best flooring for a basement wood shop?

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texasdiver
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best flooring for a basement wood shop?

Post by texasdiver » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:27 pm

We have a larger house than we really need and the finished daylight basement is currently a carpeted space with 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, and a large open living area with a wet bar. The carpet is really at the end of its life and needs replacing. But I'm thinking ahead to claiming the space for a wood shop once the kids leave the nest and aren't using it as a teen game room and lounge. The floor is ordinary particle board subflooring laid on floor joists with a crawl space underneath so not concrete.

What would be the best flooring to put down now to create a decent kid living room type space (with throw rugs and such) that would then convert nicely in a few years to be used as a wood shop for boat building and other projects? I'm thinking perhaps some kind of tile. My wife wants an engineered wood floor such as we had in our previous home but I'm thinking that's not going to be durable enough for a shop floor. Any suggestions?

The other alternative would be to replace the carpet now with new carpet then rip it out and put down some kind of vinyl sheet floor down the road when ready for the shop.

Mike Scott
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Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

Post by Mike Scott » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:37 pm

I'm trying to imagine how you build a basement that does not have a concrete floor. Anyway, for shop purposes, I would do concrete. If only for woodworking (no metal work, welding, cars etc) I might consider a heavy duty t&g plywood floor but it is going to get roughed up pretty quickly.

texasdiver
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Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

Post by texasdiver » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:43 pm

Mike Scott wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:37 pm
I'm trying to imagine how you build a basement that does not have a concrete floor. Anyway, for shop purposes, I would do concrete. If only for woodworking (no metal work, welding, cars etc) I might consider a heavy duty t&g plywood floor but it is going to get roughed up pretty quickly.
We call it the basement but it's really a daylight basement on a steep hillside so from the front of the house it is a basement but from the back of the house it is the first floor with a deck. The basement sliding patio doors exits out to a deck that is about 3 feet above the back yard. So the basement space is carved out of the hillside.

This house on zillow is not our house but has a nearly identical floor plan with the basement below the garage and all carpeted in as big game room/bar space like our is.

https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/C ... 44411_rid/

PVW
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Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

Post by PVW » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:08 pm

I would do a solid hardwood floor. Its durable and I kind of like the look of a well used oak floor. Commercially produced hardwood flooring might be too expensive, but since you are looking to build a workshop, you could get rough cut or used lumber and make the planks yourself.

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badbreath
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Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

Post by badbreath » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:10 pm

SHAG BABY!!!!
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unclescrooge
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Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

Post by unclescrooge » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:16 pm

Tile?

barnaclebob
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Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

Post by barnaclebob » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:33 pm

My basement has vinyl wood planks and that seems like it would be great for a basement woodshop

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Svensk Anga
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Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

Post by Svensk Anga » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:40 pm

The ideal for boatbuilding would be some type of wooden floor so that you could easily fasten building forms to the flooring. Then you set up forms nice and square and level and lock it down.

Maybe sheet vinyl or vinyl tile in the interim.

whomever
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Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

Post by whomever » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:01 pm

IMHE, one of the issues with woodshop flooring is that you end up with sawdust on the floor. I'd worry about that being slippery with tile or vinyl. It's a real bummer when you're pushing that big board thru the table saw and your feet slip, sending your hand into the blade.

Are you planning to have your machinery stationary, or on casters? That might make a difference.

Mine was concrete. I think I've seen clueful people with just plywood, and also the faux hardwood snap together laminate ones. If you can search the archives at Fine Woodworking magazine I bet there are articles on the subject.

BTW, rubber mats can help with traction. Not the solid foam rubber ones, but the ones that have holes that go through so sawdust drops through. They're also nice by the workbench if you drop your Lie Nielsen jointer plane or carefully sharpened chisel; rubber is a lot softer than a slab :-).

texasdiver
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Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

Post by texasdiver » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:37 pm

whomever wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:01 pm
IMHE, one of the issues with woodshop flooring is that you end up with sawdust on the floor. I'd worry about that being slippery with tile or vinyl. It's a real bummer when you're pushing that big board thru the table saw and your feet slip, sending your hand into the blade.

Are you planning to have your machinery stationary, or on casters? That might make a difference.

Mine was concrete. I think I've seen clueful people with just plywood, and also the faux hardwood snap together laminate ones. If you can search the archives at Fine Woodworking magazine I bet there are articles on the subject.

BTW, rubber mats can help with traction. Not the solid foam rubber ones, but the ones that have holes that go through so sawdust drops through. They're also nice by the workbench if you drop your Lie Nielsen jointer plane or carefully sharpened chisel; rubber is a lot softer than a slab :-).
Good point. I'm more into boat building than traditional woodworking so not so heavy into the machinery and more into the open work space and hand-tools. The machinery I do have will all be on casters to keep out of the way when not in use. Sawdust will be less of an issue than epoxy dust from sanding. I have the idea of tackling something like a Caledonia Yawl once I retire. But plan to do some more modest boats before then. Probably a Goat Island Skiff to start.

WhyNotUs
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Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

Post by WhyNotUs » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:06 pm

Luxury vinyl tile- water proof, tough, easy to clean.
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leftcoaster
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Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

Post by leftcoaster » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:16 pm

Ask this question in the about the workshop forum on Lumberjocks.com. Sawmill creek is another option.

Short answer - plywood on sleepers over concrete. Your legs will get sore on a hard surface and your tools will be damaged when dropped.

2comma
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Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

Post by 2comma » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:22 pm

I wanted solid hardwood flooring but because we have a slab foundation engineered is recommended due to moisture but I never found any engineered product I couldn't damage with my fingernail so I think you're right that it might not be durable enough for a shop. That led me to tile which led me to the johnbridge.com website so if you decide to go tile and have any questions ask there. You absolutely want the sub-flooring and joists to support the tile with almost no flex at all. As much as I love tile I'm not so sure that I'd want it in my boat building shop. I'm thinking vinyl, either sheet or plank might be a better fit.

I'm STILL working on repairing the flooring in my boat so I've been grinding fiberglass (polyester) out in the garage - the big nasty. I can tell you that the dust is so fine it stays suspended in air and eventually gets everywhere. If you are going to be sanding epoxy, even by hand, you'll have the same problem, the dust will get spread evenly throughout the entire house once it gets into the HVAC return vents - that will be you're biggest issue. I've been installing long porcelain plank tile throughout the house and our slab is not flat and the surface needs to be very flat so now I'm grinding concrete floors. The concrete dust is even worse than fiberglass dust. I'm not kidding, if you have the room on your lot build a separate shop.
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macheta
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Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

Post by macheta » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:29 pm

Bamboo flooring

mxs
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Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

Post by mxs » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:42 pm

Luxury vinyl tile and stranded bamboo are two of the most durable materials that would be easier to install than traditional tile. Oak or Brazilian cherry would be other tough materials but I think they will be much more expensive.

CurlyDave
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Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

Post by CurlyDave » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:54 pm

It is going to be a SHOP.

Put whatever you want in while it is living space, but just lay sheets of T&G plywood subfloor over whatever worn out floor other than carpet is there when you do the conversion. This is cheap and has many advantages. Want to hold something in place? Nail it to the floor. (These days you might screw it to the floor)

Take the doors off & save them, since they will not clear the floor height.

When you are done with the shop take it up and you are back to a conventional floor and the doors fit.

texasdiver
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Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

Post by texasdiver » Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:43 am

2comma wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:22 pm
I wanted solid hardwood flooring but because we have a slab foundation engineered is recommended due to moisture but I never found any engineered product I couldn't damage with my fingernail so I think you're right that it might not be durable enough for a shop. That led me to tile which led me to the johnbridge.com website so if you decide to go tile and have any questions ask there. You absolutely want the sub-flooring and joists to support the tile with almost no flex at all. As much as I love tile I'm not so sure that I'd want it in my boat building shop. I'm thinking vinyl, either sheet or plank might be a better fit.

I'm STILL working on repairing the flooring in my boat so I've been grinding fiberglass (polyester) out in the garage - the big nasty. I can tell you that the dust is so fine it stays suspended in air and eventually gets everywhere. If you are going to be sanding epoxy, even by hand, you'll have the same problem, the dust will get spread evenly throughout the entire house once it gets into the HVAC return vents - that will be you're biggest issue. I've been installing long porcelain plank tile throughout the house and our slab is not flat and the surface needs to be very flat so now I'm grinding concrete floors. The concrete dust is even worse than fiberglass dust. I'm not kidding, if you have the room on your lot build a separate shop.
No room on the lot for a separate shop. And the house is big enough anyway....too big really for when the kids are gone. The back yard slopes downhill until it reaches a common greenbelt area. I spent a week this summer with a rented mini skid loader leveling off enough space to build a stone patio out of the hillside with a retaining wall on one side. The lot is too small and the HOA would not allow a big shop in the back anyway.

Good point on the sanding. I might decide to do all that work outside on the deck. I have an upper and lower deck so I can devote the lower one to boats and keep the upper one for patio lounging. The only other option is to take over the garage but that's not going to fly with DW. She is younger than me and in a higher paying profession and likely to keep working longer than me so I'm planning ahead for things to keep me busy when I throw in the towel and retire and she keeps working. All the things I don't have time for today working full time and taking care of kids.

The luxury vinyl looks like a decent option for now. I had never heard of it until googling it up. I've laid laminate flooring myself and it looks similar if not easier. DW will likely give thumbs up on it as a good replacement for the worn carpet if we pick a hardwood plank look. It is the basement after all and mostly a kids and workout space, not where we entertain or spend most of our time. Then I can just leave it there when I move out the futons and X-Box and move in the woodworking supplies.

I think I'll also have to look at some kind of serious dust removal system. Perhaps spend really big dollars on a professional dust collection system and on the proper sanders and such that have the best dust collection systems. That seems likely to be the most important investment if I'm going to be doing woodworking and sanding inside the house. Luckily the basement is on a separate HVAC system so it will be contained and not spread through the rest of the house through the return vents.

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lthenderson
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Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

Post by lthenderson » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:32 am

texasdiver wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:37 pm
[I'm more into boat building than traditional woodworking so not so heavy into the machinery and more into the open work space and hand-tools.
Having built boats in my woodshop, I would say that probably the only option would be hardwood flooring in this situation since concrete is not an option. The reason being is that whenever I have built a boat, my floor gets spotted with hardened blobs of glue, epoxy, fiberglass, etc. I have concrete so it is a matter of scraping with a metal tool or grinding and my floor is nice and flat again. I can't imagine doing this to any time of vinyl, laminate, engineered flooring, etc. With a hardwood floor, at least sanding would be an option.

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hand
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Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

Post by hand » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:47 am

Another product that may split the difference between looks and functionality is wood look porcelain tile.

Pros are look and durability, cons are cost, requirement for a solid sub-floor and hard surface which may not be desirable for boat building.
If you're not aware, porcelain tile is rated based on use (PEI)

PEI
• CLASS 0: Tiles technically unsuitable for floors
• CLASS 1 - Residential and commercial wall and bare foot traffic
• CLASS 2 - Wall and residential bath floor, and soft soled traffic
• CLASS 3 - All residential floors and light commercial floors
• CLASS 4 - Medium commercial, light industrial and institutional, moderate soiling
• CLASS 5 - Extra heavy traffic, abrasive dirt, chemically more resistant

- http://creativedesignhomes.info/home-im ... scale.html

Additionally, tile is rated for coefficient of friction (COF) which may be important for your intended use.
Class 4/5 tile with a high COF is successfully used in home garage / mechanical shops.

Alternately, jsut leave the worn carpet for your boat building, and tear out after you've built the boat and completely destroyed the carpet.

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Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

Post by WhyNotUs » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:08 am

texasdiver wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:43 am

The luxury vinyl looks like a decent option for now. I had never heard of it until googling it up. I've laid laminate flooring myself and it looks similar if not easier. DW will likely give thumbs up on it as a good replacement for the worn carpet if we pick a hardwood plank look. It is the basement after all and mostly a kids and workout space, not where we entertain or spend most of our time. Then I can just leave it there when I move out the futons and X-Box and move in the woodworking supplies.

It is easier to lay than laminate, which is not very hard.
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texasdiver
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Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

Post by texasdiver » Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:40 pm

hand wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:47 am
Another product that may split the difference between looks and functionality is wood look porcelain tile.

Pros are look and durability, cons are cost, requirement for a solid sub-floor and hard surface which may not be desirable for boat building.
If you're not aware, porcelain tile is rated based on use (PEI)

PEI
• CLASS 0: Tiles technically unsuitable for floors
• CLASS 1 - Residential and commercial wall and bare foot traffic
• CLASS 2 - Wall and residential bath floor, and soft soled traffic
• CLASS 3 - All residential floors and light commercial floors
• CLASS 4 - Medium commercial, light industrial and institutional, moderate soiling
• CLASS 5 - Extra heavy traffic, abrasive dirt, chemically more resistant

- http://creativedesignhomes.info/home-im ... scale.html

Additionally, tile is rated for coefficient of friction (COF) which may be important for your intended use.
Class 4/5 tile with a high COF is successfully used in home garage / mechanical shops.

Alternately, jsut leave the worn carpet for your boat building, and tear out after you've built the boat and completely destroyed the carpet.
My main concern with tile is that I'd have to lay hardybacker down first to make the subfloor more stable because it doesn't flex like other flooring types which may mean that the baseboards will need to be moved up and the doors may be too low and need to be trimmed. I think I can lay hardwood or vinyl right on the subfloor as it exists now so that will be simpler and cheaper.

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Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

Post by whomever » Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:44 pm

On the dust angle:

1)You can get HEPA filters for dust collectors. Even if you're hand sanding, those move a lot of air through the filter.

2)If the dust is actually produced where it can be collected (like a conventional table saw), Vancouver is a pretty mild climate. When we lived in Seattle I had the dust collector mounted in the attached garage, where it vented by keeping a window open (we had a closed combustion furnace and electric water heater, so no backdrafting issues). The collector was switched in the shop, so it's not running continuously. We've since moved to a colder climate so moving that much air, in winter anyway, is less feasible now.

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Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

Post by texasdiver » Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:45 pm

lthenderson wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:32 am
texasdiver wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:37 pm
[I'm more into boat building than traditional woodworking so not so heavy into the machinery and more into the open work space and hand-tools.
Having built boats in my woodshop, I would say that probably the only option would be hardwood flooring in this situation since concrete is not an option. The reason being is that whenever I have built a boat, my floor gets spotted with hardened blobs of glue, epoxy, fiberglass, etc. I have concrete so it is a matter of scraping with a metal tool or grinding and my floor is nice and flat again. I can't imagine doing this to any time of vinyl, laminate, engineered flooring, etc. With a hardwood floor, at least sanding would be an option.
I think I'd probably have to put some kind of drop cloth or protection on the floor under the boat when working. Or maybe just lay out some sheets of plywood directly under the boat for the duration to protect the floors if I did something else.

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Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

Post by tev9876 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:32 pm

I would go with a glued down "luxury" sheet vinyl in a wood look. Easy to sweep, can be wet mopped, relatively durable, warmer than many others, .... Get some cheap throw rugs or even indoor/outdoor carpeting you can take outside and hit with the power washer.

Epoxy could be good, but I think that is usually done over concrete.

I put the click together vinyl planks on my first floor (over horrible hardwood and 1x6 diagonal to the joists) and have run into some separation issues in spots. My floor is just not flat and flex free enough to keep the floating floor together. There are only a couple gaps that are not really bad, but I know they are there. It is great for having dogs since I can mop up any spills easily and even if I don't get to them right away they won't hurt anything.

Ceramic will be easy to break if a tool drops, cold, unforgiving for play and the grout lines will trap sawdust.

Traditional laminate will be destroyed by liquids.

Hardwood can be sanded - unless the damage is really deep. Also rather expensive.

Carpet gets disgusting quickly, especially if you have pets.

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Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:39 pm

Inch thick rubber horse mats.

We have these under weight lifting equipment in our basement (concrete floor). They are quite dense so you can walk around on them fine. They'll reduce fatigue working on wood stuff or building a Lamborghini in the basement. https://jalopnik.com/5954486/the-man-wh ... to-sell-it

The downsides are that it'll smell like a goodyear factory for a year and your wife will not want to go there ever. Well, if you want it as a shop earlier, then maybe strike that second sentence. :D
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Bengineer
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Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

Post by Bengineer » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:28 pm

My .02.

Inexpensive carpet now for the kids.

T&G OSB or plywood or planks later for the shop. Might depend on what's cheap and how level your current subfloor is vs how level you want it.

I'd think it would be really handy to be able to shoot some screws into the floor to set up braces / props / scaffolding for a boat project as a few have noted.

Air-seal the ceiling and ventilate separately so you don't run the rest of the family out of the house when you use solvents!

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Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

Post by gmc4h232 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:00 pm

If this is truly a dedicated shop, I would recommend just exposing plywood floor and possibly adding a layer if desired (perpendicular to the existing layer). Add sheet vinyl if you want to be able to mop. If you decide to change the use in the future, then it will be an easy upgrade.

No way would i spend the money on LVT, hardwood, or ceramic/porcelain tile in a shop space. LVT and hardwood will scratch really bad, and you will inevitably drop something heavy on porcelain/ceramic tile and break it.

Regarding the horse stall mats, I will second the smell issue. If you have enough of the mats, the smell will permeate to the rest of your house, and I dont think it ever goes away while the mats are in place.

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Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

Post by Epsilon Delta » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:36 pm

Bengineer wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:28 pm
Air-seal the ceiling and ventilate separately so you don't run the rest of the family out of the house when you use solvents!
A friend of mine sealed the interior door to his workshop so the only access is from the outside (Bilko doors). His wife would rather deal with snow than sawdust.

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