Homeownerâ€™s Guide to the Attic Flooring System
The increasing demand for home decor and the attempts to improve lifestyle is increasing the renovation and remodeling activities. According to the Global commercial flooring market report, the flooring market size is very huge and it is said to increase by 12.5% in the coming years
If you are looking for extra storage space in your house, you are at the right place. While attic space is designed as a structural and insulating feature, there are many ways to use this extra space.
The attic is one of the foremost unused and under-designed spaces at home. Most of us store clothes, antiques, photo albums, junk, and other things that we do not need in our daily lives, often referred to as dead loads.
However, you can easily transform your attic into a useful place by remodeling its floor with the help of joists to create a safe and stable flooring system.
The joists should have enough strength to support the load anticipated in the future as well. Raised floors are hardier under the foot built for plumbing, insulation, heating equipment, wiring, and much more.
Tip: Proper attic flooring system over the insulation keeps some place for storage as well.
Here in this post, we have mentioned everything you need to know about the attic flooring system before you get started with building one.
DIY Attic Flooring vs. Professional Attic Flooring
Before you get started with attic flooring, you need to know if your trusses or joists can handle any extra flooring. You also need to see the joists hold the things you want to store, including those who will be there from time to time.
Although you are going to do the work all by yourself, it is recommended to call in a professional who will examine and tell you of am attic flooring is required or not. One mistake can damage the homeâ€™s structure and can be dangerous for people living in it.
Floor reinforcements and insulation
One main problem with putting an attic flooring system is that it crushes down the insulation, making the insulation less effective. It is the most common issue when it is thicker than the height of the joists. One way to solve this problem is by adding lumber planks to the joists, making them a little higher. Doing this also helps the insulation to be more effective and efficient even after installing attic flooring.
If you plan to use the attic as a living space, you need to ensure the roof is insulated before going ahead with the rest of the work. Not doing so will take away the comfort and coziness that space will offer.
If the trusses cannot handle any extra weight, it does not mean that you cannot add flooring to the attic flooring system. It just means that you need to make some adjustments before building attic flooring.
However, if the joists are too weak, then you need to reinforce them before the flooring is installed. One of the best ways to reinforce is to add two-by-fours to help support them.
5 Types of Attic Flooring System
There are five different types of attic flooring systems that are popular among homeowners.Â Here in this section, we have explained these in detail. So let us get started.
Bamboo Flooring Systems
Certain attic flooring systems are similar to bamboo mats that are light, fairly compact, and easy to install. They allow air to get through to the insulation that helps maintain efficiency and is still strong to support the items stored in the attic. The best part is, it can also bear the weight of the person walking on it.
Additionally, bamboo is eco-friendly because it grows faster than wood and is most commonly used for flooring.
Attic Dek Flooring Systems
This type of attic flooring system is designed to allow the insulation breath, which offers a stiff surface to place things and walk on. The attic dec flooring system is very easy to install, and it simply screws directly into the joists in three places. It is an innovative solution for building attic flooring.
Plywood flooring systems
Although plywood is used for attic flooring, it is not the only option and usually is not considered the best. People like plywood and sometimes do not realize that there are other options. However, it can be difficult to set those big pieces of plywood into the attic.
Carpet flooring systems
Since people like to turn their attic into additional living space, carpet is the best and most fantastic option because it helps maintain insulation and makes the place cozier and homely.
Hardwood Flooring Systems
Last but not least, another great attic flooring system option that is being used for actual living spaces is hardwood. It will make your attic space sleek and luxurious look and is the best alternative for people who are not looking for carpeting.
How to install attic flooring?
Installing flooring material over the attic does not leave room for installation space needed to provide home energy.
However, a raised lumber platform of dimensions 2 x 4 or 2 x 6 with insulation placed between the joists and covered with 12-inch plywood helps build the right flooring.
Here are a few precautions you need to take:
- Check for stains under the attic that results in a leak in the roof.
- You might need additional ventilation if you find signs of condensation on the roof.
- Analyze the storage space. The more load you place, the stronger the attic flooring system needs to be.
Joists that are only 2 x 4s may not be strong enough to bear too much weight. For the 2 x 6s joists, you can store a little light stuff. On the other hand, joists of 2 x 8s or larger can support more weight.
The overall strength of flooring joists depends on the size of the span and depends on the distance between the supports. If you feel you need to store more weight, try adding an OSB to your attic flooring.
A subfloor acts like a base and is considered to be a construction platform. Then the boards are laid either diagonally or at right angles across the joists.
Things to consider when flooring an attic
- Prepare the space
Even before you start working on the attic flooring idea, check whether the ceiling will handle the weight of the new floor along with storage and people walking around. Analyzing is essential because it is the basis for which design to choose for attic flooring.
- Measure the cut and space
Purchase lumber boards from a nearby hardware store and take the flooring measurements. Mark the measurements and make the cuts with a handsaw or circular saw. Continue to cut the boards till you have enough boards ready for the subfloor. Make sure you take proper measurements around the electric wiring and outlets.
- Remove insulation to create a subfloor
Remove the insulation and keep it aside. Then see how many boards you need to create a flooring grid. Place the panels parallel to each side and ensure they are at the same level as the ceiling. Screw the boards down in the ceiling framework with the help of an electric screwdriver.
Then you need to create a subfloor by placing perpendicular joints on the existing set of boards. The subfloor you create should look like a grid.
- Laying the plywood attic flooring
Place the installation back and get started with working on the top layer of the attic floor. Start with measuring the panel to be placed as a layer. Then cut the lumber based on your measurements. Make sure you cut the plywood straight.
Keep in mind the plywood floor should be set securely around the obstructions. Once you have laid down the top panel, your attic flooring is done.
- Make use of the joists in the attic flooring
Cover the ceiling joists in the attic with plywood to use the unused place in your house. The subfloor installation is very easy.
Creating an access route to your attics, such as a ladder or door, can be expensive. Joists carry the weight of the walls, furniture, and the people who walk on them. When pressure is applied to a joist, it creates tension in the wood along the top edge. Even a little pressure in the wrong direction can make the structure weak, resulting in a bounce or sag.
When planning for joist flooring, you need to leave enough space to create access routes for your attic. Follow the rules to keep your floor in proper shape and prevent all kinds of impact. However, with good planning, you can avoid making these mistakes.
Once you have successfully created the attic and added proper lightning, you can plan the interiors of the place. Once you have successfully created the attic and added proper lightning, you can plan the interiors of the place.