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Carpeting in your shop?

2186 Views 26 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  MrRon
I've got a new shop building I'm setting up. I bought a modular building (AKA - portable school classroom) and it came with carpeting in it. It's some sort of industrial carpeting in gray and quite frankly it's in pretty darn good shape. You can see it in the pic below… That said, how many of you have carpet and if yes, do you wish you didn't, and would you do it again?

It's glued down but it pulls up very easily, and the wood below it is in good shape. I'm thinking if I keep it in, it'll look like crap in no time, what with shavings, dust, and paint drips or overspray falling on it. Plus I might as well throw out my brooms and dustpan, because I'll never be able to sweep. And it wont take long before my shop vac will crap out from overuse.

Waddya think? Keep it or no…?

Sky Plant Window Tree Fixture


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I'd pull it out. I have found that nothing beats a broom and standup dust pan for cleaning up the sawdust. And I have tried several different things. My shop floor is smooth concrete and I wouldn't want anything else. I've tried using the shop vac on the concrete and it takes way more time than the broom and dust pan
Get rid of it. I would probably paint it gray or screw a new floor on top and then paint it. My shop has a cement floor and I painted it gray. It makes it easy to find stuff if you drop it.

I bet that'll make a great shop when you get it all wired!
Ouch, I taught in one of those for 4 years. Did you just get the half as pictured or the whole module. Their pretty big so lots of room. I'd pull it up and put on a good coat of water based porch and deck paint. yes the water based one is tougher than the oil based one. I've have shop experience with both.

When done you're going to have a good space!
Thanks Mark, that's kinda the thought process I was having too. Just curious if anyone has successfully figured out a way to keep carpet clean in a shop.

Todd, it's already wired (with a 100amp panel and already has a couple 220v circuits)

And COTL, I did get both halves, that was just the first half coming in … I started a blog but didn't want to assign a whole blog page to just this question.
That's great Joe! Also the natural light will come in handy with all those windows.
I vote to rip out the carpeting.. If the plywood underlayment isn't at least 3/4", I'd add another layer so that heavy tools don't puncture the floor.. Then paint it off-white to make it brighter in the shop.
I know for me, it would be such a mess so quickly that you wouldn't want to keep it.
I don't even like carpet in the house, let alone the shop.
Wait until you spill something toxic in the carpet and have to smell it for weeks. I would pull it. Strange as it sounds, I'd like to have a shop floor of linoleum. Spills are easy to clean up, sweeps like a dream and stays looking good for a long time and if you get tired of it you can take it out with a little dynamite, that's called…......Linoleum Blownapart. Sorry 'bout that one, just had to do it.
There are 3 places I would not put carpet on,bathroom floor,kitchen floor,shop floor.for the rest of the house ,I'm with Rick M.
I'm jealous. Wished I had the space.

I used an old office trailer for general work shop years many ago. It was half carpet, half linoleum.
Carpet was awful to keep clean. The linoleum was great so long as the seams where tight. If it were me, I'd pull the carpet immediately. If I can't have concrete. My second preference would be new seamless vinyl flooring. If you go vinyl, make sure to treat it 1-2 times a year with an anti-static floor wax to help the sawdust not cling to the plastic.

Also suggest that you investigate and reinforce the flooring as required. Those trailers are designed for fairly low loading values, and often on had one layer of plywood on the 24" spacing floor joist. We had some temporary double wide buildings at work that never stayed flat due a single layer of plywood flooring. If you are going to add large professional or older generation (500-1000lb) wood working tools, I would add 2 more layers of 3/4" wood to the floor (one OSB and one ply to save $$). You may also want to consider adding a few joist if you have an area that will see heavy moving loads, like under the paths to/from the doors that equipment/lumber travel.

Best of luck.
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I installed different flooring for a living and carpet was a big part of it. As other have said it's not a good idea to keep on the floor in the shop unless you vacuum every time you are in there. I brought home many scraps and used them to stand on or sometimes paint or spay on. When they get dirty I would discard them. Other than that not much use.
carpet sounds like the least fun thing on the floor of a shop…cleanup, spills, moving stuff with wheels, all will make it suck.
When I bought my house, the original owner built the shop with the intention of using it as a wood shop so just bare concrete. The second owner (that I bought the house from) used it as a workout gym and glued down astroturf green carpet. I pulled it up pretty quick because it was a PITA to try to keep clean, the shopvac took too long and didn't do that good of a job. Having another carpet vacuum worked much better, but it wouldn't have lasted in that environment. Now cleanup is much quicker and easier than before.
I have a piece of carpet under my workbench, just to possibly cushion a tool's fall off the bench. Rest of the shop is bare concrete floor. I'm with pulling the carpet up. BTW, good find on the portable classroom, Joe. Plenty of space and light. I'll keep watching your blog during the setup.
You might just keep the carpet and add a plywood floor over it. The carpet would act as cushioning. I would use T&G plywood sheathing; maybe two layers of 5/8 or 3.4, then paint it. I would add a steel plate under any very heavy machines to help distribute the weight over two floor joists. As an alternate, you can sister the floor joists from underneath. You will have a great shop.
I used my apartments spare bedroom as a shop for 2 years. I put a canvas drop cloth down and taped it down to the carpet to avoid damage to the carpet. I'm now using a spare bedroom in the house I'm renting, and it has wood floors. Carpet/canvas drop cloth sucks by comparison.

Though now I have the problem I didn't before, of my bench wanting to slide around more…
What everyone else said. Get rid of the carpet. Set at curbside and I guarantee someone will pick it up. You should be what our old carpet looked like and someone took it!
My shop is on a 28×32 slab. I have half of it covered with machine felt from a paper mill machine. Plus there's several old area rugs thrown around in areas I most often frequent (TS, assembly table, etc). I guess I just don't care if there a little sawdust on the floor. I just sweep up the major debris with a stiff broom and, in very rare outbreaks of fastidiousness, break out the shop vac. Despite the disadvantages in tidiness, it beats walking on concrete. Of course, if I had a nice wood floor I'd probably have a different perspective.
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