Some of us like to use the attic for storage, or occasionally as another room to occupy. Adding a floor in the attic can help make the upstairs space useable. But we must investigate the building situation to find out which flooring options are possible in the attic.
Some attics are not designed to take a heavy load. So no heavy storage is possible and certainly not a floor. Other attics have a frame that will support a floor, which is probably necessary for storage because the plaster will not be strong enough to take any weight.
If we want to install an attic floor then we will first require a wooden grid frame above the ceiling trusses. The trusses alone will not support something as heavy as a wooden floor.
There are a few considerations for the attic:
- Talk to a consultant to see if the framework in the attic is strong enough to support a floor.
- If the frame is not strong enough then a lighter floor option, or the possibility of only using a section of the attic for flooring, might be possible.
- Many attics have insulation over or between the beams of the wooden framework. This is difficult material to work with, requiring disposable overalls, eye protection and breathing filters.
- You can build a frame and floor over the ceiling trusses if the insulation in only between the trusses. If the insulation is over the truss beams then it will have to be cut and repositioned so that the grid support for the floor can be attached to the trusses
- There will be electrical wiring in some parts of the home attic. You will have to avoid damaging this, and you will have to install the floor in a manner allows access to any part of the wiring that need maintenance.
- Use an electric screwdriver to attach the floor. Do not use a hammer and nails as this can damage the ceiling below.
- It is often best to cut all floor wood to size before taking it to the attic for installation.
- Get a good work light for use when installing anything in the attic. Or have some permanent lighting installed.
Always consult a professional before any attic renovations. There may be insufficient structural support for floors and storage.