Upscale old warehouse wooden floors

Upscale old warehouse wooden floors

Turn-of-the-century warehouses often had large plank wooden floors for their second, third, and higher stories. These floors were often 4 to 6 inches thick and could span distances of 25 feet or more. The problem in retrofitting these old spaces is that the planks often have gaps between them. Which means that over the years, dust and debris have often filled the joints. This debris sometimes fell from between the joints onto those on the levels below.

We’ve seen many of these spaces converted into advertising agency and home offices, as well as into other creative enterprises that requires large spaces. These spaces can provide the look of a modern up-and-coming corporate entity. A good starting point is to sand those old floors. But if you’re going to coat the floors, making them look smooth and easy to maintain is often the first step. This will help prevent materials from falling through the joints. We found that using a floor sander over the old wood will often bring you down to a level where the wood grain and beauty is appealing. Then, start by sweeping the saw dust into the joints or throwing sand on the floor and sweeping it into the joints until they are filled. Once the joints are full, you can seal the joints with two coats of clear 100%-solids epoxy.

After mixing up clear 100%-solids epoxy, your first step is to pour a thin bead down each of the joints. If you’re confident that the joints are already sealed, you can skip this step and float the floors with epoxy using a neoprene squeegee. The liquid epoxy will settle in the joints, filling them to the top with clear liquid. Once hard, you have to walk back over the joints to make sure that the epoxy has not sunk in too deeply. Try to make sure that all the joints are fully sealed. When confident that they are sealed, screening the floors with a 60 grit screen will get rid of waves and other imperfections. Then sweep the floors using a 3/8- to 1/2-inch nap roller and apply a smooth clear topcoat. Sometimes a third coat is required, depending on the irregularity of the planks. But with care, the entire floor can be made into one smooth integrated area.

Over time, of course, the clear coats will turn amber. But ambering over wood often improves the beauty of the wood. One must recognize, however, that the deeper areas of epoxy over joints, divots, and other holes in the wood will over time darken more than thin areas. If done well, these irregularities merely beautify and bring attention to those plank wood floors that are just too expensive to install today.

For ease of maintenance, we would suggest applying three or more coats of a good non-slip floor wax. This will keep earmarks and other blemishes off the floor. And it’s easy to maintain floor wax with its soft finish which can be buffed out quickly and easily for daily maintenance as needed. The key, of course, to waxing the floor is to have enough wax on the floor so that scuff marks can be filled in by people walking on the wax which will flow back in to the scuffed areas. If there’s enough wax on each side of scuffmarks, your waxed floors will continue to look good for a long time. The standard for this is Target retail stores. They use up to 11 coats of wax in order to maintain their high gloss and upscale appearance.

For a detailed quote of materials needed to apply epoxy paint to your floor, please visit our free cost analysis page at

For more information, contact Chris Biesanz at or phone 1-800-466-8910 or 952-888-1488 (24/7).

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