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Problem concrete floor in Workshop.

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Benchwayze

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For too many years I have put up with a rough, dusty concrete floor in my shop. I was thinking of boarding it over, but concluded it's a bit too late now. It would mean removing machinery and possibly having to leave it outside under tarps overnight. Frankly, I am not up to the kneeling it would entail. Kind forum members have selflessly offered help, and that was appreciated. However, I have now decided to try painting the concrete with some kind of polymer or epoxy finish and using a long-handled roller. I can do this paint-job piecemeal, by moving machines to one side, without actually removing them from the shop. I can leave areas clear for a day or two to let it dry, before replacing machinery, and then painting another section.

I prefer a smoother surface, so I can move my machines around without ruining castors. I also plan to lay some 18mm thick rubber matting over the central aisle where I walk and work.

I have Googled for different finishes, and I have a few possibles. Has anyone any experience of painting concrete floors, and/or any recommendations for finishes? I

That's the plan at least. So, any ideas on suitable finishes gratefully received.
Thanks in anticipation. :D

Mods. if this isn't a woodwork subject please move it to an appropriate section? :D
 

paulm

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Interested in the replies also John, not so much for the workshop (although possibly), but also for the shed/woodstore which always seems excessively dusty. I may even just resort to a sealing approach using diluted pva just to seal the top surface, although I don't know if that is sensible or not ?

Cheers, Paul
 

MickCheese

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John

I did a garage floor a few years ago with concrete floor paint from Wickes. It didn't do too well, the concrete top surface lifted after a while in a few places then it got a bit damp and that made the paint flake.

I think my disaster was due in part to me not sealing the floor prior to painting.

Would you be able to use a self-levelling compound on your floor before painting? Maybe by making a dam across the center and doing it in two halves? I used it on a conservatory floor once and the results were very good, easy to lay too just mixed it in a muck bucket and pored it over the floor, set really hard and very level.

Just a thought.

Mick
 

Benchwayze

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Hi Paul,

I think PVA (Unibond) will be a good sealer, but whilst I don't want a slippery surface (Although the rubber mat would solve that problem) I do want one that wont wear the castors away too much. So PVA might be a good idea as a first coat. :)

Mick,

My shop is a garage. So the floor slopes towards the doors very slightly, but too much to use a self levelling compound. If I went that route, there would be a trip hazard right at the entrance. :cry:
 

RogerM

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I have exactly the same problem John with a very rough concrete floor which was very poorly leveled and smoothed out, and with no separate screed laid over the top. There are loads of potholes to catch the castors on my movable kit. Like you, I have a garage full of kit and timber and nowhere to put it whilst the floor is sorted.

What I may do is temporarily shift everything to one side of the garage, screw a batten down the centre and then lay a new screed on the cleared side. Then shift everything back again and do the second half. However, not sure how expensive this would be given that I'm not sure that I have the skills to lay a good screed. Possibly use a self leveling compound? Or lay an 18mm plywood floor?

Whatever you end up doing I'll be interested in how you go about it.
 

Benchwayze

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Whoever laid my garage floor thought it funny to put a child's shoe on the end of a stick and plonk it down right in the centre of the floor. So I have that to fill in. Otherwise it isn't so bad. Just continually raising dust and is impossible to sweep clear. The foot print I shall fill with resin, and probably paint it a different colour, so it remains visible but not an actual impression any more! 8)
 

jasonB

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My own workshop is screeded and the Dulux Trade floor paint has held up well, not even worn through on the heavily trafficed areas over 14yrs.

I have also used epoxy paints and fillers on a number of work relaqted jobs and always use the products from WATCO. They do various viscositys some of which will self level on a rough concrete floor and others that are more suited to a smooth substrate, I have even used their epoxys to take the fall out of an MOT test station floor and had to go from 0 to 30mm with that.

http://www.watco.co.uk/

J
 

beech1948

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A problem I forsee is that before you can apply the paint you will need to clean off all the accumulated gunk and dust etc from the floor or the paint will fail to stick.

Usually this done with a weak acid mixture which causes the concrete to fizz slightly and then washed off.

Given you have a restriction on where you can move your kit to how will you achieve this.

Al
 

pip1954

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hi all
i am i the middle of doing my workshop floor, i have sealed the concrete with concrete sealer from wickes left it to dry then used a polymer (self leveling resin) again from wickes if you trowel spread a thin layer then go straight over with a heavy poured layer it will self level goes rock hard, like you my floor was a tamp finish (rough) so using the leveler the trowel rides on the high spots and fills the low spots, i bought a axminster extractor and was having trouble pulling it about on the small casters now it's fine
just need to paint the floor "where's my son"
all the best pip
 

Benchwayze

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Looks like an impossible job for me then.

There's no way I can work fast enough to do it in a day, and I can't bend to trowel anything. I was hoping to do this job with a long-handled roller and some kind of paint. Even them I have to move machinery around, which is going to mean leaving the stuff outside if I want to do it in one go.

This is too risky. I guess I'll just cover the aisle in rubber matting. This I can roll up when I need to move a machine across the shop. Just carry on as ever, damping the floor when I sweep it.

Thanks anyway folks. It was a dream that won't turn into reality I fear! :(

:)
 

Trevsf1

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You can only realistically epoxy a garage floor if there is not damp. If there is the epoxy will lift. Prior to rolling on the epoxy you must acid etch the floor to provide adhesion. If the floor has been previously treated then this must be removed.
I recently returned from the US after living in California and even there the epoxy lifted due to damp as most garage floors were not damp proofed.#
 

Phil Pascoe

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I went the p.v.a. route; it is partially successful, mainly I suspect because the floor was tamped concrete and it was new, so quite rough. I think that if it were done again now that it has worn smoother, it would be more successful.
Maybe it's worth trying a patch- just do a square yard or two two or three times over a week, and see how it wears over a few months.
 

Benchwayze

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My garage is partially integral with the house and the floor is below the DPC level of the main building. I don't know if there is a DPM under the concrete, but it is never damp. Also, because of a south facing metal door, the humidity is extremely low inside. I just never have a problem with rust at all, and I because of this, I think any coating I put on the floor would be fine from the damp point of view.

The general composition of the soil in my area is sand/gravel, which of course is extremely free draining. Historically, such land was considered good enough to build on without under-floor damp-proofing. (So I was told) My house was built in 1971, so it's not old enough to have no DPM. As there's no sign of damp in the garage, I suspect there is a DPM under the floor. I will try the patch under my Mitre-saw bench and see how we get on. But I think the work involved might defeat me. But we will see.

Thanks for all the advice. It's appreciated.
Thanks again :D
 

davem62

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Hi john
i would seal the floor with concrete sealer from 1 of the diy suppliers and paint the floor.
I work in a large production plant and we have a painted floor which stands up reasonably well,to say the fitting staff are using pallet trucks and tool chests over it and there is always some dust on the floor which contains glass particles ,even though we try to be as clean as we can.But in saying that, at our work stations the paint does wear through,although not too bad for a 24/7 running factory. So they have done some test areas using a different type of paint, and these areas are still very good. If you want i will try and find out the brand and type of paint used in these areas and see if its of any use to you.

hth dave
 

tomatwark

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Hi John

I put this stuff down in my workshop about 4 years ago.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Best-Step-Int ... _500wt_949

I am in here 8+ hours a day and it has worn really well, has been taken up and moved around as I have adjusted the layout.

You can buy it in larger amounts on ebay.

It has made a real difference to my back and feet at the end of the day.

You could lay it around your machines.

Tom
 

beech1948

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Benchwayze,
having followed this thread it seems to me that maybe maybe maybe there is a way to get the finish you want.

Much of what has been said about painting the floor has revolved around the issue of getting up all of the dust and gunk and the use of an acid etch. Maybe a visit or two to Wickes etc etc or a chat with a painted might reveal a way to paint without needing to do the acid etch. O have been hearing about some new epoxy based paints which may not need this prep but I have no direct knowledge or experience to back this up.

Maybe a solution is to use your woodwork skills to make up some floor panels from ply or mdf with a minimal under mounted wood support frame. Then you may lose an inch or two in height but be able to create a set of panels say 4x2ft or 4x4ft or what have you to lay down as a floor and then keep going steadily until done. I really like wood floors in my shop, also a garage, that I laid about 3 yrs ago using 1x4 as the under frame to 8x4x1" ply panels from a building site. It has worked well, stayed level and is much more smooth than the concrete floor underneath. It also solves the problem of castors wearing on uneven concrete as well as being much better to stand on.

I had a spot in the garage where it was difficult to run a cable to but I managed to run it under the wooden floor in a steel conduit...took a bit of planning and measuring.

You might need to make these to a size to suit you. You might even consider a way to lock them together eg a halving joint around the edges and a few screws. OR just screw into the concrete.

Hope this idea helps.

regards
Alan
 

beech1948

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Benchwayze,
having followed this thread it seems to me that maybe maybe maybe there is a way to get the finish you want.

Much of what has been said about painting the floor has revolved around the issue of getting up all of the dust and gunk and the use of an acid etch. Maybe a visit or two to Wickes etc etc or a chat with a painted might reveal a way to paint without needing to do the acid etch. O have been hearing about some new epoxy based paints which may not need this prep but I have no direct knowledge or experience to back this up.

Maybe a solution is to use your woodwork skills to make up some floor panels from ply or mdf with a minimal under mounted wood support frame. Then you may lose an inch or two in height but be able to create a set of panels say 4x2ft or 4x4ft or what have you to lay down as a floor and then keep going steadily until done. I really like wood floors in my shop, also a garage, that I laid about 3 yrs ago using 1x4 as the under frame to 8x4x1" ply panels from a building site. It has worked well, stayed level and is much more smooth than the concrete floor underneath. It also solves the problem of castors wearing on uneven concrete as well as being much better to stand on.

I had a spot in the garage where it was difficult to run a cable to but I managed to run it under the wooden floor in a steel conduit...took a bit of planning and measuring.

You might need to make these to a size to suit you. You might even consider a way to lock them together eg a halving joint around the edges and a few screws. OR just screw into the concrete.

Hope this idea helps.

regards
Alan
 

jss

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I don't think PVA is a good idea - it is incompatible with concrete and will break down over time (concrete is alkaline - PVA is normally used on plaster which isn't alkaline). But that doesn't stop half the builders in the country slapping it on by the bucketful in every situation.

Cheers,
John.
 

Benchwayze

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Hi Folks,

Thanks to all for the helpful suggestiopns and the information.

I think Beech has provided the answer for my particular situation,.
I can make smaller 'tiles' out of 18mm WPB ply, on substrates of 2x2 making a grid of small areas, to help spread the load of the heavier machines.

I can get this plywood for less that £30.00 a sheet at my local supplier, (ready cut too) so making these 'tiles' piecemeal will spread the cost. These tiles can be made on a knock-down bench outside , so that eliminates a lot of the bending and kneeling.

(I could also use OSB I suppose, but that I would paint, to cover up the random 'shavings' look of it.)

So that's the route I am taking. Laying smaller panels as I go. Four sheets plus a few offcuts will suffice for my small shop, and some of that interlocking rubber on top, movable so I can place it where I stand at the various work stations.

Thanks again folks. It's much appreciated.
UKW to the rescue again! :D
 

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