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  1. #1
    Bronze Member PandDLong's Avatar
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    I have had a pole shed for a few years and want to set aside some "shop" space at one end and put in a floor. It will just be for workbenches, tools, storage and me - about 12' X 24' (the shed is 42' X 24'). No welding or metal work, just woodworking and minor equipment repair.

    I'm leaning towards an insulated wood floor rather than cement as it is warmer and easier on the feet. For those who have done wood (or attempted) - how did you do it and what lessons can you share?

    A couple of specific questions I have are:

    1. Would you add a vapor barrier against the ground under the joists or between the flooring and joists/insulation (as you would do for a wall)?

    2. Plywood or dimension lumber for the flooring surface?

    3. Would you use joist hangers on the base of the outside walls or drop in separate support posts and run a floor support beam along the outside wall - essentially do you connect the floor to the shed walls/poles or allow it to be "independent"?

    4. Is this sounding too complex and too much work so I should just drop in a cement pad?


    Thanks for your wisdom.

  2. #2
    New Member
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    Mar 2004
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    JD5310 Ford947 JD5525 Farmall 400

    Default Re: Addiing a wood floor into a pole shed

    I built a house 16 years ago with a wood floor over dirt and it has been outstanding. with no cement pad it doesn't get that damp cold feeling you get from a basments. build it the same way you would if you were puting a second floor on a barn. Yes have vapor barrier on the dirt and if your going to heat the area insulate between the joists just like you would a wall. plywood would be my choice. I guess it just depends on what you want to drag across it. but if you built the shed you know enough on building to build a floor on dirt.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member mikim's Avatar
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    NH TC45

    Default Re: Addiing a wood floor into a pole shed

    I'd lay plastic barrier then lay down landscape timbers on 2" cement blocks, nice and level every 2' then nail 3/4 plywood to that -- simple & easy & keeps final floor height low -- guess you could lay insulation between the timbers -- don't need it here.
    Mike


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Addiing a wood floor into a pole shed

    Do it the way Mike said and it can be free floating. no need to attach it to the walls at all. i kept mine off the floor because I wanted air flow under the floor to keep frost mold and moisture under control. I live in alaska and it is wet and cold all the time and frost will go down 10 feet but you may not need that where you live. Free floating will be easy to take it out if you don't like it latter on. One thing to keep in mind, if you have a lot of mice around you just built them a nice home too.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Addiing a wood floor into a pole shed

    Don't use fiberglass insulation, if I were doing it I would use some high r sheathing, no chance of it holding moisture or critters. I would go as thick as I could afford to keep it warm.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member MacLawn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Addiing a wood floor into a pole shed

    I'd use treated 2x6s for the floor. I did this on an old camp house bathroom/shower floor and it is great! I just put some wood wax on it, no stain, paint, etc., and I love the strong feeling to it and knowing that I won't have rot. I also used treated joists. I'm a believer in treated wood!
    "He's pinned under an outcropping of rock. Lucky for him, the rock kept the dirt from burying him alive". Dirt, it's nothing but dirt, I tell ye...
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  7. #7
    Bronze Member PandDLong's Avatar
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    Default Re: Addiing a wood floor into a pole shed

    Quote Originally Posted by wjkrostek View Post
    I built a house 16 years ago with a wood floor over dirt and it has been outstanding. with no cement pad it doesn't get that damp cold feeling you get from a basments. build it the same way you would if you were puting a second floor on a barn......if you built the shed you know enough on building to build a floor on dirt.
    I was thinking the same way - build it as a regular floor with joists and insulation. Thanks for your confidence - but I did get professionals to build the shed - I'm just hoping I've learned enough in the intervening years to tackle a floor.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikim View Post
    I'd lay plastic barrier then lay down landscape timbers on 2" cement blocks, nice and level every 2' then nail 3/4 plywood to that -- simple & easy & keeps final floor height low -- guess you could lay insulation between the timbers -- don't need it here.
    Good idea on landscape timbers to act as the joisting - it does reduce the amount of digging I would need to do to make room for the floor. The challenge for me may be the 2" cement blocks given my frosty climate in Canada - although I've seen decks built without posts/piles driven below the frost line and just blocks on top - have to research how that works here.

    Quote Originally Posted by wjkrostek View Post
    Do it the way Mike said and it can be free floating. no need to attach it to the walls at all. i kept mine off the floor because I wanted air flow under the floor to keep frost mold and moisture under control. I live in alaska and it is wet and cold all the time and frost will go down 10 feet but you may not need that where you live. Free floating will be easy to take it out if you don't like it latter on. One thing to keep in mind, if you have a lot of mice around you just built them a nice home too.
    Okay - I'm definitely leaning to free-floating.

    I don't have frost down 10 feet but it does go down 4 feet. what supports did you use to keep the floor from heaving? Interesting reasons about leaving it open for air movement, I never thought of it that way, I was thinking it was best to keep it tightly sealed - that's why I ask questions...

    Sounds like I may have to increase the number of barn cats.

    Quote Originally Posted by davedj1 View Post
    Don't use fiberglass insulation, if I were doing it I would use some high r sheathing, no chance of it holding moisture or critters. I would go as thick as I could afford to keep it warm.
    I was thinking of sheathing under the joists/timbers but a fiberglass-type insulation between the joists. Sounds like I should rethink that part - perhaps just open air in the gap - with movement to keep it dry.

    Quote Originally Posted by MacLawn View Post
    I'd use treated 2x6s for the floor. I did this on an old camp house bathroom/shower floor and it is great! I just put some wood wax on it, no stain, paint, etc., and I love the strong feeling to it and knowing that I won't have rot. I also used treated joists. I'm a believer in treated wood!
    I like treated wood too for outside conditions - I'm sure I'll go with treated joists. I hadn't thought of it for the floor but I do find it more durable than regular dimension lumber. What do you see as the advantages of it over 3/4" plywood (which can also be treated)?


    Thanks for all of the suggestions and help. It will give me a much better finished product.

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