I'm beginning to plan redoing my basement. This includes a larger workshop
for me (gloat!). This means I have to completely redo the walls, ceiling
and floor. So, I'm looking for some insparations!
For the cieling I still would like access to the wires and pipes that run
above, so a drop ceiling sounds like a good idea. The problem is that the
standard cieling tiles would probably catch to much dust. Any solutions for
For the walls I'll probably go with drywall, unless someone has a better
suggestion. I might paint it with a white venetian plaster, but I'm not
sure how that'll look with dust on it.
The floor is currently concrete. Should I leave it like it is, or cover it
I want to soundproof it a bit too so I can work on weekend mornings (my wife
likes to sleep in). I imagine regular insulation works for that.
I'm still in the planning stage, so if anyone has anything they
particularily like/dislike about thier workshop that I can incorporate/leave
out, let me know.
Did the same thing in my basement 12 years ago for my shop. Walled off about
750 square feet, hung drywall and a suspension ceiling with 2x4 ceiling
tiles. Just did a standard "whitewash" paint over the drywall. The beauty of
the suspended ceiling is the light fixtures you can hang in there. I have
15 - 4 tube flourescents so I don't have any shadows in my shop. Know it's a
little overkill but I love a well lit shop (plus have 4 floor to ceiling
windows overlooking my back yard for natural light).
Face it, everything in a shop gathers dust - walls, tools, ceiling. But by
"sealing" off your shop you can contain the flow of dust throughout the rest
of the house. I periodically sweep off my walls and ceiling tiles while I
have all my dust recirculation/filtration equipment on. Then come back the
next day and vacuum floor and equipment where the dust has inevitably
settled. I find the worst culprit for throwing fine dust on my walls and
ceiling is my dust collection system. Have a cyclonic separator system I
built and 4 in flex hose connecting to all my tools. Find I get "sprays" of
very fine dust near joints that accumulate over time. Easy to clean up, but
annoying nonetheless. Also built a dust recirculation/filtration system
(good thread on this in past week) that I keep on for long periods of time
to help filter dust out of the air before it has a chance to settle -
catches some of it anyway as evidenced by the number of times I have to blow
out the filters each year.
For my floor, I've left it as bare concrete. Easy to sweep and keep clean.
Doesn't bother me to have a hard floor surface but it is tough on dropped
Would be interested in anyone else's comments on keeping the shop dust free.
Leave it open. Then you will have access to the space between the joists for
storing long skinny things like lumber and clamps. Light fixtures can go up
between the joists, too, where they're less likely to get hit by boards.
Drywall over insulation. Plaster reflects sound, drywall absorbs it somewhat.
Insulation will reduce sound transmission to the rest of the house.
Paint the walls white.
I'd leave it. My shop is in the basement too, and the previous owners painted
the floor. I wish they hadn't, because it's a bit slick. A painted floor *is*
easier to sweep clean, though. If you paint, mix some sand in to make a
If you have enough overhead clearance, consider laying down furring strips and
plywood. It's much more comfortable to stand on than concrete.
If you have a *lot* of overhead clearance, you could shim a plywood floor up
high enough to run dust collection ductwork under the plywood. There are
pluses and minuses to this, though. Plus: the ductwork is out of sight and out
of your way. Minus: it's a lot harder to get to, if you need to remove a clog.
With a concrete floor, it's very important to have comfortable shoes and
cushioned mats to stand on. Rockler and Woodcraft both sell good mats. They're
kinda pricy, though, so wait for them to go on sale.
Sure does. There isn't much you can do, though, to suppress the sound of a
Weekend mornings can be used for tasks that don't make much noise, such as
finishing, hand planing or scraping, and equipment maintenance.
Install twice as many electrical circuits, and twice as many receptacles, as
you think you need.
Make sure that the lights are not on the same circuit as any of the
A small sink would be a useful addition, if you have the room. So would a
urinal, if you can figure out how to keep sawdust out of it.
Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
Restaurant supply stores sell rubber mats for kitchens that make awesome
workshop mats. I beileve they come in 4'x4' sheets, and look like a giant
honeycomb. Work great, are easy to move, and great on your feet and legs.
Ceiling sounds OK.
I would consider particle board for the wall covering. You can mount storage
shelves and cupboards directly onto it easier than drywall. Paint it white
to reflect light.
Floor is another matter. It also depends where you are. Concrete is very
cold. As a minimum I would give it a couple of coats of floor paint. It
stops the concrete dusting and makes it easier to clean. Even blood comes
off. Choose a nice light colour to increase the general light levels. A nice
touch is to lay some off cuts of carpet. It keeps the floor warmer and feels
nicer somehow. Don't fasten them down though, then you can remove them for
cleaning or when they are finished with.
It's also a good idea to paint the inside of cupboards white to help
lighting and cleaning.
As for dust, well everyone knows that cooking and cleaning is womans work.
Just don't let my wife know I said that.
Drywall is a good idea. Before doing that, take the time to draw a 2"
line on the floor where there is a stud (I did this and it is a
blessing--better than a stud finder). Install lots of electrical
outlets, and at least three 220v outlets (jointer, lathe, table saw,
DC). I made a wooden jig to make all the outlets the same height and
position. The smoother the walls and ceiling, the easier to dust the
shop. I have a concrete floor and it was sealed with an epoxy finish
that makes dust sweeping easy. A wooden floor is better. White paint
is good. I probably would not run noisy equipment if the spouse is
On Thu, 16 Oct 2003 09:54:57 -0400, "John Smith"
*NOT* very well. 'thermal' insulation and 'acoustic' insulation are
radically different disciplines.
Practical acoustic insulation is diametrically opposed to your 'desire'
to have ready access to the pipes/wiring/etc in the ceiling.
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