Protecting "shop" floor

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Forum topic by Ben posted 02-14-2018 01:10 PM 775 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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469 posts in 3663 days

02-14-2018 01:10 PM

Hi All,

I’ve had my bench room in the back of my house for the past few years. Awesome space – climate/humidity controlled, well insulated, well lit. It’s had an Advantek floor (impervious) up until the other day when I finally installed the oak flooring to match the rest of the house.

I’m now a bit spooked to move my workbench, roll around clamp rack, etc… back into the space. Inevitably I will drop a cast iron clamp on it, or spill glue or something.

Wondering if any of you have a similar situation and you’ve dealt with it. I’m thinking something like a rubber gym floor, or roll out cork or something. I’m thinking of just doing maybe a 1/3 of the roof, under the bench and clamp rack, and a few feet in front of the bench. Then of course the floor will fade underneath, but that’s a different issue.


7 replies so far

View LittleShaver's profile


681 posts in 1425 days

#1 posted 02-14-2018 01:43 PM

I have a concrete floor and use all kinds of anti-fatigue mats to save my feet and tools. Could also work to protect the floor. There are all kinds of mats in all kinds of materials at any price range. Tractor Supply has stall mats that look like they would be good, but I also have HF interlocking mats that I’ve been using for 20+ years.

-- Sawdust Maker

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)


16808 posts in 3424 days

#2 posted 02-14-2018 03:26 PM

The thing about real wood floors is they can be refinished as necessary. I’d suggest it’s your floor, use it. And by the time you’re ready to move onto another house (if ever) and the floor is worn, either sand and refinish or let the buyer do it. Either way, you get to enjoy an oak floor in your shop!

I have an old pine T&G floor. It’s been banged up a bit over the past four years or so, but it was expected and is nothing I couldn’t recover from.

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

View Ben's profile


469 posts in 3663 days

#3 posted 02-14-2018 05:12 PM

THanks guys.

Smitty, I think I’m leaning this way – just getting over the initial worry of seeing how pristine the floor is.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4454 days

#4 posted 02-14-2018 05:46 PM

A mat in front of the bench is a good idea.

I had one for years… not sure what happened
to it. Helps with fatigue and things falling off
the bench.

Above all I’d recommend uncluttered working habits
as much as you can realistically manage.

View Woodknack's profile


13439 posts in 3186 days

#5 posted 02-14-2018 07:47 PM

Put carpet over it, like the drunken woodworker. :)

-- Rick M,

View clin's profile


1114 posts in 1802 days

#6 posted 02-14-2018 10:12 PM

Unless you expect to be selling the house soon, it’s your house enjoy it. I’d consider nicks and wear as a badge of honor for the work being done on it. And it’s not like the rest of the house won’t get some wear as well. Kids, dogs, the visitor with stiletto heels.

There are many options for covering, but some run the risk of interacting with the floor finish. So you could cover it, only to find the mat stuck to or stained the wood and you need to refinish anyway. And as you mentioned, the wood won’t age the same way, to it will have discoloration too. Of course that’s true throughout the house where furniture and rugs cover the floor.

Keeping a good coat of wax on it, will go a long way to limiting the problems with glue and finishes spilled on it. Though a smooth floor with saw dust on it can be pretty slippery.

-- Clin

View tomsteve's profile


1045 posts in 2025 days

#7 posted 02-15-2018 02:23 PM

THanks guys.

Smitty, I think I m leaning this way – just getting over the initial worry of seeing how pristine the floor is.

- Ben

ya may want to do a search of “old woodworking shop floors.” theres a lot character and history in them floors- all the dings,scrapes, glue spots have a story.

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