Will this work for workshop flooring?

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"Greg" wrote

As they should be.

In a word, "durability" ... 1/4" will be a bit too easy to puncture, will quickly suffer from moving equipment across, and will certainly warp more easily with temperature/humidity changes.
1/2 would certainly work, but is simply not as durable to move shop equipment over for any length of time.
The idea is to do it only once in your lifetime. ;)
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If that is the aim,1X2 white oak or maple (or other hardwood)laid on edge is the way to go.
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I guess it depends on what kind of machines you have. if you have a sheet metal and aluminum benchtop table saw you can go with a pretty light floor. if you have or think you might want to get someday heavier cast iron machines (which I definitely recommend) you will quickly come to appreciate the added strength and stiffness of the heavier floor.
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"dpb" wrote

http://www.askthebuilder.com/B403_High_Performance_Vapor_Barriers.shtml
Most builders, interested in saving a buck, fool themselves into believing the xMil Poly/plastic products sold in the construction business as "moisture/vapor" barriers will last.
As the author states, an alkali soil will hasten degradation of this oft used product. What he doesn't say is this degradation is further accelerated with bacterial action in the warm, moist environment found under houses.
As a builder, and because of the subsidence in this area of the Gulf Coast, many municipalities are now mandating crawlspace foundations (the city of Bellaire, TX is almost all mandated crawlspace in most parts), I spent a good deal of time trying out various ways to deal with moisture issues in crawlspaces. The above is exactly why I quit using "2,4,6 mil poly" "moisture" barriers on soil under the houses I build on grade/crawlspaces and switched to a polyethylene underlay with concrete mud slabs, and good drainage and ventilation, to mitigate moisture problems.
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Having made the decision to move and build, I am collecting knowledge.
What is the nature of the problem leading to the madate. Differential settling? Something else?
How does the crawl space foundation mitigate the problem. Or does it just make the future remedial work, if necessary, easier and less costly.
With the mandates, do you have a choice of footing and block curb, poured curb, or spread footings and piers?
Have been leaning toward a crawl space (depending on the final location) however have only owned monolithic slabs, or in the case of my Oklahoma residence, a three pour foundation, continuous footing to frost line, curbwall, and then slab poured after the installation of ductwork and plumbing and sand fill. Most of my current neighbors have crawl space and there are some problems. One of my neighbors actually has a catch basin and drain in his crawl space to divert an underground spring. As long as the water is moving on, not standing, seems to be OK.
Thanks,
Frank
, I spent a

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"Frank Boettcher" wrote

Answer to both: subsidence, and a change in the 100 year flood plain map as a result of TS Alison in 2001.
A crawl space foundation is usually a better alternative to a monolithic foundation of great height with regard to cost (my own house is on a monolithic slab on grade, 3' above grade ... I flooded in Alison ... never again!)

It does that nicely, as a benefit, but it also has its downside .. movement.
Although the results of movement with a crawl space foundation is usually cosmetic and rarely catastrophic, as often happens with a cracked slab on grade.

That dog is wagged by the "soil survey/report" tail. You foundation choice is generally, and strictly, limited to what the soil report dictates in many areas today.
Last crawlspace foundation I built here, in 2005, was drilled bell bottom piers, w/grade beams penetrating 6" below grade, 3' above, and topped with a pony wall.

This is the solution I've chosen to solve the prolbem in our flatlands:
http://www.e-woodshop.net/images/mudslab.gif
Pictured is a drawing of what we call a "mud slab" under the house and bounded by the grade beams (may be more technically known as a "seal lab" in PE parlance).
As I mentioned in a previous post, it is a layer of polyethylene, topped with 3" of unreinforced concrete, with six "area drains", all within the perimeter of the grade beams.
You can see the drainage slope arrows in the picture. We contour these, by hand to insure this slope to each of these six drains. IOW, any water that does manage to get into the crawlspace will not soak into the ground, will not stand and will be immediately drained to the street, which is approximately 2' below the foundation grade (the finished floor on this particular house was almost 5' above street level. (the link above is the mud slab portion of that particular foundation/drainage plan for this house)
In addition, we calculate the ventilation needs and spec the number of vents needed based on the prevailing air currents, the location of nearby structures, etc.
These three elements in combination: mud slab, drainage, and ventilation, go further than anything else I've seen/used to mitigate moisture problems under a crawl space, which also effects your floors above.
I'm continually surprised that more builders in this area don't use this or similar methods. My houses are in the $750 to $1 million range and most of those who build in this range don't even bother with a vapor barrier on the dirt under their crawl spaces ... walk by two years later and you can actually smell the difference all the way from the street!
Let me know if I can answer any of your questions. Things are very regional with regard to methods of construction, but every house I've built in the last six years has been field tested and rated "Energy Star", so I'm fairly versed in building to these standards, which are much more strict than IECC, with the actual test results being the proof of the pudding.
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Good information. Thanks.
Frank
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"Frank Boettcher" wrote

You're most welcome ... just remember that the proudly proclaimed "built to code" house is in fact a house built to the minimum possible standards that the builder can get away with.
If you keep that in mind, any innate skepticism should immediately kick into gear. :)
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Just like a pilot who passed a check ride or a driver with the MV test.
At least as good as the minimum standards... Pass / Fail.
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dpb wrote:

Vapour barrier/retarder are the same thing...it's not actually a barrier, so they're switching to the "retarder" terminology.
The purpose of the vapour barrier is to prevent condensation on the framing/insulation. Hence it is usually placed on the warm side of both, to prevent warm (and hence more moist) air from hitting the cooler structure.
In cold climates it goes on the interior, in hot climates it goes on the exterior. There is actually a narrow geographical band where no barrier is recommended.
There's decent information at: http://www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/insulation_airsealing/index.cfm/mytopic810
Chris
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"Chris Friesen" wrote

However, note the specific use of the term "walls" in the diagram ... this is an important distinction/departure from the subject under discussion. :)

Good general info, particularly for "walls" and foundations ... they even mention the "seal/mudslab" that I use over polyethylene in crawlspace foundations as being a good thing ... but again, and unless I just missed it, the main thrust of this article does not deal with, and indeed shies away from, the subject of "floors" (to wit: no hyperlink on the word "floor").
IME, that's not unusual when dealing with floor "moisture/vapor barrier/retarder" issues.
Good info, nonetheless.
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Greg How is the workshop built? Do you have a vapor barrier between the ground and shed? If not I'd strongly suggest that you have a vapor barrier between the shop floor and ground. Sheds built close to the ground without a vapor barrier tend to have the joists rot, and acquire a strong earthy odor. Higher moisture levels in the shop won't help the rust situation either.
Good Luck
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