Woodworking Talk banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
273 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
It's early here, too early to fire up the saws. There's a chill in the air this morn, more than my near 50 year old bones want to take doing quiet work out in the garage. The sun is up, the leaves starting to turn...gonna be a beautiful day. So while I wait for the neighborhood to rise and the garage to warm, I figured I'd just cozy up to a cup of coffee and pick a few brains.

Mama and I have our house on the market. Tough times trying to sell these days, but if the Gods smile upon us we have a new place all picked out.

One of the key features for me is a 23x50 pole barn with 220 service. A metal sided, dirt floor, horse barn actually.

Gonna take some work to make it a wood shop.
Not all of it will be finished, I will need some room for lawn equipment.:laughing:

The stalls have to come out, the ground leveled, flooring, insulation, HEAT (Gets cold here in Michigan).

Been giving thought to the flooring of late.
Cement vs. wood, looking at the pro's and con's of each.

With the wood floor (akin to decking or maybe just plywood), dust collection routing could be below the floor and yet still have access for maintenance. It would be easier on the back, electrical routing to equipment, like the table saw, could be moved easier should I decide to change the saws location later. On the downside, rolling anything across the floor could pose a challenge. Moisture, warp, mold and rot also have to be taken into consideration.

With cement, anything sub floor becomes near permanent, it's hard on the back (I know...mats) and cold. Flip side, it's potentially more stable than wood if done right, and the durability of cement far exceeds that of wood.

Cost wise, I have a rough idea on the price of a wood floor (per sq ft), but haven't priced out what cement would run. I don't know if there would be a significant difference between the two when you factor in labor for the cement.....wood I can DIY, the cement is better left to someone else, I've not worked with it before.
The prep work for either would be about the same.

Which would you choose?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,112 Posts
My shop I built with a wood floor. I used all treated material and haven't had any problems. I have air flow underneath. Some times wish I had concrete just to make cleanup a little easier.
My deciding factor was probably more cost than anything else.
Down here, concrete is pretty expensive right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
801 Posts
When I had a 12x24 slab poured (with a BUNCH or earthwor including hauling out 3 loads of bad fill and Bringing in 4 loads of good fill) it wass $1200 But the price of Concrete has gone up about 25 bucks a yard.... to somewhere around 100-110 my floor is about 6 yards (6" thick except the edge which is 1' deep for 1' in width around the perimeter)

A 6" slab in 23x50 is just over 24 yards a 4" slab is 15 yards.........

I'm reading anywhere from $3-5 per SF (4" thick) installed

All you can do is call around and see..........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
273 Posts
My shop has a concrete floor and I wish I had a plywood floor. It gets cold and your feet start to hurt really quickly (mats are hard to keep all over the place). Due to this concrete floor I have (well actually due to the fact that I accindentally built the workbench to high), I raised the floor in front of my workbench 3-4 inches. 2x4 framing and 3/4" ply.....it feels alot better now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
789 Posts
My grandfather's woodshop was 16 x 24, and on a cinder block foundation, about 3 blocks high. The advantage was that he built a lot of cabinets, and a pick up truck was about level with the swinging doors on one end...made it easy to get stuff in and out. The downside was the floor wasn't absolutely rigid.....had a little "bounce" to it as I remember, but not a big deal. The floor itself was salvaged maple from a gymnasium floor on top of 1x's.

My shop is concrete, doesn't bounce, and if I were standing in the same place all the time, I would lay a wooden mat down, like you see in machine shops....also, the right shoes or boots can make all the difference in the world.

Now, if you want to know the numbers on concrete, her it is. Depending on your footing requirements (code), a 4 inch floor will take 1 yard of concrete per 80 sq/ft approximately. With rebar and forming, we get about $3.25 including concrete, plus footings. If you want to calculate this yourself, search concretenetwork.com for the footing and slab calculator, and get the total amount, add about 10%, and call around to your local ready mix for a per yard price. If you dig your own footings and do the formwork, you can probably get a finisher to come and place and finish the floor for a $1 a sq/ft.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
273 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the insight folks, I appreciate it.

My original thoughts on the concrete didn't include things like rebar, remesh and footings. I don't know why I forgot about them. Funny how some things can escape the rambling thoughts of a lunatic, eh?

Dug around in the Michigan code, if there is anything more like Hell on Earth, I haven't found it. Best I could do on the footing is a 42" depth and 8" width. The requirements for rebar read like stereo instructions, all Greek to me.

Anyway, I based some numbers on a 23x40 area. Took a SWAG at the rebar/remesh, factored in permits and rental equipment, and came up with around $2500 for concrete DIY, $3k if I let someone else do it.

The wood floor came out to just over $2k using T&G plywood at Big Box advertised prices (that includes joists, posts, moisture barrier, permits, rental, hardware and cement). Should be able to get a contractor price break with those quantities.

Weighing all of the factors and placing emphasis on cost, it looks like the wood floor may be the way to go. The hard part here is going to be keeping the critters from taking up residence. Nothing like the smell of skunk in the morning.

I'll have a contractor come out and bid the concrete when the time comes, I may be way over on cost estimate. I think not, but maybe.
There are a lot of construction folks up here eager for work.

My shop is concrete, doesn't bounce, and if I were standing in the same place all the time, I would lay a wooden mat down, like you see in machine shops....also, the right shoes or boots can make all the difference in the world.
I hear ya!
I get to test cars for a living, the electronics end of it anyway. I'm on my feet most of the day, usually on concrete. I go through a pair of shoes in about 6 months. In this department I spare no expense. :laughing:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
354 Posts
Hi Tweegs..

Used to live in Lansing and have a brother in Brighton. Now I'm in St. Paul MN, and get this.....the sun comes out in the winter here! I remember one November in Lansing when there was a total of 4 hours sunshine all month!

Concrete gets cold and stays that way til spring. Only way I'd have concrete is with radiant heat inside it. And as long as I'm dreaming.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
wood/concrete

if you are planing on using the pole shed for a shop you don't need footers for your concrete, and unless you plan to drive heavy equipment on it fiber mesh or wire mesh is more than adequate and should cost around 3.00 sq ft. not necessary but you could have 1" foam under the slab for app. .20 sq ft
Unless you have a basement i wouldn't deal with the problems of moisture and rodents under the floor and talk about cold, your floor will be much colder than concrete if left uninsulated to the cold damp earth below. if you are doing fine carpentry you will regret the vibrations that come through the wood floor and show up on you planers, molders, and jointers.

just my 2cents, sorry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
789 Posts
Thanks tcc, for the reminder about why the "bounce" of the floor isn't a good deal. I remember now that the planer and wood lathe both vibrated excessively....and now I can guess why. I suppose the best of both worlds would be concrete with T&G plywood laid as a floor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
I work for a joist and deck company as a steel detailer and I have some experience with floors. I would suggest to you that if your going to do wood that you talk to a structural engineer and have one design it for you. Have them design a little on the heavy side and you won't have to worry about any bounce. You can actually do a lot of the work yourself if you draw a layout of the shop to include your duct work, machine/ bench locations and weights. I know it will cost more, but it's an idea that would solve the bounce problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
You know, on second thought, you could probably just reinforce the floor yourself if you locate your machinery like the planer before hand and just pour pilings underneath the floor joists at those locations. That would distribute the energy directly into the ground under the machine rather than through the joists
 

·
mike44
retired carpenter and farmer
Joined
·
295 Posts
It's early here, too early to fire up the saws. There's a chill in the air this morn, more than my near 50 year old bones want to take doing quiet work out in the garage. The sun is up, the leaves starting to turn...gonna be a beautiful day. So while I wait for the neighborhood to rise and the garage to warm, I figured I'd just cozy up to a cup of coffee and pick a few brains.

Mama and I have our house on the market. Tough times trying to sell these days, but if the Gods smile upon us we have a new place all picked out.

One of the key features for me is a 23x50 pole barn with 220 service. A metal sided, dirt floor, horse barn actually.

Gonna take some work to make it a wood shop.
Not all of it will be finished, I will need some room for lawn equipment.😆

The stalls have to come out, the ground leveled, flooring, insulation, HEAT (Gets cold here in Michigan).

Been giving thought to the flooring of late.
Cement vs. wood, looking at the pro's and con's of each.

With the wood floor (akin to decking or maybe just plywood), dust collection routing could be below the floor and yet still have access for maintenance. It would be easier on the back, electrical routing to equipment, like the table saw, could be moved easier should I decide to change the saws location later. On the downside, rolling anything across the floor could pose a challenge. Moisture, warp, mold and rot also have to be taken into consideration.

With cement, anything sub floor becomes near permanent, it's hard on the back (I know...mats) and cold. Flip side, it's potentially more stable than wood if done right, and the durability of cement far exceeds that of wood.

Cost wise, I have a rough idea on the price of a wood floor (per sq ft), but haven't priced out what cement would run. I don't know if there would be a significant difference between the two when you factor in labor for the cement.....wood I can DIY, the cement is better left to someone else, I've not worked with it before.
The prep work for either would be about the same.

Which would you choose?
I built my shop 20'-0 x 30'-0 20 y5 years ago. I opted for a crawl space and wood framed floors. The reason for the crawl space was to keep the shop floor above a flood area. The road is about 2-0" higher than the area where i built the shop. I poured large Sonotube footings and framed 12" engineered joists on 16" centers. Then Advantec sheathing and a vinyl flooring. The joists were insulated .
Very comfortable to work in, no foot spurs like I got when I walked on concrete most of my working days.
 

·
Registered
Egg Spurt
Joined
·
2,592 Posts
I remember watching a video some time ago of a busy shop in another country with a concrete floor where they never bothered to sweep up the sawdust and shavings. The reasoning was because the concrete was so hard on their feet so they had a pretty much a permanent layer of wood to walk on. I too have a concrete floor and those times when I get really busy and don't get around to sweeping it's ever so much more comfortable on the old bones.
If it weren't for the fact that I still smoke cigarettes and have extension cords running throughout the place I'd probably never sweep the floor either..lol A viseral dislike of routine cleaning of floors may play into it and perhaps a touch of laziness might too.. Nahhh..I LOVE getting on my hands and knees to sweep up all the sawdust that gets everywhere. Absolutely nothing beats banging my head on sharp metal corners and such! On the other hand there is something to be said about dropping sharp metal edges on a soft layer of wood vs hard concrete..
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top