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Forum topic by leftcoaster posted 03-28-2019 11:58 AM 1139 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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leftcoaster

389 posts in 1954 days


03-28-2019 11:58 AM

My small shop is on a concrete slab, which has been sealed to prevent moisture issues.

I’m starting to think I should lay down some flooring on top of the slab so that it’s less wearing on my knees and dropping things on the ground doesn’t always equal disaster.

Everything is on wheels so it needs to be a hard surface. I do a floor mat at my bench but I have to move it all the time because…everything is on wheels. So I would probably go with a click lock floating wood laminate floor from HD, though I fear it will look like hell after not much time.

Reading around I see that many people who use flooring ultimately go back to (or wish they could) concrete.

Should I just leave well enough alone?


21 replies so far

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2792 posts in 3067 days


#1 posted 03-28-2019 12:11 PM

I would leave it alone. I think of it this way – with the right shoes/insoles, I have a “mat” under my feet all the time and dont need them at machines or benches where they get in the way. Good footwear doesnt protect a dropped tool, unless you drop it on your foot, but I havent broken any tools from dropping – have had to clean up a few bruised tools that hit the floor.

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Lazyman

6971 posts in 2465 days


#2 posted 03-28-2019 12:22 PM

I like having a mat just so that when I drop a chisel or something it is less likely damage the edge, though I have had one bounce up and cut me on the shin when I was wearing shorts before. One option that I have seen people use are rubber horse stall mats. They aren’t cheap though. I am also not sure how easy it would be to roll heavy machines on relatively small casters.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5986 posts in 3429 days


#3 posted 03-28-2019 02:08 PM

I used DRi-core panels and I love it. I used to have anti- fatigue mats all over the shop but they are a pain to sweep or vacuum around. I decided to do the whole shop with Dri-core and it has been really great and I got rid of the anti-fatigue mats because I no longer need them. The floor is much warmer as well, which is great if you live in a cold climate and heat your shop. They are super easy to install, I did the whole shop in 3 days, and actually I spent more time moving stuff out of the way than I did laying the floor. I would never go back to a concrete floor.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

17314 posts in 3696 days


#4 posted 03-28-2019 02:27 PM


Reading around I see that many people who use flooring ultimately go back to (or wish they could) concrete.

- leftcoaster

Not this cat!

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

View Blindhog's profile

Blindhog

185 posts in 2126 days


#5 posted 03-28-2019 02:33 PM

I installed Plytanium 1 1/8 subfloor in my 3 car garage and never looked back. I prefer walking/working on a wood surface as opposed to concrete for the reasons you’ve mentioned. I have all my large machines ( 17” bandsaw, SawStop 10 PCS, drill press, jointer, 24 ” PowerMax, planer/oscillating belt sander and workbench) on wheels so I can arrange layout for differing workflow. I applied a epoxy coating to help maximize life and ease of maintenance.
The wood flooring works for me.

-- Don't let perfection get in the way of plenty good enough

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BlueRidgeDog

787 posts in 857 days


#6 posted 03-28-2019 02:35 PM

I don’t mind my concrete. Glue comes up, heavy tools done crush it. There are too many other things in line ahead of a floor for the shop budget. Only thing I have dropped that pissed me off was a carbide router bit that chipped.

I also use a wood stove, so I like a floor that can’t burn.

View leftcoaster's profile

leftcoaster

389 posts in 1954 days


#7 posted 03-28-2019 03:28 PM

Bondo what’s the finish on that? Poly? Is it slippery?

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5986 posts in 3429 days


#8 posted 03-28-2019 04:46 PM



Bondo what’s the finish on that? Poly? Is it slippery?

- leftcoaster


I used Varathane floor varnish. It looks slippery in the photo because I just applied it and it is still wet. I’ve never slipped on that floor and it has been over a year.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

4446 posts in 3426 days


#9 posted 03-28-2019 04:50 PM


Should I just leave well enough alone?

- leftcoaster

+1 – get a couple anti fatigue mats you can move around.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

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SMP

3940 posts in 983 days


#10 posted 03-28-2019 05:07 PM

If you have the money, horse stall mats are the best iption in my opinion. They are made to handle horses walking on them all day every day. I put them in long ago for our old gym, i dropped a 45 pound plate once and it bounced up a couple feet, and the concrete underneath looks brand new. Its hard enough rubber where casters roll just fine. Nowhere near as soft as anti fatigue mats, and nowhere near as hard on your knees as concrete.

View Mr_Pink's profile

Mr_Pink

197 posts in 1449 days


#11 posted 03-28-2019 05:59 PM

I second horse stall mats. They are hard compared to other rubber mats, but softer than wood or concrete. They also have grooves on the bottom to let moisture escape.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

6971 posts in 2465 days


#12 posted 03-28-2019 06:39 PM

BTW, the biggest problem with rubber mats for me, is that if you do any metal work, any hot bits will melt right in. Even the heat from a hacksaw can heat the cutoff enough that it will melt the mat a little if it falls to the floor at the end of the cut.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View WoodenDreams's profile

WoodenDreams

1297 posts in 989 days


#13 posted 03-28-2019 11:46 PM

Put a good concrete seal coat on, then installed 12”x12” adhesive vinyl floor tile over it to protect the concrete from chipping if something dropped on it. And set down interlocking 2’x2’ anti-fatigue mats over most of the floor. Able to work in the shop for longer periods without my knees or back bothering me.

View clin's profile

clin

1128 posts in 2074 days


#14 posted 03-29-2019 03:26 AM

I put down PVC tiles in my shop. They snap together. Lot’s of versions and prices. I went on the high end which are thicker. I’d probably have done something in wood, but being a converted garage space, the floor starts level than has a pronounced break to a slope and it would have been hard to get any sort of wood to lay properly across it.

Mine have a coin pattern. I did testing and these vacuumed the easiest, even compared to a rather smooth version. They don’t sweep as easy, but aren’t really difficult to sweep. But I vacuum mostly. They have give to them and are much easier on the feet than concrete. And hard enough to roll things on without trouble.

-- Clin

View unclearthur's profile

unclearthur

383 posts in 2866 days


#15 posted 03-29-2019 06:28 AM

I laid down the Dri-Core subfloor and then screwed down some 3/8 construction grade ply on top with a coat of water based poly:

Brighter, warmer, softer underfoot. Warm look of wood. Glue comes off easy (due to poly). But its still just plywood so don’t have to worry about banging it up; can always replace a piece if needed.

Personally I prefer a wood floor 1,000 X a cement floor …..but for a shop doesn’t have to be fancy wood.

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