New shop space, need ideas!

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Forum topic by CopperTree posted 06-14-2017 03:12 AM 1350 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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53 posts in 1836 days

06-14-2017 03:12 AM

Pics of my old shop are in my album for reference but I’ve recently purchased an acreage with a 2400 square foot shop (minus bathroom/mechanical room) and have some setting up and moving to do. There are plenty of windows, 200A service (400A to the property), 15’ ceiling, well insulated, gas unit heater, freshly painted semi-gloss white OSB walls and ceiling, and some existing storage cabinets.

There is also a 1600 square foot pool house converted to a detached garage with heated floor, also has 15’ ceiling and bath, a triple attached garage, and a 2200 square foot barn. Attached garage is for the wife and kids, detached garage will be for my truck, mechanical work, and toy storage, barn is for the critters. That means NOTHING but woodshop in the bigger building.

My questions at this point are regarding the concrete floor. I’ve patched and diamond grinded the entire surface to clean and tidy it up and am looking at epoxy options. Has anyone used/considered a dark coloured semi-gloss floor in their shop?

Pros?? Cons?? I hate the look of bare concrete…

8 replies so far

View Hermit's profile


240 posts in 2103 days

#1 posted 06-14-2017 03:15 PM

Sorry for the rotated pic but you’ll get the idea. I had my shop floor epoxied. To do it over again I’d stick with a solid color (maybe not epoxy). Would be careful on color choice if you do decide to epoxy. Dropping anything small on my floor becomes a bear to find.

-- I'm like the farmer's duck. If it don't rain, I'll walk.

View JBrow's profile


1368 posts in 1698 days

#2 posted 06-16-2017 01:32 AM


I doubt I am much help since I do not have any experience with epoxy coated concrete floors. I have given this type of coating some thought. I hope these thoughts are helpful.

I like the look of an epoxy floor, but I suspect this is a job best left to professionals. However, I am not sure how durable the epoxy over concrete is. Any moisture that makes its way into the concrete might eventually cause the epoxy to lose its grip on the concrete floor. But then perhaps the diamond grind of the concrete would eliminate this issue; just not sure. I would image that the colored flecks embedded into the epoxy and which stand proud of the epoxy would make sweeping up dust a difficult chore. But my understanding (from a home show epoxy floor guy) is that the embedded flecks can be ground (or shaved, not sure) smooth to the surface, thus eliminating this concern. It is unclear to me how this can be done without damaging the epoxy coating.

If I were to install an epoxy workshop floor, my inclination would be a light color. The light color will reflect more light, which always seems to be in short supply. I would probably avoid the introduction of flecks into the epoxy. No flecks would eliminate the need for grinding the flecks smooth. But more importantly and as Hermit points out, finding that dropped screw camouflaged on a speckled floor could take quite a while.

I wonder why you are not considering a wood floor. The wood floor would be easier on dropped tools and on the feet and legs. If the wood floor were tongue and groove plywood or reclaimed hardwood flooring fastened to battens laid over a vapor barrier and secured to the concrete would perhaps cost about the same as professionally done epoxy. The bays between the battens could also offer a little space for some rigid foam insulation. The wood floor could then be painted to whatever color.

View BigYin's profile


421 posts in 3194 days

#3 posted 06-16-2017 08:06 AM

floor from about minute 18 to 21

lots of good ideas

-- ... Never Apologise For Being Right ...

View TungOil's profile


1382 posts in 1273 days

#4 posted 06-16-2017 02:02 PM

to Jbrow’s point I would also recommend a light color floor. My first shop I painted the floor a sort of “medium grey”. It was too dark and cut down on the overall brightness in the whole shop area. All of my later shops have had the lightest grey color I could get- much better.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View Kelly's profile


3025 posts in 3722 days

#5 posted 06-16-2017 02:46 PM

I see no problem with your darker colors, since my floors are jet black. I covered the critical areas of my shop with one inch thick, four foot by six foot horse mats. The contrast does show everything spilled or dropped on it, but, oh well – it’s a shop and I should be more worried about the project than the floor.

That aside, I think concrete floors are great for quick and dirty, as well as longevity, but horrible for the people working on them. One hour on concrete is like four or more on my floors.

Too, I drop things from time to time. Generally, they don’t break, get knocked out of alignment or otherwise get damaged. Even a few glass things have survived.

I did have to put double back tape on the back of my mats because, though they are very heavy, they will shift and little gaps will appear between them over time.

PS I have a lot of LED’s overhead, so light isn’t an issue.

View CopperTree's profile


53 posts in 1836 days

#6 posted 06-16-2017 04:30 PM

Thanks all. I’m leaning towards and epoxy in a lighter colour simply due to cost and availability, a few coloured flakes to hide flaws, and an polyaspartic top coat for durability. Function over fashion.

That coating with some mats in critical areas should provide a durable and cleanable surface with comfort in the areas needed. I don’t stand still in one place for long…

Prep is done, material is on its way. Going to apply it myself.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)


16719 posts in 3397 days

#7 posted 06-16-2017 04:31 PM

If there were a way to pull it off, I’d suggest wood for shop flooring. Especially at the workbench.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View Jim Dawson's profile

Jim Dawson

114 posts in 1610 days

#8 posted 10-23-2017 03:27 AM

I used a commercial epoxy on my last shop, a light tan. It was 5 years old when I moved and still looked like new. The current shop was already done when I moved in. The epoxy looks good but it has dark specks in the epoxy and I can’t find anything when dropped. If I ever have to redo the floor it will again be light tan.

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