I recently posted a question about building a shop on a slight slope.
This begs the question of flooring. Using a joist floor is simple on a
slope whereas a concrete floor will last longer.
So, if you were building a new shop, do you put in a wood floor or
concrete? This is a woodworking shop only. Initially it will house a
mower and 4-wheeler though I plan to build a second building this time
next year that will have only a gravel floor to house those items.
Thanks again for the input.
I'd lean towards wood. Easier on the feet, easier on dropped tools,
easy to insulate. Also easier to run air/power/dust collection under
Saw one where it was done such that you could lift up sections of floor
for access to the utility stuff.
Even with very heavy tools, the wood floor can be engineered to work. I
myself am constantly working on my dream shop (in my head anyways) and it'll
have a basement for storage/fun and the wood floor above will house all of
the tools. It'll take some decent sized joists (engineered in my case).
Wood floors were the norm years ago for large production facilities. I
forget exactly which company it was but they had a huge facility where they
installed all the wood floors with end grain up. Essentially blocks of
wood set probably on sand. It had the added benefit of catching any oil
that fell (although I seem to remember the place burned down and I'm sure
those oil impregnated blocks didn't help the fire co).
> Wood floors were the norm years ago for large production
> forget exactly which company it was but they had a huge facility
> installed all the wood floors with end grain up. Essentially
> wood set probably on sand. It had the added benefit of catching
> that fell (although I seem to remember the place burned down and
> those oil impregnated blocks didn't help the fire co).
Very common in metal cutting shops.
Horseburg & Scott, a heavy duty gear box manufacturer located in
Cleveland, OH, built a new machining center back in the early 60's by
first laying a concrete floor, then laying creosote soaked blocks that
were about 3x4x1 thick like floor tile or paving bricks.
Was told that even though is was a rather expensive construction
method, it was a much easier surface to walk on as well as the fact
that metal chips that hit the floor would embed themselves flush in
the wood within a day or so.
In all my years calling on US industry, never saw it again.
I've seen that kind of floor three times. 1) in the old REI store in
Seattle, creosoted blocks. Very worn, and creosote-smelly, but very
nice surface to walk on. 2) In the Naval Reserve building on Lake
Union in Seattle. All Douglas fir, and strikingly beautiful. 3) in
the Museo de Antropologia in Mexico City. Some kind of tropical wood,
and also very beautiful.
I've thought about doing that in my garage in my spare time, but I
haven't figured out what to glue the blocks down with.
> I've thought about doing that in my garage in my spare time, but I
> haven't figured out what to glue the blocks down with.
That's the easy part, talk to Sikaflex tech service in Detroit, they
have an 800#.
I used to have a bookmark for Cobblewood Flooring, but a quick search
found http://www.birgerjuell.com/cobqna.html and
I remember a post here, or on rcm, about a block floor that had expanded
with humidity to form a bubble several feet high. IIRC those blocks were
'dry' laid and the guy responsible was waiting for the humidity to go
down so the floor would lay flat again.
Well, all you guys, guess I'm the only one that would prefer concrete. Using
a wheelchair, I like the surfaces I roll on to be as hard as possible.
Anything less amounts to increasingly greater drag on the wheels the softer
it gets. Since I use a manual (not electric) wheelchair it means more effort
to get around.
And... if anybody here has found a way to circumvent physics, I'd like every
direction I go to be slightly downhill. :)
For durability, ease of cleaning, lower cost, its concrete. With your
special building situation, it appears you have to build a joist floor
with an angled crawl space underneath since its on a slope. But for
most building on flat ground, concrete. How many thousands of dollars
extra does joist and wood flooring cost over concrete? How many
dozens, hundreds of extra labor hours are involved? I guess I'd
rather spend the thousands of saved dollars on important stuff.
For the hand tool, bench area of the shop, put a plywood layer over
the concrete. Glue strips of 1/4" plywood about 12" on center to the
bottom of 3/4" plywood or particle board or MDF. You need the open
space below the wood to get the comfort. Put these over the concrete
in the hand tool area where you are handling the chisels, planes,
etc. Places you are most likely to drop tools. And the place where
you will likely be spending considerable time standing on your feet.
A whole lot cheaper than putting wood everywhere its not needed. And
you get the advantages of concrete and wood where they are important.
And when you sell the property, the next person will value the
building as an extra garage with a durable concrete floor for their
mechanics hobby shop.
Resale is definitely something to consider here. I have not priced out
a joist floor and my concrete guy here says I can put a slab on it but
at $4/sf. I'll let you guys know which direction I go.
Thanks for the response!
On 13 Mar 2007 07:34:28 -0700, " email@example.com"
My guess is concrete vs wood, material and labor wise on a flat would
be close to a wash when you get to having a finished deck to put a
building on. At least that's what the estimates I last got on the
workshop of my future leads me to believe.
If you go with wood be very careful that you have the right water
drainage in all directions so that you do not get standing water
underneath the shop. Fixing water drainage problems after the structure
is built is a miserable and expensive hassle.
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