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Old 02-01-2010, 09:44 PM   #1
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Need suggestions for workshop floor


Hello all; I have a strange problem. Just finishing my new workshop (18' X 30' X 2 Stories; conventional wood-over rafters floors [not a slab]). This construction was dictated by site constraints. Anyway, I have the "wood" floor everyone with a concrete floor always wishes for, and it is nice, after spending a good part of my life standing 8 hours a day on concrete. Anyway, the question: It is at the 3/4" plywood subfloor stage now. Any suggestions on a good, sturdy and inexpensive floor? I was sort of considering another layer of 3/4" ply and a coat of grey paint or varnish; put down with drywall screws; paint every few years; take up worn sections & replace as needed. However, anything practical will be appreciated. Some folks locally have suggested some of the rubber tiles, but @ $4.00+/Sq.Ft., that's a bit pricy. I really don't want commercial vinyl tile. My machinery will include some small metalworking equipment, and a high HP bandsaw for resawing work. Footprint on each will probably be 900Lbs. in a 3-Sq.Ft area. Rafters and upper floor are engineered wood, H.Duty. All machinery will be on the lower floor. I can brace underneth (have crawl space) and/or put heavy stuff on a steel plate for weight distribution. Any ideas? Campchair

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Old 02-02-2010, 12:21 AM   #2
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Need suggestions for workshop floor


Sounds like a good idea to double the 3/4 " plywood.

Is the floor system designed to carry that load? Are the feet creating point loads?

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Old 02-02-2010, 04:54 AM   #3
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Is the floor system designed to carry that load? Are the feet creating point loads?
Excellent point here.

You might do better in the long run to add the steel plate under heavy machinery. Better to do it up-front.

Just my 2
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Old 02-02-2010, 06:39 AM   #4
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Need suggestions for workshop floor


After you get your floor in, if you want some cushion where you are standing for long periods of time? Check catalogs like U-Line, Hubert Food Merchandising, or warehouse/manufacturing supply catalogs. They will have nice cushioned rubber and other material matts you can lay down where needed. They are not overly expensive.

http://www.hubert.com/store/products...srchloc=topnav

http://www.uline.com/BL_1751/Anti-Fatigue-Mats

Steel plate sounds like a good idea if needed too.

Last edited by user1007; 02-02-2010 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:02 AM   #5
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Need suggestions for workshop floor


I think an extra layer of 3/4 T&G is a good idea but why paint it. Sounds like it will become a maintenance item on your bi-yearly maintenance list. Painted floors just don't hold up especially in a shop. What about using a penetrating sealer and keeping it natural looking. If you have any spots that get bad just a light sanding and maybe resealing should do the trick.

Do not use drywall screws, use a deck screw instead. The drywall screws are too brittle for flooring. 900 lbs over 1 1/2 sub floor will probably not be a problem. It would help to know what live and dead load the floor was designed for. I am sure you could find a chart if you know the size and span of the joists and beams to get a better idea of the load capability of the floor.

Rege

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Old 02-03-2010, 06:42 PM   #6
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Need suggestions for workshop floor


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Originally Posted by jlhaslip View Post
Sounds like a good idea to double the 3/4 " plywood.

Is the floor system designed to carry that load? Are the feet creating point loads?
Yes. It is the "heavy duty" type, not the residential weight. It is 1/2" OSB flakeboard made in the shape of an "I" beam, with the runners top and bottom about 1" thick. It is braced underneth with cinderblock piers about every 6 feet. The foundation is exactly like a typical residential foundation; poured footings, cinder block with brick facings. (It passed a particularally energetic building inspector!) The bandsaw will be a Grizzly 3HP , Model G0514X2. It has a footprint measuring abiout 36" X 32". Weight is 480 Lbs. (Heck, some of my customers can top that!!) The proposed metalworking machines are bench type, and will be permanently mounted to the wall-secured bench. I made some design changes and drew some conclusions, plus I didn't have the weights here before me when I typed the first posting. .
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Old 02-03-2010, 06:43 PM   #7
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Need suggestions for workshop floor


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Excellent point here.

You might do better in the long run to add the steel plate under heavy machinery. Better to do it up-front.

Just my 2
Thanks, I believe that might be a wise step.
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Old 02-03-2010, 06:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
After you get your floor in, if you want some cushion where you are standing for long periods of time? Check catalogs like U-Line, Hubert Food Merchandising, or warehouse/manufacturing supply catalogs. They will have nice cushioned rubber and other material matts you can lay down where needed. They are not overly expensive.

http://www.hubert.com/store/products...srchloc=topnav

http://www.uline.com/BL_1751/Anti-Fatigue-Mats

Steel plate sounds like a good idea if needed too.
I actually have several my daughter got for me when a place she was working went out of biz. They are the thicker "foot-saver" variety. Excellent idea, thanks for jogging my memory that I had them, rolled up in the attic!!
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Old 02-03-2010, 06:55 PM   #9
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Need suggestions for workshop floor


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Originally Posted by RegeSullivan View Post
I think an extra layer of 3/4 T&G is a good idea but why paint it. Sounds like it will become a maintenance item on your bi-yearly maintenance list. Painted floors just don't hold up especially in a shop. What about using a penetrating sealer and keeping it natural looking. If you have any spots that get bad just a light sanding and maybe resealing should do the trick.

Do not use drywall screws, use a deck screw instead. The drywall screws are too brittle for flooring. 900 lbs over 1 1/2 sub floor will probably not be a problem. It would help to know what live and dead load the floor was designed for. I am sure you could find a chart if you know the size and span of the joists and beams to get a better idea of the load capability of the floor.

Rege
Rege, that's good sound advice. Wonder if boiled linseed oil might be good, applied with a mop. This is a gunsmithing shop; sort of appropriate! And, I had figured a galvanized square drive deck screw might be better. Plus, if I do need to take a section up, it'd probably be easier. Additionally, I looked at a box of that type deck screw, and I noticed the head has rounded edges. Bet that would be safer on steel-toed tennis-shoe clad feet than the sharp-edged typical drywall screw. (Q: Does anyone actually use them for drywall any more? Sort of like duct tape, it's utility use has gotten a bit beyond it's original purpose. A contractor told me he has a type of nail that will feed through an air nailer that "dimples" the drywall like the old drive-in method and is cheaper and very fast. He said his crew hadn't used them in years....Food for thought! )

Anyway, appreciate all the excellent suggestions!
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:06 PM   #10
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Need suggestions for workshop floor


I went by a firm that kind-of specializes in the "seconds" and the Blemished stuff the mills run anyway but cull out before it gets to the first line stores; kind of a odd-lots warehouse for builders. Talked to the fellow there and he showed me some bundles of 3/4" thick solid oak tongue and groove flooring. He said they were the "culls" from the same line a large regional oak flooring operation runs to supply one of the major national brand floor companies. He said everything that enters the mill is sawn, dry kilned, and milled regardless of the imperfections. The culling is at the end of the line, and the very best and the slightly lesser graded, but still clear, pieces get sent to the flooring manufacturer for the finishing. The mill sells the rest of the pieces locally through their warehouse. He said he gets them in 2-3 bundles at a time (@approx 100 SqFt. ea. bundle) with other lumber he buys from them. As I said, no finish, and some "dips" and knots (firm, though) but get this: 99 Cents a square foot. And he also has the same in pine, (just like the house I grew up in,) for abut 64 Cents per SqFt. That's less expensive than commercial linoleum. I have a floor nailer and the special hammer..... I believe I have the answer. Oak downstairs, and pine above.

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