If you have an attic in your home and are looking for more usable living space, this is the perfect area to renovate. It’s a big job to convert your attic into an extra room, whether you need a loft for your office, an extra bedroom, an in-law apartment or just a reading or game room. But this project is well worth it because it allows you to expand your usable living area without having to add on a whole new addition.
One of the first considerations when converting your attic is to choose the best flooring type. Here are some things to think about.
Make Sure the Attic is Up to Code
Before you do anything, ask town hall or your homeowners association (HOA) if you’re even allowed to convert this space. Usually there are no restrictions or regulations against renovating an attic, provided you are using it for additional storage. You may run into some roadblocks if you’re planning to use it as additional living space, though.
If you do get permission to move ahead with the attic remodeling plans, just know your attic may be subject to inspections in the future.
Attic floors are usually built with dead loads in mind, and these are things that do not move, such as boxes, suitcases and trunks. Live loads, on the other hand, include people and animals, or by extension, things that are used by people, points out The Spruce.
Sometimes in new construction homes, the attic is built unfinished but with the proper flooring in place should the homeowner wish to finish the space at a later date. But in most cases, attics are built in such a way that the joists can’t support live loads. Heck, they’re usually not even covered with boards.
If you are going to use the attic for additional storage space, you can simply go with plywood for your new flooring. It should be at least ¾-inch thick to support whatever you put up there. You can also use plywood as a subfloor if you want to turn the attic into a living space.
For a finished appearance, most experts recommend going with luxury vinyl, laminate, or carpet for their durability, affordability, light weight qualities and sound dampening effects. Hardwood is a good choice if your space will serve a more high-end purpose such as an office, and if you have the proper supports in place for the added weight.
Attic Joists and Weight Limits
You will have to determine how large the attic joists are, the purpose of which is to carry the weight of the ceiling and utilities (fans and ACs) from the rooms below the attic. Some older homes feature small joists between 2×6 and 2×8. If this describes your home, the joists won’t provide enough support for the additional weight necessary for a livable space.
Insulation and Ventilation
Because heat rises, your renovated attic space may get really hot really quick. This is where proper insulation and ventilation come in. Make sure your contractor addresses these needs so you can ensure your comfort all year long.
Contact Designer Wood Flooring
Interested in a free quote and consultation for attic flooring? Just call our designers and contractors at 830-228-4866.