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Using Garage for Layout


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  • RMweb Gold

Two things to remember about garage floors.  Obviously, as already much discussed above, is the matter of sealing the concrete which will reduce dust plus minimising subsequent surface wear of the concrete.  But the other thing is insulation.

 

Our bodies do not like prolonged standing on cold surfaces as not only does the cold seep up through our footwear but it also helps lower the ambient temperature.  So for comfort floor insulation is as important as wall insulation in creating a really tolerable environment for extended periods.  Ideally the structure should incorporate insulation in much the same way as a modern house with a layer of 4"/100mm expanded polystyrene below the top concrete layer of the floor but unless you are building from scratch that is far from easy to install.  But what you can do is lay a wooden floor - plywood is one alternative and the other is waterproof chipboard as used internally in houses and is therefore a proper flooring material.  And ideally before laying that put in a layer of expanded polystyrene - even a 25mm thick layer will greatly improve resistance to rising cold (and your comfort).

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  • RMweb Gold

Agree with all that others have said about insulation and sealing the concrete floor.

 

But what would worry me even more, if I have understood the OP correctly, is that the layout will be sharing the space with the car. That means a garage door being opened and dust being blown in. And you definitely would not want to be putting the car in there when wet.

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It's not so bad if the car lives out in the open (won't harm it, they're designed to do this) and only comes into the garage to be worked on.  If the car can share with the layout without the layout being folded up against the wall it's a pretty big garage and a dust screen protecting the layout might do the job of keeping dust, damp, and petrol/brake fluid etc. fumes away.

 

I think it's ok to paint or seal bricks on the inside surface of a building, but it is necessary to let them breathe on the outside surface of the wall.  Damp will get into them, and if they can't breathe it will stay there and gather, then in the winter it will freeze, which will damage the brick as it forces flakes of earthenware off the surface.  Outdoor paint should allow breathing.  But boarding it in gives a better appearance, an opportunity to paint the board a suitable grey-blue sky colour which will enhance the layout, and a space for insulation.  

 

I have experience of it being done the wrong way, having a garage layout as a child in a garage prepared for use by Buffalo Bill Enterprises and Billy the Kid heating engineers, aka my dad.  His idea was to make the space suitable for the railway, which folded up against the wall when the car was in residence, and at the same time prevent the car from freezing and keep it warm for reliable winter starting, and his method of doing this was to install a paraffin heater, which stank, which made the car stink, which made anyone who'd been in the car stink, which made the whole house smell somewhat, which tainted the food, of paraffin.  He'd sealed the concrete with gloss green paint, which made everything slippery and 'orrible.  The paraffin made the garage damp and mouldy.  

 

Your layout room needs to be comfortable, warm, and properly ventilated, for your comfort and well-being obviously but RTR models are designed to be used in a domestic home environment.  Expansion and contraction will not help your tracklaying, damp will cause corrosion, and it is possible that a combination of the two may have a deleterious effect on mazak.

Edited by The Johnster
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  • RMweb Gold

Have a look at my garage conversion thread from this post and the next few down, you can see what I put down on the concrete floor of my garage, no issues with it at all nearby 2 years down the line 

 

 

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NEVER put a wet car into a garage - model railway in there or not. My dad ruined all his cars doing this.

 

I agree re sealing the concrete floor with PVA and water mix. Bit late now but choose a warm / hot sunny day, dilute the PVA with hot(ish) water and slosh around with an old soft haired broom. One or two days to set then use as is or paint over.

 

My layout is in a well insulated concrete section garage built in 1982, and dismantled / moved / re erected in 1993. Still going strong !! The floor here was PVA sealed & painted, just a few rubber mats where I stand near the control panel. A fan heater helps in winter. Don't forget a burglar alarm either, mine is wired to the house alarm.

 

Brit15

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Ours measures regularly at around +32 Degrees to at worst  -8 Degrees (Winter 2010) plus a moisture hazard of a tumble dryer.

If you use the right materials (after much experimentation) there isn't too much of a problem. Superquick Card Kits and the like tend to rapidly reduce to compost.

 

Ian

Edited by Crisis Rail
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I have just prepared a newly built concrete sectional garage with newly laid concrete floor for the layout. I used B&Q (Diall) 5mm extruded polystyrene as an underlay with laminated floor on top. I did not seal the floor as it was newly laid and I didn't really want to wait 18 months. The concrete has a damp proof course. I also lined the walls with insulation backed wall board and created an insulated ceiling space. The roof itself is a type of tile.

 

I can't say what each of these is contributing, but the shed is quick to warm to reasonably comfortable and seems to stay there without much additional heat. I use a 2 KW oil filled heater with a thermostat. I can't say how much it is running, but after the initial warming it doesn't seem to be very active.

 

The downside of laminate flooring is if you do heavy work after laying it, there is a high risk of damage, I suspect enhanced by the underlay, which has some flexibility.

 

I have to say that if I had a two car garage I think I would let the car sleep outside and use the whole space for the layout, but to each his own....

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10 hours ago, Derekl said:

I have just prepared a newly built concrete sectional garage with newly laid concrete floor for the layout. I used B&Q (Diall) 5mm extruded polystyrene as an underlay with laminated floor on top. I did not seal the floor as it was newly laid and I didn't really want to wait 18 months. The concrete has a damp proof course. I also lined the walls with insulation backed wall board and created an insulated ceiling space. The roof itself is a type of tile.

 

I can't say what each of these is contributing, but the shed is quick to warm to reasonably comfortable and seems to stay there without much additional heat. I use a 2 KW oil filled heater with a thermostat. I can't say how much it is running, but after the initial warming it doesn't seem to be very active.

 

The downside of laminate flooring is if you do heavy work after laying it, there is a high risk of damage, I suspect enhanced by the underlay, which has some flexibility.

 

I have to say that if I had a two car garage I think I would let the car sleep outside and use the whole space for the layout, but to each his own....

I'm a bit baffled by the 18months lead time for sealing your floor and if it isn't cured properly where is the moisture going to go? 

 

 

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I'm currently converting half the garage into a workshop as, I have a shed for the railway. However, what I am doing, which I would recommend to anyone converting a double garage, is to divide it into two sections, one for the car the other for the layout/ It only needs a few sheets of OSB and a few battens.. But it means you keep the dust and damp out from the other side, you only need heat a smaller area. and you're not going to splash modelling paint on the car...

As for that garage door, it definitely  needs some Celotex or the like, glued to the back, as a the cold will just soak through that thin garage door..

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I have a tumble drier in my garage fitted with vent to outside. no problem whatsoever. A freezer also, again no problem.

 

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Brit15

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19 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

Two things to remember about garage floors.  Obviously, as already much discussed above, is the matter of sealing the concrete which will reduce dust plus minimising subsequent surface wear of the concrete.  But the other thing is insulation.

 

Our bodies do not like prolonged standing on cold surfaces as not only does the cold seep up through our footwear but it also helps lower the ambient temperature.  So for comfort floor insulation is as important as wall insulation in creating a really tolerable environment for extended periods.  Ideally the structure should incorporate insulation in much the same way as a modern house with a layer of 4"/100mm expanded polystyrene below the top concrete layer of the floor but unless you are building from scratch that is far from easy to install.  But what you can do is lay a wooden floor - plywood is one alternative and the other is waterproof chipboard as used internally in houses and is therefore a proper flooring material.  And ideally before laying that put in a layer of expanded polystyrene - even a 25mm thick layer will greatly improve resistance to rising cold (and your comfort).

 

Good point.  Garages walls are often only single brick thickness and so there isn't a cavity never mind cavity insulation!  If you have heating only when in use condensation can be quite a problem,  The flat roof typically used isn't thermally efficient either, but as your garage is integral to the house, it should be better than most.  

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  • RMweb Gold

The flat roof on mine is a GRP fibreglass thing, sat on 18mm marine ply with (at the insistence of the building inspector) 100mm of solid, celotex type insulation, with an air gap he wouldn’t let me use rock wool, I suppose with the air gap it could get wet or allow small animals or birds to get in the roof space 

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4 hours ago, rka said:

I'm a bit baffled by the 18months lead time for sealing your floor and if it isn't cured properly where is the moisture going to go? 

 

 

 

I am not sure about the science - I was advised not to seal it for a period. There was no suggestion that it could not be floored - as most new build housing uses concrete bases, that is floored well within a 12 to 18 month period. I am not sure what happens to the moisture, if any. I have not noticed any signs of damp, although I do leave windows slightly open for ventilation.

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