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Best choice for woodshop floor?

tjcarcht's picture

Good morning.  Well ... it's been awhile since I've been here.  I have a question that I need to answer for myself - thought it might generate some good thoughts.


What is the ideal floor for a woodshop?  I was thinking plywood, but sturdifloor is pretty ugly as a finish floor.  Then I thought maybe oak plywood, but suspect the face veneer might be too thin to hold up, especially with mobile bases, etc.


I need to be able to take up sections to run wire after the fact ... t & g makes no sense ...


Any good ideas?  It's one end of an existing garage - could easily do concrete but that's tough on the feet and not flexible.


TIA -



T. Jeffery Clarke

Quidvis Recte Factum Quamvis Humile Praeclarum

(Whatever is built well, no matter how humble, is noble) 

 


Edited 9/7/2004 10:41 am ET by Jeff Clarke

T. Jeffery Clarke Quidvis Recte Factum Quamvis Humile Praeclarum (Whatever is built well, no matter how humble, is noble)   

(post #62526, reply #1 of 16)

How about boring rubber floor tile.  Cheap, resilient, non-absorbant, easy to clean, individual damaged tiles can be replaced.

(post #62526, reply #2 of 16)

You're right, hardwood veneer plywood would die almost instantaneously.   Concrete is a fine shop floor -- sturdy and durable.   You already have it in the existing garage, so why not use more of it?


  It's crazy to put the floor down and then pick it up to wire.  Figure out first what you want to do with power and put the floor in after.   If you want power in the middle of the floor there are floor outlets.  They set the outlet below floor level, and have a cover to keep stuff out when there's no plug.  Or put wiring trenches in the floor with removable covers.   I worked in a shop which had a concrete floor with trenches and steel covers.  We could drive forklifts over the covers, but you probably could use wood in a small shop. 

(post #62526, reply #3 of 16)

Yes, Jamie - good points.  I was thinking not just about flexibility but of how hard it is on the feet, too. 


As an architect (G, D & R :o)) all the theatre scene shops I've designed had plywood floors at the owner's request.


T. Jeffery Clarke

Quidvis Recte Factum Quamvis Humile Praeclarum

(Whatever is built well, no matter how humble, is noble) 

 

T. Jeffery Clarke Quidvis Recte Factum Quamvis Humile Praeclarum (Whatever is built well, no matter how humble, is noble)   

(post #62526, reply #4 of 16)

I may start an argument with this comment, but I'll do it anyway.


I think that the "wood is easier on the feet" belief is an urban legend.   If wood floors were measurably different from concrete, they would have to do either of two things: compress when a human stands on them; or the whole floor would have to bounce when a human moves on them.   Wood's compression under a few pounds per square inch is down in the micron range -- way too small for humans to observe.   And as for the floor bouncing like a trampoline, I suppose one can be built that way; I think some basketball floors and dance stages might be done like this.  However, if you're building a floor to support heavy woodworking machines, it shouldn't be flexing, but rather be nice and solid.


If you want spring under your feet, you can get it by wearing shoes with bouncy soles.   That's less expensive, and doesn't compromise any aspects of the building.


Edited 9/7/2004 4:09 pm ET by JAMIE_BUXTON

wood floor (post #62526, reply #15 of 16)

Sorry pal but it is not a legend. If you think the force is only a few lbs. per inch then you must only weigh 12-20 lbs. We had our high school woodshop professionally designed and the major complaint of our shop teacher was that his former shop of concrete was hard on his feet. The firm that designed the wood floor had small rubber spacers betwenn the cement slab and the subfloor and  the main oak floor on top of that. That is how it has a bit of give. He no longer has complaints but the price may be high for most folks.

Lifter, you responded to a 13 (post #62526, reply #16 of 16)

Lifter, you responded to a 13 year old post....   who knows though maybe the guy you were questioning will come back and repsond to this ancient thread....  stranger things have happened here.. 

(post #62526, reply #5 of 16)

Jeff,


I worked in a shop for 10 years that had the floors done with a 3/4" (tempered) masonite-like product.  Held up real well to 2 ton machinery, and pretty cheap.  Also non-t&g.  Heavy as heck though.


WSJ

(post #62526, reply #6 of 16)

That sounds like MDF?  Or really tempered hardboard?

At this point the cost of depressing an area and adding sleepers to get the floor flush with adjacent concrete is probably not worth it.


Any other thoughts?


T. Jeffery Clarke

Quidvis Recte Factum Quamvis Humile Praeclarum

(Whatever is built well, no matter how humble, is noble) 

 

T. Jeffery Clarke Quidvis Recte Factum Quamvis Humile Praeclarum (Whatever is built well, no matter how humble, is noble)   

(post #62526, reply #7 of 16)

wear good shoes

(post #62526, reply #8 of 16)

I just finished my new workshop (probably should say I'm almost finished but will probably "never" finish it) and I used 3/4 plywood over 2x6 sleepers and, so far, I'm satisfied with it.  I also expect to change wiring in the future and I intend to install an Oneida dust collection system using underfloor piping.


Jamie may be right about the difference in foot comfort but mine has a little bounce to it.  In fact, I may have to reinforce the floor under a couple machines because they, too, bounce a bit.  I finished it with just polyurethane varnish and I like the light that it adds to the shop.  Yeah, I know I could have painted the concrete.


Don


 

(post #62526, reply #9 of 16)

If you use plywood you'll need sleeprs nailed to the concrete.


HAve you thought about resale?


As for me, my new shop will have the concrete floor I poured and use rubber mats in front of each machine and then some.


Be floored


andy


The secret of Zen in two words is, "Not always so"!




http://CLIFFORDRENOVATIONS.COM

(post #62526, reply #10 of 16)

Do you think "Pergo" type flooring would work in a shop?

I would think the 1/4" foam pad would provide some give (better for the feet), but I don't know if this stuff is tough enough to dtand up to the kind of abrasion it would have to take in a shop>

******************************************************** "It is what we learn after we think we know it all, that counts." John Wooden 1910-2010

(post #62526, reply #11 of 16)

If I didn't have a religious conviction against the stuff first, I'd offer the thought it's too slick...

(post #62526, reply #12 of 16)

Pergo is not particularly cheap and it chips real easily with no real repair that isnt a tremendous hassle.

One could do a "floating floor" though in wood which could be refinished but I'd be concerned about moisture under any floating floor in a garage area.

The secret of Zen in two words is, "Not always so"!




http://CLIFFORDRENOVATIONS.COM

(post #62526, reply #13 of 16)

Jeff,


Much has been said about wood vs. concrete, and although a wood floor is said to be easier on the back and legs, I prefer sealed concrete.  Why?


Well, for starters, I have some pretty heavy machines, one of which is a 16" jointer that weighs some 1000 lb +.  Also, most everything in the shop is on a rolling base.  Even a 3/4" plywood floor on sleepers will have "waves" in the areas between the sleepers. You will notice this when you roll things across the floor.  Also, my shop will need to have the occasional car parked in it, so a wood floor won't work too well.


Here's a good solution that was recommended to me - go to a farm supply store or tack shop and buy horse stall mats - they are about 3 x 6 and an inch thick, some king of composite foam rubber that is dense and hard.  Put the mats in places where you tend to stand the most, or even cut them and place smaller pieces in front of the drill press, bandsaw, etc.  and a larger one in front of your workbench.  The rest of the floor can stay concrete, you can clean up easily by moving the mats around.  


I don't like the idea of underfloor wiring and ducting; floor outlets collect crud, and ducts that clog can be a pain to unclog.  Everything should be up in the air, run overhead, bring drops to machines.  If you know a particular machine will be in a particular spot, run some conduit in the slab and stub up a box for a plug.  Or, at each of your drops for the dust collection system, run an overhead drop for the cord as well.


Jon Endres

 

(post #62526, reply #14 of 16)

end grain block flooring on the concrete. Do all the wireing first.

 


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