Thursday, March 26, 2009

Flooring help, please?

I have a flooring issue that I need to address and welcome any suggestions, thoughts, comments, etc. that you may have.

My workshop is in the basement. As a result, I generate a lot of sawdust and other debris. Presently, the basement is carpeted. Imagine the problems that this causes. It's a lot of work to vacuum all that debris out of the carpet.

My plan had been to simply remove the carpet. It was glued down over existing 12x12 vinyl flooring by the previous owner. The glue texture looks and feels awful - leaving it as-is is simply not an option. I tried scraping it off and while that helped with the texture, the dark yellow of the glue is too ugly for A. to tolerate. Given all that she puts up with, this is really saying something.

I'm looking for some way, any way, to cover the existing vinyl tile on the floor and provide a surface that will be durable and easy to sweep. Durability is important, as tools and lumber will accidentially fall off of work surfaces onto the floor.

One candidate I'm considering is Armstrong Excelong vinyl tile. It's available in a wide variety of colors, looks great, is durable, and is reasonably priced, at 69 cents a square foot. Installation is more complicated than many other floors, however. Further, since so many great colors are available, I'm highly inclined to make some really itneresting patterns, which will involve cutting the tile and the expenditure of far more time.

Another idea was to put an epoxy garage floor over the existing tile. However, this fails because the expoxy requires an extremely clean surface to bond - and I can't get the existing vinyl that clean.

A third idea was floating laminate floor. While this sounds nice, and would work well when the room eventually (twenty years hence) becomes the billiards room, I doubt it would be durable enough for the purposes of my workshop. Further, I imagine that sawdust would collect in the ridges.

Overall, we're talking about 650 square feet of flooring. I cannot remove everything in the space - there are some things, like workbench, which have been built into the space. Ideally, the solution would cost $1 or less a square foot. I welcome any solutions and ideas, no matter how bizarre.


Jennylou's Projects said...

That tile really isn't hard to install. My husband has done a number of floors in that and says it's really easy actually, especially if you have the special cutter (otherwise you have to heat the floor up to cut it I'm told?).

artemis said...

What's underneath the vinyl? Our basement workshop floor is just the concrete that we think was poured in the 1930s when they added plumbing to the workshop---it works beautifully since it's easy to mop and vacuum as needed. You can also seal concrete easily, though we've never bothered. Might be worth seeing how difficult it is to pull up the vinyl, and what's hiding underneath.

Christopher Busta-Peck said...

Jennylou, that's good to know. I'll just have to restrain myself from making any patterns in it that are too complicated. Also, I am still interested in the faucet. Could you email me? (


Underneath the vinyl is concrete. The problem with it is the same as that of the vinyl - there's a lot of glue residue to get rid of.

Kurt said...

If it's just a workshop get some cheap linoleum (sheet vinyl) scraps from craigslist and piece them together.

We have a friend who uses a room in our basement as a studio and that's what he did. Probably spent less than 100 bucks.

Shane and Casey said...

Throw some 1/2" sheets of plywood on top with some construction glue to hold it down? Easy enough to take up, cheap, and could take a beating.

Best I've got :)

Christopher Busta-Peck said...

Shane and Casey - I like that idea. Only I think that 1/2" ply might not be solid enough. Luan, on the other hand, is even cheaper, and I think hard enough to do the trick, if only I could get it to stay flat enough to glue. Thanks.

Len said...

I had this same problem. I rented a floor buffer with a somewhat abrasive wheel, and used some type of heavy duty floor cleaning solution I bought at Ace hardware. It's been eight years since I did this so don't recall all the details but I removed 95% of the glue. The floor cleaning solution really softened up the glue after soaking about an hour.