ATTIC FLOORING: What Type Is Best?

Attic flooring

Have you ever considered using your attic flooring to cram in an extra bed or scrounge up some more storage space? You are not alone. Before laying any old flooring out in the attic, homeowners must take the following into account.

Attic flooring

One of the best-unutilized rooms in any home is the attic flooring. They encourage fantasies of storage options for anything from holiday decorations to off-season clothing to furniture that is underused but yet cherished since they extend from corner to corner!

However, attics are difficult to work in. Since attics are an integral element of your home’s construction and are located outside of the “living space,” adding a floor is not an easy process. These are unfinished, unheated, and uncooled areas where one slip may send you hurtling through the floor below’s ceiling.

Additionally, attics play a crucial function as the location of insulation, your home’s primary defense against energy loss and excessive utility costs, which is readily jeopardized by shoddy flooring installation.

What Type of Attic Flooring Is Best?

Hard Wooden floors Attic flooring

The top attic Flooring alternatives for your new attic area are summarised here.

  •  Hard Wooden floors: For its classic appearance and adaptability, hardwood flooring is a great choice when building a living area.
  •  Flooring made of laminate: Any room of a contemporary house may benefit from laminate flooring.
  •  Floor tiles: Before placing tile flooring in a renovated attic, you should consult your contractor because tile floors aren’t typically advised for attic rooms.
  •  Vinyl Flooring: With fashionable improvements in recent years, vinyl flooring has become more and more popular.
  •  Carpeting: Carpet flooring is one of the most adaptable and affordable solutions available for a completed attic makeover.
  •  Interlocking gym floor tiles: Consider installing gym tile flooring in your renovated attic if you’re searching for a low-cost and long-lasting option for a studio, storage area, or even a child’s playground.

Can attic flooring be added?

A widespread fallacy is that all that is necessary to prepare an attic for habitation is to place some decking over the attic joists. This may be the case in some homes, but in many others, the original joist framework supporting the room’s ceiling was never intended to support anything other than the ceiling drywall. It comes down to joists in part:

  •  Your 2×6 or 2×8 joists are insufficient to hold the attic in a new living space, together with the furniture and people who will utilize it.
  •  The only trustworthy method to determine for sure is to have a structural engineer examine your attic support system. If the joists are bigger, they could support attic. It’s important to have an engineer check since in some situations, even larger joists won’t support a new living area.
  •  The distance between joists should also be considered, in addition to their size.
  •  For the installation of attic flooring materials, the standard joist spacing is 16 inches in the center (OC), which refers to the distance between the centers of each joist. Attics frequently include joists that are 16 inches or 24 inches above the floor that was never meant to support flooring or be converted into living space.
  •  There is still hope if the flooring in your attic cannot be used to create a living area. Any attic level can be brought up to code; the only question is how much more structural support it will need.

How Much Plywood Do I Need for an Attic Floor?

Plywood Attic flooring

Plywood is available in sheets that are 4 by 8 feet and have a thickness of 1/4 to 1 1/4 inches. The thickness of subfloors that contractors most frequently use is 3/4 inch, and when more reinforcement is required, they use 1-inch material. Although thick plywood sheets are strong, they are also heavy. To avoid adding additional weight to the ceiling joists, it may be better to use 1/2-inch plywood, which is 15/32 inches thick. You will need to pick between 3/4- and 1/2-inch plywood, the only two alternatives that will work for your attic.

Use of Attics and Joist Spacing

Some attics have joist spacing of 24 inches; 1/2-inch sheets will droop and perhaps even shatter when covering this distance. 3/4-inch plywood is required. When the joist spacing is 16 inches, the thinner plywood is suitable. But you must always use 3/4-inch plywood if you want to complete the attic’s floor and make it a dwelling area. Even with 16-inch spacing, thinner plywood might bend as you walk on it, harming the flooring.

Does My Attic Have Enough Strength for Storage?

If your attic Flooring is sturdy enough to sustain a conversion into a storage room depends on several criteria. These consist of:

  •  How the attic was constructed, or how it is organized from trusses, rafters, etc.
  •  If there is already a floor in place, how sturdy it is?
  •  Whether the attic’s construction is sturdy enough to sustain the addition of a floor if it doesn’t already have one.
  •  Consulting a structural engineer or an adept attic builder is the best approach to get this information about your attic and ensure that it is accurate.
  •  If required, they’ll also be able to advise you on how to reinforce your attic so it can be used as storage space.
  •  The answers to the following questions go into further information about these elements.
  •  If required, they’ll also be able to advise you on how to reinforce your attic so it can be used as storage space.

The answers to the following questions go into further information about these elements.

Can I Put a Floor in My Attic?

Your attic’s ability to hold a floor will rely on how it was built. More precisely, it pertains to the way your house’s roof structure was built.

On the one hand, installing a floor is more difficult in an attic made of trusses. Your attic’s ceiling is really what you see as the floor of the room below. The 2′′x 4′′ or 2′′x 6′′ beams used to construct these ceiling joists are normally not thought to be strong enough to sustain the weight of a floor, let alone anything that would be placed on it.

However, if the attic’s construction consists of ridge boards and rafters, it is more suited to supporting a floor. This is due to the likelihood that ceiling joists will be constructed using structural 2″x 8″ or 2″x 10″ sections.

Consult a structural engineer or an expert attic builder to acquire the most accurate understanding of how your attic was built. They will provide you with advice on how to reinforce your present attic flooring if it turns out that it isn’t sturdy enough.

Can the floor of my attic support weight?

Let’s start by defining what you mean by an attic flooring.

That’s the ceiling of the room below if your attic floor is nothing more than a collection of beams spaced apart by gaps and supported by some plasterboard! The ceiling joists in those beams are not strong enough to carry considerable weight. Ask a structural expert how the floor was built if you genuinely have an attic floor but are unsure of how much weight it can sustain. To know how much weight the floor can sustain, you must have a comprehensive understanding of the foundation upon which it was constructed.

How To Calculate The Weight That Attic Flooring Can Support

Weight That Attic Flooring Can Support

Anyone considering turning an attic into a living space must be aware of the floor structure’s weight capability. The size of the room and joist span, breadth, and spacing are two factors that affect floor loading capability. It is often stated in pounds per square foot in North America (PSF).

Building code standards differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, although the majority of them mandate that sleeping rooms must handle 30 PSF and common room floors at least 40 PSF. By entering the load requirements specified in your local construction code, you can use this calculator to determine the maximum span of the joists supporting your attic. If you want to see if your floor frame satisfies the requirements for a completed room, use this information combined with the size of your attic space.


Before finishing your attic flooring, it’s important to secure all the permissions and request expert advice from structural engineers and qualified contractors. At first, glance, converting an attic room may appear simple—all you need to do is throw up some walls and some playboard to hold a rug—but the process is far more complex. Safety and security are crucial when converting an attic area.

Do not forget to obtain permission. A renovation that was initially intended to increase the value of your house could instead turn out to be a nightmare that comes back to haunt you.

This permission is required, along with conformity to regional construction requirements, should you decide to sell your house. It can potentially lower the value of your house if you don’t have a permit.

Consider the finest flooring option for your lifestyle as you transform your empty attic into a usable room where the kids may play or a quiet refuge to work.