I have a new shed (6x10) and it has a 12mm T&G board floor. This isn't the best for moving/rolling things around, so I'd like to put something over the top of it to help this, and also add some more strength as I will be using tools etc.

I have looked at the options available and it seems to be a choice of either:

  • MDF - This is nice and smooth and very stable
  • OSB/Chipboard - Cheaper than MDF, very sturdy but not as smooth
  • OSB/Chipboard tongue and groove boards designed for flooring - These don't seem as cost effective as standard OSB/Chipboard sheets and considerably thinner than the other sheets.

I am curious whether it is necessary to use T&G sheets? Would using standard square sheets be a trip hazard?

Any advice here would be great.

  • 3
    You're in the UK. It's my understanding that it varies from damp to downright wet there (with the occasional hot & dry as it was for my visit a couple of years ago). MDF is a very bad choice for flooring in general, but especially as the finished surface where it would be exposed to that damp/wet. When MDF gets wet, it swells and disintegrates and the only recourse is replacement. Unless you thoroughly paint all 6 sides of every sheet and keep up the paint regimen on the surface as it wears, you'll likely be very disappointed.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jul 7, 2022 at 12:03
  • @FreeMan - Hence my suggestion with exterior ply. It doesn't rain all the time - we sometimes have sunny days!
    – Tim
    Commented Jul 7, 2022 at 12:55
  • I noted sunny days in my comment @Tim. (Funny, I was there summer of '18 with family - everyone kept apologizing for how hot it was. We thought it was perfectly pleasant and cooler/dryer than home.) I also up voted your answer. ;)
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jul 7, 2022 at 13:06
  • 1
    Does not matter what type of sheets if they are flat on the floor. Tripping hazard happens when there is a decent size of height difference/step. T&G just tends to make the joints less able to let stuff(dirt) fall between them.
    – crip659
    Commented Jul 7, 2022 at 13:44

2 Answers 2


I'd go for plywood if extra strength is needed. You may have to search for a 6x10 sheet, but the more common 8x4 is readily available, so two (cut to size and screwed down) would suffice. Its thickness will depend on what machinery you intend to use on it - and exterior may be beneficial depending on what you do in there. That way, there may only be one, or two, joins, which could come under a workbench, for example, but 9mm or 12mm shoud suffice. On a 8'x12' shed I use, I just have lino over most of the floor (12mm t&g) and lawnmowers, etc., haven't impacted on it in 3 yrs.

Knowing it's in U.K., 10' boards used to be available, not sure now!

  • 2
    Think a 6x10 would very hard and expensive to find(never heard of that size). Two 4x8s should be almost perfect with no/or little waste.
    – crip659
    Commented Jul 7, 2022 at 12:51

What about diamond plate? You can get plastic or metal, large sheets or tiles, normally very resistant to liquids and mechanical damage.

Here's an example of a large vinyl-based mat:

enter image description here enter image description here

  • It's going to be more of a woodworking/diy space so I might need to roll a workbench around. I imagine the diamond pattern will make it a bit like cobblestones and uneven for a workbench?
    – physicsboy
    Commented Jul 8, 2022 at 7:27
  • The pattern can be more or less elevated -- the choice of material will make a big difference as well. From what you describe, I'd think something like stainless steel might be good. There are plenty of places that sell "garage floor" materials/coverings where you might be able to realistically test out some choices. I usually see metal diamond plate in industrial-type areas like loading docks and factories where they are rolling plenty of heavy items around.
    – Armand
    Commented Jul 8, 2022 at 8:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.