thewoodwhisperer

Wood Shop Flooring Options

Recommended Posts

Look into cork

I too would look in to cork as a flooring option. When I built mine, I just left the concrete floor as it was. I should have painted it, but didn't. If I had it to do all over again, I'd look into a cork floor. Nice cushion on the feet and when things are dropped.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lumber liquidators sells trash , there is a reason it's .89 a sf. . Please trust me on this, for ANY home owner do not buy stuff from there, typical waste ( bent, warped , checks n cracks) on a good floor around is %10 max, your going to be around %30-40 and still end up with very short boards and a bad looking floor. I know from the experience of fixing and completely replacing materials from there. I would rather send people to home depot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Marc if you are hooked on a wood floor, you can get an engineered floor that glues directly to the concrete, that will prevent the hollow sound you get from floating floors. Look for one with a thicker top veneer. The thicker it is the more likely you will be able to refinish it in the future. Cheaper than solid 3/4" with wider planks.

Putting sleepers and the insulation down would only be needed if you wanted to nail down the floor, alot less work and expense to glue it directly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Marc if you are hooked on a wood floor, you can get an engineered floor that glues directly to the concrete, that will prevent the hollow sound you get from floating floors. Look for one with a thicker top veneer. The thicker it is the more likely you will be able to refinish it in the future. Cheaper than solid 3/4" with wider planks.

Putting sleepers and the insulation down would only be needed if you wanted to nail down the floor, alot less work and expense to glue it directly.

I was under the impression that the sleepers would actually give the floor a little more flex, and thus a little more comfort under foot. Attaching directly to the concrete would eliminate the little bit of flex that makes the floor more comfortable to walk on. I am not well versed in flooring but this is what I have heard and read many times in various forums. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong in this detail.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it would be more flexible, but not to the degree that it would be noticeable. Any time I've used sleepers it was done because the customer wanted 3/4" solid wood over a slab. I can't say I've ever had the chance to directly compare the flexibility of one to the other. I would think that typically a you would have more flexibility with a wood subfloor / joist because those materials can flex slightly , in your case the concrete may prevent that "give" from happening even with the sleepers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I decided not to put a floor over the concrete slab as I'm not sure how long I'll be in my current house/shop. I'll be interested to see what you decide.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Marc, I have the floating 1x3 floor and have found that it stands up well and is as easy to clean as concrete. if I was to do it all over again, and I am not, I would use the foam for laminate flooring and tapcon the strips down. The floor does float and I find it annoying but I think if it wasn't completely free it would work just as well for knees hips and back and be less flexible for moving machines and stable for tripods. I did mine due to issues with standing on concrete, even just walking at the mall bothers me. I do plan to seal it with a water based product to rais the graini so it is less slippery. I use mats in front of the lathe as that is the one place I stand in one spot for a long time. I can post a pic if you are interested.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Marc, for the past decade or so my shop had a concrete slab covered with a 6 mil moisture barrier beneath a floating 3/4" plywood floor. I found it to be significantly more comfortable for me and less damaging to dropped tools and projects than the bare concrete slab was. That said, I am currently building a new shop and it will have concrete covered with the 6 mil barrier (since concrete will continue to pick up and give off moisture) a grid of pressure treated 2x4s shimmed to level the slab then in-filled with rigid foam insulation and covered with 3/4" plywood. Here in the forests of the pacific northwest moisture, pests like carpenter ants or termites, and wide temperature fluctuations are the issues that guided my choices. I'll let you know in a few weeks if I feel it has any more " bounce".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, I'll chime in on this one but I'm a n00b to this (first post to WTO) so be gentle! I definitely would not leave it concrete--it really is terrible for your body. Mats help but you always end up working somewhere that doesn't have one eventually, plus mats make clean up tougher. For me there's nothing better than a wood floor in a wood shop. Here's my suggestion (actually its borrowed from a friend of mine who is a contractor specializing in basements).

Skip the sleepers. They're unnecessary and they raise the cost. Simply put down a layer of 1" (or slightly less) high density closed-cell foam insulation over the concrete and tape the seams. This provides a good vapor barrier (if you don't have one under the slab) as well as providing the floor with a little give. Then put 3/4" t&g plywood directly over the top of that. Skip the OSB. It may be cheaper but the plywood distributes the weight of heavy tools more evenly, wears better, and finishes smoother which makes clear ups easier. Secure the plywood with tap-cons through the foam to the concrete. Countersink them slightly and cover with a good filler. Now finish the floor however. It's quick, easy, and inexpensive. Also, if you want to dress it up more later, you can later demote this floor to subfloor when your budget allows for that nice ipe floor you've always dreamt of putting in your shop!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing to keep in mind is that you never want wood to be in direct contact with concrete. You will want sill gaskets if you run stringers.

I like the idea of using anti fatigue matting on the concrete. You can put an epoxy floor coating on the concrete. That will make it easy to clean.

You could also find a good grade of snap together flooring system, they need a layer of foam under them anyway, so that would add a bit of "give" to the floor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

why not just put down the florring a golds gym would usepeople drop 200# weight on it i dont see a board being a problem

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi everyone.

An option to consider would be plywood on top of ridgid foam. I remember reading an article in finehomebuilding about this for basement finishing. Basically you lay 1'' shiplap ridgid foam on concrete and you put construction adhesive and sheathing tape on all the joints. Around the edges near the walls you spray expanding foam to seal any gaps. On top of that you put 5/8'' t&g plywood and screw through the plywood and foam with long tapcons. Plywood may not be the look you are going for but this option acts as a insulator and it will protect your knees and back.

Hope this helped.

Domenic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Let's (squeek), head on over to (squeek) the bandsaw to make (squeek) our cut!"

LMAO! Yeah, that's true. But woodworking in Converse would make you awesome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Home depot also has interlocking mats , they fit together like puzzle pcs. You can cut them with a utility knife. And put them around you machines, under the machines you could leave the bare concrete , a plus for having to level them. If a spot gets damaged you could just pull it up and drop a new one in. Not permanent but just a thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My vote is cork on a built-up floor or ply in lieu of cork, unless you want to go for the bespoke look with hand-hewn planks lovingly harvested from an old barn in Normandie.

I wasn't gong to reply since there have already been some great responses, but here's why I did...

I have only lived in one residence with a concrete subfloor. While the structure is quite sound and more soundproof, in general, than subfloors, even with thick carpet pile or wood flooring there is still an unforgiving surface underfoot.

Folks may say no big deal, but my knees told and tell a different story over the years.

Marc is building this shop as a mid-long term prospect and is already keying in on knee/back issues at his tender age. I would think that a principle dwelling with slab on grade is yet another reason to strongly consider a subfloor setup.

As other have noted, I wouldn't recommend sleepers on grade. Rather, I would lift a joist system an inch or so off grade to allow for native deflection.

I am strongly considering cork retrofits in several rooms of our stick-built home - the kitchen in particular - for its relative softness and insulation values. The only drawback I have heard anecdotally is the possibility of slippery surfaces when wet.

A few comments from the cheap seats for whatever they are worth. At the minimum, I get another bump in the WTO post count on my journey to the Million Post Club.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As other have noted, I wouldn't recommend sleepers on grade. Rather, I would lift a joist system an inch or so off grade to allow for native deflection.

I am strongly considering cork retrofits in several rooms of our stick-built home - the kitchen in particular - for its relative softness and insulation values. The only drawback I have heard anecdotally is the possibility of slippery surfaces when wet.

This is best case results in my opinion. Cork is also very awesome. I think it may also be the most exspensive route. And cork is kinda porrous and that can add traction, it shouldn't be any more slippery than any other fl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Choose wood!

When I extended and made my shop more "dreamshop" I choose a wooden floor. Concrete will kill your knees sooner or later, I don't like plastic floors and not the look of plywood either. But hardwood is way too expensive so I choose softwood which is a third/fourt of the price. I live in Scandinavia and floors of pines/spruces are not uncommon. In the past they were the rule. Finer grades of the Pinus-species are still common in living rooms.

My choice was Norway spruce (Picea abies), and after two years it is still fine. Will soon need refinishing in most trafficed area, but that's all.

I don't exactly remember the thickness but I guess it was 25-28 mm, that's normal for softwood floorboards that is laid on sleepers, it's less if laid on some kind of sheet material.

If you choose your floor material first, any local building specialist can tell you what you need under that to be safe.

There's a photo here: https://picasaweb.go...880091913903810

Good luck!

Geir

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know that this doesn't solve the limited budget issue (and probably makes it worse), but I'm just a noob, so here it goes...

Has anyone had any experience in a woodshop setting with Swisstrax or similar plastic tile? They'd be just as expensive (or more) as DriCore, but would be the finished surface as well and are easy to sweep up and clean up spills. They are typically used for high-end garages (Jay Leno has them under his Dusenberg) and I can't find much feedback on the use of them in woodworking. The Woodcraft Extreme Garage Makeover shop uses the FlexiTile interlocking tiles that someone else had mentioned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We New Englanders have knees that notice very quickly when we have to walk around on a slab all day. Most of us are used to floors with "bounce", which is far easier on the body than the concrete or tile on concrete that is so common in southern areas.

If you have any chance to use something besides raw concrete or hard tile over concrete, do it. Your knees and back will thank you for many years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was told that Platon will eventually compress where point loads are high so I choose to epoxy my concrete floor and get a great pair of work boots.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Who's Online   3 Members, 0 Anonymous, 30 Guests (See full list)

  • Forum Statistics

    27,007
    Total Topics
    356,959
    Total Posts
  • Member Statistics

    20,339
    Total Members
    1,529
    Most Online
    Gary S
    Newest Member
    Gary S
    Joined