Friday, April 1, 2011

Shop Flooring - Light Or Dark?

This whole idea of setting smaller goals seems to be working! In the last week, I've installed my can lights, painted the ceiling (two coats, semi-gloss), replaced a few outlets that needed replacing, put all outlet and light switch covers back on, and installed two of five florescent lights (I'm currently using 5000 Kelvin color temperature bulbs for a natural daylight effect; it seems a little harsh, so I might change a few bulbs out with a lower color temperature to warm it up a little). I'll try to get some pictures up this weekend.

In order to complete my current goal list, I need to finish the lighting, paint the walls, and get the flooring down before May 1st.

Thinking ahead, I'll need to get flooring ordered within the week so I can let it acclimate to the basement before I install it. A life-long friend of mine, Ken, owns a carpet and tile store and is going to help me out with the flooring. I think he's partly interested in helping me because I'm going with a new product and he wants to see what it looks like when it is done. I might even be able to talk him into helping me install it for some beer and pizza... (good beer, of course).

Continuing a theme of an eco-friendly (and not echo-friendly, which would just get irritating after a while) workshop, which will be the subject of another post, I think I'm going to give cork flooring a try. He carries a new product of cork flooring that is Greenguard Certified and comes in 4" wide planks, like a hardwood floor might. That should make installation easier (I can crosscut with my power miter saw in the basement instead of on the table saw in the garage). And it should be a tool-friendly floor when the inevitable chisel rolls off the workbench.

So now here comes my question for you, the general woodworking community. Should I use lighter cork flooring, like the image on the left or darker cork flooring, like the image on the right, in a workshop?

I'm trying to consider more than just, "a dark wood floor will always look dirty", which is exactly the problem I have with my 1100 square feet of Santos Mahogany flooring on the main level (which happens to show drywall dust cat prints really well). It's a workshop; it will be dusty. That doesn't bother me. But I do want something that is inviting and pleasing to the eye, in addition to being comfortable to walk and work on.

Things to consider when responding:
  • The ceiling is semi-gloss off-white paint.
  • The walls will be semi-gloss off-white paint.
  • I plan on setting up a totally movable tool storage system involving a permanent French cleat around the entire shop with smaller 2'x4' storage boards I can move around as needed, so the white walls will hopefully be broken up quite a bit.
So please, give me your opinion. Is the floor in your workshop darker or lighter? What do you like/not like about that aspect of your floor? Would you put your flooring down again?

(And no, this isn't some shameless technique for getting people to comment on my blog. It is a
very shameful technique... but I also want to hear what you have to say.)


Ethan said...

No, seriously... I want to know what you think.

Anonymous said...

I like the darker color with all that white. Just my 2 cents....

Ethan said...

Your two cents is much appreciated, Pete.

My younger brother agrees with you, though he feels I should consider leaving the purple walls...

I think I'll paint the walls and probably go with the darker floor.

Scott said...

I'd go with the darker one. It would hide a bit of the dirt and dust in the shop. That would lead me to feel less guilt when I didn't clean it up when I should.

Guiltless workshop time is good.


JC said...

I say dark. Just because you can see dust, isn't a problem to me. It's when I know it is getting dirty, but don't know where to devote my cleaning time because the dust is blending in too well.

Ethan said...

Ah, too true, JC!

It's like having three cats and a whole condo of carpet. I guarantee you I didn't vacuum nearly as much as I should have because I didn't have a visual queue to do so.

Now that I have hardwood floors throughout the new house, I see the daily detritus the felines leave behind and I can't believe I lived in such filth in the condo.

I think dark is going to be the way to go, too.

Canis Dirus said...

well it seems dark is the unanimous choice! You spend quite a bit of time looking down, and it is easier on the eyes to focus on a light object above a dark background...

I think...

Post Tenebras, Lux
Dirus Canis
The Wolf and Moon™

Ethan said...

And a good thing, too, Canis! I have 320 sq. ft. of dark cork flooring sitting in my basement acclimating for 72 hours right now!

Unfortunately, I don't think I'm going to get it done before the weekend... it would be logistically impossible, so I'm not going to worry about it.

But it feels good to have white walls and a prepped floor (had to use a little bit of self-leveler in one corner that was designed to slope towards the center of the basement) and flooring just sitting there, waiting to be installed.

My friend Ken (the guy who sold me the product for a steal of a price) said it should be an easy install and I should have it done in about two or three hours.

Knowing how I work, I'll give myself five. :)

Flooring Shop Castle Hill said...

I like the dark color