How To Choose And Install Attic Flooring
Because of its conformation, the attic requires special attention in terms of interior design. This space of a home is often neglected or remains completely unused due to its sacrificed height and width. Yet, you can transform the attic either in a living or in a storage area. The first step is to choose and install adequate attic flooring.
But the truth is that in the renovation of an attic, flooring is often left in the background. It is considered mostly a structural and not a decorative element. Yet, attic flooring must be carefully chosen to last over time and to add value to the environment.
How To Choose Attic Flooring
More often than not, when deciding the interior design of a home, the floors are neglected. People talk about painting the walls or the furniture. Flooring is seen as a structural element which serves to support the decorative elements. Yet, a floor that doesn’t blend with the rest of the elements can ruin the whole aspect of your home.
The same goes for the attic. Even if you want to use the space for storage only, choosing adequate flooring is essential.
The type of flooring you choose must decorate and enhance the other design elements of the room. And this can be a difficult task if you consider the numerous options available on the market. Yet, you needn’t worry. This guide concentrates on showing you the best attic flooring solutions and make attic renovation a breeze.
During the attic renovation projects in which I was involved, I identified the following criteria for choosing the right attic flooring.
1. Consider The Functionality Of Your Space
When it comes to choosing the flooring, functionality is key. After all, this design element has a huge impact on the perception of a space. In fact, the right flooring can complete the design while the wrong one can truly spoil your space.
It goes without saying that different rooms have different needs. While a kitchen requires a solid surface that is easy to clean and that resists heavy traffic, the bedroom can benefit from the use of less resistant but warmer materials.
Therefore, when choosing attic flooring, consider how you want to use this space. Do you want to arrange your attic for storage purposes? Choose a tiled flooring that is easy to clean and that withstands the weight of racks and standalone shelves. Concrete flooring may be a cheaper and more durable solution.
Do you want to transform the attic in a living or sleeping area? Choose hardwood flooring that is both durable and matches the type of space. Bamboo is a sustainable alternative to hardwood, while carpeted floors provide comfort if you’re planning to walk around your attic with bare feet.
2. Consider The Style Of Your Home
Although we’re talking about an attic, this space is still part of your home. Therefore, the interior design should match the rest of the house, especially if you’re transforming this environment in a habitable area. Whether it’s tiles, hardwood, or concrete, the floor should tie together with the other rooms, to ensure a harmonious transition from one area to another.
The best thing is to get inspired by the overall style of your home. Then, visit a showroom where is possible to see, touch, and understand the maintenance needs of the type of flooring you like best if it’s different from the flooring in the rest of your home.
Choosing an appropriate material and color is essential. Don’t rely on the latest trends, as these come and go. Replacing an outdated flooring is laborious and often expensive, so choose materials in neutral colors that create a timeless effect.
Focus on attic flooring that matches well with many hues; in this way, you’ll be able to change the style of the room without worrying that the new elements won’t match with the floor.
3. Be Realistic About The Duration
Unlike changing the color of the walls, laying new flooring is one of those renovation projects that need more than a DIY weekend to achieve good results. Therefore, when choosing the material, make sure it’s something that will last for the years to come.
Investing in ultra-expensive flooring is not always the best solution. For instance, if you have small kids, a super-expensive hardwood flooring can be easily ruined by liquid spills. In this case, the laminate may be a more durable solution and has a similar aesthetics.
Maintenance is another thing to consider. The materials that need the least maintenance are the tiles and the engineered materials, such as resin or quartz flooring. Some natural stones can also work wonders in the long run but they may need to be sealed regularly.
4. Stick To A Budget
As in any home renovation project, it is essential to establish a realistic budget and stick to it. Attic flooring comes in all styles and prices. Laminate is a cost-effective solution that replaces hardwood with success. Ceramic tiles are an interesting alternative to high-end marble. The resin is expensive, but it provides a virtually indestructible floor that will last for many years.
To get an exact estimate of the costs, measure your attic to get an idea of how much material you need. also account for additional costs, such as the cost of laying materials, adhesives, and labor.
How To Lay Attic Flooring
Installing flooring in an attic is trickier than it seems. The first thing to do is to check the resistance of the ceiling to make sure it can bear the weight of the floor. For this step, you’ll need to have a contractor come and check the structure of your home; in this way, you’ll know whether the ceiling needs reinforcement or not.
Once this step is done, it’s time to lay your attic flooring. Here’s how to do it.
Materials & Tools
Step 1 – Lay The Subfloor
Considering that you already measured the size of the attic, the first step is to install the subfloor. This step is essential as it ensures that the weight of the floor is distributed evenly across the attic trusses. The subfloor usually consists of wood boards arranged in a grid pattern on the whole surface.
Once laid perpendicularly above the ceiling trusses, fix the boards in place with screws. An electric screwdriver can help you in the process.
While laying and fixing the subfloor, pay particular attention to the disposition of any electric wires and make sure you don’t screw through them.
Once the first layer of boards is fixed in place, arrange the second layer in parallel with the first layer. Fix these boards in place too.
Step 2 – Lay The Insulation
Attic insulation is needed both to sustain the new flooring and to insulate the trusses. Polyurethane foam is the most common insulator but a contractor can give you alternatives to this. Just place the insulation to fill in the grid you just formed, making sure the floor won’t push it down once laid.
Step 3 – Lay The Plywood
Use plywood sheets to cover the subfloor grid and insulation. Plywood can act as flooring on its own or serves as a base for the attic flooring you want to install.
The easiest way to install the plywood is by cutting the sheet into pieces; lay the pieces on the grid and screw them in place, paying attention to cover the whole surface.
Step 4 – Lay Attic Flooring
It’s finally the time to lay your attic flooring. Use the plywood as a base to lay the flooring of your choice. The method varies depending on the type of floor you want to install, but in broad terms, you’ll have to use an adhesive or screws to secure the floor to the subfloor.
Lay the attic flooring, then let the adhesive to dry before walking over. If you’ve chosen hardwood or porous natural stone, treat the surface with a sealant before adding furniture or decorations.
Step 5 – Enjoy Your Attic
Whether you want to use your attic for storage or as a living area, once the floor is laid all you have to do is to enjoy your brand new space. Decorate the attic as you wish and brag about your work in front of family and friends.
A renovated and fully functional attic not only maximizes space in your home, but it actually drives up your home resale value. Chosen wisely, attic flooring can add even more value to this space, boosting the worth of the property.
Remember to check the resistance of the structure and bring any reinforcement before carrying any restructuration works. This will ensure the positive outcome and durability of your project.