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post #1 of 20 Old 04-23-2015, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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Shop floor?

Hey all,

We're in the process of planning a pole building on our property. It will be 30x40. The 40 foot width will be split down the middle, leaving two 20x30 foot areas. One area will have a concrete floor that will host a truck, lawn mower, motorcycle, etc. The other side will be the shop. I'm considering putting a wood floor in the shop part instead of concrete. The idea being that it would allow me to run electrical, dust collection, etc. under the floor which would prevent cords, hoses, etc. from being all over the place to reach the equipment. It should also be a slight bit easier on the feet/knees. Has anyone ever done something like that? Or, is anyone familiar enough with this stuff that there might be concerns/gotchas that aren't obvious?

Thanks for any input!
Jonathan
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post #2 of 20 Old 04-23-2015, 03:32 PM
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Unless I could anticipate a use for the shop that involved high floor loads I would go with a sturdy wooden floor every time.Much easier on the body and in the event of tools tumbling to the floor,they will suffer less damage.
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post #3 of 20 Old 04-23-2015, 04:33 PM
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unfortunately, it is likely that you will have high floor loads...

so you either need to know where the bigguns are going to be so you can reinforce those areas, or do it after the fact (or overbuild the whole thing).

Not sure if its more or less expensive to go with concrete, and then lay down raised ergo padding that permits wiring to run under them.
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post #4 of 20 Old 04-23-2015, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bauerbach View Post
unfortunately, it is likely that you will have high floor loads...

so you either need to know where the bigguns are going to be so you can reinforce those areas, or do it after the fact (or overbuild the whole thing).

Not sure if its more or less expensive to go with concrete, and then lay down raised ergo padding that permits wiring to run under them.
I have not had a problem with my gun safe on wooden floors.

Don
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post #5 of 20 Old 04-23-2015, 10:02 PM
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How much do the heaviest tools you have weigh? A wood floor could be fine but I personally would put some kind of solid would flooring down. Depending on your design plan for framing the floor, 2x10 or 12's 16 OC would be fine but I wouldnt want just a 3/4 ply subfloor.

As was said wood can be a little more forgiving on the body and tools or materials but the time and cost IMHO is more than just getting a slab put in.
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post #6 of 20 Old 04-23-2015, 10:10 PM
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I have a dirt floor on most of my shop. The only problem it causes is I can't use roll around carts.
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post #7 of 20 Old 04-23-2015, 10:16 PM
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^ Talk about old school.
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post #8 of 20 Old 04-23-2015, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Chamfer View Post
^ Talk about old school.
I have enough space to build any shop I want so it comes down to cost. I can put up 50% more building for what the concrete floor would cost. Still someday if I think it's necessary the floor can be added anytime.

I ran some numbers one time and discovered concrete is cheaper than wood.
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post #9 of 20 Old 04-23-2015, 10:43 PM
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Concrete will be cheaper. Just off the top of my head you'll pay around $500 for 7.5 yds of concrete. Throw in another couple hundred for rebar, wire, and stone. You can pay a pro to finish it for $500.

I know concrete is bad on the feet but I prefer a solid surface for working. Just get a good pair of shoes and some ergo mats. I would think having a wood floor would lower the value if you ever wanted to sell too.
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post #10 of 20 Old 04-23-2015, 11:06 PM
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I was fortunate enough to work for several years in a industrial shop that had a maple brick flooring.
Three phase 440 was run in conduit to all the machines. Easy on the feet , even after 10 + hour shifts back then. Very uncluttered look vs most shops that run electric from overhead bus bars down.
Then they decided to take it out ..fire hazard they said ..the sealer could eventually cause the bricks to be a toxic waste and thus expensive to dispose of in the future ..they said.

All I know for sure about it is my feet sure do miss that floor.
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post #11 of 20 Old 04-24-2015, 08:58 AM
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I have a solid wood floor in my basement shop. I love it. It looks good and it feels good. And it's the right thing to do in a workshop!
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post #12 of 20 Old 04-24-2015, 10:16 AM
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I also have a wood floor in my shop located under my NH barn. I dug out the space by hand and because I live in New Hampshire (the Granite State), I was limited as to the depth of digging I could do...

So my floor is 3/4 ply on 2X4 frame. I couldn't run anything under it - but wish I could have.

I don't understand what all the fuss is about weight of tools on the wood floor. Because of my limitations, I have a few spots that are a bit bouncy (if I jump up and down on it) - but the tools don't suffer from it. If I were to move my table saw onto a ship bobbing out in the middle of the ocean - I could still use it. The table top would still be flat and sturdy and I would be bobbing up and down along with the tools, tool surfaces and work pieces.

So JMHuss - go with the wood floor even if the cost is higher. You'l be more comfortable with it and consider how long you'll be using your shop. I have arthritis and if I walk around a shopping mall - I know it. That cement sucks the energy out of me... but I can work in my shop all day long.

Depending on where you live - wood floors are easier on the heating bill. They provide a bit of insulation.

One last point - I left my 3/4 ply unfinished. I have a moister problem down under my barn and the wood floor actually helps. We woodworkers all know about wood movement and the effects of moister in our living environment.

Each to their own - but I'm happy with my wood floor.

Its' never hot or cold in New Hampshire... its' always seasonal.
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post #13 of 20 Old 04-24-2015, 12:36 PM
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I'm with Bernie ^

My woodshop in on the second floor, so wood it is! It's on 2" X 12" on 16" cenetres with 3/4" T & G sub floor on top.

The heaviest tool I've had up there is a 5 HP Powermatic table saw... about 700 lbs. Now it's a 3 HP planer, 24" dual drum sander, large table saw etc. The floor doesn't flex or bounce.

The issue with duct work underneath is the you have to run in the joist cavities or parallel. making a right angle turn means drilling a large hole...6" or so through the joists which will weaken them.You could run a main line in the joists, and then make any turns above the floor however.

My electrical cords do run on top of the floor, but for the most part are not a trip hazzard. I think "in floor" electrical outlets would be great if that's possible. I do have several 220Vs that hang from the ceiling over the larger machines and that works real well.

A wood floor is also warmer in the winter here in Michigan and easier to bring up to working temperature when I heat the shop. My floor is painted with Porch and Deck Dutch Boy grey enamel and that makes it easy to gather the dust and chips and to find small parts and tool bits.

So, I recommend wood if you can. It would also be smooth and easier to level.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 04-24-2015 at 02:47 PM. Reason: typos
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post #14 of 20 Old 04-24-2015, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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Hi all,

Appreciate all of the responses and thoughts! I'm glad to know I'm not clear out in left field in at least thinking about a wooden floor. As far as cost goes, my math went something like this:

Wood
If I used I-Joists (something like this: http://www.menards.com/main/building...056-c-5662.htm), I'd need approximately 23 of them to cover that 20x30 area at 16" OC.

23 x $30.80 = $708.40

If I covered that with 3/4" subfloor (something like this: http://www.menards.com/main/osb/3-42...33-c-13333.htm), I'd need approximately 20 sheets to cover the entire floor.

20 x $13.58 = $271.60

Add in a couple of hundred bucks worth of hardware and whatever, and I end up with a total bill for a wood floor of:

$708.40 + $271.60 + $200 = $1,180

Concrete
During my talks with builders and concrete guys, I've had estimates anywhere from $7,500 - $10,250 to pour a 4" slab in the entire building + a 20'x20' approach up to the garage door, which results in a total of 1600 sq ft, at 4" thick. If I use the $7500 and divide by 1600sf, I end up with $4.69/sf of finished, 4" concrete. I'm not entirely sure how concrete costs are calculated, but if I take that $4.69/sf and apply it to my 20x30 shop space, I end up with:

$4.69/sf * 600sf = $2,814

So, at the end of the day, a wood floor in the shop ends up being somewhere around $1,700 cheaper, depending on which concrete estimate I use. Does that sound reasonable-ish? It seems I could even put down two layers of subfloor and still be quite a bit of money ahead.

Thanks again!
Jonathan
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post #15 of 20 Old 04-24-2015, 01:58 PM
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I'd recommend a concrete floor; if you're considering leg and foot fatigue you can always lay mats in the high work/standing areas for comfort. In general a bridged 2X12 floor @ 16ō with 3/4 T&G ply sub floor PL'd to the joists is about 55 to 60lbs psqft at a 14 foot span.

More than adequate to support an evenly placed load of a 300 400 lb TS, e.g. (solid footprint), but if you're machine is on a mobile base then the wheels are the footprint and the weight is divided up between the contact footprint of the wheels. Now you're at 55lbs and up per sq inch. Not much of a compression issue over joists but a big one in between.

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post #16 of 20 Old 04-24-2015, 03:55 PM
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JMH your calculations for the wood floor dont count labor if youre doing it yourself. To me at least, time is money.

Personally Id go with concrete for reasons Ghidrah mentioned IF you have very heavy tools. You never did answer my question about that.

IMHO theres not enough price difference between the two to make a decision based on that alone.
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post #17 of 20 Old 04-24-2015, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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Indeed, it doesn't include the cost of labor. I totally agree that time is money, at least in some instances. If the alternative is that I'm just sitting on my duff, then that time is worth less money than if I were working, for example, I think.

My apologies for missing the question about weight. Probably the heaviest thing in my shop is my Ridgid R4512 table saw. I'm not sure what it weighs, but last October, I watched two guys lift it and carry it up a ramp into the back of a UHaul, so I can't imagine it's more than maybe 300 - 400 lbs. I also have a 4 foot wide, 5 foot tall tool box full to the brim with tools, but again, same two guys picked it up and carried it, full of tools, around our house and into our walkout basement door so we're probably 300 - 400 lbs here as well.

Thanks again!
Jonathan
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post #18 of 20 Old 04-24-2015, 09:46 PM
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In that case a wood floor would be reasonable load wise.


You said one half of the building will definitely be concrete, are you planning on making the shop side the same level? How far above grade will the side that is concrete be?
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post #19 of 20 Old 04-24-2015, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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Truthfully, I've struggled a little bit with that. My current thought is that I'd just have a consistent grade across the foot print of the building, and the floor on the wood side would just be 8" or so higher than the floor on the concrete side, although I'm not completely sold on that. I'm also not entirely sure how a pedestrian door would work into the shop side of the building. It would end up being 8" or so higher than the garage door and I'm afraid that might be odd looking.
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post #20 of 20 Old 04-24-2015, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tree Hugger View Post
I was fortunate enough to work for several years in a industrial shop that had a maple brick flooring.
Three phase 440 was run in conduit to all the machines. Easy on the feet , even after 10 + hour shifts back then. Very uncluttered look vs most shops that run electric from overhead bus bars down.
Then they decided to take it out ..fire hazard they said ..the sealer could eventually cause the bricks to be a toxic waste and thus expensive to dispose of in the future ..they said.

All I know for sure about it is my feet sure do miss that floor.

When I build my 10k sqft shop in the next 10 years, it will get end grain flooring over radiant heat concrete. I will also install AC.

You can drive or place anything on a floor like that.
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