Best Flooring Options For Container Homes

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Homes and cabins made from shipping containers are trending as an alternative housing solution to the high cost of real estate and construction.  There are many pros and cons to building a house from a shipping container.  In most cases, you’ll need to factor in additional materials including new flooring for your container house.  Depending on your budget and style, there are a variety of options we’ll explore for new flooring in your container home.

What type of flooring does a shipping container come with?

The flooring used in shipping containers may vary.  They are often constructed using corrugated steel since is it one of the strongest metals available.  Flooring of shipping containers needs to be extremely strong to withstand the heavy loads used in shipping.  They also might be constructed of bamboo or plywood which can withstand high temperatures and humidity as well as the weight of cargo.

Flooring of shipping containers have likely been treated with pesticides to protect the cargo when shipping.  It’s generally a negligible amount that is harmless but if in doubt, check with the manufacturer on how the flooring has been treated.

Before considering new flooring, you’ll want to see what the shipping container floor is and what shape it’s in.  Depending on budget and style, new flooring might be best to really make the container feel like home.  The floor is a critical part of the container’s durability and longevity.

Here are some of the many flooring options you may want to consider.


Plywood is one of the most popular and cost-effective options out there for flooring which is part of its appeal. It is also less likely to soak up water making it less susceptible to water damage.

Plywood is easy to work with and can be stained or painted in a range of colors.  So if you are looking for flooring on a budget, plywood is a great option.

One of the downsides is that it’s less durable than hardwood so may not hold up as well and it may not have the high resale value of hard wood flooring.

Aluminum or Steel Flooring

Aluminum or steel flooring makes for an extremely durable floor that’s good for wear and tear and harsh weather conditions.  It’s easy to maintain, scratch resistant and tough.  You may want to style with a throw rug to warm up the space.

Vinyl Flooring

The advantage of vinyl flooring is that it is an almost instant flooring solution.  you just unroll the material, cut the sheets to the required sizes, apply epoxy, and spread the sheets across the flooring.

Vinyl is a good flooring solution in terms of durability and ease of maintenance.  It’s also oil and water-resistant and it has a damping effect on acoustics. It is also among the most cost-effective materials you can use for container home flooring.

Vinyl flooring has come a long way in recent years and depending on your budget, luxury vinyl flooring will give you a similar look and feel to hard woods at a lower price.



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Bamboo Flooring

Like plywood, you can get bamboo flooring in boards made up of compressed bamboo fibers. This type of flooring comes in ready made sizes and the wood is usually treated for pests.

Epoxy coated flooring

If you want to maintain the original flooring of your container home you can add an epoxy coating instead of more complicated flooring solutions. Epoxy coatings usually come in grey. The primary purpose of an epoxy coating is to protect the surface but it also creates an anti-skid floor.

Another advantageof an epoxy coating is that it seals off the floor from any harmful chemicals that it might contain.  During application, epoxy can release volatile fumes therefore you would do well to ensure that the area is well-ventilated while applying the solution.

Coin Vinyl Floors

Coin vinyl floors are also another viable alternative to regular vinyl flooring. The limitation of this type of flooring is that there is a restricted range of colors –  typically tan and grey. This type of flooring is particularly water resistant and it cleans very easily. Because of the waterproof nature of this type of flooring, it is well-suited for use in damp areas like kitchens and bathrooms.


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Imitation Wood Vinyl Planks

If you are looking for something stylish but also durable, using imitation vinyl wood planks is a good flooring solution to consider. Many offices that use containers for their operations use imitation vinyl wood planks. But it looks equally good in a residential setting.

This type of flooring imparts a stylish look but is adequately durable. You can get these planks in a variety of shades and colors. Generally, this type of flooring is added to the bottom surface of the container regardless of what is the existing type of flooring.

Carpet or Carpet Tiles

Whether it is for a home, commercial space or an office, carpet is a simple but effective flooring solution. It’s easy to install and comfy under foot and will make the home cozy.

Carpet tiles use various pile yarns – the most popular is nylon, which has excellent wear performance and is recyclable.

Whether you live in a traditional home or an alternative type of dwelling like a container home, flooring adds character and the finishing touch to your home.  Consider the different options for flooring to provide a nice foundation for your home.


What is the thickness of a container floor?

The thickness of a container floor is generally slightly more than one inch.

What is the importance of container flooring?

Whether your container is for transporting goods or to be used as a home or office flooring is a very critical part. It gives strength to the container. If your container home has good flooring it will last a considerably longer time.

What is the typical type of flooring used for shipping containers?

Depending on the manufacturer, you will usually find steel or plywood flooring in a shipping container.

Are all the floors of shipping containers waterproof?

According to the ISO standards for shipping containers, the flow should consist of 1⅛-inch plywood.  Although this plywood has considerable resistance to moisture, it is not entirely waterproof.   To make a container floor waterproof you would have to add a coat of epoxy.

Which paint is most suited for a shipping container floor?

For maximum protection for your shipping container floor, you can use marine-grade paint. This type of paint offers maximum protection to the floor from the elements.   Further, you will get the best results by using acrylic paint with a satin finish.