Floor covering

Hiya everyone

This Christmas we will be having new flooring in the workshops.

Can anyone suggest a more suitable solution than vinyl tiles and
in what colour.

Thanks in advance.


Can anyone suggest a more suitable solution than vinyl tiles and
in what colour.


When we remolded our shop and had to choose a new floor
covering, we ended up with a light blue/grey with a very subtle
pattern. Yes we have several burn spots near our casting and
torch areas but we have saved many hours looking for small
parts. This color has worked very well for us!!!


HI Andrew, my preference is hard linoleum tiles. I don’t care
about the color because I just use a broom, it’s much faster than
looking around. A black and white checkerboard pattern looks very


<< This Christmas we will be having new flooring in the workshops. >>

I just did a big remodel and used Armstrong commercial grade
sheet vinyl sheet goods. Its super thick and heavy duty. I chose
a gray pebble-like pattern. We took a paper of mixed stones
(emeralds, diamonds, rubies, saps, etc) and dumped them on
various colors and patterns of flooring and this showed up the
best. It is also the color of our dirt! After one year I still
really like it. The lack of seams is great and cleaning is easy.
I also used vinyl coated ceiling tiles with the intent of
cleaning them of the soot caused by six torches going all day.
This has not worked out, they are NOT easy to clean. At least I
have not found a way. Good luck.

Mark P.

Well, in a couple weeks, I get something I have craved for 30
years-- I’m moving out of my dark little bungalow in the Chicago
suburbs and into a house an hour away that sits among virtually
limitless woods. I can hardly believe it.

Now the bad news. My husband is NOT moving…

Anyway, the house is a rental and has gleaming hardwood floors. My
studio will be in an upstairs bedroom, and I need to put down
something that will absolutely shield the floor and will allow me to
recover stones and metal dust. So, not carpet… And it cannot be
anything that has to be fastened down by more than gravity and the
weight of furniture.

I figure I’m not the first with this issue, so what have others
done, and how well did it work out? Something like a roll of linoleum
or whatever the modern equivalent would be best, I’m thinking. I have
never yet dropped a burning hot metal piece on the plywood floor in
my current studio so I don’t expect to start now. Still, some heat
resistence seems sensible.

Feedback will be appreciated!


Hi Noel,

Regrets on the “bad news” side of the equation.

I’m in the middle of moving myself, and what I’m planning is to drop
1/4" sheets of tempered masonite over the carpet. Duck tape or
aluminum tape to seal the joints.

I did this in my old apartment in Virginia, with tempered masonite,
and it worked great. I did it again in my place in Santa Barbara,
but didn’t use the tempered stuff. It started to come apart in about
a year.

Best wishes,

I’ve had cushion flooring in my “studio” for about 25 years, and
even after that period of hard use it still looks good. It’s warm and
comes in rolls with various appearances - mine looks like quarry
tiles. The following link gives some examples. I’m in UK, so the link
is for a supplier this side of the pond.


Regards, Gary Wooding

I would consider going to Sam’s or Lowe’s and purchase those large
foam squares that fit together like a puzzle. If you put it down
wall to wall they wont move around. The black side up is best.

It is good for standing because it is cushioned. If you spill
something, you can pop one of the squares up and dry the floor and
put the square back. It is easy to vacuum and not very expensive,
depending on the size of the room. I would suggest buying one extra
package that way if you do drop something hot, it will be easy to
pull up and replace. Also you can tape the underside seams together
as you lay it. I have seen them at Harbor Freight too. One thing, if
you have wheeled chairs, they don’t roll well on them. Fame is a
Vapor - Popularity an Accident - Riches Take Wings - Only One Thing
Endures - And That is Character Horace Greely

Linda Lankford

I have topped my jewelry bench with thin cement board that goes under
tile flooring. It is about 1/2 inch thick and comes in 4’ X 4’
sheets. It doesn’t warp and would sweep up easily. The only
difficulty you might have is gaps at the seams where stones, etc.
might hide, so make sure you butt the pieces together very tightly,
and plan where the seams are to minimize their impact. I started
using when I started making lampworked beads so any molten glass
that fell would not mar my bench. I have left it and now use it as
back-up for my soldering blocks.

Theresa Bright


I installed oak flooring in my basement shop when I finished my
basement years ago, and haven’t really been concerned with burns,
but it is mine, so I can understand your landlord/lady might not
appreciate black circles on the floor. I would probably put down
1/8th inch MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) available at your local
home improvement store. It is thin enough to be cut with simple hand
tools, and light enough that you can throw a 4x8 sheet around pretty
easily. I would cover wall to wall of the studio, and let it “float”
(don’t nail or glue it). It will swell if it gets wet though, as it
is a type of particle board.

Timothy Goodwin
Colorado Springs, Co.

A, thin sheet of steel, with the edges roller up to make a pan thay
droped things can’t escape from, a sheetmetal shop that builds
heating duct work can make it for you


I bought a thing designed to go under a wood stove and put it on the
floor (carpeted) under my soldering bench. It is roughly 3’ X 4",
has some kind of insulating stuff inside it, and has a thin metal
layer on the top that is made to look like brick tile. I imagine you
could get something like it at a fireplace shop. I don’t remember
where I got this as it was some time ago, originally bought for use
under a kiln.


Hi Noel

I used to have a cracked and pitted shop floor that really ate up
anything dropped. We put in a floating floor of tongue and groove
laminate stuff. It was cheap and required no attaching. We did
however add baseboard trim around the edges. Your furniture would
probably hold it down just as well. Make sure to lay a roll of the
papery stuff over your hardwood to avoid abrasion. Congrats on the
new place…

Jean Menden


looks like you will be getting a lot of work done. now you know why
you never got to move out to the country. when one partner in a
relationship doesn’t want something it usually doesn’t happen.

First of all I noticed you used the word linoleum a common term for
my generation also.

That was the original protective surface it was me a combination of
linseed oil and basically whatever other organic particles could be
available at the time(hence the "lin"in Linoleum.

And interestingly literally a certain anti-bacterial effects
basically due to the linseed oil and is very popular in hospitals. But
that is just trivia and rodent to your needs for protective surface
in your new country paradise.

Since you are in much more careful jeweler than I am and have not
had balls of molten silver rolled down onto the floor. I would first
think that a good quality vinyl sheet flooring with say a piece of
some type of in under padding. The purpose of the padding would be to
stop the sheet flooring from adhering over time to the hardwood
floors due to the pressure of the worktable and your work chair.

Get one with the least amount of patterns both recessed and in
design. Recess patterns can hold surprising amount of dirt and mostly
any design will make it harder to find dropped items.

You don’t need to be too finicky about the above basically just take
a pattern that you like.

the quality of this stuff is dependent on the thickness of the vinyl
layer that you can see and should be listed in the store. This part
of setting up your workbench should be rather Inexpensive.

You might consider some carpet scraps from your way to the door to
work table to protect the rest of the house from waxy polish residue.
Also I would consider the walls to be painted in your workshop to
least a semigloss paint to make the walls easier to clean especially
behind your polishing area

We may have spoken before,what type of jewelry do you make ?

That’s about it for now good luck in your country home


Hi Noel,

Congrats on your (albet bittersweet) move to the country.

As an interior designer I have been faced with numerous challenges
and I have to say I have not had soldering stations on wood floors
to be concerned about before so this is a first for me.

I can tell you that the most burn-resistant floor coverings are
either laminate or rubber. The interlocking tiles would work well.
Just be sure they are real rubber and not PVC which can give off
noxious fumes if burned. Avoid vinyl sheet flooring which is PVC and
tends to curl at the edges anyhow. You can tell what it is just by
the smell. If it smells like car tires then it’s rubber. There are
online sources like:

or check out Sears automotive section. Home Depot and Lowes have one
or two options but I’m not sure of their composition. Also, many
anti-fatigue (cushioned) as well as sport mats (like for under
treadmills or weights) are rubber as well. Prices will start around
$1.50/square foot.

A floor covering shop that works with commercial installions may
even be able to get you a roll of rubber flooring (1 or 2 mils
thick) like the kind you see in auto showrooms and stairwells with
the disc pattern on it.

I doubt you want to go to the expense of installing a laminate
floating floor over the existing wood but it could be an option.

Good Luck to you.


Linoleum is made from Linseed oil, cork dust, and some other
components. It is heavy enough to lay flat with chairs and tables on
it. If you do drop hot metal and burn it, it can be sanded lightly
like wood. Vinyl which is the modern version melts and can not be
repaired as easily. A better choice might be a laminate floor. You
can lay a burning cigarette on top and not be affected. It can be
laid over existing floors if they are flat and relatively level. Is
not a hard do it yourself project. Since your house is a rental you
could take the floor with you when you leave. It can be damaged by
dropping heavy sharp items like a ring mandrel if it hits point
first. If that bothers you, you can unsnap the floor and replace the
board. My occupation is selling flooring, so I do know a lot about
the different floors available. I actually have commercial carpet
tile under my bench for warm and hot metal burns very nicely into it.
Since it is in the garage and snow melts off my car onto it in the
winter, laminate would not work for me. Laminate does not like water.

If you have other questions, I’ll be happy to answer them on the

Dale Hanson

When I was living in Korea I used 3 ply plywood on the floor with
heavy duty duct tape over the seams. I then placed a piece of carpet
under my bench to catch lemel and other stay pieces of metal. The
plywood was easy to cut to shape and easily removed when I left the

Be careful using masonite hardboard. If you put the shiny side up,
it can be quite slippery. If you put the rough side up, provided
you’ve used the type with only one smooth side, it would be best to
be sure it fits wall to wall to ensure the entire panel doesn’t slip
with sudden movement.

Mike DeBurgh, GJG
Alliance, OH


Slip of the fingers - of course I meant that the pad is three by
four FEET.


Linoleum is made from Linseed oil, cork dust, and some other

The modern linoleum that’s truly made from linseed oil is called



I purchased 2 each 4x8’ aluminum sheet. I duct taped them together
(making them an 8’x8" section). I put the water proof padding you can
buy to put under click loc flooring taped to the back side (rolls). I
think it cost less than $50 and about 45 minutes to put together. I
am a klutz and feared the worse on my new carpet, but this has really
worked for me. Easy to clean, insulated, spill proof, fireproof, low
investment, and easy to move. If you want more info contact me off

Rose Peterson Myers