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gorphus 07-01-2013 09:02 PM

Temporary outdoor flooring ideas
I'm getting married in September and we're holding the reception in a pole barn. Currently, the ground is dirt only and we're having it leveled.

The barn is going to be torn down in November, so the flooring basically only has to last for the day. As a result, I'm looking for an inexpensive solution for the 60ftx60ft (3600 sqft) area. I've done a fair amount of reading and come up with a few ideas:

1. Have a party event rental place do it. Lowest I can find is $1.20 / sqft, and I'm not even certain they'll have enough for the entire area. I'll call tomorrow to see.

2. Buy cheap laminate flooring (I found some for as little as $0.49 / sqft). After the wedding, I could try to sell the stuff back off as used and get some money back.

3. Build individual 4ftx8ft frames from plywood sheets on top of 2inx4in cros beams like this woman did: She even rents it out now to other people! The cost here would be closer to $0.75 / sqft.

We would use the floor both for eating dinner on and for dancing.

What are the thoughts on which approach would be best / worst? Time isn't a huge concern (I think the two DIY ones are going to be time consuming, but doable). Thanks in advance for any input!


nealtw 07-01-2013 11:57 PM

Welcome to the site.
1 Depending on cost and how it works
2 Laminate would not go directly on dirt or gravel.
3 You often get plywood that is warped, even with frames as in the site you posted, you could have corners the are high or low creating tripping hazards.

I would do what we call a floating floor, Have the floor leveled with 1/2" minus crushed stone and compacted, make sure it is above the elevation of the ground outside the barn.
Cover the gravel with 6 mil poly and then lay down 2x3s @ 16 inch on center with as long of 2x3s I could get or 2x4s as they will more saleable. At the joints just run the next one past by a foot
Then over that run 5/8 tunge and grove plywood, you can get a better grade that is sanded and paintable and put it down with screws with a flush setting on the screw driver, offset the joints on the plywood. No glue!

bud16415 07-02-2013 04:55 AM

I have a garden center near me that has quite a few greenhouses open to the public. They have a base of crushed stone covered with wide rolls of black landscape fabric pulled taught and spiked down at the edge. Water passes thru it and it’s really nice to walk on just like a floor. It lasts a couple seasons with lots of foot traffic and then they add another layer leaving the old down.

I have no idea how it would be for dancing on. But would work well enough for walking and dining.

gorphus 07-02-2013 04:11 PM

Thanks for the idea, Neal. Do you think the plywood would still be uneven if we screwed it down around the edges? Seems as though that would lock it to the underlying frame. Then we'd just have to make sure the individual 4x8 sheets were flush to one another.

Regardless, your idea is more secure and a only a bit more expensive maybe. I don't think we'll be able to get 60ft long 2x4's so we'll have to put a cross piece at the end of a few and then piece it together (with offsets).

gorphus 07-02-2013 04:13 PM

A very inexpensive option, Bud. I agree that it would work great for the walking and dining. We might be able to make a smaller dance floor out of wood. Best of both suggestions. :-)

nealtw 07-02-2013 04:45 PM

I like that one too.;pg105674.html

bud16415 07-03-2013 05:04 AM

That looks like the stuff.

nealtw 07-03-2013 10:40 AM

I think you would want to compact the sub-surface with a vibrating roller to make it firm to walk on.

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