10-03-2010 05:27 AM - edited 10-03-2010 05:30 AM
I am in the process of converting a detached garage to a woodworking shop and am wondering about the floor. Now that a lot of the "stuff" is out of there, I realize that the floor is sloped (about 3 inches over the 29 feet). While that is great for drainage, it's not so great for leveling workbenches, cabinets, and tools.
I am toying with the idea of raising the floor about 6 inches. As I see it, I gain the opportunity to put outlets in the floor as well as having a more comfortable surface to stand on and add some insulation. Does anyone see any disadvantages or difficulties with doing this? The hardest thing I see is just dealing with the slope in building the floor.
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10-03-2010 06:28 AM
Welcome to the Wood forum! I would do a wood floor above the concrete. Working on concrete can be very hard on your feet, knees and hips. How high is the ceiling? Raising the floor 6" might be a problem when handling 8' sheet goods. The ceiling in my shop is 8'...I wish it was 9'.
10-03-2010 06:32 AM
You don't really say in your post but I'm wondering, Are you considering putting a wooden floor over the concrete? If so moisture could be an issue. I'm guessing your garage is built "slab on grade" with no footings or moisture barrier under it.
It can be done but you will need to install moisture barriers under the new framing.
3" in 29' isn't much slope and could easily be shimmed for base cabinets, tools, and workbenches.
10-03-2010 07:28 AM
I have to agree with John on this one, 3" in 30' just isn't that much Less than an 1/8 of an inch per foot. You could get your wood floor off that much. Save your floor framing money for more tools. Like John said, you can shim cabinet level. There are also are many types of floor levelers on the market that you can mount to your tables. In my small dedicated shop I even used 3/8" lag screws for levelers on one bench/ table. As far as wear and tear on your feet legs and back are concerned this isn't anything that can't be controlled with a good pair of shoes and some well place anti-fatigue mats.
10-03-2010 08:48 AM
My shop is the attached 2-car garage to my house (it still serves as a garage during the winter). The slope of the floor doesn't really bother me. So long as your work surfaces are flat, the slight angle should not affect what you do. If you have stationary benches, I'd just shim up the low side to level it out.
10-03-2010 06:43 PM
I agree with what's being said about NOT raising the floor. My shop is 3" over 30 feet so it's very similar. What I have found over the years doing garage conversions is that most of the slope occurs near the door. Code here says 2" overall (so if the garage was 100 feet you would still slope only 2"???). I think what happens is that as they're pouring the floor they want to be sure that they don't end up too low so they take it easy on the slope. Then when they get closer to the door they want to meet the foundation top and then increase the slope to do that. All of my long benches are near the back and are not shimmed. My woodworking isn't technical enough to require a perfect leveled bench. My tablesaw can be moved around. When I use it I move it towards the big roll up door which helps later in getting the sawdust out. I find that the slight downward slope is actually noticeable and I consider it a benefit. I have a tall ceiling @ 10 1/2 feet and wouldn't want it any lower. I figure If I have a sheet good I move it at least a foot or two off the floor.
10-03-2010 10:11 PM
It's not worth the money and effort to raise the floor. You got good advice from others and I agree with them.
Instead, see where else can you spend that money in your new space.