Are you looking for the right flooring option for your loft space? Click here for a guide to the different types of loft flooring to find out your options.
Loft storage is a practical, value-adding solution for homeowners seeking additional space.
To reap the full rewards of loft storage, it's crucial to consider your options and make the right choices when it comes to loft flooring. The type of flooring you choose can significantly impact the functionality and aesthetic appeal of your new space, and turn it from an under-used attic into a vibrant, valuable part of your home. This article will delve into the world of loft flooring, providing insights and guidance to help you make the best choice for your project.
Understanding Loft Flooring
Loft flooring can transform an unused attic into a practical loft space and optimise an area of your home that may have been previously overlooked. To comprehend the concept fully, it's essential to recognise that loft flooring refers to the act of laying down boards in your loft to create a sturdy, flat surface that's suitable for storage or other uses.
A crucial aspect to note is the importance of correct installation. Loft flooring isn't about just placing boards onto joists. It's a process that requires careful planning and execution.
To ensure the thermal efficiency of your loft insulation isn't compromised, the installation should be raised above the insulation level. This process prevents the insulation from being compressed, which can result in a significant loss of thermal properties, in some cases, over 50%.
It's vital to recognise that different types of lofts require different flooring solutions. For example, new build homes often have higher insulation levels to meet stringent energy efficiency targets. In these cases, a loft flooring system that provides more height, like the Loft Leg XL, could be more suitable.
Another key consideration is the type of insulation present in your loft. Quilt or mineral wool insulation, often recommended by government guidelines for their optimal U value, can greatly influence the choice of your loft flooring.
Benefits of Loft Flooring
The first significant benefit of loft flooring is the creation of additional usable space. Homes often have unused loft areas that, once floored, can serve as a great storage facility.
Next, loft flooring adds value to your home. Estate agents have noted that a usable loft space is an attractive feature to potential homebuyers. This means that if you're planning on selling your house in the future, loft flooring could yield a higher price.
Additionally, loft flooring helps maintain insulation in your loft, keeping your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. By ensuring the loft floor is elevated to avoid compressing the insulation, you maintain its effectiveness and contribute to energy efficiency.
Lastly, with proper loft flooring, you have an improved safety aspect. Walking around in a loft without a solid floor can be hazardous. With the installation of loft flooring, you reduce the risk of stepping in the wrong place and causing injury or damage.
Different Types of Loft Flooring
Choosing the right flooring for your loft can enhance its utility, particularly if you plan to use it as a storage facility. The floor type can impact not only the visual appeal but also the usability and longevity of the space. Here we'll explore several types of loft flooring, each with unique benefits.
Chipboard Loft Panels
One of the most popular choices for loft flooring is chipboard loft panels. These are simple to install and offer a stable platform for storage or even occasional use. If your primary goal is to convert the loft into a storage facility, chipboard loft panels can be an affordable and practical solution. They also work well with Loft Legs raising the chipboard above the insulation.
Plywood is another excellent choice, known for its strength and stability. It's also a versatile material that can be painted or stained to match your preferred aesthetic.
If you plan to use the loft for different types of storage, consider plywood. Its resilience against weight and wear makes it an ideal choice for storing heavy items.
OSB Loft Flooring
Oriented strand board (OSB) is a type of engineered wood similar to particle board. Made from heat-cured adhesives and wood strands, OSB loft flooring offers a balance of affordability and durability. OSB is robust enough to support weight, making it another suitable choice for storage and can be used with Loft Legs to raise it above the insulation.
Insulated Loft Flooring
This type of flooring has a layer of insulation fixed beneath the surface that helps to keep the heat in during winter and out during summer. This system is generally an expensive way to create a storage floor.
Loft Ladder Flooring
Flooring around the loft ladder may need to be different from the flooring in other parts of the loft. The area near the loft hatch often requires flooring to accommodate a ladder folding onto it when not in use. There are lots of good tips below from professional Loft Leg installers around the UK.
1) Use a ladder that folds into the footprint of the loft hatch
2) Attach the ladder to the raised platform so it retracts onto the storage area.
3) Attach the ladder to the raised platform so it retracts into an area that is not part of the storage area.
4) Create a small platform at joist level for the ladder to sit on when retracted.
Loft Storage and Organisation Solutions
Making the most of your loft space often involves good storage and organisation. Let's explore a variety of ways to get your loft organised.
Using Shelves in the Loft
Shelves can be a game-changer in a loft. By placing items on shelves, you're not only keeping your loft tidy but also making use of vertical space. Shelves come in various styles and sizes, and some are even designed specifically for loft spaces and help utilise the harder to access parts between the trusses.
Loft Storage Boxes
Storage boxes are a simple and effective solution for organising your loft. They can neatly store a range of items, from Christmas decorations to old clothes.
Try choosing clear storage boxes or colour coded boxes. These allow you to easily understand what's inside, reducing the need to rummage through them. Also adding labels really helps locate your possessions when you need to find them.
Using Wall Space
If floor space is at a premium in your loft, turn to the gable walls. Wall-mounted storage systems or hooks can hold everything from tools to art supplies. If you have a sloping roof, consider bespoke storage solutions designed for these spaces.
Essential Considerations Before Loft Boarding
Before commencing the process of loft boarding, there are several crucial factors to consider.
First, check the strength and condition of the existing joists. These joists support the loft flooring, so they must be robust and in good condition. If the joists are not strong enough, they may require reinforcement or replacement.
The type and amount of insulation is also essential to consider. As previously mentioned, flooring should be installed above the insulation to avoid compression, which can reduce the insulation's effectiveness. Therefore, you need to account for the height of the insulation when planning your loft boarding.
Next, think about the access to the loft. Depending on how you plan to use the space, the existing hatch might be too small or awkwardly placed. You may need to consider installing a larger, more accessible loft hatch.
The last critical consideration is your budget. Loft boarding can range from affordable DIY kits to custom professional installations. Both options can be beneficial, but your choice will largely depend on your budget and how comfortable you feel tackling a home improvement project.
Transform Your Loft with Loft Leg
Choosing the perfect loft flooring and storage solutions can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. Loft Leg has developed an extensive range of innovative, UK-manufactured products that not only maximises your loft space but also enhance energy efficiency and cost savings.
From the industry standard Loft Leg that raises your loft storage platform, to the Loft Ledge that maximises potential storage space, Loft Leg's products can transform your loft into the storage solution you need. Start your loft transformation journey with us and see the difference a well-boarded loft can make to your home. Have a look at our full range of products today.