Floor color for bench area

What is everyones opinion as to the color of the tile/floor in your
bench area. Mainly, what is the color that makes it easiest to find
dropped diamonds, gold, etc., etc.?

The best floor, in my opinion, to find dropped items on is a clean
floor, color is less a factor.


I can tell you what I hate, and that’s a medium gray/green
institutional painted floor. Simply put, you can’t see ANYTHING on
it. Unfortunately, that’s the floor I’m stuck with both at the
school studio and my home studio (for now).

What I wouldn’t give for a nice flat black or slightly off-white. I
think the black would work better at hiding dirt and shoe marks while
letting you shine a light on the floor and find dropped items easily.
The white would be ideal for finding things but would show every
footstep horribly, defeating the purpose.

I’m interested to see what others have to say on this, as I will be
repainting my home studio floor at some point in the not-too-distant

Karen Goeller

Ooh, I have to laugh at this one. While shopping for new tile for
Metalwerx, the choices were quite limited in a durable tile. I
forget the the name of the special tile we use, but it isn’t
standard kitchen tile. It’s quite thick actually.

While searching for the right color, I brought some white CZ’s, some
tiny rubies, amthyests, bits of silver and gold. The owner of the
building who is also a goldsmith, were walking around the tiles
trying to see which one would give us the best view of dropped bits.
The store owner watched us with great amusement and commented,
"Well, that’s a first “I have never seen anyone purchase tile to
offset the stuff you throw down on it”.

We went with warm mauve, which is kind of like a warm tan.


I respectfully beg to differ. Grey/green–or cratex green, as I came
to call it, was the color that I chose for my current studio floor
and I’ve found it to work really well. The actual color was "Kossack"
from the Fuller Obrien paint co. here in Seattle. It was an oil base
floor paint.

I chose this color because I found that it blended the following

-Stones, gold and silver “pop” on it.

-It seems to hide much of the dust that I produce… Either from hand
sanding, grinding or, most of all, flex shaft abrasives-- like
cratex. (My bench exhaust doesn’t allow much dust down to the floor
anymore, so this isn’t any longer so much of a point …)

-Chair wheel and rubber heel marks don’t show.

-Burns, while visible, don’t pop like they might on a white or beige

I don’t think that dust and grime would be hidden for very long on a
black floor. Look at any black car and you can see that the dirt is
showcased. Flat finishes, I think, will show scratches, skuff marks
and drag lines (from tanks, wheels, dragged stools, etc.) much more
than will a satin or semigloss. This may seem counterintuitive, but
when you think about it, many scuffs and scrapes actually burnish the
surface while marring and might show more against the flat. They are
also more difficult to clean. Especially spills.

Good luck in choosing a color and don’t forget to pick one that , in
the end, you enjoy walking across and spending time on.

Andy Cooperman

    What I wouldn't give for a nice flat black or slightly
off-white.  I think the black would work better at hiding dirt and
shoe marks while letting you shine a light on the floor and find
dropped items easily. The white would be ideal for finding things
but would show every footstep horribly, defeating the purpose. 

Karen, I had the chance to work in a shop with a flat black floor
years ago. Now I put A black floor in every shop I set up. The
black makes most pieces much easier to find. The exceptions are
dark stones such as sapphire and pieces of silver or white cold that
are covered with fire scale. The black floor does really shows all
dirt so it seems to force me to sweep more often just making it that
much easier to find dropped items.

John Sholl
Littleton, Colorado

Floor Color In my last home, my studio was in a garage - still is,
for that matter. Anyway, the concrete garage fllor had been painted
that porch red color. i loved it because everything showed on it.
This time I only have the grey concrete color and can never find
anything! So I recommend RED. Gini in very hot and humid Florida

I just finished my new studio earlier this year and I still am
working on a concrete slab, and have had no intentions of painting
it, yet, because I’ve been finding everything so far. One thing
that was most important, I had my husband silicon caulk all the
joints between the cabinets, benches and walls, so there wouldn’t be
any black holes like in my last studio. The guy who apprenticed me
said I would spend about 10% of my bench time on the floor, and he
was right, so I tried to engineer everything so that stones wouldn’t
have far to go if they dropped. However, all of us in Orchid who
have been doing this awhile know that some stones have wings and
that they will fly away forever no matter what color our floor is.
I’m still grinning at the image of Karen in the tile store with her stones
and bench scraps (lol).

Amen to this letter, in regards to stones with wings. My wife and I
spent nearly six hours dissambling and reassembling 2 benches in my
shop looking for a nearly 2 ct round diamond. it slipped from my
tweezers, hit my bench pin and it was gone. It was found down a heat
vent next to the wall, behind a bench hours later. I had the vent
stuffed with a shoptowel to avoid such incidents, but it still found
a way. The vent -in a concrete slab floor-was so narrow and confined,
we were only able to spot it , and retrieve it with a mirror
superglued to a bent stick. I’ll never hear the last of it either
to jam her hand down intoa sharp sheet metalvent , filled with
spiders,crud,etc… for about an hour as we fished it out . Needless
to say, for a 2ct diamond, the trouble was worth the hassle, but I
definitly learned from this episode. ED

Hi to All, I’m going to go out on a limb here. I like a small piece
of cheap indoor/outdoor carpet, berber type, under my bench. It
keeps the stones from bouncing too far or breaking. Yes, it melts
if you drop something hot on it but it doesn’t burn (at least with
small pieces) and you can fold it over, give it a knock on the back
and have a neat little pile to find lost items. Plus, it can be
replaced for very little money when it gets too dirty. Call me
crazy but I like it. I do like Wendy’s idea of sealing up areas
around the bases of cabinets and at the bottom of the walls. Great
idea. Just thought I’d throw this one out and see what kind of
response I get. Mary Barnes

Mary, I do the same thing. I use a 10X10 piece of industrial carpet,
usually grey or dark brown. If you drop something on it you can hit
it with a leather mallet (the carpet) and objects on the carpet will
bounce. The carpet also keeps my chair from rolling around like the
wood floor allows. Last, don’t just throw that old carpet away, cut
it up and send it to the refiner. If you work in precious metals it
can be a great catcher of metal dust and shavings. Frank Goss