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Easiest solution for repair or replacement for shed floor

I have a friend looking for the least expensive and easiest way to replace or repair her shed floor and has asked for my help. The shed has a wood frame, and either particle board or plywood floor that unfortunately was placed directly on the ground. Surprisingly, the building has held up for at least 10 years. The exterior could use some scraping and paint but is not in too bad of shape, but the baseboards and floor however have started to deteriorate now.  If she could get a few more years out of the structure by just doing something with the floor and painting, she would really like to. 
I have a couple of ideas but would like some expert input. Could a concrete slab be poured over the particle board?   I was thinking we could replace the baseboards and pour a slab maybe 2" thick. Other thoughts were laying paver stones or a layer of pea gravel inside. I know none of these are the most ideal solutions but her budget is tight and I'm not sure how easy it would be to pull out the old floor. 
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Posted 2017-06-05T04:45:28+0000  by TDalton TDalton

Hey TDalton,

Thanks for your question and welcome to the community.

First off, NEVER put a slab over particle board, period. The weight and poor quality of the particle board will make the slab fail over a short amount of time. 

Replacing the entire subfloor by building a base for the new slab is ideal. Cheap doesn't mean you have to use low quality, but with proper planning, you can use quality materials.

Your paver stone/gravel idea would only work if the base itself is exposed directly to the ground. Water and moisture can easily trap underneath it, and would only work if not subfloor is there. However, water/moisture can easily damage floor joists (if there are any) over time. 

So in short, choose a flooring system that will not only be inexpensive, but also durable over time, so you won't have worse issues to deal with, such as joists rotting (which can lead to structure collapse).

This leaves you with what is one of the best solutions, using a pressure treated wood frame and exterior grade plywood for a floor. This can take planning, but for up front labor costs and time, it can hold up for a very long time if constructed properly.

The 2nd choice would be to use a slab, but this can get expensive since most pour cement with that much square footage, and is less time consuming than building a floor frame and plywood floor, but it most time consuming. 

If you have a well drained ground where the shed floor should be, you can opt for gravel and paver stones if you wish, but it isn't the best choice if you use the shed a lot for foot traffic and withstanding oil spills, as an example.

Let us know if you have any further questions,


Posted 2017-06-05T20:00:24+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL
Thank you so much for the advice!  Funny it never occurred to me to remove the old subfloor that is laying directly on the ground and then build a new subfloor on treated joists within the existing shed. That does sound like the easiest solution!

Posted 2017-06-06T20:31:22+0000  by TDalton
Did you get any more done with this project, TDalton?  I'm thinking about undergoing a similar project right now.
Posted 2017-09-17T01:33:05+0000  by newparade
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