Flooring question

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by DeckRoid, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. DeckRoid

    DeckRoid Member

    Hi all

    We just purchased some land, and in a year/year and a half, we are going to be building a house with a separated garage. Said garage is going to have a full second story, to be a train room for me. I couldn't believe my ears when my wife said that. I thought she wanted a guest room kind of thing. Who knew?

    Anyway, we are talking to a builder and his architect in June about what we want, just to get the plans started. Apparently, it takes this long if you custom build a home. I thought we just say "Farm House" and then after 6 months, move in. Oh, how wrong I was.

    Right now, I have a combo concrete floor with a carpet remnant as the flooring in my garage that I put my bench work on. Is there a better floor to use? Should I put something like linoleum or industrial carpet in the train room?

    Any advice? I know what an issue carpet can be, I recently had some fun removing 2 day old plaster of paris.


    p.s. - I have been told to put something as soon as possible, to keep it from becoming a train room/play room/storage/whatever else the "site supervisor" decides. I was thinking that I would build some legs as the garage takes shape, that way, when the house is still being finished, I can get a frame work up... lol...
  2. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Hi! I don't know your exact plans, age or "rhumatiz" status - it does mater! - but a lot depends on what you plan to be doing and how messy you might be at it.

    Sheet flooring - linoleum, etc - is a good, relatively inexpensive option that is easy to maintain and keep clean.

    If hard flooring makes you hurt after standing ahwile - your "rhumatiz" factor :mrgreen: - then industrial carpet with some padding might be a better choice, and warmer, too. however, depending on what spills, dripping solder, etc., this can get messed up and usually needs to be vacuumed, a hateful word when small missing parts are at locations unknown.

    A third option is vinyl floor tile, available in a wide variety of colors and style - probably not your favorite logo! - is easy to install, and the 1 ft squares can be replaced easily if one gets ruined. (Always a good idea to buy a few spares as styles, colors, etc. do change or become discontinued.)

    One important word of advice, if I may - make sure the ceiling of your garage - the floor of your modeling center - is fully insulated and be sure you have the electrical requirements taken care of. It's harder to do afterwards, believe me. :cool:

    Good luck with your new home. It sounds great. (Wait until your wife hits you up about all the kitchen options and upgrades!)


    edited later becuz forum cain't spel no beter then I culd. :mrgreen:
  3. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    My vote goes for the tight industrial carpet padded. The use a Lanoliam square to work over.
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    We wanted the look of hardwood in our new dining room, but couldn't afford the "real thing." We got a "click lock" laminate floating floor that looks like wood. The sub-floor was leveled up, a 30 mil sheet of plastic put down as a moisture barrier, and then a layer of foam material about 1/8 inch thick. The flooring was installed over the foam. It is extremely comfortable to walk on since the foam makes it give slightly. The surface is easy to clean, and it looks good. We got a flooring from Ikea called "Tundra" but I think any of the floating floor products would be similar.
  5. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Given my incredible level of manual dexterity - :rolleyes: - I think my greatest concern would be how the flooring stood up to abuse.
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    The composite flooring I have is impregnated with aluminum oxide, and has a 25 year wear warranty.
  7. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    Composite is getting better. But stuff I installed before embarrasses me greatly.
  8. DeckRoid

    DeckRoid Member

    Boy howdy, Mountain Man, you put a spotlight on something I had not considered. How does it stand up... If it weren't for my 2 feet, I think I would dropped every tool, including my exacto and box knives, on the floor. (Side story, I had just replaced the blade in my box knife, turned around and it dropped right inbetween my big toe and his next door neighbor. Went right thru my Merells.)

    I have seen some of the Ikea stuff and they have their flooring in the show room with x amount of hundreds of thousands walking across it daily/yearly... I was thinking of something like the faux wood/cushy stuff.


    p.s. And, yes, my wife has already started on the kitchen cupboard handles and farm house sinks w/ aprons and what door knobs do I think we should have... she didn't like my suggestion of getting handles that look like brake wheels or a cargo style handles for the front door.
  9. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    My train room has a tight weave berber carpet with a 1/4" water resisant underlay. I just have to remeber to spread a tarp on the floor before I do any scenery. The floor is very comfortable to walk and stand on the even when I did spill a bit of plaster on it I just waited for it to set up and broke up the dried spill with my hand, then the shop vac took care of it before my wife got home and saw what I had done.
    On the other hand my workshop had industrial acrylic tile so that spills and other messes can be cleaned up easily.
  10. radar

    radar Member


    I've got the laminate wood floor the snap and lock kind. I like it easy to clean ,tough,looks good,
  11. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    From a different point of view regarding abuse. I have had ceramic tile and "stone" floors in kitchens. Never, ever, again. They break absolutely everything that is dropped on them, including the unbreakable plastic bottles. Baby food jars, which are pretty tough to break when dropped, never stood a chance, and resulted in more clean-ups than I care to repeat.

    Carpet - cheapest, quite comfortable, shortest-lived, easiest to ruin with spills and drops. Benchwork on legs is not very kind to carpet, and leveling can be a problem.

    Hardwood - longest lived (refinish every so often), most expensive, spills and drops have to be cleaned up immediately. Supports benchwork legs very nicely.

    All the others are in between.

    my thoughts, your choices
  12. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Lots of good suggestions here. The advice to insulate the garage-side of the floor is an important one, as any floor that's cold in the winter will be uncomfortable to stand on. Insulate the entire area - it'll pay for itself in the long run. If you specify plywood, rather than OSB, for your subfloor, I'd leave the floor unfinished until all of the major construction is done - benchwork, roadbed, track, and basic scenery landforms. All of these steps constitute "construction", and as such, equal "mess". Any finished floor, no matter how durable, will not likely look too good by the time that work is done.
    My layout is in the basement, with an unfinished concrete floor. The benchwork supports were all constructed of dimensional lumber (deliberately "left over" from the house construction);) with plywood shelves beneath. This area is very useful for storage of items that are not needed on a regular basis. The shot below shows mostly scenery-related stuff, but most of us (wives too) are packrats.

    I also put some actual shelves under my staging yard area - this is a handy place to keep all those excess cars that won't all fit on the layout at one time.

    Currently, I use sheets of cardboard to hide most of the clutter, but the plan is for a Masonite skirting covering the supports from the bottom shelf to the floor (similar to the facia along the edge of the layout), then sliding Masonite panels to hide the mess, yet leave it easily accessible. Then, I hope to have some commercial-grade carpeting installed in the aisleways.

  13. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    Doc, Maybe I could suggest cow mats for your walkways. They are easy to get and will cushin your feet as well as easy to clean.
  14. DeckRoid

    DeckRoid Member

    So a friend of ours is building a house with a detached garage. He had them dig out where the garage was going, and put his shop into the garage's basement. The floor of the garage, is a honey-combed pre-fabbed cement that was actually cheaper than pouring it on site. You give the specs, they deliver it. After talking with Rich, our friend, it got me to thinking that might not be such a bad way to go, seeing as how we have a hill that we are building on. The shop is mostly done, as they built the garage first, to put stuff in and I think because Rich told 'em to.

    Put in a false ceiling with daylight florescents and call it a day. (haha, no pun intended. Well, not THAT intended.) Of course, this is all pending approval of the "site supervisor",.

  15. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

  16. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Hi...Apart from the practical issues mentioned (looks, comfort, durability, etc..) take into account "creature comforts" (necessities, really), like a small bathroom, and a utility sink of sorts....You don't want to be wandering back & forth between garage & house, particularly if the weather is nasty, as this will only discourage you from going out there in the first place.

    Good luck and keep us posted..!!
  17. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Another flooring choice to consider is to use a solid surface type flooring (hardwood, composite click joint, linoleum, etc.) then get area rugs to soften the floor. You can get long narrow area rugs designed for hallways, and put them down for a softer surface to stand and walk on. They are much less expensive than carpet, and don't require professional installation. When they wear out or if they become soiled beyond cleaning possibilities, they can be replaced for a reasonable cost. I think we lived with wall to wall carpet in our house for at least 10 years after we should have replaced it. We found hardwood under the carpet and took up the carpet and refinished the hardwood. We then bought an area rug for the living room that is about a 6 x 9. It cost less than $120.00, and when it gets too badly worn or soiled, we'll spend another $120.00 for another one. The price on a 3 foot wide hall runner in an area rug will probably about $60.00, maybe less.
  18. santafewillie

    santafewillie Member

    To further the point Russ made; with small area rugs, they can be rolled up and stashed while scenery or other messy construction is taking place,
  19. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    In my train room I have a linoleum floor with a soft, felt-like underside installed. It is much easier and softer to walk on than on the bare concrete floor. (You realize it when you have problems with your back!:rolleyes:) The surface is easy to clean, small parts dropped are easy to find (well, sometimes :mrgreen:!), and something dropped does'nt disintegrate into a shower of splinters...

    I'd like to second Gus (steamhead): Don't forget to have at least a sink installed somewhere in your train room. When you get around to build scenery, an easily accessible source for water is almost a must. And of course it is also convenient for other things - from thinning acrylic paint (e.g. when painting structures) to quenching your thirst.
    Important: The pipe diameter of the syphon of this sink should be as wide as possible, so that it won't be already clogged by a little bit of plaster going down the drain...

    Lots of luck for constructing your own home! :thumb:

  20. DeckRoid

    DeckRoid Member

    We are going to plumb the garage, with a sink at the very least. If I can swing it, I will put in a sink and stool for the train room. And I think I like the carpet squares... they can be replaced easily and cheaply... comparatively.

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