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Old 07-27-2010, 05:31 AM   #1
SUHRsc
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Default Wooden floor in garage?

I recently purchased my first garage. It is a cinderblock building split down the middle. One side is 25x40 and the other is 25x50. The smaller side was built first with a flat roof, then the larger side added along with a peaked roof over the entire garage. The problem is that the larger side was never cemented. It is just a dirt floor. I called a few places and seems it may be rather expensive to have someone come in, dig the dirt out, then put stone and cement in. One person quoted $7500!

Talking with a friend of mine last night, he suggested looking into building the floor out of 2x4's sitting on edge. Apparently some older buildings had floors made this way(not sure if 2x4 or 2x6 or ???)

I was wondering if anyone has done anything like this?
Maybe I am wrong in guessing that this might be cheaper?

If so, how would you support it to keep from flexing/moving? How would you seal it on top. Any other ideas or concerns?

At first I shot down the idea, but then the more I thought about it. It could give a very old fasion look to the garage. Which is what I really would like as I deal with antique vehicles. And just basically enjoy all things old...

I realize the limitations with welding and whatnot. Having the other side of the garage as the actual "work" shop though leaves this to be not quite as much of a problem. This would mostly be used for storage of cars and have shelving built to store various other things. Possibly to be used with machinery sitting on it. Lathes, milling machines, etc.

Thanks alot for any input
Zach

This is the place... under construction of the new half


this is sort of what I was thinking for the floor... (from Ryans main page posting)

Last edited by SUHRsc; 07-27-2010 at 06:34 AM.
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Old 07-27-2010, 07:43 AM   #2
Identaltech
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Default Re: Wooden floor in garage?

I would save your money and have it paved when you can aford it.
I dont know about storing cars on a wood floor made out of 2x4.
have you priced out wood?
how much cheaper would it be if you dig it out and bring in rock.
just have them pour the concrete.
better yet find a friend who can do it.
all you need is one guy with the knowledge and a bunch of strong backs with everyone else.
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Old 07-27-2010, 08:59 AM   #3
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Default Re: Wooden floor in garage?

i worked in a factory that had wood floors like you describe. used to be the old Hupmobile factory here in Cleveland. not sure what was under the floor, but it was pretty much 2x4's treated with something. oil maybe, they were black in color. you'd drive the towmotor and hear the floor moving. it was kinda cool. i remember the maintenance guys driving around with a box of 2x4's and to do a repair they'd just pull the old piece out and hammer a couple more in.
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: Wooden floor in garage?

thanks guys....
still undecided... just talking out some ideas..

frank... do you remember how the boards were attached? or just jammed inbetween each other?
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Old 07-27-2010, 10:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: Wooden floor in garage?

I'd think you would need to auger out footings for some joists to support the floor. Those should go below the frost line (Probably 4' or more in PA) If you just set joists on the dirt you're going to get a lot of movement. I'd also be concerned with rot. A wood floor would be nice... it's definitely less fatiguing than working on concrete.
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:03 AM   #6
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Default Re: Wooden floor in garage?

The company I used to work for had an office in Boston. The office was in an old building that built tanks in WWII. The floor was made of 4"x4"x4" wood blocks stacked on edge with the end grain up. I believe they were just stacked tight with no fasteners. It, too was stained dark. Oil maybe? The sub floor appeared to be concrete.

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Old 07-27-2010, 11:18 AM   #7
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Default Re: Wooden floor in garage?

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Originally Posted by Aberdale View Post
The company I used to work for had an office in Boston. The office was in an old building that built tanks in WWII. The floor was made of 4"x4"x4" wood blocks stacked on edge with the end grain up. I believe they were just stacked tight with no fasteners. It, too was stained dark. Oil maybe? The sub floor appeared to be concrete.

Dale
The old L.A. Times building had those in the basement where the presses were. It's incredibly durable. It's also easy to replace a piece when it gets damaged. Sort of like a giant butcher block.
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:56 AM   #8
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Default Re: Wooden floor in garage?

The company I work for has wood floors in some places. It is made up of 2x5 material cut about 2" thick and then placed on its side with the end grain facing up. The blocks are hammered in place and then they spread some type of gule/sealant over them. The stuff is black and almost looks like tar. The reason for wood vs concrete has to do with the parts we work on. They are very heavy and very expensive aircraft jet engine parts. The wood floor provides some cushion if one is accidentaly dropped. There is a major downside though. If one part of the floor gets wet from either rain, a dumped bucket of water, etc it tends to swell up. The area that swells doesn't move but somewhere else in the shop ends up buckling big time. They have to cut out those blocks and lay down new ones in the buckled area. Personally I wouldn't do a a wood floor in a place that works on cars. Even if you are only parking cars there you are still going to track grease and oil all over the wood with your shoes. Wood and oil make a great fire starter. Have you looked at putting down cement pavers instead? You only need a base of sand to place them on. Depending on what you want you can find stuff all the way down to $1 a square foot.

Keith
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:59 AM   #9
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Default Re: Wooden floor in garage?

A friend of mine has concrete in the front half ( where cars pull in and out )and the back half he has what appears to be old railroad ties. I questioned him about worrying about catching it on fire. He said he's never had a problem with it. He uses cutting torches, welders, grinders all the time. The only thing he doesn't like about it is rolling around under a car with a creeper, as the floor isn't real smooth, and the wheels get caught between the varying slight heights of the ties. It looks neat, but I myself would rather have concrete
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:20 PM   #10
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Default Re: Wooden floor in garage?

I would not use Creosote/Arsenic soaked anything to roll around or work on. Stuff is not good for you at all.

When I was in High School the Woodshop had similar Wood Floors to what a few of you are mentioning. There was a huge leak in the roof over the weekend due to a heavy Storm. When I got to class later in the day on Monday the Teacher looked pretty bummed. I asked him what was up and he told me to go into the Shop...Hoooooooly CRAP! The VERY large 10' or so Belt Sander was tipped over as was the best Band Saw in the shop. The entire Floor in the shop looked like the Ocean. It has swelled soooobad that it was enough force to tip over basically the 2 heaviest machines in the Shop. Amazing to see what happened. Weird to see the Floor undulated in parts up to 3 feet and still intact.


Either or...I would go with Concrete especially if you are working on cars or whatever. A much better surface.
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:13 PM   #11
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Default Re: Wooden floor in garage?

Although a wood floor could provide a unique look, it won't be as durable or as smooth as concrete. From a cost standpoint, I can't imagine a wood floor of any thickness being cheaper than concrete. Perhaps that is why 99.999% of garage floors are concrete . . . .

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Old 07-28-2010, 07:27 AM   #12
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Default Re: Wooden floor in garage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SUHRsc View Post
thanks guys....
still undecided... just talking out some ideas..

frank... do you remember how the boards were attached? or just jammed inbetween each other?
they'd just hammer the blocks in, i don't remember a bucket of adhesive or anything. i'd guess the subfloor was relatively level so they'd only "fall" so far.
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:58 AM   #13
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Default Re: Wooden floor in garage?

Thanks alot everyone... I guess the more I think about it... I might as well fnd a way to do cement
I will save the wood idea for another day....

thanks alot for all of the input, I really appreciate it
Zach
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Old 07-28-2010, 04:23 PM   #14
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Default Re: Wooden floor in garage?

All the old Ford manufacturing plants had a "wood block" floor in the machine shop.
It's real easy on the knees. If you do it right it's not a bad option and believe it or not, quite strong.
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Old 07-28-2010, 05:28 PM   #15
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Default Re: Wooden floor in garage?

Our code requires a nonabsorbent floor. If it is not attached to a dwelling unit, that is not required but some of the code people here have their heads in a dark place and argue for it anyway.
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Old 07-29-2010, 02:22 PM   #16
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Default Re: Wooden floor in garage?

One side of my garage used to be a store (think old service station) and it had a wood floor. One of the previous owners "oiled" the floor to preserve it. His preservative of choice was used motor oil.

Talk about a mess, every time you knelt down to work on something you would have a stain on your jeans. It would take some Shout or Simple Green in the laundry to get it out.
I tried sanding the floor, gummed up the sandpaper. I could scrape part of it off, but still it left some there. I would sweep up the saw dust across the floor and make a couple of passes trying to wear off the oil, but it still never came up. You could tell after 10 years that I was making progress, slowly. I finally ran across a deal on some PT 3/4" plywood and out with the old and in with the new.

This was the old floor, notice the darkness by the door. That's a low traffic area and still has a built of oil on the floor.



A comparision between the old and new.



Finished


Now I realize, the floor that you will be using won't be a regular framed floor but I wanted to advise you of the nastiness of a wood floor. it might work for some but I wouldn't recommend it. I'd suggest stoning the area and saving cash for a future concrete floor.
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