How Thick Does Your Attic Floor Need to be?

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An attic serves many purposes and is essential to many homeowners. However, the flooring of the attic requires a lot of attention and proper construction. The reason is that constructing the floor without proper planning could lead to a devastating accident.

Key Takeaways
  • The thickness of your attic floor solely depends on what you intend to do with it. However, the thickness of the plywood must be 3/4inch if you intend on walking on it. The thickness of your plywood which is meant for storage must be 1/2inch.
  • You can’t just place plywood on ceiling joists to create an attic space. The stucture has to correctly engineered to hold weight. You shouldn’t try to create an attic space without checking the structure and engineering of the joists and walls below. 

The thickness of your attic floor solely depends on what you intend to do with it. However, the thickness of the plywood must be 3/4inch if you intend on walking on it. The thickness of your plywood which is meant for storage must be 1/2inch. 

The plywood used in constructing your attic floor should be very stiff, thick, and strong to avoid accidents. If your attic floor is poorly constructed, you could hurt yourself badly. It is best to get quality wood and a good carpenter to help you out. 

Can My Attic Support a Floor?

The normal floors used in a home are quite different from the ones used in an attic. There are dire consequences of having an attic without a proper and strong foundation. As a result, people usually employ the services of a carpenter to fix a floor for them. 

An attic can support a floor only if the joists supporting your ceiling are very strong and constructed a certain way. Putting strong and quality plywood will not mean anything if the joists cannot support the weight. An engineer can help you to find out if your joists are strong enough and what can be done to upgrade or reinforce existing joists.

Can I Turn My Attic Into a Storage Space?

Most people spend their time resting in an attic, playing games, watching movies, and hanging out with a couple of friends. Some even turn them into their bedroom or living room; it all depends on the individual’s preferences.

However, some homeowners turn their attic into a storage space. Well, it is not a bad thing, but you must understand the strength of your attic. For instance, if your home has a very low-pitched roof or is very old, it won’t be easy to use your attic for storage, as it will not support a strong floor. 

As a result, it is best to renovate your house if you intend to use your attic for storage. With that established, there are a couple of things you should not store in your attic. Below are some of them;

  • Cleaning pieces of equipment
  • Artworks/paintings
  • Books
  • Electronics
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Paints
  • Candles 
  • Batteries 
  • Valuable musical instruments
  • Foodstuff 

All these items mentioned above should not be kept or stored in your attic. The reason is that you could risk them being infested by pests or destroyed by moisture and sunlight. Notwithstanding, if you want to turn your attic into a storage space, then you have to adhere to the following;

  1. Make sure your roof is high pitched to make enough room for your attic to house your items.
  2. Use strong and quality plywood to construct your floor to enable it to bear the weight of your items.
  3. Ventilate your attic to avoid pest infestation.
  4. Keep dangerous items far away from your attic to avoid unnecessary disaster.
  5. Always check the joists of your ceiling to make sure it’s strong enough to handle the weight. This may require an engineer.

You can do well by packing only light items in your attic, as heavy items could easily wear them down. For example, you could wake up one morning and go up to your attic, only to find the floor creaking and breaking.

What Type of Insulation is Best for My Attic?

There are different types of insulation that are used for your attic. Due to this, it is often challenging to pick the best one, as many things are taken into consideration. 

Things to consider include its quality, durability, costs, and many more. However, I’d advise you to always settle for quality, to avoid spending unnecessarily later. That said, I’ll highlight some insulations that can be used for your attic;

  • Cellulose insulation: this is by far the oldest material used in a home insulation attic. They are mainly made from recycled newspapers or denim. Boric acid, aluminum sulfate, and borax are also used to make cellulose insulation. Cellulose insulators are cheap and affordable, and they are resistant to mold, pests, and fire. Also, you can install them yourself. Unfortunately, the only downside is that it makes the home uncomfortable and increases energy bills.
  • Fiberglass insulation: they are made up of plastics composed of fragments of glass fiber. It is commonly used in attics that are constructed in homes. Fiberglass insulators are also cheap and affordable. Furthermore, you can install it yourself, but you have to be extremely cautious. Its disadvantage is that it is a source of high energy bills.
  • Spray foam insulation: they are made out of organic compounds gotten from petroleum. The spray foam insulation acts as an air barrier, and by doing so, lowers the monthly energy bills. The only disadvantage is that it is expensive and very complicated, and you can not install it yourself. Thus, it must be carefully installed by a professional. 

All these insulations are good, and you can make the best choice out of them. In addition, to get the best, you need to carefully plan and consider your budget. That said, spray foam insulation is highly recommended, as its disadvantages are less than the other types of insulation. 

It’s better to get quality insulation than to waste your money on repairs or replacements all the time.