A question; would ¾" OSB stand up to foot traffic? Thinking of 16" (both
directions) OC PT 2X4 sleepers, with gaps for air and electric lines. Most
likely sheets cut in half for removal, if needed. First layer of finish is
thinned for better penetration, then another coat, or 3.
Haven't used OSB before, so don't know much about it. Having said that,
one would assume plywood would be much better, but cost is three times, have
960 sq ft, yeah you get what you pay for..at best.
Or OSB as a base for vinyl tile? Will the constant flexing separate the
Depending upon how many times you want to redo it, not only no, but hell no!
Go with plywood .... by the time you replace OSB used as shop flooring,
which you will the first time you have moisture, or a spill that effects an
edge, or drag a heavy piece of machinery across it, no matter the finish,
you will have lost any original savings whatsoever.
Personally, and from a builder's perspective, what I _will_ use for my next
plywood shop floor is 1 1/8", tongue and groove, plywood subfloor, on 16"
centers. You will save money, and probably your back and knees, over the
long run, and it will be able to handle any shop machinery, as well as
continued movement of same,
Again, it is not something I would do, or recommend ... but, the best/fool
proof way to determine the optimum underlay for ANY flooring system is to
check with the manufacturer of same.
Found this after sending the first reply ... it pretty well coincides with
my feelings/experience when using OSB as a building material in residential
The main reason builder's use it is that it's CHEAPER ... that alone should
be enough to raise questions in the minds of the few non-idiots remaining in
To me, the savings, on average, of approximately $1K on a framing package on
a 3000 sf house is simply not worth it when I have to warrant the work. That
said, I am most definitely in the minority among builders in this area.
Structurally, OSB rated for use as subflooring should be fine, but do
check your local code to make sure it's approved. It might not be
smooth enough to go under vinyl--you may need to put a layer of
plywood on top for smoothness--it doesn't have to be thick. If you
can find OSB that is rated for underlayment then you should be able to
put vinyl right on top of it.
Used OSB on my first shop floor. Believe me, that won't be money saved.
OSB has a tendency to sliver and splinter -- not so much fun when you are
reaching under that bench for the part you dropped. It also seems to have
a much higher proportion of binder that outgasses really badly for quite a
long time. Even after 4 years, our son would say, "you smell like the
shop" when I would come inside (and it wasn't cedar he was smelling).
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough
My shop is (maybe) unique. I dug out under my back deck and laid in some
concrete piers and built up a floor (treated framing and 3/4" ply decking)
on it. Then I built walls around and corrugated plastic roofing under the
deck. It's small and crowded but it does what I need (for now). The
roof/ceiling situation is a little iffy. After having been there for 15
years (and about 2 years of little use), the floor got a little saggy and
then finally one day as I walked through, my foot went through the floor.
Apparently, I hadn't kept the floor as swept as I should have and moisture
collected in the layer of sawdust (esp. under the table saw). Sawdust and
moisture are an invitation for rot. Plywood lasted for as long as it did.
OSB would surely have lasted for much less. I redid the floor this summer
and put down 5/4 treated deck boards. It was expensive (actually about the
same as 3/4 ply would have been), but it will *never* rot (well, not in my
The point being, with as much work as redo-ing the floor was, the material
expense is minor. Oh, and fwiw, I added dust collection and (so far at
least) have kept right on top of cleaning.
Where we have done room additions or had to replace subflooring that
involved pier and beam framing (and thickness dimensions permitted) we have
always tried to use Sturdi-floor plywood, a 1-1/16 inch thick tongue and
groove plywood. Even on 24-inch centered floor trusses we have never
encountered any sag. But, at $32/sheet (the last time we bought it 2006) it
may not be in your budget though not that much more than 3/4 -inch BC
"ply-good" (as our local Hispanics refer to plywood).
Dave in Houston
The floor in my shop (17' x 25') is 3'4" OSB. No problems in ~6 years.
The floor joists are on 12" centers and the humidity is around 20-25%.
Don't know that I would trust it in high humidity situations though.
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