What floor for the shop

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    My current floor is paint peeling off of concrete… It is hard, cold and unforgiving to dropped tools. I was thinking that cork would be great on the feet. I am worried that it will tear if I move something heavy across it. What have you come up with for your floor? Look forward to hearing from you!

    Carlos J. Collazo

    Hi Sue,

    I also have concrete floor in my garage where my workspace is. I’ve often dreamt of a shop with wood floors. At this time, I rely on a good pair of walking shoes for comfort on my feet. I am currently building my first workbench and will count on the well to help with any falling tools. Wood for the floor would be great backup. At this time I will have to make do with the concrete though.


    New Jersey, U.S.A.


    A quick and fairly inexpensive option is to use thick rubber mats around the bench. It makes a big difference to get your feet off the cold concrete and is also more forgiving on anything that gets dropped.


    I’m another member of the “Concrete Floor” brigade. I put an old rug down in front of my bench and it works a treat. Contrary to what most people think, it’s really easy to clean up when needed. It usually just needs a sweep with a broom but I give it the odd going over with a vacuum cleaner every now and then. I must have been using it for about three years now and it shows no signs of wearing out.

    Keep Calm and have a Cup of Tea


    Thinking about your question, there are a lot of options you can use on top of concrete. You can put wood strips or cork and then laminated floor on top of that but make sure you concrete is sealed well for moisture. The only problem with this is that if you sit your work bench on top of that you also create a spongy surface for your bench to sit on. The rubber matts or even wood platforms in front of your bench work well and you still have the solid floor under the legs of your bench. I built my shop on a wooden floor. It is easier on the feet and legs but it creates other issues that Make me wish I had gone with concrete… I’ll probably concrete the planned additions this spring…

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    Albert Einstein


    I had a wooden floor but i still gets very cold because it’s just 1 thick plyboard with nothing underneath. It gets so cold sometimes my toes go numb. I haven’t managed to damp proof the shed yet so carpet aint an option. So I go for the wooly socks. It has the best advantage because they can be put on the radiater before I go out.

    Lincolnshire, England


    Sandy why are you thinking about concrete? I guess nothing is perfect. About every 10 years or so I have standing water in the shop. Martin, the mats sound best thus far. I love the forum would not have thought of mats. Water would not effect them but I try to remember the water is a rare event and it should not be a big factor. Thank you everyone for your input.


    I have concrete flooring which is not ideal for long hours of standing. But with a river behind my garage and a high water table it is a necessity. Rubber mats are good but dampness will collect beneath them if the concrete gets wet from below.

    Concrete is porous remember so it dries out when water is not present. But as you know dropped tools suffer if they slip off the bench on to concrete. It happens. Slatted wood mats are much easier on the feet and legs and you can easily make your own from pallet wood if cost is an issue. You have to pick them up to clear shavings but they are functional.

    Joe B.


    Sue, I want to put a wood burning stove in my shop and I don’t want it sitting on a wood floor. I could do some things to make it safe but I’d just rather have at least the section where the stove would sit on concrete. It’s been an unusually cold winter here and I can’t get much done between the runs to the house to warm my fingers up on refill my coffee cup… I might have to take my workbench to the house till spring!

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    Albert Einstein

    George Bridgeman

    I have 3/4″ thick spruce floor boards on top of bearers. It’s lovely to walk on and I don’t get tired from standing on it while at the bench for long periods of time. As others mentioned, however, it does have a fair bit of spring. I’ve had to put a sheet of 3/4″ hardwood ply on top of it where my bench is, and there is still some movement when chopping/sawing at the bench. If I could position my bench on the bearers it’d be much better.

    I used a water-based poly (six or eight coats) to give the boards some wear resistance.


    "To know and not do is to not know"


    In my garage (concrete floor) I put down the old laminate flooring from our kitchen, with a dampproof layer and a layer of cheap insulation. It makes a world of difference.


    If you live near a Harbor Freight, they sell a package of 4- 2’X2′ foam rubber mats for under $8 when on sale.

    These work great and since they interlock at all 4 sides, you can “assemble” them in many configuation.

    I have them all around my bench and at each major equipment/work station.

    They now only protect falling objects, are confortable to stand on but you can quickly remove or relocate them if needed

    Located in Honeoye Falls NY USA. The Finger Lakes region of Western NY.

    "If you give me 6 hours to fell a tree, I will take the first 4 to sharpen my axe" Abe Lincoln

    David Gill

    I have 500mm x 500mm PVC interlocking tiles on on my garage floor which i find great for preventing damage to dropped tools and also keeping feet warm in cold weather

    Wigan, Lancs. England :


    Harbor freight had a tent sale two weeks ago. I got the last two packages of mats. I got a few other things as well. 😉


    For my money the rubber mat is the way to go. There are a couple different kinds that may be useful in various areas of the shop. I think the biggest advantage is that you can take them up for cleaning or rearranging the shop.

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