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Thread: basement workshop floor

  1. #1

    basement workshop floor

    Hi all. I've been using semi-finished space in the basement for a workshop. It has tile floors at present. We want to extend our French drain system to include this space, which means the tile floor is going to go-- which is okay, since parts of it aren't in great shape anyway. We are interested in putting some other kind of flooring in its place, and on the concrete floor in the rest of the basement. I haven't loved tile because it's been cold, hard on the feet, and has a tendency to collect dust in the grout, despite the dust management system I have in place. Epoxy is a possibility-- still cold and hard, but at least smooth-- but the warranty seems to not be great, with most companies we've talked to only giving us a year. That makes me think that even with good water management in place, it might not be great to withstand being on a belowgrade slab.

    Another option is vinyl plank with moderate or thicker wear layer, and maybe with a subfloor like Delta-FL in case of residual moisture issues. I haven't heard of people trying out vinyl plank in a workshop, however. I have a contractor-style table saw that does get rolled around from time to time, and ditto with a dust collector. Not lots and lots of rolling, but some, and I am unsure about the durability of vinyl plank under those circumstances. Anyone have experience with either expoxy or vinyl plank in a basement workshop space? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    How about plastic snap together garage floor tiles?

    https://www.garageflooringinc.com/ti...tro-tiles.html
    “Pay no attention to what you cannot control..” Epictetus, 100 A.D.
    It costs nothing to be kind to others

  3. #3
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    Stall mats from Tractor Supply. 3/4" thick, hard, durable rubber-like-material. Not slippery. At least for the shop. I wouldn't want anything "slick" in a workshop.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Stall mats from Tractor Supply. 3/4" thick, hard, durable rubber-like-material. Not slippery. At least for the shop. I wouldn't want anything "slick" in a workshop.
    FYI, I just learned this...
    There are two kinds of TSC stall mat. Both have diamond plate finish on one side. The other side is either smooth or groved. I assume most people put the diamond plate up. I got a couple of the smooth sided ones and put them under the lathe in December, smooth side up. Good footing and easy sweep up. I liked it so much that when my daughter gifted me a groved mat, I took it back. The TSC stores don't know what they will get when they order.

    If you use the stall mats, I recommend taping the seams. I use black gorilla tape.

  5. #5
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    Not sure when your house was built or the age of the tiles, but might want to have them checked for asbestos prior to removal. As for the replacement, my vote is for the garage floor tiles if budget allows.
    There is a very fine line between “hobby” and “mental illness.” - Dave Barry

  6. #6
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    I have inexpensive Pergo laminate in my basement and shop, works well for me, easy to sweep. It does tend to dent a little when subjected to heavy impact. Talking to a floor sales guy yesterday, he has glue down vinyl plank in his basement that has withstood several sewer backup flood events. Anything rough like stall mats or interlocking tiles sound difficult to quickly sweep.
    Last edited by Ole Anderson; 01-14-2020 at 10:44 AM.
    NOW you tell me...

  7. #7
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    May 2018
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    have an inexpensive snap together wood floor in the good side of the basement, painted floors in the storage and wood shop area. the wood floor is slowly coming out and it is getting painted instead. Sweep, mop and repaint periodically as needed.

  8. #8
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    Dri-core is always tempting for a shop floor. Since my new shop space is shared, I am seriously tempted to use it in the hand tool area.

  9. #9
    I just went through this process about 9 months ago... My basement was a workshop 20 years ago, with a horrible painted concrete floor... was going to do the epoxy covering, and almost made a major mistake... I had some local guys that were doing the work for me that had poured epoxy floors in the past, and one of my good friends was showing me his garage and how wonderful it was... but fortunately I talked to a professional contractor whose business is pouring epoxy floors, and the *first* question he asked was "how old is the house?" I told him it was built in the 30's and he immediately said "can't do it" I asked him why and he told me that prior to approximately 1980, they didn't put down a vapor barrier and just poured the concrete over the packed base... Which leads to water coming up through the concrete, which is why the previous owner's painting the floor never held and why the paint was always coming off the floor... I told him that it was never damp and I never had seen any water in 25+ years in the house, and he told me that even though you don't see or feel it, it is still happening (again why the paint wouldn't stick...) He also told me that if you put epoxy down anyway, and since the epoxy bonds so tightly to the concrete, what will happen is the water will still push the epoxy off, taking chunks of concrete with it...

    So I gave up on that idea, and looked at putting down a lower grade of solid oak flooring (got an unbelievable price from a local flooring shop, under $3 sq/ft) but I would have had to put down runners on the floor to nail the flooring to, and since the ceiling is only 7' to the bottom of the rafters, I didn't want to give up 3/4" for the runners and 3/4" for the flooring... did a few tests walking around on 1 1/2" of plywood and it just felt uncomfortable having my head that close to the ceiling...

    So the contractors recommended LVP flooring, and I went to a local supplier that they suggested and looked at the options... I was concerned about denting and wear, since this would be my shop and I have some heavy equipment on casters and will be milling wood and such, but they assured me that you could drop a bowling ball on this particular type and it wouldn't be harmed... Great thing about the product is that it is around 1/4" thick, 100% waterproof (basically all plastic) and has a really nice padding built in... And it was the least expensive option I have found up to that point...

    So I ordered it - AMEND Enhanced Luxury Vinyl Plank https://philadelphiaflooringsolution...rontier-maple/ (not where I got it from, but the same product) and had it installed...

    Final result is that I couldn't be happier with my choice... beautiful floor, very nice on the feet, easy to clean, and was very quick to install... Been working on the shop for months now, and moving a 300# bench around, along with my planer on casters and other things, and haven't seen a trace of damage to the floor... I *did* manage to dent it once, barely visible to the eye from even a few feet away (I can't even find the dent without looking for a while even knowing where it is...) but to cause this I had to drop a 4' length of 8/4 ash about 9" wide (much heavier than a bowling ball...) from about 4' up off of my planer, and it hit the floor corner-first right into the floor and barely dented the floor... Last good thing is that my floor is not perfectly smooth or level, and the backing takes out all of the small imperfections... the contractors patched in some of the worse spots, but basically just put it over the existing ugly mess...

    Hope this helps...

    JH
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
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    I have Racedeck tiles in my shop, they are going on close to 15 years now. A few have holes in them from welding on car projects but the rest look as good as new. They are not cold and will insulate a little (ok tiny bit) from the cold concrete.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey Hood View Post

    ...AMEND Enhanced Luxury Vinyl Plank...

    ...Been working on the shop for months now, and moving a 300# bench around, along with my planer on casters and other things, and haven't seen a trace of damage to the floor...
    Jeffrey, thanks for your post. I've been considering LVP for my basement shop for a while now. I too have a heavy bench, but I've been concerned that it might slide on the LVP, where as now it is rock solid on the bare concrete. Any problems with your bench moving on the LVP when doing vigorous work such as planing, etc?

    Thanks!

  12. #12
    In the process of outfitting and setting up my new basement shop, I have pretty much only used the bench to assemble things on to date. I am in the process of putting a new top on the bench, and have done a bit of work in the old vise and some planing, and haven't had the bench slide at all... in fact, it's not that easy to move around even sliding it on the floor. I had the same concern, but with how much effort it takes to move it around, I don't think that it will be a problem. I also figured that if it was, I would just get some thin rubber material to put on the bottom of the legs, which I think would solve the problem if it occurs. I think a lighter bench might move a bit, but mine is so heavy it seems to stay in place very well. The real test will be when I get the top finished and installed on the old base, flattening the top with planes should show if the bench will slide around. I'll post an update if it does...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eugene Dixon View Post
    FYI, I just learned this...
    There are two kinds of TSC stall mat. Both have diamond plate finish on one side. The other side is either smooth or groved. I assume most people put the diamond plate up. I got a couple of the smooth sided ones and put them under the lathe in December, smooth side up. Good footing and easy sweep up. I liked it so much that when my daughter gifted me a groved mat, I took it back. The TSC stores don't know what they will get when they order.

    If you use the stall mats, I recommend taping the seams. I use black gorilla tape.
    Any perceptible chemical smell from either style of TSC mat?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Kelly View Post
    Any perceptible chemical smell from either style of TSC mat?
    Funny, I woke up one night to a funky smell in the bedroom and bath. Almost smelled like dead animal, a smell that our RV had when I left a gas burner on low, but not lit. Turned out that our propane supplier used a different odorant that smelled like rotting mice, which is what I thought the problem was. Anyway, in the middle of the night that was going through my mind as I was trying to decide what the smell was. So I got out of bed and went downstairs to check the furnace, no problem there. Turned out my wife had bought a soft plastic foot massage mat and it was hanging in the shower. Smelling it up close almost made me nauseous. It is now hanging in the garage to see if it will air out.
    NOW you tell me...

  15. #15
    Super-helpful; thanks! I'm facing similar issues - low ceilings, don't want to raise the floor appreciably. Our house is from the 1950s so presumably no vapor barrier under the slab, but supposedly (the French drain contractors tell me), having water come up from under the floor shouldn't occur once we have the whole-perimeter drain finished. So I guess the question is whether residual water vapor coming up through the concrete would be an issue. But if it were, I'd think that epoxy in most garages would have the same problem- maybe worse, since I expect few garages include French drains...? Still, I'm glad to hear the LVP has withstood 9 months of use, anyway!

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