Having a shed in a house is very common in medium to higher-sized homes. They provide the convenience of storing less frequently used items. Mostly, these are present in backyards with a garden or lawn close by.
The floor is a prime component of a garden shed and it is important for its strength and longevity. Some have a concrete base, which is the strongest and lasts longer than any other material used in the flooring. However, the majority of shed floors are made of wood, and if precautionary measures are not taken while you are building the new shed, then wood can rot away quite easily. If your shed flooring is damaged, you have come to the right place. In this article, we’ll discuss different options and methods you can take in order to replace your rotten wood floor.
Why does Shed flooring get damaged?
Moisture from rain, dampness from the grass, and problems such as mold and fungi are the biggest reason for rotten wood. Microbes start feeding on the wood and floor if the floor is not maintained properly. So, before you replace or repair your shed’s floor, first, find out the damaging root cause. Otherwise, the replacement shed floor will get damaged too.
How to Fix a Rotten Wood Floor?
If you find small holes or signs of damage, then there are only two options for you before the complete floor gets rotten. You can get the damaged parts repaired or change the complete floor. Instead of going for repairing the damaged regions of the floor, changing the complete floor is a better option. The reason is that while some panels and areas on the floor seem alright, they might have absorbed the moisture and will eventually damage the replaced part as well. Besides, a completely new floor will add years to your old shed.
Before beginning the replacement, start with inspecting the problematic areas.
Inspection of the Shed
The process starts with cleaning out the shed and emptying the shed. This includes the hanging items and those stored on the shelves. If the shed contains concrete floor bearers, replacing the upper surface will become easier as concrete does not get damaged by molds and moisture.
If the base is made up of timber, which contains runners and joists, then you need to inspect the planks and see if they show signs of rot. You also need to take a look at the lower part of the sideboards and roof. While performing checks, you need to look for damaged seals, wet areas, and the microbes such as bacteria, fungi, and moss.
How to Change the Floor?
How long it will take to fix your shed’s existing floor depends on the materials that have been used to build the shed and the size of the shed. A small shed will take much less time and cost, while a bigger one will require extra effort. Similarly, if it’s a wooden shed, then it might need more effort compared to a steel or concrete shed. Once you are done with a detailed inspection, you need to start getting your garden shed fixed.
Take out the rotted wood flooring and work on the floor subframe. Wet ground surfaces often damage the subframe and base, which is resting on the ground, so it can get rotten. So, if there is damage, start repairing that first. Without a solid subframe, your new floor will get damaged again. Once you have completed the repair, put in some sort of seal after the repair, this protective seal will not only help protect from rotting but also provide soundproofing.
After repairing the subframe, repair the lower end of the wall boards if they are damaged. As the sides of the walls are attached to the floor, they can get rotten as well. Make sure to put in a new piece in the damaged bit only, as replacing the complete walls will cost as much as a new shed. So, a re-felt on the sides of the shed usually does the job.
After all the repairs are completed, install the new floor. What material you want to install depends on your usage. There are a variety of options for wooden floors.
Materials for the Flooring
- Epoxy Layer
This is one of the most convenient and cheapest methods that you can use to get rid of rotten wooden flooring. All you need to do is remove the rotten floor, and pour epoxy over the base. The most effective one is the anti-slip epoxy which is a good option for making the new floor. The best part about the Epoxy surface layer is that it needs no maintenance, and dries up easily over concrete, making the shed’s floor last longer.
- Cement Sheets
Cement sheets are the best alternative for being used as a replacement floor. Cement sheets are less prone to decay and can be placed over the subframe. They do not come cheap, though. In terms of value, they will last longer because they do not get affected by moisture and molds.
- New Timber
Timber is a convenient choice for flooring. First, it is easy to install, and it comes cheap. It is also a commonly used material to make floor bearers. The only drawback is that it will eventually rot. You can take preventive measures by sealing the surface, but there is no guarantee of how long it will last. But you can replace it to fix the shed floor.
- Plywood Flooring
Plywood flooring is the cheapest choice of shed floor available for making new installations. The type of plywood that is used to construct a shed floor, is properly sealed and pressed before it can be installed. New plywood flooring will last for some time. Still, it is a temporary repair because it is prone to moisture and mold damage. The wood preserver seal can be used to prevent damage, only making it last a bit longer, but as the garden shed faces damp conditions and remains wet, plywood will start rotting. It is the cheapest solution available, so you can easily fix the damage with a new piece.
- Slate Tiles
Non-Slip slate tiles are a one-time investment if you are looking for a long-term solution for your shed floor. You can get construction workers to build a concrete base using bricks and cement, upon which you can install the tiles. The drawback of these slate tiles (aside from being heavy and difficult to install) is that they’re brittle and will break if anything heavy falls on them. Also, replacing the floors with tiles might not come cheap.
- Interlocking PVC mats
PVC mats are a great flooring choice. All you need is a concrete base and some rubber tiles. PVC garage floor tiles last very long and do not need any replacement or maintenance because they can easily sustain damp conditions. Plus, the added benefit is that the rubber offers a non-slip floor and is very easy to clean. PVC garage floor tiles are also very easy to install- it may take an hour to install them (just like a jigsaw puzzle) and cut the excess ends. You can also carry them and move them to new locations or rearrange them as needed.
So, if you are planning to replace your wooden floor and want to make your she new again, I’ll start by inspecting the floor and the rot causes. Next, you need to research the material you will be using to repair your shed. We suggest going with PVC tiles since they’re affordable, easy-to-install and rearrange and won’t break when your tools fall on them!