Best Flooring Options to Finish Your Attic
Jul 27, 2022
It’s just a fact. The longer you live in your home, the more things you accumulate and the less available space to store all your new goodies. Whether you need more storage, an extra bedroom, or a room dedicated to your limited-edition Star Wars action figures, you should consider looking upward.
Think about it—instead of going through the hassle of expanding your home, you can renovate your attic space to fit your needs. Of course, renovating is no walk in the park. Whether you are looking to convert your attic to a storage area or if you want a finished attic, it’s likely the hardest part of converting it will be putting new floors in. Before picking the best floor, here are some things you’ll want to take into account:
Check to see if your attic is up to code
Before you begin, you should confirm with your city, town, or homeowners association (HOA) that you are allowed to convert that space. There are not typically regulations against renovating your attic for additional storage. Where you may run into issues is converting your attic space into additional living space. Keep in mind that if you do receive permission to move forward with your remodeling plans, your attic can be subject to inspections by building officials in the future.
Check the floor space and head space
It probably goes without saying that whatever you store in your attic, it needs to be able to fit. First, think about how you’ll use the space—storing boxes of holiday decorations or setting up your treadmill? Moving in a full bedroom set or just stashing a tent until camping season? Not only do you need to think about your floor space, but you will also need to think about the amount of head space you have. After all, you don’t want any of your belongings or—more importantly—your head to be bumping against the ceiling.
Check your attic’s joists and weight limit
Before starting your journey of transforming your attic, you also need to consider how large your joists are. Joists in attics are typically used to carry the weight of the ceiling in the rooms below it, as well as any utilities such as AC and fans. Some homes (specifically older homes from the 1960s) have small joists that are between 2x6 and 2x8. Unfortunately, if your home has 2x6 or 2x8 joists, it will not have enough strength to support flooring or the weight of what you are looking to move into the attic. However, this does not mean your dreams of refinishing your attic have to come to a complete halt!
Invite an expert to your house to verify that your attic can withstand the weight of floors and whatever else you’re planning to put up there. Additionally, if your joists are visible, you will need to build a subfloor. (More on that to come!)
Check your insulation and ventilation
Heat rises, so your renovated attic space may quickly become the hottest room in your home. Depending on where you live, you may be more than comfortable with that, but it will be important to have proper insulation and ventilation. Much of that can be done along with the flooring you choose, as well as the way in which you install it.
Now that we have gotten those considerations out of the way, let’s talk flooring! The style of floor you should buy is dependent on not only your own personal taste but also your vision for how you’ll use the space.
If you plan to use it solely as additional storage space, plywood is your best option. We recommend going with plywood at least 3/4 inch thick to make sure it is sturdy enough to support whatever is going up there. Plywood will also be used as a subfloor if you are planning to convert your attic into a living space, but for a more finished look, we recommend luxury vinyl, laminate, or carpet. Below are attributes of those three flooring options:
- Luxury Vinyl
- Back in style
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Replicates the classic look of hardwood or tile
- Natural insulator
By utilizing experts, thoughtfully considering what kind of space you want in your newly renovated attic space, and thoroughly reading through this blog, you’ll be able to confidently choose appropriate flooring to transform your attic. Additionally, here is a tool to help you visualize your future attic, as well as a planner to help you keep track of all the necessary steps. Find your local store to speak to an expert that can help you find the best flooring for your attic space.
Visualize Your Flooring Dreams
Want a preview of how new floors will look in your home? Try our room visualizer, My Floor Style. Upload a photo of your room, select your style preferences, and get a virtual look at each different flooring style. With My Floor Style, there are no surprises. Only beautiful new floors.