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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Default Flooring for a new second floor shop

Hello,

I've recently had a second floor added to my detached garage for a woodworking shop. Interior dimensions are 21X22-ft with a ceiling height of 8 - 10-ft (scissor trusses). The floor joists span width of the garage width (21-ft) and are 14" high OSB laminate I-beams on 16" centers. At this point the second floor is only the ~1/2" thk OSB sub-floor, but it does seem strong. My carpenter friend thinks that a layer of painted Lauan board would be fine as a shop floor. Unfortunately, I have a rather low opinion of Lauan underlay and doubt that it will wear well. But, I might be wrong.

At this point, I'm seeking input on sturdy, durable and affordable options for this floor. Relative to equipment weight, the heaviest object will probably be a cabinet table saw (something like a Unisaw).

Thanks
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Thrifty Tool Guy View Post
Hello,

I've recently had a second floor added to my detached garage for a woodworking shop. Interior dimensions are 21X22-ft with a ceiling height of 8 - 10-ft (scissor trusses). The floor joists span width of the garage width (21-ft) and are 14" high OSB laminate I-beams on 16" centers. At this point the second floor is only the ~1/2" thk OSB sub-floor, but it does seem strong. My carpenter friend thinks that a layer of painted Lauan board would be fine as a shop floor. Unfortunately, I have a rather low opinion of Lauan underlay and doubt that it will wear well. But, I might be wrong.

At this point, I'm seeking input on sturdy, durable and affordable options for this floor. Relative to equipment weight, the heaviest object will probably be a cabinet table saw (something like a Unisaw).

Thanks
I agree with you and wouldn't use luan for beefing up a subfloor. It's a relatively weak softwood. I wood also want a floor thicker than 3/4". Also, this composite floor would be weaker than a single layer of 3/4" material (lots of construction adhesive could mitigate this).

If I were doing this, I would look into adding one of the following on top of your 1/2" OSB (my order of preference):
- 3/4" T&G plywood
- 5/8" T&G plywood
- 3/4" plywood
- 1/2" plywood
- 3/4" OSB
- 1/2" OSB

You will want to make sure you use construction adhesive between the 2 layers and a sealer/finish - especially for OSB. I'd probably use a clear urethane finish.

By the way, what do your local building codes require for subfloors?

Last edited by RJM60; 05-28-2010 at 05:25 PM.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 06:00 PM
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Hi Thrifty

I did the same thing on a add on room for my shop (8' x 22' ), I now have low spots every 8" or so about a 3/8" to 5/8"" drops in the floor,the joists are just fine but the OSB did give under the weight. now I need to take every thing out and put down some more OSB..with some screws...

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Originally Posted by Thrifty Tool Guy View Post
Hello,

I've recently had a second floor added to my detached garage for a woodworking shop. Interior dimensions are 21X22-ft with a ceiling height of 8 - 10-ft (scissor trusses). The floor joists span width of the garage width (21-ft) and are 14" high OSB laminate I-beams on 16" centers. At this point the second floor is only the ~1/2" thk OSB sub-floor, but it does seem strong. My carpenter friend thinks that a layer of painted Lauan board would be fine as a shop floor. Unfortunately, I have a rather low opinion of Lauan underlay and doubt that it will wear well. But, I might be wrong.

At this point, I'm seeking input on sturdy, durable and affordable options for this floor. Relative to equipment weight, the heaviest object will probably be a cabinet table saw (something like a Unisaw).

Thanks



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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 07:58 PM
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Why place your heavy equipment up on a second floor? Sorry, this doesn't make any sense to me at all. T&G 3/4" ply is the way to go for your flooring. Better stability. I've seen a 1/4" hard board sheeting screwed & glued down on top of 3/4" ply as the final floor covering before. Works well.

I do have to agree, check your local building codes first!!

Ken

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 11:07 PM
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"Relative to equipment weight, the heaviest object will probably be a cabinet table saw (something like a Unisaw)"

My Uni weighs in at 600+# (275 kilos). If I was going to be putting that and other (lighter but) heavy objects on a second story I'd pay $100 for an hour of a structural engineer's time (possibly the one who did your home, if you used one) to do a couple of quick calculations for you. First, that's a lot of weight in about a 2'x2' (approximate size of the base) area on the second floor and secondly the weight isn't distributed evenly over that area. It may be something simple, like placing an extra layer of ply directly under the saw or ??? With the mobility kit (like I have) my concern would be even more so, since the load is concentrated where the wheels touch the floor.

It'll probably be OK but the engineer may have some suggestions on which way to orient the tools to best distribute the load.

My $0.02..

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 06:21 AM Thread Starter
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Why place your heavy equipment up on a second floor? Sorry, this doesn't make any sense to me at all.
Sometimes, up is the only option.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 08:00 AM
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Sometimes, up is the only option.
I won't argue that. Doesn't mean I agree with it. I do wish you the best of luck.

I personally don't like the idea of having 1000's of lbs. of equipment sitting on top of my head in a garage just waiting for the right moment to decide to come down and "visit me when I least expect it". Plus, I know you'll never find me trying to lift or carry a TS to an upper level. Just placing mine on it's mobile base by myself was a real PITA.

Building codes and a structural engineer as Jim mentioned is the best option to check in with first. In time, you'll still have area's to where they'll sag. No getting around that, unless you use concrete or steel flooring. Even casters on the bases over time, will get "flat spots" in them. It's that gravity thing we all love an hate.

Cheers

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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I agree with you and wouldn't use luan for beefing up a subfloor. It's a relatively weak softwood. I wood also want a floor thicker than 3/4". Also, this composite floor would be weaker than a single layer of 3/4" material (lots of construction adhesive could mitigate this).

If I were doing this, I would look into adding one of the following on top of your 1/2" OSB (my order of preference):
- 3/4" T&G plywood
- 5/8" T&G plywood
- 3/4" plywood
- 1/2" plywood
- 3/4" OSB
- 1/2" OSB

You will want to make sure you use construction adhesive between the 2 layers and a sealer/finish - especially for OSB. I'd probably use a clear urethane finish.

By the way, what do your local building codes require for subfloors?
Thanks for the info. Relative to local code (PA requires the UCC, state-wide), I'm good.

However, I do need to update the info I previously provided. The OSB I-beams are the Weyerheauser TJ-360 units (14" high, 2.5" wide x 1.5" thk ends) and the OSB floor sheeting is the 23/32" (18mm) Ilevel (tm) T&G product from Weyerheauser. So, I'm in better shape than indicated by my first post, but I'm still tending to adding an additional 1/2" of plywood. But, what type of plywood should it be to avoid voids in the laminations and have a good hard surface. I assume hardwood, but that's pretty pricey at this time.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 07:24 PM
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Thanks for the info. Relative to local code (PA requires the UCC, state-wide), I'm good.

However, I do need to update the info I previously provided. The OSB I-beams are the Weyerheauser TJ-360 units (14" high, 2.5" wide x 1.5" thk ends) and the OSB floor sheeting is the 23/32" (18mm) Ilevel (tm) T&G product from Weyerheauser. So, I'm in better shape than indicated by my first post, but I'm still tending to adding an additional 1/2" of plywood. But, what type of plywood should it be to avoid voids in the laminations and have a good hard surface. I assume hardwood, but that's pretty pricey at this time.
This is why you should go with a product designed to be used on the floor. T&G subflooring does not require an underlay and can be used as is for the finished floor for your shop Idon't believe this product has any voids). Also, the material cost difference between 1/2 ply and 3/4 T&G is about $160. This is small compared to the added stiffness you would get.

I think you wood be happier in the long run if you spent the extra money now. Screws and construction adhesive will also add a lot to the strength of the floor and minimize/eliminate squeaks.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 08:02 PM
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Just my 2 cents, thrifty. I would go with another layer of 5/8" Sturdy floor plywood, glued and screwed. And on the ceiling in the garage I would go with a double layer of a fire rated drywall, as if you ever have a fire in the lower or garage part the I- Joist will burn so quick and with the weight above, well I guess you know what will happen. I some of the Chicago suburbs many have code to this affect even above crawl spaces.Some things it doesn't pay to be too thrifty! Also the drywall on the underside will keep the I-Joist from twisting, Yes the do twist. It will also stiffen the whole floor system.

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Last edited by RStaron; 05-29-2010 at 08:05 PM. Reason: forgot something
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