You’ve spent a great deal of time, money and effort designing and building the perfect shed for your storage needs. Now you want to add shed flooring that will be both attractive and functional. You want it to feel strong and stable.
You want it to take the punishment it is bound to endure. And you want it to do all this while maintaining an attractive appearance. Those are a lot of demands for flooring material. So, what are your shed flooring options, and, of course, how much is this going to cost you? Let’s take a look at what’s out there.
- What is Shed Flooring and Why Do You Need It?
- Most Popular Storage Shed Floor Options
- What to Consider Before Choosing Shed Floor Covering
- Shed Flooring Ideas and Options
- Floor Covering Options for Concrete Pad and Pavers
- 1. Epoxy Floor Coating
- 2. Concrete Paint
- 3. Concrete Sealer
- 4. Timber Tongue and Grooved Planks
- 5. Oriented Strand Board (OSB)
- 6. Pressure-Treated Plywood
- Wood Shed Floor Protection
- 7. Wood Shed Floor Protection Paint
- 8. Wood Stain and Sealer
- Other Shed Floor Covering Ideas
- 9. Peel-and-Stick Vinyl Tiles
- 10. Roll-Out Vinyl Flooring
- 11. Rubber Mat
- 12. Cork Floor Covering
- 13. Interlocking Tiles
- 14. Old Carpet
What is Shed Flooring and Why Do You Need It?
The answer to this question may seem obvious. You need a shed floor so you have a stable surface to walk on. You also need it to store the tools, lawn mower and various other items you plan to keep in the shed.
From that point of view, shed floors can be very utilitarian. As long as you have a strong surface that will support you and your tools, your shed is functional.
But for most people, we want something more. You might have built the shed as a workspace for you or your wife. You plan on spending significant amounts of time in there, so you want the space to be warm and inviting.
You want it to be comfortable. The type of flooring you choose has a big impact on that.
Or maybe you plan on storing heavy equipment in your shed like a snowblower, motorcycle or even a small car. Then you need that floor to be durable.
You want it to be strong enough to carry heavy loads. You want it to resist staining from the fluids that will inevitably leak onto it.
With these factors in mind, let’s look at the options you have for flooring materials.
Most Popular Storage Shed Floor Options
The most durable of shed floors, concrete floor will hold up against just about anything you throw at it. With concrete, you don’t need to worry about water damage, wood-eating bugs or rot. And of all the options out there, it requires the least maintenance. That said, it has its downsides.
There’s a reason we don’t have concrete floors in our homes. It’s not very attractive or welcoming. Concrete is also, well, hard.
If you plan on spending a significant amount of time standing and working in your shed, then concrete will take a toll on your feet. It also becomes very cold during the winter months, which creates another comfort issue. And because it is porous, unsealed concrete will also stain fairly easily.
Pressure-treated plywood gets you off the cold ground and is more forgiving on your feet and knees as, unlike concrete, it will give when you walk on it. Of course, it has its downsides. Plywood is a more attractive floor covering than concrete, but it still won’t give you a finished look.
It is also prone to rot (even pressure-treated wood will succumb to the elements over time) and wear and tear. If you plan on dragging or driving heavy equipment across your shed floor, then a plywood floor will get chipped and gouged, requiring repair or eventual replacement.
Wood Tongue and Groove Planks
Tongue and groove wood planks can be a great option for flooring your shed. Timbers are strong, more forgiving on your feet, and much more attractive than plywood or concrete. That said, they do have similar downsides to plywood. The timbers will rot and can attract wood-destroying insects.
Planks can also warp when exposed to water, and while your shed floor is protected from the elements, it isn’t waterproof. A door left carelessly open, wet equipment, and your muddy shoes will expose your floor to water resulting in rotting, staining and warping.
And, like plywood, planks can be easily scarred by heavy objects being dragged or rolled across them. Wood planks are also subject to staining from spilled fluids or water damage.
Many plastic sheds are designed with plastic floors. Plastic has some great advantages. It is impervious to water damage and will resist staining better than wood or concrete. While plastic certainly has its advantages, it is not a good choice if you plan on storing heavy equipment in your shed.
A plastic floor may not provide adequate support for such items as riding lawn mowers. You don’t want to risk breaking through the floor of your shed. And like wood, plastic is also susceptible to gouging from heavy equipment.
Pavers offer a more aesthetically pleasing look than concrete slab with similar strength qualities. Certainly, a shed with pavers will be more inviting than plain concrete. But, like concrete, pavers are cold, and they are hard and unforgiving on your feet and knees.
They can also be prone to sinking or migrating out of place if not properly installed, especially if you plan on moving heavy equipment across the floor. They are also more easily damaged than concrete. Expect chips, cracks and stains if you are hard on a paver floor.
Oriented Strand Board (OSB)
OSB is your standard flooring. It’s cheap. It’s strong. It’s most likely what’s used as a subfloor in your home. But there’s a reason you can’t see it when you walk through your front door. It’s also ugly.
If you’re looking for strong flooring that will be forgiving on your feet, OSB is a great choice. If you’re looking to improve on the aesthetics of your shed, look elsewhere.
And while OSB is great for weather-tight homes, it may not be such a great choice for a shed floor, which can be exposed to rain, spilled and leaked fluids and wet equipment. Like plywood, OSB can eventually break down and rot.
What to Consider Before Choosing Shed Floor Covering
It’s hard to overstate the importance of durability. A shed floor is a workspace, so it is more than likely going to take a beating. You’re going to roll heavy equipment over it.
It will be exposed to water and chemicals. Things will be dropped on it and dragged over it. It will face blistering heat and sub-freezing temperatures. So, how do the floor covering options that are out there measure up to these threats?
Linoleum and vinyl repel water and resist scratches, dents and scuffs amid an endless amount of foot traffic. It’s not indestructible though. It can be damaged if you plan on dragging heavy equipment over it. Epoxy will defend your floor from moisture, stains, gouges and cracks.
Rubber mats designed for garage use are also another option. Dropping heavy items on a heavy rubber floor mat won’t damage it. It will also protect the floor beneath.
Wood floor coverings such as OSB and plywood may be the most common type of shed flooring. Wood is tough but is also susceptible to a variety of issues that can compromise its durability including water damage, rot and wood-eating bugs.
Since you will likely be installing this floor yourself, make sure that the material you choose is something you feel comfortable working with. There’s nothing worse than spending time and money on a DIY project that is over your head and yields poor results.
Review the installation guidelines to determine how difficult the process is. You’ll also need to consider what’s appropriate for the subfloor you have. Some floor covering options are designed for concrete pads, while others are for wood subfloors.
Different flooring materials each come with different challenges. The epoxy may be very durable, but the installation is complicated, making it hard for a DIYer to install correctly. Stains and sealers, in comparison, are a much easier DIY job.
Linoleum tile is also a fairly simple install but will require the use of a latex adhesive, which can be messy. Tongue and groove wood planks are not complicated to install but can be time-consuming. Installing plywood or OSB is fairly straightforward but may require an extra set of hands due to the weight of the material.
Of the many different kinds of flooring options for sheds, some are better at staying put than others. When you put the flooring down, you want to make sure it stays down regardless of what gets thrown at it.
Whether you decide on paint, epoxy coating, tongue in groove planks, OSB or some other material, consider how well the floor covering will adhere to your subflooring.
This is especially important if you are adding flooring to an existing shed that may have already been subject to wear and tear. Whatever the case, you’ll want to make sure the subfloor is well-prepped to adhere to the material you plan on putting over it.
Ever wonder why road construction only happens in the summer? It has to do with curing. Asphalt won’t cure, which means properly harden, in cold months. The same goes for many flooring products.
This includes many floor coatings and sealers for concrete as well as some wood floor products. Oftentimes curing is dependent on temperature. As such, some products can only be installed during certain seasons, depending on where you live.
As your shed is more than likely not climate controlled, you’ll need to keep this in mind when deciding on what flooring to use and when to install it.
This almost goes without saying, but you’ll want to consider how much this is going to cost you. Products like OSB will be much cheaper than the fancier tongue and groove flooring.
Treatments for concrete slabs vary in price as well. You’ll want to calculate the cost of your options and consider how much you’re willing to pay to upgrade your shed floor.
Shed Flooring Ideas and Options
Options for shed flooring vary greatly in cost, function and look. When deciding which is best for your shed, it is important to consider what flooring will work with the shed floor you have, the look you want, and how your shed will be used.
Floor Covering Options for Concrete Pad and Pavers
1. Epoxy Floor CoatingClean, attractive and extremely durable. What’s not to like about an epoxy coating? If you’re looking for that great look that epoxy offers, then look no further than Rust-Oleum Epoxy Shield. This product offers an affordable epoxy kit that most DIYers should be able to handle.
Epoxy Shield is designed to protect your floor from water and chemicals as well as wear and tear from vehicles, feet, tools and lawn equipment. It will also help to beautify your shed. This product comes in four different color options, including “Dary Gray,” “Dunes Sand,” “Silver/Gray,” and “Tile Red.”
Installation and quality is always a concern when it comes to epoxy, but this product wins out. It features detailed, easy-to-follow instructions that yield impressive results and great adhesion properties that ensure it will last for many years. This is also one of the more affordable options out there, with each kit rated to cover 200 square feet, enough to cover most shed floors.
If you’re looking for an attractive and extremely durable floor covering option for your shed’s concrete floor and you aren’t afraid of a little challenge when it comes to installation, then this is a great option for you.
2. Concrete PaintYou may balk at first when you see the price of a gallon of this specialty concrete paint from Rust Bullet Concrete Paint (how could a gallon of paint cost so much?) but bear with us for a moment here. When it comes to applying a coating to your concrete floor, you want something that holds up, looks good and goes on easy.
In that sense, Rust Bullet’s DuraGrade Concrete paint is worth every penny. This paint is designed to take a beating.
It’s scratch, chip, chemical and UV resistant and works on a variety of masonry surfaces, including concrete. It comes in 18 different colors and has a beautiful glossy finish that is sure to brighten up any dark shed.
Best of all, installation is a breeze compared to other more complicated processes. It gives you similar results to epoxy without the complicated installation process. There is little surface prep required and no need for primer, basecoats, topcoats or two-part mixes.
That alone makes it worth its price tag. A gallon of Rust Bullett, which covers about 300 square feet, should handle most shed floors.
3. Concrete SealerKilz is well known for its line of paint primers. The company has been making them for 40 years. But did you know this company also makes great concrete sealers?
If you’re on a tight budget and looking for an affordable option for your shed’s concrete floor, then you might want to consider KILZ Concrete Sealer, brick and tile liquid masonry sealer. While this product won’t bring color to a floor, it will seal and protect it from water damage and staining.
And depending on the finish you choose, it will also give a drab floor an attractive shine. Installation is relatively easy and can be completed with a sprayer, roller, brush or applicator. Drying times for this product are quick.
The sealer dries in an hour and is ready for a second coat in four hours. A gallon of KILZ concrete sealer will cover up to 400 square feet depending on the texture of the surface, making it one of the cheaper floor covering options for your shed.
4. Timber Tongue and Grooved Planks
Unlike most of the shed flooring ideas you’ll find on this list, this is one that you can find inside people’s homes. People love plank flooring. The finished look it offers is beautiful.
And while the tongue and groove flooring you use in a shed might have a rougher and more rustic finish than what you would find inside a home, it still offers that same classic look. Tongue and groove planks will bring a warm and inviting feel to your shed.
That’s not to say they are for every shed. Installation is more complicated and takes longer. These floors are often assembled using glue, which can be messy. Use too little glue to minimize mess and your floor may begin to come apart later.
Planks can also be difficult to replace if damaged. If you plan on using this shed as a hardcore workspace, count on this style of floor getting damaged at some point, especially if you plan on storing heavy yard equipment inside.
Wood planks, like all wood products, are susceptible to water damage and bug damage.
Although one of the more attractive options out there, timber tongue and groove is also one of the pricier ones, so plan on spending more for this option.
5. Oriented Strand Board (OSB)
The most budget-friendly option, OSB offers a sturdy and durable floor surface. Although OSB has similar qualities to plywood, it is thicker, denser and structurally more consistent, making it stronger than plywood.
OSB will also absorb less moisture, meaning it is less prone to mold and rot. And whereas the layers of plywood are prone to coming apart once exposed to moisture, OSB is less prone to breaking down when wet.
OSB’s durability and strength coupled with its low price, are the main reasons why it is the most common subfloor used in new homes.
There are some downsides to this material, though. If you are interested in aesthetics, OSB isn’t going to impress you. Your shed floor will look like…well…a shed floor. Don’t expect it to be an inviting space. You can’t even paint OSB to improve the look.
There are also some environmental concerns. This product does contain formaldehyde. Some research shows that OSB can release harmful gases from this chemical, which is a concern in a small space such as a shed. And although OSB is less water-absorbent, water can cause the ends to swell.
6. Pressure-Treated Plywood
The knock-on plywood is that is can take longer to dry out if it gets wet, meaning that there is more time for the moisture to compromise the glue that holds the layers of wood together. Once that glue fails, the plywood will start to come apart layer by layer.
This issue is solved by using pressure treated plywood, which, like all pressure-treated wood, is designed to withstand an assault from water. These treated boards will also resist rot and insect damage.
Pressure-treated plywood also offers some design options. It can be stained or painted to fit the design of your shed. Although pressure-treated plywood does improve its durability against moisture, it is still susceptible to gouges and damage from wear and tear. Keep that in mind if you plan to store heavy tools and equipment in your shed.
Wood Shed Floor Protection
7. Wood Shed Floor Protection PaintIf you’re looking for an easy and inexpensive option for your wood shed floor that offers protection and an attractive look, then you might consider Kilz Interior/Exterior Enamel Porch and Patio Latex Floor paint. I know what you’re thinking. How well is paint going to hold up on my shed floor?
While paint may never be as durable as some of the options on this list, this product is a lot tougher than you think. Kilz’s floor paint is designed to resist scuffing, fading, peeling and cracking.
The paint’s finish is also formulated to prevent mildew. And installation is easy. The paint goes on with standard rollers, dries to the touch within an hour and is ready for a second coat in four hours.
If you plan on going this route, consider using white. It provides a clean look and will brighten any shed. It’s also a great option for the entire interior of your shed. Check out my article about painting the inside of a shed here: https://plasticinehouse.com/should-i-paint-inside-my-shed/.
If you do decide to paint the shed’s floor, remember that there’s never a better time to paint than right after you’ve finished building the shed and the floor is still clean and empty.
8. Wood Stain and SealerStain on a wood floor is a classic look that other floor coating options can’t match. There truly is nothing like the look of stained wood. Ready Seal Wood Stain gives you that look with six different color options ranging from “burnt hickory” to “natural cedar.”
In addition to beautifying your shed floor, this product will also protect it. Ready Seal is designed for decks, so it is formulated to resist sun, water and mildew damage.
Installation can be completed in a few short hours as Ready Seal stains and seals wood floors in one easy step. It can be applied in any temperature range with a brush, applicator or sprayer. Ready Seal also resists laps, runs and streaks, making the install foolproof.
This stain can be applied to plywood floors. And, with a little sanding, it can also have a dramatic impact on your shed’s OSB floor.
Other Shed Floor Covering Ideas
9. Peel-and-Stick Vinyl TilesWant a super-easy flooring installation that will class up that dark shed? Then look no further than Achim Furnsihing’s peel-and-stick floor tiles. These floor tiles, which come in a wide variety of high gloss finished patterns, are as easy to install as they sound.
Peel the backing off of the bottom side of each tile, lay it in place on the floor, apply some pressure, and voila! You have new flooring.
It is this easy. No messy glue or adhesives required. And while you might think these tiles will come up, the strong adhesive applied to the back of each tile is designed to create a very strong bond with the subfloor.
Just make sure the tile is exactly where you want to be before you stick it in place. And if you want to make extra sure it stays put, throw a few staples in it with a staple gun.
These tiles will resist liquids and won’t stain like wood floors. They also make clean-up of spills a breeze. Achim’s tiles come with a 5-year-warranty.
10. Roll-Out Vinyl FlooringLooking for an easy-to-install option that will keep the stains off your wood floors. Consider IncStores Roll Out Vinyl Flooring. As this product’s very long and detailed name suggests, this is a vinyl mat that rolls out onto the floor.
While vinyl may be susceptible to gouges from heavy machinery, it will resist all sorts of spills making this a great floor covering option if you plan on using the sheds to working on engines.
Install takes mere minutes, although some cutting may be required for a good fit. IncStores’ mats come in standard widths of 7.5’ with lengths of 17’, 20’ and 25’. Color options for these mats include black and grey in a diamond or coin pattern.
11. Rubber MatInstalls in minutes, is durable, will protect your floor and won’t break the bank. These are the advantages that rubber mats offer for your shed flooring. While rubber flooring may not do much to improve the looks of your shed, it does fulfill its functional needs.
Rubber flooring like the Rubber-Cal Tuff-N-Lastic Rubber Flooring Runners will protect your floor from scuffs, scratches and fluid spills while also providing a safe non-slip surface.
Rubber-Cal’s product comes in 1/8-inch thick 48-inch wide rolls. Installation is as simple as rolling out the flooring and laying it into place. Some cutting may be required depending on your space. Use roofing nails or a staple gun to keep the rubber firmly in place.
12. Cork Floor CoveringLike the idea of a floor covering that is especially forgiving on your joints? Check out cork flooring options from QEP. The spongy consistency of cork creates a soft floor surface that your body will appreciate if you plan on spending long periods in your workspace.
And while cork may be more susceptible to gouging from heavy equipment, it does offer natural insulation properties that will help take the chill off your shed floor in the cold months. QEP cork is 1/4-inch thick and comes in 4×25-foot rolls.
This product is relatively easy to install. It can be rolled out as a loose lay flooring, or it can be glued into place.
13. Interlocking TilesThe demand for easy-to-install flooring for utility spaces like laundry rooms, garages and sheds has bred a whole new line of options. One of them is interlocking tiles.
Don’t have time for complicated tiling or wood flooring? Don’t want to deal with the mess of paint and sealers?
Still, want something that looks good? Interlocking tiles like the ones offered by Speedway might be the floor covering for you.
These tiles, which are made from a tough copolymer, snap together to create a durable and attractive floor for your shed. They are designed to resist gas, oil and other fluids, allowing for easy clean-up.
These tiles, which come in 11 different colors can support the weight of a vehicle while still allowing moisture and air to circulate below them.
14. Old Carpet
Nothing is cheaper than free, and that’s the biggest pro that old carpet has to offer. If your shed is really just a shed to you, and you’d rather spend your money on something other than a floor covering for this utilitarian structure, then you might consider repurposing some old carpet. While it may not do anything for the looks of your shed, it will provide some protection to the existing floor.
It may also add a bit of cushioning for your old feet. And, if it gets ruined from spills, who cares. It’s an old carpet! That said, you do need to watch out for water.
Old carpet will soak up moisture, leading to mold, mildew and a nasty smelling shed you won’t want to be in.
If you plan on using your shed as a workspace for gardening, tinkering with engines, or as a home base for your DIY projects, then a minor investment in improving its flooring can make a huge difference.
No one wants to spend hours in a dark, dingy, uncomfortable smelly space. An upgrade in flooring can help protect your investment and transform your shed into an inviting workspace.