Four Things to Know About Garden Buildings Floors
To try to help you make the right decision we highlight what you should look out for and what you should avoid and – as importantly WHY. Whilst we all want the cheapest price for our garden shed it’s really important that you ensure you buy a building which will fill all your needs and, very importantly, will stand the test of time. This is why you need to do a little homework beforehand. Yes, I know, we were all not keen on doing ‘homework’ but believe me, this homework is vital to ensure you are happy when your new building is delivered.
1/ What Is The Floor Made From?
The floor is absolutely essential to the durability of a shed or garden workshop so it is essential that it is made from appropriate materials to ensure that it stands the test of time. Avoid cheap grades of chipboard (designed for use inside your home in cheap furniture) and Oriented Strand Board (otherwise known as OSB, wafer-board or Sterling Board) which, as they can delaminate when exposed to damp, are simply not suited for the job.
Look only for proper tongue and groove softwood timber flooring or specialist flooring products such as moisture-resistant particle boards such as Caberboard or Egger Board. Remember, unless it is tongue and groove (T&G) or a high grade man made material such as Caberboard or Egger board then sheet materials (often advertised as ‘solid sheet flooring’ are NOT suitable and should be avoided.
So ‘proper’ timber is the way to go. You will also find those garden shed companies which use chipboard and OSB boards usually call these floors ‘SOLID SHEET FLOORS’ and the reason or this is that they don’t want you to know what you are getting. You will also find quite often that the shed floor is excluded from their guarantee when they use man-made boards. So always ask the question before parting with your cash and don’t be sorry after the event.
2/ How Thick and How Many Floor Joists?
Besides being made from proper timber it’s important to consider the number and thickness of floor joists on any shed. Quite often, certainly on the cheap sheds, the floor joist size is as small as 1-inch x 1 inch (25xm x 25cm). The ideal size and which is the best size to aim for is 2 inches x 2 inches (47mm x 47mm). This will give the shed floor the strength to take its load and to spread the weight throughout. The spacing of the floor joists should be no more than about 14 inches (35cm) apart and again on the cheaper sheds, the gap can be quite large. This will allow the shed floor to buckle and sag as you walk on it with a possibility it may break. It’s even worse with chipboard or OSB as it’s not as naturally strong as ‘proper’ wood.
3/ How Thick is the Garden Building Floor?
The thickness of the floor is also key and you should aim for at least 12mm (finished thickness) and ideally T&G boards. On some of the cheap sheds, the boards are only about 10mm (thick!!) about 3/8ths of an inch. That’s smaller than a standard pencil – crazy!
4/ Is the Garden Buildings Floor Pre-assembled?
Amazingly on some garden sheds, and many of the cheap sheds, you have to build the floor your self. They just send along the OSB (sheet materials) and the floor joists for you to nail together. They don’t even supply the hammer.