Rob, What Shop Floor Will You Pick?

Rob, What Shop Floor Will You Pick?

What is Rob planning to use for the floor in his new shop? I will be moving in a year or so (downsizing) and will have a concrete floor. In my current shop, I had an epoxy put down and it has held up well. Now I am wondering if hardwood or tile might be better. Your thoughts? – Jim Malach

Rob Johnstone: The floor is still in flux. I am likely going with a concrete floor as I have worked on epoxy floors and found them a bit slippery. Also, you need to allocate dollars where they can do the most for you, and I am thinking of a second story with an office/studio.

Chris Marshall: My current shop also has a plain concrete slab, but my previous one had a plywood floor. In terms of wear and tear on my legs and feet from standing on one or the other surface, I really haven’t noticed much of a difference — and that came as a big surprise at first. I thought for sure that concrete would be more taxing, but it just hasn’t played out to be true for me. There’s no getting around the fact that a long day is a long day in the shop, and eventually my legs get tired! But, I think what helps me most is to wear really comfortable shoes. I’ve become a fan of Merrell multipurpose hiking shoes with Vibram® soles. They last me about a year, wearing them every single day in the shop, and I can usually buy them for under $100. I’m currently on my fifth pair.

Comfort issues aside, either hardwood or tile will look great as a finished floor surface for a shop. Tile might be the better choice for scratch resistance – inevitably, your shop floor is going to take a beating over the long term. Keep that in mind. Tile also is probably the more economical option, when you consider the cost of hardwood flooring, a moisture barrier underneath it and the sanding and finishing costs that will be involved. With all the color and style options available, I think I’d pick resilient tile.

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