Building a storage shed on your property is one of the best investments. It’s a great option, both while you’re living at your house and if you decide to sell it. Sheds can be used for many things, including storage, extra living space, an outdoor office, and more. The type of flooring you choose for your shed will likely depend on what you plan to use the shed for.
Just as there are tons of shed options, there are seemingly an equal amount of flooring options for your shed. Because your shed is going to be outdoors and slightly more prone to the elements than your home, it’s crucial to choose a flooring material that’s durable, waterproof, and strong. You should also consider the intended use of the shed when making your final decision.
15 of the Best Shed Flooring Materials
If you know you want a shed on your land but aren’t sure what flooring to choose, you’ve come to the right place. This article will look at the 15 best flooring materials and shed ideas. We’ll also look at choosing the right type of flooring for your shed to ensure a long-lasting and durable floor.
In terms of durability and lack of maintenance, it’s tough to beat a good ole’ concrete floor. Concrete floors will save time and money if you build your shed on a concrete slab. You can forgo the cost of building floor joists or concrete piers and set the shell of your shed directly on the slab.
A concrete shed floor requires very little maintenance and upkeep, and you can customize it with different colors of concrete paint. Because of its strength, concrete can handle heavy equipment such as lawnmowers or machinery such as a car or tractors. Concrete flooring is excellent if you want a permanent floor with little upkeep and immunity to the elements.
However, a concrete floor isn’t without its downsides. If you want to use your shed as a man cave or she-shed, concrete is very cold and uncomfortable during winter. It can also get very porous and stain easily if you don’t coat or paint it. Additionally, concrete flooring isn’t the most attractive option, and it’s also not great with kids because of how hard it is.
If your storage shed has a base and bare floor and you want to dress things up a little, vinyl flooring is an excellent option. You can choose between the peel-and-stick vinyl flooring or the sturdier and better tongue-and-groove plank-style luxury vinyl. Either option is great for sprucing up a bare concrete or wood floor and adding a bit of comfort and character to your shed.
Additionally, most types of vinyl flooring are waterproof, low-maintenance, and easy to clean if spills occur. You also can roll out vinyl flooring that comes in a lengthy roll similar to carpet. Whether you decide to glue it down or leave it lay is up to you, but the main thing is that the ends are tight so that moisture can’t get between the vinyl and the foundation below.
The only downside of vinyl flooring is that it isn’t the market’s most durable or robust option. If you want to use your shed as an actual storage shed, vinyl isn’t a great option, especially for heavier items and materials. Vinyl also tends to scratch easily, specifically soft roll-out vinyl flooring.
You’re probably wondering why you would have a plastic floor in your shed. However, it’s a very popular choice, especially if you purchase a pre-fabricated plastic shed, which will come with a pre-installed plastic base. Plastic flooring, while not as strong as other types of flooring, is a good option with plastic sheds or for a garden shed floor.
The reason it’s good with garden sheds is that plastic is comfortable to walk on, waterproof, and easy to clean. Plastic also can’t handle heavy items or lawn equipment because it’s weak and punctures too easily.
Wood floors are the way to go regarding versatility, aesthetics, and the number of options you have. However, the most popular option is wood tongue and groove flooring. Wood tongue and groove flooring offers a waterproof wood floor system that’s durable and will last a long time.
You can optionally install a wood floor directly on top of concrete, but be sure to put a vapor barrier between the two, as moisture will damage your flooring from below. However, for best practices and long life, installing wood flooring on top of floor joists with a plywood underlayment is best.
The great thing about wood flooring is that you can use it for a she-shed or man cave, but you can also use it for more heavy-duty purposes. Wood flooring is solid and capable of supporting lawn equipment or heavy machinery if you need it. The downside of wood flooring is that it’s pretty expensive to install and isn’t always the best for a DIY project.
As with wood flooring, there are several different options when it comes to floor tiles. Some floor tiles fit together like a puzzle, whereas others get pushed together on the floor.
PVC Plastic Mat Tiles
PVC Plastic tiles are a very good option for a tight budget and easy installation. PVC tiles are available in many colors and are very comfortable to walk on. This flooring is an excellent option for a she-shed or garden shed because of how it looks and because it’s waterproof. Because they consist of PVC, these floor tiles are durable and immune to the elements.
Raised Wood Tiles
Raised wood tiles are another great option for sheds getting used for things outside of traditional storage. Whether you want the perfect mancave or she-shed with a floor that resembles a wooden floor, this is a great option for you. Raised wood tiles are best when they get set on an underlayment of plywood. Because of how they are designed, the tiles will then sit slightly elevated above the plywood, allowing air to flow beneath them.
Horse Stall Mat Tiles
For comfort, durability, and easy installation, mat tiles are the way to go. Horse stall mat tiles come in various thicknesses and materials, ranging from ½” to 1″ thick. They’re surprisingly comfortable to walk on, strong, and durable. Regardless of your floor base, you can set your horse stall mat tiles directly on top.
If you’re unsure what type of flooring you want but know that you don’t like concrete, pressure-treated plywood is a great idea for your floor. You should install a plywood floor atop joists offering at least three or four inches of space between the plywood and the foundation. Setting the plywood directly on top of the concrete will defeat the purpose, and you’re better off leaving the concrete bare.
The reason that pressure-treated plywood is the best option as a starting point is that it allows for future flooring options. If you get tired of plywood, you can easily install vinyl, bamboo, wood, or any other kind of flooring material on top of it.
The plywood alone raises you off the cold ground and keeps your feet relatively comfortable during winter. This is especially true if you install insulation in your floor joists between the plywood and the concrete. Plywood also has more give than concrete, so your feet won’t get as sore walking on it.
The downside of plywood flooring is that it tends to rot if you don’t take care of it. Even pressure-treated plywood will deteriorate when exposed to the elements or moisture. Therefore, your shed must be weatherproof if you plan to have a plywood floor or underlayment.
Epoxy Coating on Concrete Slab
Epoxy coating on a concrete slab is quickly becoming one of the most popular options for tool sheds and storage sheds with a concrete shed base. Epoxy is a protective coating that you paint on top of your concrete floor that keeps it from getting stained or damaged. It’s also non-slip, making it great for working sheds or woodshops.
Additionally, epoxy is available in various colors to personalize your shed floor to your liking. You can opt for a unique or classic look, depending on the type and color of epoxy you choose.
If comfort, convenience, and warmth are at the top of your priority list, you should consider cork flooring for your old or new shed. Cork flooring is relatively easy to install and acts as a natural insulator because of its composition and makeup. It’s also a very soft surface, making it comfortable to stand and walk on.
The downside of cork flooring is that it isn’t very strong or durable, so you’ll have to be careful with what you put on top. You definitely shouldn’t use cork flooring in true storage shed, and it’s best to install it atop an underlayment of wood or concrete.
For a less common but attractive option, you should consider using pavers for your shed floor. Pavers, while slightly expensive, are easy to install and readily available at your local hardware store or box store. In use and function, pavers are similar to concrete but look much better and are cheaper to install. Both options are fairly common materials that you shouldn’t have trouble locating, but pavers make for a better DIY option.
The downsides of pavers are very similar to the downsides of concrete. They’re hard on your back, feet, and knees, cold during the winter, and prone to sinking into the ground.
Oriented Strand Board Flooring
Oriented strand board (OSB) flooring is more of an underlayment or base than a standalone flooring option. If you need underlayment and want a cheaper and more lightweight option than plywood, OSB is ideal. You can also use OSB as standalone flooring. It just won’t look very good. OSB is plain, non-descript, rough, and unappealing to look at or walk on.
However, if times are tough and you need a cheap, strong, and stable floor to walk on, OSB is certainly an option.
Rubber mats are similar to tiles and horse stall mats but have one main difference. They’re simply a series of large rubber mats pushed or locked together along the length and width of your flooring. They’re a great option for workout sheds or low-maintenance man caves, but that’s about it. While they’re comfortable to walk on and provide some insulation from the cold, they aren’t ideal for working sheds or she sheds.
Rubber mats are cheap to set on top of concrete, OSB, or plywood flooring and need a smooth, solid base beneath them. While they’re relatively soft and comfortable, they lack durability and scratch or tear easily if you put certain things on top.
Gravel Pad Flooring
Gravel is an often-forgotten option if you’re not worried about how your shed floor looks or feels but need something cheap and easy. Most people will only use gravel as their outer base instead of concrete. However, like concrete, you can forgo installing a floor on your shed and leave it open to the gravel. Doing this means that your shed won’t be waterproof, so you’ll have to be careful about what you keep in it.
However, if you only need a shelter for your lawn equipment, farm equipment, and lawn tools, you don’t need a fancy weatherproof shed. All you need is something with a roof, a few walls, and a floor that won’t crack under the pressure of tools and equipment. Since gravel isn’t a solid material but is very hard and malleable, very little can go wrong. It’s also easy to install, inexpensive, and low maintenance.
Another excellent cheap option for your shed floor is carpet flooring. As with wood or vinyl flooring, there are many different carpeting options. You can repurpose an old carpet, use a series of rugs and carpet scraps, or install a brand-new one. You can also choose between a plush carpet versus a course, a flat carpet, depending on your needs and desires.
Keep in mind that your shed will get exposed to moisture and weather elements from time to time, and the carpet isn’t waterproof. If anything, your carpet is liable to get damaged if you install it in a shed that isn’t weatherproof. For this reason, choosing an old carpet or rug that’s easily replaceable might be best.
Wood Plank Floor
For one of the most attractive and expensive flooring options on this list, you should check out wood plank flooring options. Wood plank flooring is similar to tongue and groove flooring but tends to be slightly more durable and easy to install. Depending on your preference, you can choose from various colors, wood types, and styles.
Wood plank flooring is a great option for she-sheds, mancaves, home offices, or extra living space. Be advised, however, that quality wood plank flooring is also fairly expensive to purchase and install. Depending on the type of wood you choose, you’ll also have maintenance costs to take care of down the road.
Bamboo flooring is newer to the flooring scene than many other options on this list. It’s very similar in style and texture to wood flooring but is slightly softer. Bamboo flooring requires less maintenance than wood flooring and should never be sanded or stained. Installing bamboo flooring is also possible, as it’s usually available in a tongue and groove or plank style.
Bamboo flooring is aesthetically pleasing, making it ideal for she-sheds, mancaves, home offices, or shed apartments. While it’s also very strong and durable, you don’t want to use bamboo on sheds that aren’t weatherproof or that you’ll use for storage because it’s a waste of money to use bamboo flooring in a place where it could get scratched or damaged.
How to Choose the Right Flooring for Your Shed
Now that you know some of the best shed flooring options, let’s look at how to choose the right one for your needs.
Regardless of what you plan to use on your shed floor, it’s irritating and expensive to be replacing it every couple of years. For that reason, it’s important to choose a flooring material that’s durable and long-lasting. However, durability also includes strength and stability, which is crucial for storing machinery, equipment, and other heavy objects.
You also want a shed that won’t crack, rot, or sag the first time it gets wet. Regardless of how water and weatherproof your shed is, it will get wet from time to time. Choosing a waterproof flooring or water protectant is crucial for a durable shed floor. Concrete, pavers, wood, and vinyl are some of the most durable and longest-lasting flooring options.
Ease of Installation
If you plan to install your shed floor yourself, you also want to choose something easy to install. Most of the options we looked at on this list are possible to install yourself, but some will require more work and tools than others. Any type of vinyl flooring, floor mats, floor tiles, or gravel is the easiest to install but not always the best for every use.
In terms of cost, there are two things to consider – the installation cost and the cost of the flooring itself. In both instances, it’s best to choose an affordable option in both aspects if you’re on a tight budget. Cost isn’t the most convenient or fun thing to think about when choosing your shed floor, but it’s one of the most important.
While you don’t want to choose a floor or base that’s cheap in the sense that it lacks durability, you want to choose one that won’t break the budget. Finding this happy medium is difficult and may take some time and research.
If comfort is at the top of your priority list, materials like cork, rubber, carpet, and other soft materials are ideal. The downside of comfort is that you often sacrifice durability or looks. However, with a little research and attention to detail, you can choose comfortable, aesthetically pleasing, and as durable as possible flooring.
One of the first things you should consider when choosing your flooring is what you plan to use your shed for. For things like a man cave, a she-shed, a home office, or an apartment, it’s important to choose something stylish and comfortable. For storage sheds housing heavy equipment and machinery. However, durability and strength are higher on the priority list.
Finally, the last thing you want to do is choose a floor with tons of ongoing maintenance and extra costs down the road. Once you install your flooring, it’s nice to be done with it and move on with life. However, there will be resanding and restaining considerations for most types of wood flooring. With concrete, you’ll likely want to add concrete paint, a concrete sealant, or epoxy to it at some point. Therefore, if care and maintenance aren’t your specialties, you should veer away from certain types of flooring.
What’s the most durable flooring for a shed?
The most durable type of flooring in your shed is coated with epoxy or a special concrete sealant. Outside of that, gravel and hardwood are the next most durable types of flooring.
How thick should my shed floor be?
The thickness of your floor depends on what type of flooring you have. For a concrete slab, you should have at least 4″ of concrete. For most other types of flooring, you should have roughly ¾” to 1″ with the main floor and the underlayment combined.
How much weight can I put on my shed floor?
Once again, the amount of weight you can put on your shed floor depends on the type of flooring you have. Concrete and gravel can hold substantially more weight than cork or plywood. For non-concrete or gravel floors, you can support up to 3,000 pounds on your shed floor if you have ample floor joists and proper installation.
While there are many different flooring options for your shed, there may be only one option. If you read through this list and one of the ideas jumped out, you should trust your gut and install it. If, however, choosing your floor requires more thinking and research, you should consider the ideas in this article and make your choice thoughtfully.
If you’re overly indecisive, it might be best to start with concrete, plywood, or OSB and add on to the floor later.