Advice on Darkroom Floor

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by magic823, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. magic823

    magic823 Member

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    We close on a new home in two weeks and I get to convert one of the basement bedrooms into a darkroom (11x11). Water is no problem since water and drain run through one of the walls. Room will need to fit (2) Beseler 45, NuArc NL-22-8C UV exposure unit, Wing-Lynch 4 processor, and a homemade sink. I'm going to go the plywood coated by Rino truckbed linings route.

    The thing I'm undecided about is what to do for the floor. The existing floor is carpet over cement. Obviously it has to go. I'd like a floor with a little give if possible to save the feet. Has anyone used Pergo in their darkroom? They have one thats a gray stone that would like nice, but I'm unsure how it would holdup. Any other ideas?

    This is my final darkroom and I want to make it nice. I hope to also do some teaching in it, so I want it to be a bit of a showcase also.
     
  2. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    I have my darkroom in the basement. It sounds like you are going to have a lot of stuff in your 11x11 space. Maybe you can put some storage shelves on the outside wall.

    My floor is plain concrete so I went to Home Depot and they have industrial padded rubber(ish) mats in flat black about 24x30 inches. Kind of spendy but the ones I have and walk on for hours everyday have lasted years. They are soft and you can take them out on the back lawn and hose them off now and then. I recommend them.
     
  3. CBG

    CBG Member

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    Howzabout the exterior grade plastic decking planks you would see on a porch or deck? Trex or one of the many similar products.

    C
     
  4. KEK

    KEK Member

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    I don't have it in my darkroom but pergo type floors will hold up very well in pretty much any home area.It's very scratch resistent and with the thin foam pad you lay down first there is a little give that makes it more comfortable to stand on.
    There are a few drawbacks. If you where hard heal shoes it's very noisey, large amounts of water can get into the seams and expand the substrate(less of a problem since they started with a water resistent coating) and it can chip say from a knife falling point down but if you have a little extra left over they have repair kits to take out the damaged piece and put in a new.
     
  5. Gary Holliday

    Gary Holliday Member

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    Look into thick rubber flooring. It is laid in a similar way to vinyl.
     
  6. galyons

    galyons Member

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    Generally, laminate flooring is not recommended for wet areas. My suggestion is to strip the flooring to the bare concrete. For my DR, I used an epoxy floor surface kit. It has been great, impervious to the water and chemicals of the DR. And a big plus easy cleanup & maintenance.

    Buy an epoxy garage flooring kit at your favorite home improvement center and apply according to the instructions. Then get the square garage flooring pads, approximately 4 sq feet each with interlocking "jigsaw" dovetails for the typical standing areas, (in front of enlargers & sink). They pads are thick, comfy and so far, appear to be pretty impervious to the DR environment. The inlerlock together and do not create a trip/slip hazard.

    The pads are easily lifted for cleaning and the semi annual trip outdoors for the hosing off...and best of all...cheap! Occasional moppings in between keep them from looking grungy. Mine have been in the DR for nearly years and are still perfectly functional and look near new after the hose downs! And they all but eliminate the stress fatigue of the hard, concrete floor.

    Cheers,
    Geary
     

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  7. Jerry Basierbe

    Jerry Basierbe Member

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    I have to agree with the rubber pads. I had some old carpet that I was using until earlier this year when I replaced it with the pads. I wish I had put them in from the beginning.

    Jerry
     
  8. Barry S

    Barry S Member

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    My darkroom also has a concrete floor and it was easy to clean, but tough on the feet. I bought interlocking foam floor pads from Costco and they were cheap and have held up extremely well. They serve to cushion and insulate the floor so they make a *huge* difference in comfort for long darkroom sessions. The pads are also easy to clean.
     
  9. Kilgallb

    Kilgallb Subscriber

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    I put stick on tile from home depot on my darkroom floor.. It is aobut 50 cents a square foot or less and easy to clean.

    I put my rubber anti-fatigue matts on my feet. I wear a pair of sandals with rubber paded soles. This means I have no porous material to absorb chemicals or dust on my darkroom floor. the tile floor is real easy to clean.
     
  10. panastasia

    panastasia Member

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    You can make a temporary, seamless, rubber floor by using butyl rubber - used to make rubber roofs - it comes in rolls. It can be cut to fit a room like a wall-to-wall carpet. It's usually contact cemented for a permanent bond, but I wouldn't recommend that because of the fumes and it would be difficult to remove if cemented down. The rubber itself may have a slight odor when new, similar to any other rubber product. I wouldn't expect it to be very costly, it's not very thick.
     
  11. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have a concrete floor, sealed with "garage" paint. In front of the sink and in front of the dry side I have the kind of mats that you find in a restaurant kitchen. Works well.
     
  12. airgunr

    airgunr Subscriber

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    Check a restaurant supply house for rubber matting at a reasonable price. They use them in the kitchens all the time.
     
  13. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I found a piece of that closed-cell foam rubber mat on Ebay - I totally forget the vendor's name now. It was 5' or so long by about 30" wide- the shipping on it ended up being as much or more than the foam pad, because of the size and weight of the thing. It sits on the concrete floor and does a terrific job of providing cushion and comfort, and it is easy to clean.
     
  14. magic823

    magic823 Member

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    Thanks everyone. I think I'll go the epoxy garage floor with floor mats route. I'm really looking forward to getting my darkroom back after a couple of years.

    The great thing about this house is I also get a 25x13 room to setup my studio and finishing room (basically the wife is letting me have the basement to do whatever I want.)
     
  15. pesphoto

    pesphoto Member

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    The great thing about this house is I also get a 25x13 room to setup my studio and finishing room (basically the wife is letting me have the basement to do whatever I want.)
    lucky man!

    Great ideas here for the floor, I'll be building mine soon in the basement of our new house.
    It'll be about 8ftx14ft.
     
  16. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear magic823,

    "Obviously it has to go." Really? Why? Who cares if it stains. Keep your shop-vac around for spills. It should vacuum up just fine, it would be pleasant to stand on, and the money saved could buy a significant amount of film and/or paper.

    Just stirring the pot. ;>)

    Neal Wydra
     
  17. magic823

    magic823 Member

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    Don't want the dust. Thats why the carpet has to go.
     
  18. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    You don't mention if your floor has a floor drain. If so, that would make a painted concrete floor easy to maintain.

    Be aware that some rubber floor mats are dust traps, static generators, and difficult to keep clean especially without a floor drain for hosing them down.

    I like anti-fatigue mats like this:

    http://www.newpig.com/en_US/main.jhtml?productId=FLM449&ppanalysis=O-2LHBANTIFATIGUEMATS&page=browse/pp.jhtml&email=us

    They are somewhat expensive at about $8 per square foot but very comfy. But these are not designed for hosing down.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2008
  19. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    epoxy resin garage floor stuff in a paint bucket. Rip the carpet up, clean the cement, mix and pour. You can also add sand, bb's, etc. in the mix for grip near wet areas so you won't slip. There are different grades too, the industrial/commercial stuff is the best as it goes on thicker and won't chip up as easily.