thanks guys.  Very helpful

I am not aiming for a dead level floor, just something that I don't need climbing boots in and where I can put a pencil down and it does not roll off

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This is the category of levelling compound I was thinking of. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Custom-Building-Products-LevelQuik-RS-50-lbs-Self-Leveling-Underlayment-LQ50/100192482

I didn't end up using it myself though, so caveat emptor as always. The listing claims it can handle up to 1.5" difference in one pour. Keep in mind that it's going for level, not flat, so if your structure/slab itself isn't perfectly level you may be in for some surprises as to where it pools up. Definitely worth stringing some lines across your shop floor and figuring out just how out of level your shop floor is before starting on any project.

There are concerns about the longevity of levellers like these. They aren't designed to be a primary/wear surface. You could throw down almost any kind of covering once it's level and that should meet the manufacturer's listing. Plank vinyl flooring or rubber mats for example would protect the leveller while presenting a nice uniform surface.

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The self leveling products are meant to be used under another flooring system.  With out another flooring system on top you will have some edges of the leveling compound that will be feather thin and will start to chip away with just general wear and tear and then you have a whole other problem to deal with.

I would think the most feasible and maybe most cost effective would be the raised floor that Ross mention with the step downs for any man door areas, and like Ross said a raised wooden floor would be a real nice surface to stand on while working. 

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On 12/28/2021 at 4:15 PM, Tom King said:

Nice space!  You need to figure out the amount of slope before making a decision about how to flatten the floor.  The self-leveling stuff can get really expensive if there is much volume needed.

My next step in the shop is to determine the slope, and get a guesstimate on volume needed.  The house and shop are new to us, and I have projects in both.  Right now I have to get back to the house.  

Once volume is determined, I have to find out which of the leveling products is best for a shop.  I have already found some that can be left exposed as a working surface.  What I do not know is the required temp for application.  I am keeping the shop at 60 F, but the floor is less than that.  This is WI, and it is winter

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On 12/28/2021 at 8:02 PM, justaguy said:

My next step in the shop is to determine the slope, and get a guesstimate on volume needed.  The house and shop are new to us, and I have projects in both.  Right now I have to get back to the house.  

Once volume is determined, I have to find out which of the leveling products is best for a shop.  I have already found some that can be left exposed as a working surface.  What I do not know is the required temp for application.  I am keeping the shop at 60 F, but the floor is less than that.  This is WI, and it is winter

Here in Tennessee, it's supposed to be winter to.  Today's high was 72*.

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