Choices in Attic Flooring

Make the most of unused space in an unfinished attic with the addition of floor decking. Flooring panels and decking materials that are easy to install make it doable for a homeowner to finish an open attic so that it's a usable and safe storage area.

Choices in Attic Flooring

Make the most of unused space in an unfinished attic with the addition of floor decking. Flooring panels and decking materials that are easy to install make it doable for a homeowner to finish an open attic so that it's a usable and safe storage area.

By Gene and Katie Hamilton

Choices in Attic Flooring

An unfinished attic offers additional storage space especially for seldom used or must-save household items. With access to the attic in place, consider finishing the space to accommodate all that stuff with flooring panels or decking material and turn unused space into a well organized storage area.

First, consider the construction of the house. If your house was built with roof trusses forget about using the space for additional storage because it was designed to support the roof, not weaken it with more weight. If the roof is supported by ceiling joists built to support the ceiling in the rooms below, not necessarily a heavy load in the attic, talk to a contractor or building engineer to appraise the attic space to decide if it’s a candidate for flooring.

Before you begin consider the challenge of working in the small, low confines of an attic, which is not a trivial concern when you realize you’ll be working on your knees most of the time. (Wear knee pads!)

Flooring panels made of wood or composite wood are one choice installed by securing them to the floor joists. These can be 4x8 plywood sheets which are cut and trimmed to maneuver up and into the tight confines of an attic. For instructions go to The Plywood.com.

Decking material squares are lightweight and comes in sizes of 16-inch and 24-inch designed to be installed directly to the top of floor joists. Attic Deck Panels at Improvements catalog are rigid panels that fit together and are secured with screws.

You’ll find several attic flooring solutions by typing "attic deck panels" in any search engine.

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